Bear Hunt on Manitoulin Island

Table of Contents

Bear Density
Bears & Bear Habitat
South Shore Forest
BBL's Land
BBL's Hunting Strategy
Your Host & Bear Hunt Guide
BBL's Bear Hunting Lodge
Bear Camp Kitchen
Bear Camp Bunk House
Getting to Your Bear Hunt on Manitoulin
Meals at Bear Hunt Camp
Fishing Add-on
Bear Hunt Pricing
Application, Terms, & Conditions
The following page describes an "All Inclusive" bear hunt scheduled each Fall by  Black's Bay Lodge.

If you are interested in something different, please contact us to discuss your specific desires.

2006 Bear Hunt Camp Availability



Sept. Oct.
Bear Hunt Week # 1* 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12*
Dates Aug.12-19 Aug.19-26 Aug.26-Sep.02 Sep.02-09 09-16 16-23 23-30 Sep.30-Oct.7 Oct.7-14 14-21 21-28 Oct.28-Nov. 4
BBL's Bear Hunt Camp Availability                        
Reserved for Cottage rental season, but available at premium price. Avail. Avail. Avail. Avail. Avail. Avail. Avail. Avail. Avail.

* Legal hunting season is Aug. 15 to Oct. 31, and is therefore not a full week in this period (Week 1 and 12).  Other hunting or fishing activities can be scheduled to supplement the bear hunt.  Hunt camp goes from 2:00 PM Saturday to 11:00 AM the following Saturday.


This is a premium, all-inclusive bear hunting experience in the wilds of Northern Ontario Canada.

Since the elimination of the Spring bear hunt, the local town is very concerned about the growth of the bear population, and the wandering of bears through the town.  Secondly, the government (MNR) has been moving "problem bears" to Manitoulin Island, because it is difficult to impossible for the bears to return to their old territory, and their offending ways when they are trapped on a nice island.

With it so nice on Manitoulin, the bears aren't willing to attempt the long swim to the mainland, just what the MNR wants.

Black bear out for a strole through town

We need dedicated hunters to help control the local bear population to sustainable levels.
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Bear Density

The bear density map shows the bear concentration in Ontario.  Manitoulin Island is in the dark brown region which has an average density of 50 bears per 100 kmManitoulin Island enjoys the highest black bear density in Ontario Canada.

With 2,765 sq. km. on Manitoulin Island, there are approximately 1,383 bears on Manitoulin Island.  Assuming a 5% harvest rate (Ontario average), this is 69 bears to be harvested each year from Manitoulin.

With 9 weeks of hunting season, and an assumed 60% success rate, our bear hunting bookings can have up to 3 bear hunters per week for 9 weeks for a sustainable hunt (27 hunters in total).

The earlier and later in the season you book, the better your odds of hunting.  Early in the season, you can catch the bears off-guard.  Late in the season, the bear are desperate for the final big meal before hibernating for the winter, and will travel long distances for enticing smells.

Map of black bear density, Ontario CanadaClick on map to see full size.

In addition to this, the Island's rural setting & isolation ensures optimum habitat for the bear.  The bears have a limited range to roam, as bears are not willing to swim to the mainland.

While bears will travel more than 100 km. to a known food source, the typical range in 30 km.  A circle of 30 km. radius covers 707 sq. km.  At a density of 50 bear per 100 km2, we have a potential of 350 bears who could travel to our food sources (bear bait).  At a harvest rate of 5%, hunters can take up to 17 bears each year on a sustainable basis for our region of Manitoulin Island.

We conclude there is a rich supply of bears for hunting on Manitoulin Island.

Bears & Bear HabitatOntario black bear

Ontario's adult male bears can weigh between 120-280 kg (250-600 lbs). Adult females can weigh between 45-180 kg (100-400 lbs).

On Manitoulin Island, we estimate that the average adult male will weigh in at about 490 lbs.

Bears are active from mid-April to early November, then hibernate in their dens during the winter.

Black bears feed mainly on summer berry crops such as raspberries and blueberries, as well as mountain ash acorns and beech nuts in the fall.

A bear's nose is 5 times more sensitive than a dog's powerful sniffer.  Bears are driven by smell. They can readily detect the odour of food 2 km upwind of them.  Constantly on the move (up to 20 hrs. per day searching for food), they easily cover large territories.

Bears become sexually mature at 5 years old, full size adults at 7 years, and can live up to 25 years in the wild.  A bear can eat up to 35 lbs. of food in one day.

At BBay, we have had a bear attack our deer feeding station.  Not content to take a mouthful at a time (like the polite deer), the bear ripped open the walls of the feeder, dumping 300 lbs of grain on the ground.  In 45 minutes, the bear had his fill.  In 3 days, the grain was all gone.

In early spring, on emerging from hibernation, they eat willow catkins, grasses, dandelions and aspen leaves. When they can, they augment this diet with protein sources such as fish, winter-killed animals and sometimes newborn fawns or moose calves. In summer, they eat raspberries, blueberries, chokecherries and various currants and tree berries as they become available, looking to ant colonies and bee and wasp nests for sources of protein. In fall, they favour hazelnuts, mountain ash berries, acorns and beechnuts.

South Shore Forest

Black's Bay Lodge (BBL) is a 113 acre hunting resort located on the south shore of Lake Huron, just west of Providence Bay, Manitoulin Island, Ontario Canada (North end of Lake Huron).

Black's Bay Lodge (BBL) is located 2 km. west of Providence Bay. BBL enjoys the wilderness while being close to the supplies and benefits of the town. Providence Bay, a town of 300, has a new marina and government dock, fishing charters, 3 restaurants, hardware store, auto mechanic, and motel.

The BBL hunt camp is in the middle of a 5000 acre wilderness tract of cedar, birch, and poplar forest. Little development has occurred in this area since a forest fire occurred 100 years ago. The forest has regenerated and is entering a mature phase. Large areas of dense bush are dotted by numerous open meadows with lush green grass.  Generally flat, there are some swampy areas during the wet seasons.

Ideal bear habitat for Ontario black bear hunting

Unopened road allowance to North of property

The unopened road allowance along the North of the property is only used by local landowners, especially during hunting season.  At other times, the bear travel parallel to this clearcut, crossing at specific trails from one side of the road to the other.

The 113 acre hunting area is located off an unopened Concession road about 2 km. from Providence Bay. This road is only used by the local landowners and wildlife.

The survey lines and trails throughout the property provide excellent access.  The bear baiting is done in the numerous meadows & open areas throughout the property.  Bears have been known to travel over 30 km. based on their keen sense of smell.

BBL's Land

This is a map of the bear hunting area.

The red lines show the property lines.  The red line running horizontally (West & East) near the top of the map is the unopened road allowance called Firehall Rd.

The two vertical red lines (running North and South) are BBay's property lines on the West and East.

There are numerous trails through the property.  Currently, we have 3 high tree stands, specially built for optimum bear hunting.

The blue lines show the intermittent streams and swampy areas around BBay.  The streams are running in the spring.  If there has been very wet weather during other parts of the year, then the streams will be running also.

The big red "X" in the thick red rectangle at the bottom of the map is where the main lodge is located, right by the beach on Lake Huron.

Map of BBay property showing bear habitat
Map of BBay's Bear Hunting property

Hunting Strategy

During the spring, summer, & fall, the bear find plentiful food around the edges of the meadows, the adjacent swamp areas, the nearby farmer's fields of clover & hay, the town's dump, and the buds on the new annual growth.

Bears are active up to 20 hrs per day in the summer.  They will enter their den for winter hibernation between Oct. 15 to Nov. 1 (depending on food supplies & weather).

Based on test feedings done at various times during the year, bear will arrive within 1.5 days to 2 weeks after bait is laid down.

The town residents are very concerned about the growth of the bear population since the Spring Bear Hunt was terminated a number of years ago.  It is a common experience to have bears wandering down the town's main street throughout the year.  While local resident will defend themselves against nuisance bears, there is little hunting pressure on bears by local residents; their main focus is deer hunting.

There is thick cedar bush for the most of the property.  The land is very flat and low slope.  There is an intermittent stream on the South-east side of the property.

There are numerous open meadows (1/4 acres to 3 acres in size) with grasses.  This is another place where the bear like to search for grubs and ants under the numerous flat rocks on the ground surface.  Inspection of these areas will always find rocks recently turned over by the hungry bears.

There are numerous trails through the area (see map on website).  There is a bush road on the North, East and West side of the property, water to the South.  Bear stands are positioned on all 3 sides.  Baited caches are set up at all locations being hunted, awaiting our wandering visitor's arrival.

Along the length of our bush road are a number of feeding stations. Salt blocks, apples, corn, stale doughnuts, old deep fat frying oils, and similar odorous foods make excellent attractants. The feeding frequency is increased as bear season approaches.

Tree stand on West side of property for bear hunting

Tree stand on West road

View of bear feeder from tree stand for bear hunting

Small meadow in forest with bear feeder, fish on a string, bucket of scent (fish guts) in tree, and some juicy apples ready for our furry visitors

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A blind has been setup near each station with a clear view in both directions along the bush road, and of the station itself.

There are also bear stands overlooking the feed plots inside the property.

At the bear stands, one to two sighting alleys (approx. 6 yards wide) have been cut into the woods at a 90 angle to each other.  The hunter in the stand can look down both alleys to a distance of about 100 yards.  If they see a bear crossing the first alley and don't have sufficient time to shoot, they are well prepared to find their target when the bear crosses the second alley.

Your Bear Hunting Guide

Your hunting guide has owned & hunted this land for the past 24 years and knows it well.

I have sat in the bush, watching the bear, and other animals for hours on end.  I know their habits and trails.  By listening to more experienced hunters, and learning from the animals themselves, I have used the last 24 years to teach myself to be a better and more successful hunter.

I enjoy sharing and discussing animal behavior and hunting methods with both veterans and novices.

There are no growth hormones nor drugs in this food supply.  That's why I prefer bear meat vs. beef.

Bear hunter & bear hunting guide

Your host and hunting guide, Glenn Black

Bear Hunt Camp

The hunt camp consists of a 1,800 sq. foot, 2 story main lodge with a wrap-around cedar deck and 2nd. floor balcony.  The lodge has a fully equipped kitchen, plus a living room, dining room, mud room, 4 pc. bathroom (tub, shower, sink, & flush toilet), and a work room.

Also on site, there is also a 14' trailer, generator shed, pump house, outdoor shower & solar heater, utility & storage shed, outdoor fireplace, and outhouse.

We are "off-grid", so generate our own electricity with wind and solar power.  In case of emergency, there is a  4.0 kilowatt generator supplies 110V AC to the main lodge.

The outdoor fireplace is designed for cooking as well as a bonfire pit. Sitting around the fire on a cold autumn day takes off the chill, as well as getting the hunting clothes nice and smoky (good odor camouflage against the bear's sensitive nose).

Your hunting guide/host/cook will assist in preparation of most meals, but each camp member will be expected to prepare their personal favorites for one breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Be sure to let us know any special ingredients, food allergies, restrictions, etc. that you'll be needing so we can be sure to adjust our shopping list.

Bear hunting lodge

BBL's Main Lodge, 2032 sq. ft., 4 bedroom, sleeps 8

Bear Camp Kitchen

The 12' x 12' kitchen includes full cupboards and countertops, a fridge, stove, and sink with running water. The 20' x 16' common area serves as the dining and meeting area with a large wood stove. Many a good hunting story has been shared by the light & heat of this stove.

The lodge is kept toasty warm by the propane lights and the big wood stove during the cooler fall days.

A cell phone and high-gain roof antenna is available for emergencies & "pay-as-you-go" use.

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Kitchen in bear hunting lodge

Kitchen in Lodge with double sink, cupboards full of dishes, pots & pans; microwave, bread machine, fridge, and stove

Bear Camp Bunk House

Whether you like to grab a quick nap, or a large comfortable bed, we have the facilities to ensure your comfort.

Stocked full of hardwood, the airtight stove burns through the night, keeping the main lodge warm; even in -20C weather.

The second floor of the lodge is used as the sleeping quarters. There are five separate rooms with lots of space for each person's clothes, hunting gear, and quiet spot.

The bunks are double bed size. It is expected that you will bring your own sleeping bag, extra blankets, sheets and pillows.

The third floor is for additional sleep areas (those who snore !), utility rooms, and observation deck. There is a great view across the treetops, as well as overlooking the Lake Huron shoreline.

Hunter taking nap between hunts
Quick nap after a long day hunting

Double bunk beds with 5" thick foam mattress in bear hunting lodge

Double bunk beds with 5" thick foam mattress.  Just add your sleeping bag

Getting to Your Bear Hunt

You can drive to Manitoulin, accessing the Island from the North by the bridge.

Alternatively, you can take the ferry from Tobermory if hunting during ferry season.

Thirdly, you can fly into Gore Bay Airport (or Manitoulin East Airport) via charter air service.  In this case, we can come pick you up and bring you to the hunt camp for a small fee.  Contact us for more info on this option

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Van, trailer & 7 eager hunters for Manitoulin Island, Ontario, Canada

Van, trailer, & 7 eager hunters

Book early, space is limited. Send your completed application, your current-dated and 2 post-dated cheques, made payable to "Black's Bay Lodge".


Once you arrive at camp, all your meals and non-alcoholic beverages are included in the cost of your trip.

There will be a piping hot breakfast served before you go out to your stand, hot coffee or tea to fill your thermos, hearty lunches, and a feast at the end of each day.  All meals are designed around a balanced diet and the Canada Food Guide.

Everything will be cooked and served to your pleasure by either your host, your fellow hunters, or you.

You are responsible for providing and bringing your own alcoholic beverages of your choice. You will be responsible for all your meals and beverages while traveling.

Dining area for meals & discussion of next day's hunting strategy

Dining area for all meals, and discussion of next day's hunting strategy

Fishing Add-on

If desired, fishing  charters  can  also  be arranged during, or after the bear hunt (if everyone gets their bear early).  The area's lakes have (in season):

  • Lake trout
  • Salmon
  • Splake
  • Bass
  • Whitefish
  • Walleye
  • Perch
  • Pickerel
  • Muskie
  • Pike

Manitoulin Is. has some of the best fishing in all of Canada.  Charters are operated by other third parties, and leave from Providence Bay or from nearby inland lakes (Kagawong, Mindemoya, etc.). Charters are available in day or half days and all equipment is supplied.  The costs are extras.  If you prefer, you can conduct your own expedition.

All fishing charters are an additional cost of approximately $75 per person per half day.

23 lb. salmon from Lake Huron, just East of Black's Bay Lodge

23 lb. salmon from Lake Huron, just East of Black's Bay Lodge

Bear Hunt Pricing

Your all-inclusive, packaged price for the week of bear hunting includes:

  • All camp meals
  • Accommodations for 8 days, 7 nights
  • Experienced bear hunting guide
  • Bear Hunting stands & bait for bear hunting
  • Available on a first come, first served basis


CDN  $ 1,500.00
per person + 6% GST

Payment is to be made as follows:

$500 per person with your application form to reserve your spot. Balance is due 3 months before the start of your hunt.

Significant discounts are available when you book simultaneously for 2 or more hunters (as low as $943 per person, all inclusive).  See our Bear Hunt Group Rates

Un-guided bear hunt is also available for experienced bear hunters at pricing as low as $470.00 per person. See our Un-guided Bear Hunt Group Rates.

Provided there are no prior reservations, you can reserve the entire hunt camp for your private hunting party.

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Terms & Conditions

You will be required to fill out an application form, and sign an indemnification, assumption of risk, and liability waiver.

If your application is turned down for whatever reason, your full deposit will be returned to you with our letter of regrets.  If the camp is already filled, you can apply this deposit towards a spot on the "standby list" for this year, or for the next year's camp.  All other payments are non-refundable. 

If you subsequently can't go, you can nominate someone to take your place, and provided they fill out an application and are accepted by the screening process, all your deposits (less a $50 administration fee) will be applied to their fee; otherwise you'll lose your deposit(s).

If your second payment is late, your spot will be sold on "first come" basis, and all previous deposits will be forfeited.

BBL reserves the right to cancel the trip at any time with full refund of all deposits.

If you attend for this year's hunt, you will have right of 1st. refusal for the following year's hunt; provided BBL receives your deposit before 11:59 PM EST on Dec. 31.  After this date, your spot will go to standby list, or first-come applicants.

It is highly recommended that you obtain adequate travel, trip cancellation, medical, accident, disability, and life insurance.

All hunters will require a bear hunting license, $35 for Ontario residents (plus Outdoor Card), $175 for non-residents of Ontario.  There is a $35 export fee and permits required for taking the trophy or meat out of Province.  CITES export-import permits may also be required.   Check with BBL personnel for specific requirements and assistance for non-resident hunters.


If all the above information appears to be what you've been looking for, you can make application to attend our annual hunt by e-mailing, phoning, faxing, or visiting us in person.  We will send you or give you an application form for you to fill out.

Return the completed form to us with your initial deposit and post-dated cheques (or other form of payment) for the two other payments.  We will review your application, and notify you of our decision and send you a full documentation package.  If accepted, you can start getting ready for your adventure of a lifetime.

For further information, please contact us at the following portals:

BBL's Office:

Mr. Glenn Black
Black's Bay Lodge
576 Firehall Rd.   P.O. Box 101
Providence Bay,  ON   P0P 1T0

Phone:   (705)-377-4039
Fax:       (705)-377-4039

e-mail to BBL:          

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Questions ?:  E-mail BBL

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