Big Game Hunting Moose, elk, mulies, caribou, bear, goats, and sheep are all covered here.

Black bear first hunt

Old 08-28-2017, 01:00 PM
  #1  
Spike
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: So Cal
Posts: 55
Default Black bear first hunt

Hi there.

I've been scouting for deer, and found a lot of black bear activity in my hunting area. Here in Vermont we have a long black bear season, which starts September 1st. I have never hunted black bear, but since I've seen so much activity, why not try?

Here is the catch though. We are not allowed to bait or use any attractants. All I have is a compound bow and a tree stand to hunt. I do have a hunting rifle, but the scope is broken and I really don't have money for a new scope since I just spent ton of money on kayak fishing and I just bought a lone wolf hand climber ($350). We are saving money to buy a house and my wife would kill me if I spend more money on outdoor stuff.

So if I go on a bear hunt it would be with my bow and treestand, and hope to get the bear in bowshooting range. Since I am quite inexperienced hunting black bears. Is this even worth it? where would I place my treestand to be as close as possible to the bear? I know they move many miles, so it might be too difficult to get the bear in range for bowhunting.

I could also stalk with my shotgun and slugs, or with the iron sights of my rifle. But being inexperienced I doubt I would get close to a bear on the ground, and I am also a little scared of shooting a bear with a long gun at close range.

Last edited by entropy4money; 08-28-2017 at 01:06 PM.
entropy4money is offline  
Old 08-28-2017, 01:38 PM
  #2  
Boone & Crockett
 
Oldtimr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: south eastern PA
Posts: 14,533
Default

You should be able to kill a bear with iron sights and 50 to 60 yards easily, unless you have a problem with your eyes. I have never heard of a bear charging a person who shot it, bear charges are generally because a person walked up on a bear and surprised it. I would leave the bow at home, most archery bears, not all but most are killed over bait where the distance can be controlled and having a bear at 50 yards is not a difficult shot whereas with a bow, it is an iffy shot and since you seem a bit afraid of bears from your post, I would stick to the rifle sans the scope if you can't afford a new one. You can also check around at gun shops for a used scope, they can be had for low prices.
Oldtimr is offline  
Old 08-28-2017, 01:48 PM
  #3  
Spike
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: So Cal
Posts: 55
Default

Originally Posted by Oldtimr View Post
You should be able to kill a bear with iron sights and 50 to 60 yards easily, unless you have a problem with your eyes. I have never heard of a bear charging a person who shot it, bear charges are generally because a person walked up on a bear and surprised it. I would leave the bow at home, most archery bears, not all but most are killed over bait where the distance can be controlled and having a bear at 50 yards is not a difficult shot whereas with a bow, it is an iffy shot and since you seem a bit afraid of bears from your post, I would stick to the rifle sans the scope if you can't afford a new one. You can also check around at gun shops for a used scope, they can be had for low prices.
Thanks for your answer. That's what I thought. I mean I know people have done the whole black bear hunt with bow and arrow without baiting, but it seems like quite a long stretch, and too much of a challenge for a first timer. With my current bow setup I would be limited to 30 yards. 40 yards maybe, 50 yards would be a lucky shot for me. I'll get out with the rifle to the range and get some practice with the iron sights. I used to hunt squirrels with iron sights (headshots) for the extra challenge, but of course that was a .22. I have to go and check how I do with the bigger gun.

I am not necessarily "afraid" of black bears. I am just not even used to seeing them much. I've only seen black bears twice, 3 years ago while camping, and they were very far. Also this past turkey season I had an extremely close encounter with a large black bear very early around 4 AM, he was about just 15-20 yards away from me, and was as surprised to see me as I was. Ran away when I yelled at him, but it did leave a little fear on me.

Should I try hunting from a stand? or would spot and stalk would be more productive?

Last edited by entropy4money; 08-28-2017 at 02:00 PM.
entropy4money is offline  
Old 08-28-2017, 02:31 PM
  #4  
Boone & Crockett
 
Oldtimr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: south eastern PA
Posts: 14,533
Default

Unless you know where the bears are going to be and when, you would be better off doing spot and stalk in areas where you know they have been active. Look for the thick stuff and swamps and just move a little and look a lot, try to keep your face into the wind if possible.
Oldtimr is offline  
Old 08-28-2017, 04:29 PM
  #5  
Dominant Buck
 
Champlain Islander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: On an Island in Vermont
Posts: 22,059
Default

I don't hunt bears but have seen plenty of them while deer hunting with both rifle and bow. They will be where the food is this time of the year. If you are near a beech orchard and there are nuts that would be a good area to try. Unfortunately the beech ridges are dying out and there are less and less years when they have nuts. Wild apple trees are another big time draw especially if there is sign that bears have been there. Pretty easy to see that sign since they eat a ton and it is either puked up or dropped in poop piles. If the wild apple crop is down then the next best draw is corn fields. Most farmers will welcome a hunter if the bears are in their crops which happens when the natural food is on a bad year. They destroy a lot of corn and can be quite a problem. All natural agricultural crops and wild apple trees are legal to hunt around. Good luck.
Champlain Islander is offline  
Old 08-30-2017, 12:25 PM
  #6  
Nontypical Buck
 
Mickey Finn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,952
Default Bear hunting

Like CI said, look at what they are eating and try to ambush them. If they are feeding often in an area. Whether it's an orchard or berry patch. They'll leave a easy to spot travel path. This can tell you where they are coming from and where they are going. They also leave there droppings where they feed. So, confirm they are visiting a spot to feed. Find their path they use to approach and maybe leave. Then set up your tree stand the day you plan to hunt. In hot weather morning is the coolest so sitting out before dawn. Provided you can approach down wind and quietly might pay off. Just get into your spot and keep your eyes open.


One thing about bears even the bigger ones. They don't make much noise moving along on their padded feet. So, watch for branches and bushes moving and listen to the jays if they are around. They'll sound off if they see a bear and this can give you enough warning to get ready. On stand the key is wind of course, and do not move! They see as well as dogs and especially pick up on movement.


What is your wife going to say when you tell her you need to have a rug made?


Good luck with both!

Last edited by Mickey Finn; 08-30-2017 at 03:55 PM.
Mickey Finn is offline  
Old 08-30-2017, 02:57 PM
  #7  
Spike
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 64
Default

A bear in the wild is not going to be a great target without bait and I most certainly would not be on the same level as the animal if I was armed with a bow. Remember, you still have to get home and if you've wounded a bear, even a small one, you have a big problem should you cross it going to home.

If you have bears using a trail on a regular basis, I'd hang a stand where a clear shot can be had WITHOUT leaving scent on the trail they use and I'd be hunting the low light periods during each day by entering the stand from a direction favorable to the wind.

If you live in an area that's well-populated, your scent will likely mean little to a bear as they acclimate to people's presence. And while bear have been dubbed as being half blind you best think twice about moving in the presence of a bear unless you are significantly higher up than said bear. But its noise that will spoil your chances faster than anything when all three senses are considered. A bear can hear a gnat pant and pinpoint its position from a half mile. I've watched bear at our deer feeders in the cabin yard sit up and stare at the woods fully two minutes before hearing a car on the road myself. I've watched a bear in the cabin yard watch with her ears as she follows another bear approaching the yard for a half hour before the other bear enters.

A bear will get used to your smell as long as you're not stinking up HIS trail. A bear might sit and watch you as long as you don't approach or make radically sudden moves but a bear hearing things not natural to its environment will be gone before you know it was there. There are exceptions to every "rule" and one of the cluster exceptions is if you startle a bear on a trail and it feels like there is no way out of the situation and all you have is a bow and a couple arrows, well, you might wish you had something that goes boom.

Baiting bear makes the hunting quite predictable. Winging it like you're suggesting put the odds way up in the bear's favor. You can increase YOUR odds by using the stand but if you think you can stalk or still hunt a bear you'd better do a lot of practicing.
ctom is offline  
Old 09-15-2017, 06:09 PM
  #8  
Spike
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 2
Default my first bear hunt

I will be using my .30-30. Will Barnes Vor Tx ammo be a good choice for me? I have plenty of it.
EmmasUnc is offline  
Old 09-15-2017, 06:26 PM
  #9  
Spike
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 2
Default my first bear hunt

I'll be hunting in the Allegheny mountains of eastern WV. Season opens September 23rd. Will be thick woods this time of year according to my good friend who has hunted this area before. I've hunted deer for 30 years. But I'm clueless on hunting bear. Any advice is GREATLY appreciated. I've had mixed replies to my question on what ammo to use. I hope the Barnes ammo will work well because a buddy just gave me 5 boxes after selling his rifle.
EmmasUnc is offline  
Old 09-15-2017, 07:49 PM
  #10  
Super Moderator
 
CalHunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 18,187
Default

That ammo should be fine. Basically what you would use for deer will work for black bear.
CalHunter is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.