A Dirt-Cheap Bear Hunt That Is Fun


Published: February - 2005

I have had the good fortune to hunt black bears across much of North America for the past 30 years or so, and in that time I have learned to read between the lines when speaking to an outfitter or guide. After a few minutes I either see the warning signs, or I am comfortable with the answers I get and want to learn more. Such was the case when I spoke with Denis Boivin, a representative for the Laurentides Reserve in Quebec.

Boivin told me spring bear hunting is relatively new in the reserve and, because of that, the reserve is not well known as a bear hunting destination. That piqued my interest because I like hunting areas that have yet to be "discovered," and in Eastern Canada, those places are becoming increasingly difficult to find. Boivin also said bear hunters in the reserve see lots of bears and have been quite successful, averaging better than a 90 percent kill rate. When I asked about size the answer seemed honest as well. "I would say we have average bears," he said. "Most run 150 to 170 pounds or so, but some larger ones have been taken." My brother, Dave, and I promptly booked a hunt for early June, and I must say I'm glad we did.

The Laurentides Reserve is located just north of Quebec City, and just south of the Saguenay-Lac St. Jean region. If you look on a map of the province, and see a large, green, park-like area just north of the city, that's it. Originally created in 1895 as a park, it was designated as a reserve in 1981. The change in status did two primary things. First, it specifically allowed the scientific study of wildlife and it limited access and development to the area. Second, it opened the area to hunting. Almost from the beginning, the reserve has been a popular place for moose and upland game, especially among residents. Fully-equipped camps with their own exclusive territories are located throughout this vast area to accommodate hunters. Some camps are quite remote, with a couple accessible........(continued)

 
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