Bears are big, fast, mean, and smart. Black bear hunting is not for the timid hunter. If you want to hunt black bear this season, then here are some tips that can keep you safe and hopefully lead you towards a successful hunt.
Bears have an amazing sense of smell. They can smell the difference between an easy meal and a human from distances far beyond our personal capabilities. Try and keep you scent trail to a minimum. That means scent-free everything, from soap to laundry detergent. Don’t spook a bear even before it’s in visual range. Also, smoking and snacking is usually a bad idea as they too can alert a bear to your whereabouts.
Keep Your Eyes Open
For a large animals bears are quite light on their feet. Added to that, they have lots of foot padding, so they can actually walk around extremely quietly in the woods. You’ll most likely see a bear before you hear a bear. Keep your eyes open and your concentration focuses on the task at hand.
Bait or Stalk?
If you are baiting a bear, then be quiet. Don’t talk. Don’t shift around rustling leaves of your clothes. Even clearing your throat and coughing can alert and spook a bear. If you are stalking a bear than again, be careful with your movement, You will need to see the bear before it sees you, so minimize excess to movement and sound is key.
Have the Right Gear
From having an appropriate firearm (make sure you have something that packs a punch) to begin prepared for the elements, going prepared will improve your chances of success as much as anything. Trying to down a black bear with an underpowered gun is an act in futility. And, spending hours out in the wilderness wet and uncomfortable because you failed to prepare for changes in weather is a miserable experience.