Black Bear Hunting in Newfoundland and Labrador. What Are You Waiting For?

I have hunted big game throughout North America for more than 30 years. Recently I took the opportunity to hunt black bear for the first time in Newfoundland and Labrador. Now, I ask myself so many times, why did I wait so long?

During my hunt, it became crystal clear to me that all the stories about the world-famous size of black bear in Newfoundland and Labrador were true.

On my first afternoon’s post, a large sow with three yearlings came in to my stand. The big sow’s belly dragged slightly above the ground, her ears were tiny compared to her head, and her legs seemed too short to carry her weight.

The game laws don’t allow for a sow with yearlings or cubs to be shot, so I watched these black bears for a solid 45 minutes.

Next day, two more large bears came in from different directions. The larger bear walked in closer while the other bear watched from a safe distance. My excitement heightened when I confirmed there were no cubs.

Now I had to decide which bear was the larger and hope that it offered me a good shot. After several tension-filled minutes, the larger bodied bear turned to offer me a solid broadside view. With one well-placed shot through the front shoulder the bear fell to the ground.

My guide explained to me that I had shot a “melon head.” (A Newfoundland term for a bear that is larger than normal.) The big bruin weighed in at 359 pounds and my host said that its skull was large enough to probably make Pope and Young. Not bad for my first black bear hunt.

Hunting black bear here should be a “must-do” on any big game hunter’s list. These black bear are genetically predisposed to be some of the largest in North America. Many weigh 400-500 pounds and some have been taken in the 600-plus class.

Here, you can hunt black bear in the spring and fall that coincides with moose and woodland caribou season.

I ask, what are you waiting for to book your next black bear hunt in Newfoundland and Labrador?