USA: Fall Black Bear Hunt


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Jul 7, 2018
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Hunting reports
My first bear hunt was in the spring of 2020. My brother, his son, and I did a self guided spot and stalk black bear hunt. We saw bears everyday, but only had one real opportunity. We were walking along an old logging road when I spotted a huge bear walking right towards us in the trees. The bear looked like he was wearing a fat suit. I tried to get my brother’s and nephew’s attention so that my nephew could shoot the bear, but they couldn't really see it from where they were. As I chambered around, the bear took off running and I never had a good shot.

Quite disappointed, we continued walking down the logging road. About five minutes later another black bear walked right up in front of us on the road and stopped and looked at us at less than 50 yards. My nephew took aim and shot the bear. It took off running and we didn't have a follow-up shot. There was a small amount of blood and we tracked it for 2 hours but never did find it. It walked across a creek, and when it came out the other side there was no more blood.

I then hunted the spring of 2021 using bait. I sat bored on a bait for 4 evenings and never saw a bear.

I then also hunted the spring 2022 season using bait and took my ten-year-old son with me. Due to some work commitments, my brother had to set up the bait almost 10 days before we would be there. By the time we got there, all the bait was gone. My son and I sat on the bait that evening, and unsurprisingly saw nothing. Since the bait was all gone, we almost decided to call it quits. but since we had time, we decided to go up and just look around in the afternoon and see if we could spot one. We had hiked about a half-mile in when I put up my binoculars and instantly saw a bear running across a hillside about a mile away from us. The bear was brown in color, but I couldn't tell if it was a Grizzly or black bear. The bear disappeared into a little gully and we decided to go after it. By the time we got up there, there was no bear to be seen.

This Friday, my son and I drove up for what would be my fourth bear season. My brother had got the bait started 6 days previous. We hiked in with more bait and the bait had been hit! And also good news, the bait was not all gone!

We hiked back to the truck, and killed an hour driving around and eating dinner. It was about 5:30 p.m. when we started hiking into the spot where we sit on the bait. It's about 250 yards from the bait and on the other side of a small ravine. We got in position at about 6:30 p.m. We sat watching the bait, and watching shows on our devices, till very close to sunset. We got to about 10 minutes left of legal shooting light, when I told my son to stay where he was and I was going to get up and look at a spot that we couldn't see from where we were sitting. I had taken about 10 steps, when I noticed a black shape in the dry brown grass at our same elevation about 200 yards away. I got my binoculars up and confirmed it was a bear. I also had to make sure that it didn't have cubs with it and that it was not a grizzly. At this point the bear was still quite a ways away from the bait. Probably four or five hundred yards away. I would never have seen him if I hadn't gotten up to look around a little bit. He would have gotten into the trees and by that time it would have been dark.

I got in a kneeling position with my rifle on my homemade shooting sticks ( old cross country ski poles bolted together). The bear walked down hill a little bit and sat down like a dog looking at me. I took a shot with him facing me and hit him. He rolled around snarling thinking something had attacked him, and I took another shot. I believe that second shot missed. He then ran down into the trees where I couldn't see him anymore. I walked down just a little bit and got set up in a sitting position with my rifle on my sticks waiting to see if he would come out. sure enough, he came walking out into a little clearing. I shot him again, this time taking both lungs. He started to fall down the hill and made several death growls/bellows. He finally stopped on the uphill side of the base of a tree. I could just barely see part of him sticking out. But by this time it was getting very late.

Right before my first shot, I tried to get my son's attention, but he had his headphones on and was watching a movie. He was very surprised when a shot rang out 15 yd from him when he wasn't prepared. He did see the bear for the third shot.

At this point, I figured we were going to have to come back the next day to recover the bear, but I wanted to at least find him and mark him in my GPS. We hiked around to the other side of the ravine and started looking in the trees. It was completely dark by now, and the trees were pretty thick. I was certain that the bear was dead, but I was questioning my judgment walking down in the dark with my ten-year-old. Everything looks completely different in the dark, and the bear was black, so it was very hard to find. As we're looking around, we suddenly heard lots of movement in a tree right next to my son. I let go an expletive, and my son screamed and ran towards me. Fortunately, it was just a squirrel, and we both had a good, relieved, laugh about it. Shortly after the squirrel charge, we decided to call it quits and come back in the morning.

In the daylight of the morning, we were able to find the bear very quickly. it was right where I had last seen it. It felt great to have finally gotten a bear after three unsuccessful seasons. He's not a monster bear, he's probably an average black bear for this area. The game warden estimated the bear at 6 years old. My son and I had a great time together, and I was proud of him for being physically and mentally tough throughout this and the preceding seasons.
Great report and I laughed out loud about the squirrel charge. Great job!
What a great time with your son and to finally be successful! Now your son is up to bat! Next season I’m certain he will be paying a bit more attention and be successful on his! That is barring no more vicious squirrel encounters! LOL!
Always great to do a hunt with your son. Not intended as a criticism, but most hunting reports are more interesting if they include where they take place. It doesn't have to be specific, but the continent, country, state or province will really orient your readers. "USA" in the title narrows it down only a bit. ;)

Having been attacked by a murderous opossum on my doorstep many years ago, I can appreciate the squirrel encounter.

Looks like a great bear.
Well done hunt, in a t-shirt no less. Early Fall is a great time to be in the woods. Was curious where the hunt took place.
Well done hunt, in a t-shirt no less. Early Fall is a great time to be in the woods. Was curious where the hunt took place.
Due to high numbers of West coasters flooding his state, my brother requested that I do not share the state. But it's one of the three lower 48 states with grizzlies.
Nice Bear! Congrats! and thanks for sharing.
Congrats on a great looking bear! Thanks for sharing

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