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Black Bear Chronicles


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So when they outlaw hounds for bears the only options left for problem bears are trapping(which doesn't work well) or shooting. No longer will the bear hound guys be able to just put the run to the bears nightly till they move on. They won't be happy if the bears are on their porches and they will be.

If this referendum passes and baiting, hounding and trapping black bears in Maine is banned, Im sure there will be provisions for the MEIF&W to deal with problem bears. Problem is black bears in Maine are rigorously studied and managed and the MWIF&W relies on all those methods of "harvest" to manage the population, especially baiting/hunting. The MEIf&W does not want to see this referendum pass.

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Good luck Brad.

Bear hunting ranks just behind chasing bird dogs on my list of favourites.

I get a huge thrill when one of those big, black, shiny guys comes in.

I don't seem to have the time to hunt fall bears but I sure enjoy it in the spring up here. I didn't set up this past spring but won't let that happen again next year.

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Good luck Brad.

Bear hunting ranks just behind chasing bird dogs on my list of favourites.

I get a huge thrill when one of those big, black, shiny guys comes in.

I don't seem to have the time to hunt fall bears but I sure enjoy it in the spring up here. I didn't set up this past spring but won't let that happen again next year.

Thanks Bob, I was wondering if you were hunting bear this spring. I remember you got one last year.

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We lost chasing Bears this last year with Hounds...Crazy!  Good luck though, I really need to chase one sometime...
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Dunno if I ever posted this before, but I killed a 400+ pound Pope & Young bear many years ago, 1973, when I was 22. I was a green bow hunter at that time, having taken my first deer the previous fall. It was over bait in Northern Ontario (Chapleau). When the guide put me on stand, he said to get my tree stand placed quickly for he thought we had just spooked a bear away. I sat for maybe on hour, getting chewed by black flies that had gotten under my headnet, when I spotted a bear approaching, quartering into me. As I shook, raising the bow and attempting to draw, the arrow clattered off the rest. The bear was about 20 yards away, raised his head at the sound. It was a terrible shot that a seasoned bow hunter would never have taken, but I held for his throat and released. The shot was picture-perfect, hitting the jugular and penetrating to the fletch into his chest. The bear wheeled and ran as fast as a racehorse, and within moments I heard his death moans, something I have been told is common. It was very unsettling, and eerie... My thought at the time was "that is one pissed off bear". I waited about 45 minutes before climbing out of the tree. When I got to the place of the shot, it was as if someone had taken a gallon bucket of blood and just sloshed it about. I didn't go more than 30 yards before I spotted the bear in the brush. I was very afraid, but insistent on doing this whole thing with only my bow (I didn't have a sidearm with me). I threw a couple of rocks at the bear, then hollered to him- "Hey bear, you alive?" - I'm not making this up - figured if he still had some life my voice would invoke a response. The bear was very, very dead, probably expiring within a minute of my shot. My knees were sure shaking when I approached him, though. The first thing I did was open his mouth - a friend had killed a P&Y bear the year prior, and had taken a smaller one the year before that- so I knew that a really big bear would have thick, heavy teeth. Once I saw the teeth I knew I had a real trophy.

The rug I made from that bear now hangs in my camp. I have mixed feelings about the whole thing now, and wonder if I would ever kill another... But it sure was exciting for a young man at the time.

Good luck to you Brad, and all the others who have posted here... It is really something to have a bear in range with only a bow in your hands!

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Im not trying to defend or rationalize baiting for bear. Its not hunting, but is a lot of grunt work punctuated by sitting in a stand.

If I recall correctly from reading your posts here over the years you have never been able to shoot any bear, let alone a mature boar in all the times you have tried it in the past.  If it wasn't 'hunting' don't you think you would have killed one by now?  

I don't see why baiting is somehow not hunting.  It takes a lot of work and skill to consistently get close enough for a shot, especially with a bow.

Without bait, what would be the alternative?  Hunting them with hounds?  I'd be fine with that too, but I don't see how it's necessarily more sporting.  I think people are against hounds, too.

If the only way to hunt bear were posting or stalking, I bet it'd be pretty rare that a bear was shot.

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Freshened both sites this afternoon. One camera had 287 photos...all coons and blowing leaves...I swapped out the card and just sat down with my digital camera and looked at every shot. Oo.gif The other set is being hit by bear from what I can tell but the camera wasn't working for some reason and was turned off with no images. Scott might have messed up when he put that trail cam up. Still early, have only been baiting for about a week. Berries are down in this area so I am optimistic we will see increased activity at the sites.
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Freshened both sites this afternoon. One camera had 287 photos...all coons and blowing leaves...I swapped out the card and just sat down with my digital camera and looked at every shot. Oo.gif The other set is being hit by bear from what I can tell but the camera wasn't working for some reason and was turned off with no images. Scott might have messed up when he put that trail cam up. Still early, have only been baiting for about a week. Berries are down in this area so I am optimistic we will see increased activity at the sites.

Coons can help sometimes.  Drench the logs in fryer greese and let them carry it through the woods.  It's nice to have the bandits dispersing some scent for you.  It's also nice to have raccoons around enticing a bear to come in an run them off.

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We can't bait bears here, but I enjoy reading about what you're doing, Brad. I've heard of a couple of different ways to legally attract a bear in a no bait state. One that sounded feasible is to carry a can of sardines for lunch. The best way to carry it is to punch a hole through the can, put a string through the hole and drag it behind you as you find your way to your stand.

Since I bought an early season tag, I think I'll give bear hunting a try this season. I know it'll be a long shot to just watch the berry patches but there's nothing else to hunt during the first three weeks of September, so why not?

I hope this is the year for you to arrow a nice boar, Brad.

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Got this big boy on my trailcam that I set out scouting for deer on my club last week. I had no bait out other than a mineral lick.

MFDC0101_zps31014b02.jpg

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Weekend report from Scott. Both bait sites getting HAMMERED by bears. One 5 gallon bucket torn apart. Bear photos on both trail cams...one had a sow and a cub, the other looks like a boar according to Scott. If he emails me anything good Ill post. Im heading in to replenish sites on Tuesday.
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Some trail cam shots from one of our sites. Baits are being hit during legal hunting hours.

bear1.jpg

bear2.jpg

bear3.jpg

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