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Black Bear Hunting Tips

Below are more hunting tips to help with your vacation in Ontario:

Hunter Orange:

The objective of the hunter orange regulation is to maximize hunter safety without negatively impacting hunting success.

Under this regulation, all licensed hunters, including bow hunters and falconers, hunting during the gun season for deer and moose, are required to wear hunter orange. This requirement does not apply to persons who are hunting migratory game birds, except woodcock.

In addition, all licensed black bear hunters hunting during the open season for black bear are required to wear hunter orange except when in a tree stand.

Where there is a gun season for moose or deer concurrent with an open black bear season, then the only persons exempted from wearing hunter orange are waterfowl hunters, as indicated above.

A hunter orange garment and head cover must be worn. The hunter orange garment must cover a minimum of 2,580 square cm (400 square inches) above the waist and be visible from all sides. Open mesh or camouflage hunter orange must not be part of the 2,580 square cm. A hunting coat or vest generally meets this requirement. The hunter orange head cover may have: open mesh; a peak or brim color other than hunter orange; a crest or logo which does not completely cover the hunter orange on the side where it is affixed. The head cover must not contain camouflage material.

Hunter orange color standards are generally consistent across North America. Manufacturers can provide information regarding clothing compliance with this standard.

Party Hunting:

A person may hunt moose, deer or black bear in a party even if the person has previously attached his or her game seal to a moose, deer or black bear. The term "Party Hunting" means two or more persons hunting during an open season for moose, deer or black bear under all of the following conditions:

  • Each person has a valid license to hunt moose, deer or black bear.

  • The total number of moose, deer or black bear killed by the party does not exceed the total number of game seals held by the members of the party licensed to hunt that species.

  • The total number of moose, deer or black bear of a specified sex, age or type killed by the party does not exceed the total number of game seals validated for that sex, age or type that are held by members of the party.

  • All members of the party hunt together in the same Wildlife Management Unit or portion thereof for which the game seal is valid.

  • Each member of the party hunts within five kilometers of the person who holds the game seal that is valid for the wildlife being hunted.

  • Each member of the party must be able to reliably and immediately communicate with other members of the party.

  • All members of the party, including the person who holds the seal that is valid for the wildlife that the party is hunting, actively participate in the hunt and hunt co-operatively.
  • The person who kills the wildlife while hunting in a party shall immediately notify all other members of the party that the wildlife has been killed and the game seal holder shall immediately affix the game seal to the wildlife in the manner prescribed on the game seal.

    At this point, party members at the kill site must determine the category of animals that may still be hunted. You must then make sure your other party members, who did not come to the kill site, are informed. The hunter in your party who killed the animal, and the hunter who attached the game seal, may continue hunting provided other members of your party possess valid, unused game seals.

    If you have questions about party hunting, the best time to get answers is before the hunt begins. Contact a conservation officer at the ministry office in the district in which you will be hunting. A list of ministry offices and phone numbers is found on page 80.

    Big Game Field Dressing:

    Field dressing, or gutting, is the process of removing the entrails (internal organs) from the animal to promote cooling of the carcass and prevent the meat from spoiling.

  • Always field dress game immediately after the kill.

  • Move the animal to a clean site before field dressing.

  • Roll the animal onto its back or side with head higher than the rump.

  • Cut a line up from the crotch to the tip of the sternum (where the rib cage ends and the belly starts).

  • It is best to cut with the blade up and out of the cavity to prevent cutting into internal organs.

  • Free the colon by cutting around the anus and then tie a string just in front of the anus to prevent feces from entering the body cavity.

  • Cut around the diaphragm.

  • Free the windpipe at the throat and free any internal organs by cutting the tissue attaching them to the backbone.

  • Do not cut open the rumen, intestines or bladder. If punctured wipe cavity with paper towels.

  • Position carcass to allow blood to drain out.

  • Do not wash cavity with water from the field. It is often a source of bacteria.

  • Prop open the body cavity to allow air flow and cooling.

  • In warm weather remove the skin and apply cheesecloth to help keep meat clean and cool. In cold weather you can leave the skin on.
  • Transporting:

  • Avoid dragging game through water, mud or dirt.
  • Wipe out body cavity with paper towel if dirt enters.
  • Use cheesecloth to keep meat clean if quartering animal. Never use plastic or tarps.
  • Keep carcass away from engine heat, gas, road dust and sun. Allow air circulation.
  • Hanging and Cooling:

  • Game carcasses should be cooled as soon as possible to a temperature not exceeding 7° Celsius (45° F).
  • Hang meat in a place that is cool and dry with good air circulation.
  • Remove areas of blood clots or tissue damage with a clean knife.
  • Use pepper and cheesecloth on carcass to deter insects in warmer weather.
  • If you are not processing your own meat, make butchering arrangements before your hunt.
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