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bear hunting in western mass

Old 02-11-2020, 10:51 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 38
Default bear hunting in western mass

Hello, im looking to do some bear hunting in western ma next season. but I dont know where to begin. Does anyone know some basics that could help me out. The biggest problem I can think off is finding one. they are there but are more elusive than deer.

by they way baiting is not allowed in ma so one of my biggest concerns is just being able to get one close by. what about calling?

what do you think on a blind vs tree stand?

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Old 02-12-2020, 03:09 PM
Boone & Crockett
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Location: south eastern PA
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Burn some shoe leather and scout the areas you have in mind. It is called hunting, not shooting, you need to put in some effort to find what you are hunting. It isn't shopping where you google where to buy a pair of shoes. Internet scouting is not scouting and should be repugnant to to any ethical hunter. If it was easy everyone would be doing it. Your other choice is to look for a guide service.
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Old 02-15-2020, 05:14 AM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,952

Wow, I just read the rules for Mass. It's going to be tough to tag one. Like oldtimr said, scouting is going to be required. Look for areas bears are using by finding their scat, tracks, and the wider than deer paths they make coming and going from food sources. One idea is asking any farmers if they have seen bears, and most important would they like to be rid of one. Then walk their field parameters and look for the above signs. Once you locate an area, you can either simply wait on stand using the wind and any funneling features available to you. Or you can try a predator call. I'd check youtube to see how hunters are using them for bear. Then be patient and be ready. Just one more thought. I enjoy archery very much. But it might not be the best choice available to you for this hunt.

Good luck which ever way you go.
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Old 02-15-2020, 06:03 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 2,367

my suggestions to the abve
will be contact your state game d ept and ask where there having HIGH complaints on bears, and also where farmers are complaining about crop damage from bears!
then start asking farmers for access to hunt them

other wise, finding a bear without bait is a LOT of luck, they have huge home ranges and follow food so, even if you find one today, odds are it may not be there the next day

only time you get bears coming back to an area is if FOOD Is there to draw them back over and over, and that typically means a corn field or like crop that is planted and attracting them, and or someone placing bait out!

acorns do attract them but they will eat one area and move to the next and keep going, not really holding them in one spot!

after hunting GOOD food sources, next comes , getting a group of guys(if legal) and having some standers and others pushing sections of area';s with bear sign, into the standers.

drives for bears are highly effective, but not perfect, bears will many times refuse to be pushed out of cover and double back, climb a tree or else ways of not being driven, but it does get many bears every yr here in PA, and is the MOST reliable way of hunting them in a NON ag area IMO!
but it takes a good sized group of guys and a PLAN and good knowledge of the area's you plan to push! to work the best!

other wise IMO< walking about the woods and or setting up some place, comes down to a LOT of DUMB luck(unbless your settung up along others doing drives and using them to maybe push something to you, or catch it looping back)

YES many do kill by dumb luck to, so it does happen, but, honestly, to be an effective bear hunter, baiting is the highest way to be so!
Illegal in many places, but that doesn;t seem to stop everyone sadly from doing so!

seen many bears at check stations that had a LOT of human food under claws and in fur!, in NON bait allowed areas! ?
so?? I know it still happens, cheaters are out there!

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Old 02-15-2020, 10:06 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,952

A couple other areas you can check are blue berry or other berry patches that they might be feeding on. I don't know anything about Mass. But you can usually see berry pickers with buckets in areas that have good berry (soft mass) crops. The same idea, locate where they are entering and sit there.
Good luck!
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