Bowhunting Black Bears

Discussion in 'Bowhunting Talk' started by Maine Hunter, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. Maine Hunter

    Maine Hunter Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2018
    Posts:
    88
    Likes Received:
    58
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maine
    I was just wondering if any of you have ever tried hunting bears with a bow, I have been looking at giving it a shot this year. If so do you have any tips, pictures or stand setups that might lead to a successful hunt, thank you in advance!
     
    vanfossen likes this.
  2. bucksnbears

    bucksnbears Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Posts:
    3,353
    Likes Received:
    2,856
    Dislikes Received:
    22
    Sure have. Bears are quite easy to bowhunt.
    They can be way more tolerant to human scent than deer but..., Still best to take precautions.
    Keep to thick undergrowth. Waterways are a bonus.
    If baiting, use the same trail going in/ out.
    Don't go past the bait to " explore". Bears are slaves to their stomach. Give em fresh food if possible.
    Nuts, grain, beef tallow, sweets are all good.
    If you watch bear hunting shows, they most likely will portray bear as some super mythical creature. They are not.! I seen over 100 bears last fall in MN.
    Oh, argument waiting to happen but..., I will never allow any expandable head in my camp.
     
  3. oldnotdead

    oldnotdead Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2019
    Posts:
    4,053
    Likes Received:
    4,523
    Dislikes Received:
    11
    I have,,that said still unsuccessful. Question is are you spring or fall hunting? Spring look for skunk cabbage patches. It's where I encountered bear at camp and honey trees . Wild honey bee trees will keep bear in an area. We can not bait so mast and scents are king. I use slow burn Tin can candle burners for bacon soaked cotton rags and rag soaked honey burns.
    Funny both of my closest encounters were not hunting..Walked into one last summer while cutting. I was looking down walking and when I looked up he was right there close enough to see the flies on his snout. Once at camp I stepped out to truck to get gear and when the dome light came on he huffed and was on his hind legs leaning on the other side of the truck. Yep no weapon either time,figures.
     
  4. jstephens61

    jstephens61 Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    Posts:
    587
    Likes Received:
    549
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Illinois, not Chicago
    Check out bear quest obsession forum. A lot of great guys on there willing to help.
     
    carbon-arch and mikey custom-g like this.
  5. dink

    dink Newb

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2015
    Posts:
    10
    Likes Received:
    3
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Can you expand on your no expandable head? I’m hunting this spring and trying to decide my best option. I’m leaning towards the Ironwill Broadhead.
     
  6. bucksnbears

    bucksnbears Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Posts:
    3,353
    Likes Received:
    2,856
    Dislikes Received:
    22
    Dink, been in on hundreds of bear bow kills. Never had an expandable in camp untill !aybe 10 yeats ago.
    The wounding/ lost ratio was well,:ninja:, not good.
    Poor bloodtrails due to poor penatration.
    I've seen many shot with lower poundage with good fixed heads blow completely thru..
    NO EXPANDABLE heads in my camp!
     
  7. Maine Hunter

    Maine Hunter Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2018
    Posts:
    88
    Likes Received:
    58
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maine
    Thank you, yes in Maine we can hunt over bait making it easier. I gave it a shot last year but passed up a smaller bear. I agree, they seem much easier to hunt than deer. I have never taken one with a bow that is why I was curious to everyones opinions and stories. Thank you!
     
  8. Frankiecruzer

    Frankiecruzer Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    Posts:
    593
    Likes Received:
    727
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Virgina
    I’m headed to Maine in the summer and going to Try and take a bear. Maybe we can meet up and take a few out!!! I’m headed near the Bangor area.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Maine Hunter likes this.
  9. Western MA Hunter

    Western MA Hunter Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Posts:
    2,830
    Likes Received:
    1,305
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    I have taken quite a few bears by bow. I find bear hunting easier than deer hunting personally. They are all over the place up here.
     
  10. Maine Hunter

    Maine Hunter Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2018
    Posts:
    88
    Likes Received:
    58
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maine
    Let me know, I live only an hour away. I would be all for it!!
     
  11. Hatfield Hunter

    Hatfield Hunter Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2016
    Posts:
    482
    Likes Received:
    286
    Dislikes Received:
    10
    Location:
    central wi
    once shot a bear with arrow at 20 yards just missing heart a little high, he turned and came right up my wood ladder stand, poking his head over the platform and snapping teeth, he met another arrow right through his throat and into neck bone, I did not leave stand until my brother came over and poked bear to make sure was dead, new underwear ! loved bear hunting !
     
  12. Western MA Hunter

    Western MA Hunter Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2013
    Posts:
    2,830
    Likes Received:
    1,305
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Western Massachusetts
    That sounds intense Hatfield! I had one charge me with cubs one time.. she got about 10 yards from me popping her jaw and the hair on her back standing straight up... I think i pooped a little! haha... thankfully, I didn't have to shoot her as I backed up enough where she must have felt safe for her cubs to come out of tree.

    I shot a small bear back with the bow onetime... while tracking it I just about stepped on him and he growled and snapped at me and when he tried to get up I put another arrow in him. That was crazy!
     
    mikey custom-g likes this.
  13. HuntMaine

    HuntMaine Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2013
    Posts:
    902
    Likes Received:
    223
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maine
    I’ve bear hunted the western Maine mountains now for 18 years. Our best baits are right in transitions from hardwood to thick softwood. We also try to set our stands based off the prevailing winds, which are normally NW.. Squeezing then closer to the W so the sun is at your back while a bear is at the bait. The same bow setup you use for deer will absolutely work for bear.
     
    Maine Hunter likes this.
  14. parkersdad

    parkersdad Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Posts:
    790
    Likes Received:
    122
    Dislikes Received:
    3
    I shot one in New York last year with a bow. You cannot bait up there so it is tough. I hunted for three years before I finally connected. It was a small bear but I am proud of it.
     
  15. boonerville

    boonerville Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2013
    Posts:
    3,521
    Likes Received:
    3,297
    Dislikes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Southern Iowa
    I will be heading up to Northern Saskatchewan in May to bow hunt bears. Looking forward to it!
     
    Maine Hunter likes this.
  16. John T.

    John T. Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2018
    Posts:
    1,191
    Likes Received:
    509
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Far from an expert on bear hunting but I did stay at a major hotel chain once. I recall a DVD that used a small barrel chained to a tree and baited with old donuts and other pastries. I would have a hard time letting the bear have them. Thermos of coffee and a donut? Doesn't get any better! Good luck to all.
     
    axtell343 likes this.
  17. Mod-it

    Mod-it Die Hard Bowhunter

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2019
    Posts:
    1,019
    Likes Received:
    1,330
    Dislikes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Idaho
    I been baiting for them every spring for about the last 5 years or so. Baiting is a bit of a learning experience so to help you out I'll share what works for me...I hope you can bait otherwise this is just a boring novel lol.
    I simply get expired bread from the local bread store for cheap and then pour used fryer oil over it. The bread is anything and everything...sandwich, hot dog, hamburger, pastries, etc. The barrel is cabled to a tree and has a bolt down lid. There is a slot cut into the side of the barrel down at the bottom that is just wide enough for them to get their flattened out paw into it, so they have to work at it to get the bait out. It is key to put about half of a 5 gallon oil jug on the bread and then pour the other half all over the ground around the barrel. For the first bait of the season I put in, I use two 5 gallon jugs of it and really get oil all over around the barrel. This gets it all over the first bear's feet and legs so that when it walks away it is leaving a scent trail for another bear to come across and follow it into the bait. Every time I re-bait it I will bang my wrench on the barrel as a signal that it has fresh bait. I can access my bait with an atv, so when I want to hunt it I will ride in about 4-5 hours before dark, re-bait and bang on the barrel, then ride back out and hike back into it to hunt. I find that it takes a couple weeks of baiting to get the mature boars to start coming in while there is still a bit of shooting light and not just only when it's dark. It is super important to never let the bait run out in the barrel for longer than 24 hours or else it is like starting over. Using bread also really draws in the crows, they can eat a whole barrel in a week. When I re-bait I cover the barrel with logs/poles and block the opening in the barrel with a heavy rock so the crows can't get any of it at least until a bear hits it first. It also lets me know from a distance if the bait has been hit since it was last baited. I have to bait every 3 days, so you really have to commit to it for it to get hit consistently. I live about 45 minutes from my spot, so during the week after work my wife and son just go up with me. We pack a picnic dinner and eat it after baiting...at the atv unloading spot, well away from the bait site.
    If you hang a camera on it, it is best to have one that you can set it to not take pictures from about 2 hours after daylight to about 2 hours before dark (food plot timer setting). Otherwise crows will fill your SD card with pics all day long. It sucks to weed through 900 pics that only have about 50 pics of bear and the rest is crows. Never handle your camera(s) without gloves and before you touch any of the bait material or you can kiss it goodbye if there is scent on it for the bears to notice!
    Bears are tolerant of human scent left around the bait site from when you bait, but it's been my experience that if the wind swirls or switches on me when hunting the bait then the bears won't come in until after it gets dark. Don't let your scent go towards the bait or into the cover that they approach the bait from.
     
    TheHardWoods913 and Maine Hunter like this.
  18. blackbear

    blackbear Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2017
    Posts:
    484
    Likes Received:
    201
    Dislikes Received:
    0
  19. bucksnbears

    bucksnbears Grizzled Veteran

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Posts:
    3,353
    Likes Received:
    2,856
    Dislikes Received:
    22
    People go through WAY to much work to shoot a bear.
    Lol.

    I walk in, dump the buckets out on the ground and leave
    May throw a few sticks over it.
     
    Maine Hunter likes this.
  20. Maine Hunter

    Maine Hunter Weekend Warrior

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2018
    Posts:
    88
    Likes Received:
    58
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Maine
    I have a camp in Northern Maine and we have 6 bear bait sites. We are able to bait and all that good stuff. Everyone uses a rifle like most people would but I was hoping to take one with a bow. The shot placement and getting the bear in the right places is the hardest part. Getting them to stand up and turn broadside instead of sitting down back to (which is what happened to me alot last year. But I am going to give it another try this year. Good luck to everyone and thanks for the tips!
     
    TheHardWoods913 likes this.

Share This Page