Tips and Tricks for Black Bear Hunting

Tips and Tricks for Black Bear Hunting
Tips and Tricks for Black Bear Hunting

From May 15 to June 30, it will be possible to try to collect an ursid in several regions of La Belle Province.

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At a recent exhibition I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by the guys from the TV show Born to Hunt. Here is the gist of what Miguel Bélisle, Éric Lacelle and brothers Éric and Martin Marion said on the subject.


For these nice guys, prospecting begins a long time before they even think about setting foot on the ground. They use their tablets or computers to consult Google Maps, Avenza Maps or other such applications displaying valuable details that will help you visualize and predict your hunting success simply by looking at your screen.

One of the first factors to analyze is accessibility to hunting locations. They will try to locate old forest roads and various trails. Subsequently, they will try to find favorite places composed of swamps and transition zones between hardwoods and softwoods.

They will apply the 5 km rule which consists of moving away from all passing paths, neighboring hunters and even their own hunting partners.

By being thus distanced from the other nimrods, they will not be disturbed and their game will not be frightened.

In person

The next step is to go to the territory in question to validate what they have identified on their interactive maps.

Depending on the time of year, the guys from Born to Hunt will concentrate their efforts in different places. For example, following its hibernation at the very beginning of the season, the bear will look for green grass to help its digestive system. Then this carnivore and omnivore will become more opportunistic. If these enthusiasts hear the croaking of frogs, they know that they are not far from the spot where they will set up their hunting site.

You must know and remember that at this time, these gluttons are looking for easy meals and that, at the beginning of spring, the frogs are still numb; so they require little effort to catch. It is a food rich in protein. Plus, if they can intercept a beaver there, they will definitely have a great time.

On the lookout

Bear hunting is a question of patience, especially for large specimens which often wait before approaching.

You will therefore have to spend several hours there and, at that time, there are a lot of mosquitoes. Many will opt for tents to protect and hide themselves. For their part, guys prefer the good old open platforms to maximize their peripheral vision. To avoid being bothered by biting insects, there is no problem using a Thermacell with odorless tabs. Take the time to clean access to your viewpoint to minimize noise.

If you plan to bowhunt, position yourself 25 yards from your baiting site. With a rifle, stay at least 50 meters away. By remaining in the background, you minimize your chances of being detected olfactorily or visually. Remember that wind is your worst enemy.

To the food

For this team of enthusiasts, the key to success is to make scent lines. Bears have an extraordinary sense of smell and these men do everything to put it to work to attract them to their site. They then use what they call the “telescope approach”. It consists of imagining the bear in your telescope in order to predict where it could pass to reach your location. At this point you will know where to place your scent lines, which should go in all directions except near your tree stand.

The choice of scent is left to your discretion. There are some with anise, fruit, fish, etc. Martin specified that they poured it onto pads, at the end of a string, so that the wind stirred everything up, thus maximizing their effect. The optimal distance is 100 yards and it would be ideal to undertake this scent scenario at least three weeks before your hunt.

As for the food, they put it in a 45-gallon drum that they punctured a dozen times with a half-inch drill bit. Before going any further, the guys insist on the fact that this metal container must be returned at the end of the hunt, in order to be respectful of the environment.

The barrel will be attached to a large tree with a 10-foot steel cable. It is important that the desired game does not lack food between your visits, otherwise it will be attracted to your neighbor. The members of Born to Hunt use their own nutrient-rich corn and molasses blend.

A molasses slurry will be poured over the barrel and all around it to enhance the improvised buffet.

Furthermore, by flying in this sticky substance, the beast will in turn create scent lines that will attract other ursids. When going to your cache, don’t make the mistake of crossing the place where the food is because you risk seriously frightening the bears.

The fatal moment

It is essential to practice with your weapons at the same distance as that at which you will make your shot. Make sure you know your prey’s anatomy and where its vital organs, such as the lungs and heart, are located.

Some will be surprised to learn that they are a little further back and not directly behind the shoulder.

Following the firing or release, it is important to memorize the last place where the beast was seen entering the forest. Wait a minimum of 30 minutes after the shot before starting the search.

If you can’t find it, stop looking and messing around for clues. So put your pride aside and request the services of a blood dog.

Ultimately, the transformation into delicious meals is, for this band of merry men, a step they grew up with. Their favorite is the famous sausage with the magic recipe of their dear grandfather Peter!



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