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Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Joined: 09/15/2006
Posts: 204
Black bear hunt tips or ideas

I was selected for a quota bear hunt here in VA. Its on a NWR and as per state law no baiting is allowed. I spoke with the Game Warden and Biologist and they said no bait as in edible items but scents, calls, and any other attractent is legal. So here is my question. What are some good items I should bring along to better the odds? I'm already looking at getting some Bear Bomb, will take along a couple preditor calls. I did ask about Vinella extract and they said it was legal as its not a food item. The area is very thick and hard to get around in. Very swampy and over grown with briers, throny vines and other trees and brush. While scouting a few days ago we had to belly crawl allot to get around. I did find an area with tracks, scat, claw marks on trees with hair on bark, and torn up logs. Was gonna focus in this area. But from the ground you can only see 5-10 feet at best. I was thinking of using my climber tree stand and getting up for a better view and scent dispersal.
So any ideas I haven't thought of yet. I've been after my 1st bear for nearly 9 year and have failed to see my first live bear in the wild. Been so close i could smell'm and scat was still steaming in the moring air. Scat by the camp fire in the morning.The GW and Biologist said the sows are starting to kick last years cubs out and den up. But several boars of 400-500 pounds have been seen in the area in the last week or 2 the GW said.
Any tips or advice would be great. This will be my last attempt as I'll be moving this summer to OK and away from any bears to hunt. Thanks

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Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Joined: 01/13/2007
Posts: 368
Black bear hunt tips or ideas

I would definatly use a tree stand in those conditions. I think that the Bear Bomb is worth a try. Some of our clients used them this year but we could not determine their effectivness since they were hunting over bait. The predator call is also worth a try, as well.

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Location: Alberta
Joined: 08/24/2008
Posts: 94
?

Since you may use vanilla, another spice that may be worth trying is anise(sp), smells like black licorice?
I took some with me this yr, but never had the chance to try it.
You may want to try in a couple different spots, call in one, scent another??
Best of luck.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
Black bear hunt tips or ideas

So would a honey burn be out of the question? It's a food item, but it's not being used as a food source by the bear -- you're burning it as an attractant. One thing I did this year to augment my bait site was to slather up cheesecloth in molasses and hang it up in a tree. The cheesecloth is absorbent enough to hold the molasses, but is porous enough to let the air through and help disperse the scent. My bear came rolling in without a moment's hesitation.

Don't know if you can use either, but if they'll let you use vanilla I have to wonder.

Oh...and I have a buddy that swears by beaver castor. He tried putting some on bait sites this year and every bear (and lynx, for that matter) that got caught on the trail cam was rubbing on it at some point.

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Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Joined: 09/15/2006
Posts: 204
Black bear hunt tips or ideas

I guess I should have put some more info as well. This is a 2 day hunt with a max of 100 hunters (50 draw winners and each may have 1 guest, but not all will) The tract I plan to hunt is several hundred acers so hunter encroachment shouldn't be an issue. Ditches with water boarder several sides and one down the middle. Access roads also follow these ditches. This hunt is also a shotgun with slug only.

I was thinking of the honey burn but didn't know what that was exactly just been told about it. I will be going to Bass Pro tomorrw and get the bear bomb and see if they have that as well. I was very direct with the GW and biologist as to what was legal and they repeated that if they could eat it then it was bait. I joked and said well then I would be considerd bait. But anything smelly was allright. Last year a guy showed up with a cooler full of 50 pounds butcher scraps and was quickly turned away as that was bait. I was also thinking tonight about emptying out the deap fryer and useing the oil. Figured once up the tree I could spray it out over the bushes. Just don't want to have too many scents or would more be better? Figured I'd try every trick I could and see what worked.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
Black bear hunt tips or ideas

As a general rule, black bears have a real sweet tooth. A honey burn is pretty simple -- just a tin can or canteen cup with honey in it that you boil/burn over a flame. You get a nice, sweet smell off it that can bring them in if they're downwind. Honey is a natural smell that bears are familiar with, too.

If you're looking at oil, you might want to check with donut shops for their leftover fry oil. It's sweeter than oil used for fries or turkeys. But be careful, because a bucket of oil might cross over into the "bait" category.

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Joined: 02/22/2009
Posts: 2
Black bear hunt tips or ideas

First advice is DO NOT take any scents up in your tree with you. Even at that they might climb your tree out of curiousity, don't give them more reason. Scented cheese cloth up high, several different scents, is the best choice for long range attraction. I haven't used a bearbomb yet but am planning on it the next hunt (sow in estrus). If allowable, clear the brush in an area to allow you a clear shot from your stand and hang the scents above that area. String a line between trees and hang the scents out in the middle. They will standup under it, and even go to the trees and pull the lines down. I don't use burners for fire hazard reasons. Cubs will knock it over. Anise, maple, and if you can stand it store a cheese cloth or burlap bag in a bucket of rancid chicken or fish then bring just the cloth to the hunt. They are ghosts and silent (except cubs) so sit absolutly still as you can the whole time-They ARE watching you!

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Joined: 02/24/2009
Posts: 8
Black bear hunt tips or ideas

Place your scent on a removal rag or holder 2 to 6 feet off the ground depending on wind force. Place out to each side of stand on the up wind right and left of stand in the place for a standing shot. Never place directly up wind or down wind of hunter or stand.

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Location: Oklahoma City, OK
Joined: 09/15/2006
Posts: 204
Black bear hunt tips or ideas

Its been awhile sense my last visit (thanks Uncle Sam) but I guess I can post a way late report from that hunt.

Rained really hard the couple days before the hunt the part of the first morning so road conditions got really bad. Most of the hunting area was flooded out with ankle to knee deep water. Only 2 bear seen 1 was legal and that was by my hunting partner. Was along the road and he didn't have his gun. Was running back to check station to get warden after I put my truck in a ditch (luckily it wasn't full of water). The other was a cub up a tree in a non hunting area.

I used the burn, bear bomb, and other scents with no luck. Even called for awhile. Managed to call in a yote but couldn't shoot it due to hunt regs.

I did find several tracks, clawed up trees/ busted up logs, and even 2 dens. 1 den was really old but the other looked recently used. Did make a stand over it and use scents and calls but still nothing.

Was a great learning experiance in many ways but a bust as far as bear go. Oh well thats hunting.

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