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Black Bear Chronicles


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You should do some predator calling if you get bored, Distressed rabbit stuff. Bear will sometimes come in and investigate that if in the area. You can get an inexpensive hand/mouth call for that.

That's a great suggestion, Brad. Thanks!

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Good luck Brad.

I've never taken a bear myself but we did take a few when Elk Hunting in Idaho about 20 years ago.

The spooky thing for me is how much a skinned out bear looks like a man.

Don't think I could shoot one unless I was in extremis and about to be attacked and/or eaten.

Looks like a man?? C'mon on now......

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Good luck.  Been on computer hiatus recently, just catching up.

Ill give you our text "bump" when on stand like when we deer and turkey hunt. You'll get one tomorrow aft, weather permitting.

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Any action, Brad?

Another dead aft/evening yesterday. The site I sat on hadn't been touched since last rebaited a couple days ago. Not sure whats going on there. The site Scott sat over was cleaned out and we got some good bear photos on cam. One came in previous to last evening at 3:30pm and another at 6:30pm there. We've been hunting from around 4pm til 7:45pm. Might need to get in earlier. I get bored as shiit though...don't have a smart phone to play around with.... :laugh: Scott's gonna replenish baits over weekend and we both should be back on stand Mondayish

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Whoa, the pressure is on. :blush:

Hubs right...I suck..or we do. Scott sat on the hottest stand on Saturday for over 5 hrs. (I was busy helping my church with its turkey supper don't ya know). Not a hair came in. I was planning on a set this aft/evening but we are having periodic thundner and lightening and pouring rain throughout the day. So will try and get on stand tomorrow. Time is getting slim as we are apparently closing on a "new" house this Friday and moving in etc will suck up a load of my time the next few weeks. That's as good an excuse as any...

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If I don't see a bear in the first 3 nights on a stand the chances that the stand will ever produce a bear for me go down drastically.  I go for a numbers approach.  I put out multiple baits and if I have hunted one for three consecutive days without a sighting I move on.  I find that bears circuit is usually well short of 3 days and it it's been that many days with the bear not coming in it's because they have figured me out and aren't coming in because I am there.  

I don't know how late the season runs for you guys, but around here it runs into October and late season can really be productive because there are a lot fewer folks baiting and bears sometimes really expand their home range while trying to get in the last bit of fattening up.  In years where I can't close the deal in the first week of the season I let the baits go cold and restart them the weekend before the last weekend of the season and hunt them for a few days on the closing weekend.  I have been pretty successful every time I did this despite putting in no where near the amount of work I do for the opener.

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My bear hunting efforts in he past were met with limited success. That is I was thrilled to see a bear that saw me first slink away. I will try again in the future, but don't know when that is.

I do have a question. Have you tried burning honey? I read one time, in a bear hunting book (Radical Bear Hunting), that bears genetically can't resist the smell of boiling/cooking honey. Don't know if it's true, but might be worth a try.

Also, a bear guide once told me that bears are suckers for sardines in soy oil. But it must be in soy oil.    ???

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Third bow stand with no show. I had to get off stand early. (Got a text while on stand that my FIL at 85 went into hospital with obstructed bowel needing possible surgery so felt I should get home to be with JoAnn.) He is better this morning. Anyhow, things are heating up with an impending house closing, moving etc so not sure what my bear hunting schedule will be here on in. Will keep all posted. Maybe Scott will shoot one this weekend.
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Wow, awesome encounter this afternoon, Im still shaking.

I went in and baited both sets and sat down up in my ladder stand in the deep woods site at 3:45. Legal ends at 7:25. Two hours in and I had watched one small snowshoe hare hop in and eat donut scraps, no kidding, several mice, a red squirrel and a chipmunk.

At around 5:50 I heard a noise over my right shoulder, not even a twig snapping, just a sound. I was standing with my bow hanging on a hook over my left shoulder. I looked and here comes Mr Bear and he's about 20 yards away walking right to the tree with the trail cam, as expected since we keep getting photos of just his hair as he passes by to the bait. I took my eyes off him for a couple seconds as I turned and carefully grabbed my bow. When I looked back he was obscured by hemlock bows but not for long as instead of going straight to bait and into my shooting area/lane he took a sharp left and WALKED TO THE BASE OF MY LADDER STAND...his head was three feet from the bottom of ladder which put him about 12 feet from my feet!

He apparently had picked up my scent from when I checked camera upon arriving at stand and he followed it to its source, me. He stood under me and looked up but never made eye contact. He was so close if I had tried to draw my bow and put one between his shoulder blades the angle would have caused me to fall out of stand. He looked very big to me, I am not experienced enough to really judge a bear but he was fat and barrel shaped, beautiful jet black hair and a pumpkin of a head. Im guessing at least 200lbs, not a monster but a shooter.

My heart was pounding and I wondered if he was gonna climb into the stand with me. Finally he turned and walked back towards the trail cam and I hoped he'd head right to bait and I was ready to draw my bow, but he simply walked back the way he came but angled like he may circle around to the bait. I had maybe two opportunities to draw and thread the needle but I wanted a broad side double lung shot and as is I would be shooting at a patch of black not a real spot on the bear. I never drew the bow. I watched him slowly walk away with no shot.

I sat for the next hour and a half hoping he'd be back but he never showed. What a thrill to be that close to a mature black bear with just a bow in my hand. If I had brought a rifle that bear would have been hanging right now I think. No regrets, but I may carry a rifle next time.

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Waaaay cool- I really envy you the chance to hunt bears.

Hope the next post has a photo of him and you both.

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