Black bears that have been slumbering all winter are now out and about. That means spring black bear season is not far away. If you’re looking for excitement this spring, there’s no tom turkey gobble that can compare to the lumbering presence of a black bear. Yes, they seem slow, cuddly and friendly, but black bears are predators and effective ones when they want to be. Do you have a black bear hunt on the schedule this spring? Here are some ways to electrify your adventure even when hunting in traditional style.
Build A Ground Bling For Black Bear Hunting
Sitting in a treestand and having that first black bear quietly sneak in was one of the highlights of my hunting career. I was amazed that such a huge animal was able to pad in more quietly than the numerous ruffed grouse pattering around beneath my stand.
In recent years, I’ve taken my black bear hunt to the ground whenever I have a chance to hunt over bait. Why hunt the ground? First, I like the shot angles better. I’m assured of blowing through the vital zone with my arrow and not having to worry about missing a lung. Just as important, I love the adrenaline rush of having such a large predator literally in my face.
In the North Country I often build a ground blind from natural vegetation. In many areas the bears are just too spooky to be out in the open, so a commercial blind like those from Double Bull work well. They contain your scent and allow you to move with veiled cover to get the best shot. You can also brush these in for a more natural look.
Calling Black Bears
Calling in black bears is nothing new. Hunters have been using predator calls and even bear vocalizations to lure bears in for years. This has become an especially important tactic as more and more states regulate, and even outlaw the use of baits. If you want to increase the effectiveness of your calling setup add a decoy.
What decoy to use depends on your choice of calls. If you use a predator scream or the bawl of a fawn then you should add a rabbit or fawn decoy. As the popularity of calling bears in elk country explodes hunters have adapted by using the cries of elk calves. Try incorporating an elk decoy into the setup like those manufactured by Montana Decoy.
Spot And Stalk Black Bear Hunting
Spot-and-stalk hunting for bears has been growing in popularity, but too many hunters feel as if it’s only possible in open country like vast clear cuts or large burns. You can employ it almost anywhere you have openings.
In the spring of the year black bears are grazing, at least for a week or so after emerging from their dens. They need the green diet to jumpstart their digestive system so any meadow, old roadway or field could attract a spring bear. Glass up a bear and start the stalk.
On my last trip to Alberta we slipped up on several bears that were roaming along the long, narrow pipeline tracks carved through the bush. In Montana I stalked black bears on open slopes near the timberline. Be creative, but put your sneaky side to work for your next spring bear.
Do you have a creative way to put a black bear rug on the floor of your cabin? Share your ideas below with your fellow Predator Xtreme readers and good luck this bear season.