Black bear w/ bow advice

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Black bear w/ bow advice

Postby BriBri on Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:35 pm

Next May, I will be heading up to New Brunswick (Canada) for the second time on a black bear (over bait) hunt. This past May I shot my bear at 53 yards with my 270 Tikka T3 bolt-action. Next year, I would like to try to take a bear with my bow. I have done quite a bit of reading (both books and forums) and have watched a few DVDs on bowhunting black bear, but I wanted to put out the question to y'all. The outfitter I will hunting with has quite a few bait stations on timber company land, so there is quite a bit of flexibility with setup and location. I am particularly interested in your thoughts on tree stand height; distance to bait barrel; camo pattern/tone for primarily pine trees; camera placement and operation tips (I have a small JVC digital camcorder with a screw-in camera bracket that I intend to use - I'll be in the stand alone, so am trying to work out what technique is practical and effective); and any philosophical thoughts on hunting bear over bait (e.g., should I bring a book or should I be concentrating on the task at hand; what about eating and drinking in the stand - I'll be in the stand for about 6 hours).

Here's something I heard a while ago...let me know your thoughts. If you are going to drink any alcohol the night before a bear hunt, make it beer as when your body metabolizes the alcohol you will smell like bread, which is more effective as a cover-scent than any fruity drinks like wine or (God forbid) a malt beverage. While I would think the bait barrel will provide enough scent, I found the preceeding idea rather interesting.
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Re: Black bear w/ bow advice

Postby Jason on Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm

First of all, I've yet to shoot a bear with my bow. But hell, I'll give an opinion.

We're not allowed to bait bears here. But if it's legal, have at it.

I think a really important thing to realize is that bears have relatively small vital areas (heart and lung) and they can be fairly well protected behind a relatively robust large shoulder blade if the front foot is back. I would concentrate on taking my shot on a bear that is slightly quartering away rather than completely broadside.

If it were me I'd want my stand 20 yards from the bait and about 18 feet up....makes for a nice shot angle and 20 yards is a chip shot.

I'm not one to read too much in a stand, although I have ocassionally. The thing with reading and hunting deer is that sometimes you can hear the deer approach.....apparently bears are pretty darn quiet with those soft teddy bear feet of theirs. The pro side is that the bait should hold bears around if they come in undetected.

I don't know, bears like grapes too. Maybe if you drink wine you'll sweat grape smell :) . I really don't believe that your sweat contains enough of the actually food you eat (which has already been metabolized) to produce a similar smell. Personally, I'd prefer not to smell like food when I'm hunting bears anyways. If you want to do that, just use good bacon grease on your clothes for cover scent. :D

Should be a fun trip. Look forward to hearing about it come next May.
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Re: Black bear w/ bow advice

Postby WI-DOE-MAKER on Wed Oct 28, 2009 2:56 am

I'd trust my outfitter's advice on those questions, he's more familiar with the bear's routine and terrain. As far as beer goes...I have no clue!! But i don't think I'd want to smell like lunch to a hungry bear!! :o :o Good Luck!!! take lots of photos!!
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Re: Black bear w/ bow advice

Postby alsbows on Wed Oct 28, 2009 7:55 am

I've had a lot of experience bow hunting bears in Maine, Quebec and Ontario. For what it's worth, here are a couple thoughts:

When a bear comes to the bait be patient! Let the bear commit to the bait before shooting and you'll have plenty of time to aim and fire. Patience is key!

You are going to be covered with black flies and mosquitoes. Natuarally you'll be wearing a head net, gloves, etc. but you'll also need to spray yourself with Deet. That said, be sure to spray your entire hunting area with Deet as well, bait, stand, etc. It's amazing how tolerant bears are of Deet and it will mask your scent.

As mentioned earlier, bears do have a smaller kill zone than a deer. The good thing is that due to their limited lung capacity they go down fairly quickly when hit properly. As a rule of thumb (when looking at a bear broadside) mentally eliminate the head and neck and shoot at the center of mass. I know it sounds contrary to what we've been tought but it results in a good kill shot.

After the shot listen for the death moan or very heavy breathing. Often bears die within 40 or 50 yards of the shot.

I don't read on stand. Your bait station will be visited from anything from squirrles to rabbits to fishers, and more. Enjoy the total experience and good luck with the bugs - they can drive you crazy!

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Re: Black bear w/ bow advice

Postby Hoytman on Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:59 pm

Ive taken a couple bears over bait. As for treestand setup I wouldnt change anything over your setup for deer hunting. Height should be whatever you are comfortable with and you can get away with having a 10-15 yard shot over bait. Reason being is playing the wind is more important that your camo. bear dont have the best eyesight so as long as your sillhouette is broken you should be ok! Ive seen a couple bear sneak their paw in the bait and run off with a sweet without actually diggin in right away. Like Alsbow said, be patient chances are if he likes what he tastes he will come back immediately, settle in and have dinner. And yes, aim for center mass...my bear have died within eyeshot!
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Re: Black bear w/ bow advice

Postby WMBFAMDFA on Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:10 pm

Some good advise here, Back from an Alberta trip in May myself ( 2 of us saw over 40 different bear). Forget the head net and deet and buy a Thermacell. You won't have a mosquito with in 5 yards of you, awesome invention. DFA
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Re: Black bear w/ bow advice

Postby ChuckingFluff on Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:19 pm

I got edited? I guess theres some ultra liberal nonsense going on around here. If you don't want an opinon then don't ask for one. So much for living in a free world, guess not.
Last edited by ChuckingFluff on Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:04 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Black bear w/ bow advice

Postby Jason on Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:03 pm

(EDITED)

Oh great, another hunter who likes to crap on other hunters using legal methods and add fuel to the anti-hunters fire. Just what this sport needs. Thanks for your input. :roll:
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Re: Black bear w/ bow advice

Postby ChuckingFluff on Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:08 pm

Do what you like, it's legal just don't call it hunting. Shooting fish in a barrel is not called fishing.
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Re: Black bear w/ bow advice

Postby WI-DOE-MAKER on Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:34 pm

Fluff, I see you are brand new here and it appears you don't want to start off on the right foot!! Baiting is a legal and acceptable and sometimes the only reasonable way to hunt black bear. If you are looking to making friends here I suggest you change your approach and stop insulting others..it will NOT be tolerated here. If you want to discuss the virtues of baiting in a calm non-insulting way.. fine. Have fun and enjoy yourself, but don't barge in here insulting others. Wi-Doe
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