Chapleau is called the Black Bear Capital of Canada and for good reason. The area's terrain supplies our bears with enough food to proliferate in great numbers and get big. Logging in the area has opened up new grasslands where berry bushes grow and allow small game to increase in numbers. This combined with all the lakes and streams has produced a large population of big Black Bears. On top of all this is the close proximity of the Chapleau Crown Game Preserve, which is the biggest game preserve in the world. No hunting is allowed on the preserve but the bears leave the preserve and wonder into our BMA.
Of all the outfitters in Ontario, Four Season's Guiding has one of the biggest BMA (Bear Management Area). Our BMA covers 500 square miles of prime Black Bear country and our camp is located right in the middle of it.
We have 25 bait stands strategically placed miles apart and in areas where we know the biggest bears are found. We start baiting our stands 4 to 6 weeks before the bear-hunting season opens. Our baits are a mixture of food with high protein scraps and food high in carbohydrates. This is what the bears want and need to prepare for hibernation.
Our sighting rate is close to 100% and our success rate is not far behind. Our success rate could be 100% all the time but seasoned bear hunters will pass on smaller bears and wait for a big trophy. Most time they are rewarded but not always.
Black Bears in the area average around 250 pounds. Every year we have guests take a couple of bears up in the 400 pound range. A few years ago a guest harvested a big Black Bear over 500 Pounds. A bear that big is rarely seen because they are too smart. We can accommodate groups of bear hunters as big as 12 people even though most groups are much smaller.
Special Note: In 2005, a 1000-pound Black Bear was hit by a transport truck and killed just a few miles from our camp. In 2007 an 850-pound Black Bear was found dead at the Chapleau dump. We do not want you to get your hopes up but record-breaking bears are walking around in our region.