. It's basically following the tree line to the north and human populations to the south.
By the time a Black Bear is two years old they reach about 100 pounds and are on their own for the first time. Young bears get chased out of prime territories and since there is no food above the tree line their only alternative is to travel south where they are becoming a nuisance in towns in Northern Ontario and central Ontario and hunting is the logical way to control their population. Without Black Bear Hunting in Ontario many 1000s of bears would starve to death or be killed by bigger territorial bears. Black Bears can get big. The average size that hunting guests might see in Northern Ontario is around 200 pounds but hunters harvest many bears in the 300 to 450 pound range. They can get a lot bigger than that. In 2010 a 1000 pound Black Bear was hit and killed by a logging truck between Wawa & Chapleau. In 2011 an 890 pound bear chocked to death on a plastic bag at the Nipigon dump. Both these bears have been documented by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR).
Black Bears are omnivores, which means they eat anything. Their prime food is grasses, Blueberries, Raspberries, bugs, grubs and Beavers. They will eat anything but above is the primary diet of wild Black Bears in Ontario.
If you are at a dump in Ontario to view the bears you can observe them ignoring meat, fruit and vegetables and going after food with high carbohydrate content such as bread and pasta. They go after these high carb snacks because they can build up their fat supply faster. Experienced outfitters know this so when baiting bears to come to a tree stand they use a wide range of food including food high in carbohydrates.
There are many critics of Black Bear Hunting and there are no shortage of these tree huggers in Ontario. People say you are just killing, not hunting. Nothing can be farther from the truth. A Black Bear can hear 4 times better than a human and can smell 2100 times better than a human. Black Bear Hunting is an exercise in stealth, which can be hard to do sometimes when spending hours out in the Ontario wilderness. A hunter's ability to become invisible is key to a successful hunt. Hunters also need to understand that there are tons of huge bears in Ontario and they need to have confidence and pass on smaller bears if they really want a trophy bear of a lifetime.
Hunters are legally allowed to use bow (archery), crossbow, rifle, shotgun and muzzleloader (Black Powder) to hunt bears in Ontario. It is illegal to hunt with a hand gun in Ontario. The weapon used dictates the season so archery season starts a couple of days before gun season. Hunter orange must be warn at all times during big game season. Camouflage hunter orange does not qualify in Ontario.
Cinnamon Black Bears and Chocolate Black Bears are also available in Ontario. Once in a while hunters are lucky to harvest a rare Sun-Crest Bear. This is a Black Bear with a white crest on its chest. The Sun-Crest Bears are mostly hunted in regions north of Lake Superior from the Missanabie / Wawa region across to the Nipigon region. There have been sightings of Blue Black Bears but as of yet the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) officially says they do not exist just like Cougars, which there are 1000s of eyewitness sightings each year in Ontario. A Blue Bear is black with shimmering blue fur if the light is hitting the animal at the right angle to reflect the blue wavelength. Below is a picture taken in 2014 of a beautiful 400-pound Cinnamon Bear.