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Need help with black bear advice

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Need help with black bear advice

Old 11-30-2020, 07:57 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 67
Default Need help with black bear advice

So today is virgina opening day of firearms bear season, and this year I got a bear tag. The problem is I've never hunted bear in my life. So I need some advice on bear hunting such as where to hunt on the property( the property is comprised of creek bottoms, hardwood/pine ridges, flooded pines and thick brush), shot placement, ammo(my county is a shotgun only county so I'm restricted to shotguns only), and how does one haul a bear out of the woods? I've found a few bear tracks on the property in the past and got 2-3 on my camera but nothing showing that they're staying on the property. In VA baiting bear is illegal both during season and off season and the bear must be at least 100 lbs live weight or 75 lbs dressed. Thanks in advance
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Old 11-30-2020, 08:40 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,414

well first off, hunting bears is never easy, they typically have huge home ranges m,any are in the 20 sq ile area in size, so they can be here today and far away tomorrow,
they LIVE for food, there whole lives revolve around it to be honest more or less, , they are always looking for more of it, and they prefer the prime foods like deer do, as well as easy meals and being able to eat in bulk!
SO< corn fields get a top vote for most places to hunt(that or any place with large amounts of easy sweeter food, like orchards IMO<
after that area's where there are lots of acorns come to mind, from there, a bear can be about any where
they tend to prefer to be alone and not in contact of people as best they can, but if food is where people are, they will follow!
one of the more productive ways to hunt bears in NON baiting area's is with doing drives, and pushing area's known to hold bears, after that its a LOT of dumb luck HAHA!, as again a bear can be about any place searching for food, if they don't have access to food in larger amounts in a single area!
spot and stalk, posting all day, can work, but again, in most forested spot and stalk isn;t easy due to too much growth and limited sight, and bears have outstanding noses, way better than a deer's and there ears and eye sight is also very good, I don;t care what ANYONE says, bears have excellent vision, BUT due to being the apex predator in the woods, they just don't always CARE about many things other animals will react to, its not they DON"T see you,. IMO< its they just don't care!, until a certain comfort zone is crossed at times!

NEXT as for ammo, about any good slug made for deer will work on a bear, I would however limit my shots with a slug to 100 yards or less, as for where to shoot a bear, its about the same as a deer, there vitals are about the same places, do a search on bear vitals and I am sure you will find many charts showing things!

as for hauling out a bear, as in life, many things come down to HARD WORK, if legal, an ATV can be a life saver on hauling bears out as can, the use of other things like horses if no motorized vehicles can be used
IF not these things, then having strong friends helps a lot and lots of them
deer carts and likes can work, pending size of bear, bears are more like bags of Jello, than a like a deer , they wiggle and conform to the terrain and gravity makes them more of a hassle to drag out at times!
some times better judgment needs to be used, as to where a bear is at before shooting, if you cannot get it out, no point in shooting it!
so, you need to have a plan in place BEFORE shooting a bear, knowing you have help, or a atv or access to like means,
the time to find help ISN"T after a bear is down, it having things lined up before hand! as a JUST IN CASE DEAL, so your not scrambling like a idiot searching for help when the time comes!

as for judging bears as for size and weight, this is something MOST folks struggle with IMO< due to they have so little experience with bears,
if your state has a check system where bears have to be brought in and examined by the game dept after a kill,. these are GREAT places to hang out and LEARN what bears look like and weight
other wise ZOO"s and don't laugh hep, as they tend to KNOW weights of animals there too
almost EVERYONE< over judges the size of a bear, most everyone thinks there way larger than they are on average
so, if you in doubt, DON"T Shoot!

when you see a BIG bear, its a NO brainer, 400+ lb bears look BIG,and way past the 100 lb deal
take time to look it over really good,. and read up on how to judge the size of black bears, tons of reads out there that show many things to look for, if you care to learn!

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Old 11-30-2020, 01:31 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Tug Hill NY
Posts: 414

Without baiting..where it is legal, bears are pretty much a "stumble on" sort of thing. Zero in on access points to agricultural crops, mast crops, eTtc. The occ. bear on a game camera is most frequently just a wandering bear which could be counties away by now.
We carried inexpensive tarps with grommets and a piece of rope to wrap it up in and help sled it. They are miserable to drag. If you plan on eating it (and they are VERY good eating) clean and cool it immediatly just like a deer, and keep it out of the sun. The black coat soaks up the heat and can quickly turn the meat, with its high fat content.
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:53 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 67

Yes i do plan on eating the bear. I only hunt for meat not horns(or size) I do have access to a atv. There's not very many bear hunters around here mostly just deer and rabbit hunters and they really just run dogs(running dogs around here is pretty much gospel). There's a LOT of acorns and other nuts this year. There's cut corn fields nearby but all the corn has pretty much rotted into the ground. There's a few soybean fields still unpicked but they wont last long. I'll probably have to look over by the George Washington National Forest area by the WV line there's a lot of bear over that way. Unless I get one where I'm at(there's not a lot of bear around here that I know of) I did some more looking and there's a outfitter by me in NC called Cutawhiskie Creek Outfitters. The only problem is that they're in NC my tags for VA so it looks like I'm just gonna have to be lucky :-)
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:37 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 17,701

For the OP. Your OP post made it sound like you're hunting private property where you've previously hung game cams. Are you seeing bear scat on the property? How recent are your pics of the 2-3 bears you've got on your game cam? You may have enough info to set up an ambush on a travel corridor.
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Old 12-02-2020, 09:25 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 242

I was in the same boat as you. Never hunted Black Bear until last September. Here is a thread I started with a LOT of useful information on black bear hunting. You may find useful info in it.

Idaho Fall Black Bear Hunt

Then again, I dont know your states regulations, so double check the info on this thread.
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:22 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2020
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Originally Posted by CalHunter View Post
For the OP. Your OP post made it sound like you're hunting private property where you've previously hung game cams. Are you seeing bear scat on the property? How recent are your pics of the 2-3 bears you've got on your game cam? You may have enough info to set up an ambush on a travel corridor.
Yes I'm hunting private property. I've only seen bear scat once on the property but that was 2 -3 years ago. The most recent pic of a bear was back in June at about 10:30 p.m. (He came to a mineral block I had for deer. minerals are legal during the off season for deer he rolled it around a few times then wandered off) he was a small one. Looked like he just left his mom. The first pic was about 2 years ago the first was bigger about 250-300lbs. I did find a bear track about 3-4 weeks ago while deer hunting right before firearms.season opened for deer
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