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Hunting Black Bears

Across the United States, available data suggests that the black bear is thriving. Populations are increasing and they appear to be expanding their range. Currently, close to thirty states allow some degree of bear hunting, but only 11 of those states allow any baiting. In the remaining states, hunters must rely upon the animal’s dietary habits to locate the bears and successfully hunt.

In the western United States, bears have a sweet tooth. Each fall, in attempts designed to add pounds before the advent of winter, black bears forage for the delicious berries. For example, Jon Kayser, expert hunter from Montana, suggests going looking for bears in the early morning, saying, “They will be gorging themselves on huckleberries until the sun comes up.”

Black bears in the Midwest, conversely, love the corn and oat fields, often trampling entire oat stalks and making them unsuitable for harvesting. As such, landowners are happy to oblige hunters’ access to their land to hunt the animals. The focus the bears have during the course of their foraging actually makes them easier prey than many people realize.

Finally, in the eastern United States, while berries are plentiful, the bears love apple orchards along with acorns and beechnuts. The bears love thick brush, making stalking them difficult. Scotty York, expert hunter from Spruce Mountain Guide Service, suggest a focus on the orchards, saying, ““If you can get off the beaten path, where the bruins have not been disturbed by man, your chances of seeing a trophy bear can be quite good.”

No matter where you hunt, black bears are likely plentiful. Follow the guidelines above and come home with the prize.


Source: Outdoor Life