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Joined: 12/16/2006
Posts: 57
How to scout bear?

I recently moved to charlottesville va and want to try and have set my mind to killing a black bear this year. I live very close to the george washington national forest and will most likely hunt there.

How do you find a place to set up. I know you can look for scat but I hear that bear are not patterned animals like deer are. Whereas deer return to the same place at the same time most days a bear is random and will just wander around. So how do you determine where to set up a tree stand if you can't predict where the bear will be? Is there a strategy to it?

ADKBEAR's picture
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Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
Posts: 823
How to scout bear?

Bears do have a "home range" but it can be very big. Big ol boars will even mark there territory boundrys by clawing up trees.
When scouting it is best to remember that a bear needs 3 things,-food, water and cover.
The key to scouting is do it very close to the season. Food is the big dictator on where a bear will be. Natural food sourses are always changing. Berries, fruits, nuts, ag crops these "ripining" dates are always changing. So if you scout a month befor the season where you see sign may be barron when you go back with a gun. Find out fron a local sorse (conservation officer, ranger, wildlife biologist, local old crumudgen etc) What is in season that the bears are eating when the hunting season opens. Then if you want to get in the woods early look for theses trees, shrubs etc.
As far as stand placement put stands between food sorse and dense cover best bet. I see fron another post by you that baiting is not leagle if it was then you make your own food sourse and the ball is in your court as far as location.

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Joined: 08/27/2004
Posts: 1964
How to scout bear?

I would start in big openings with mountains or big hills around them, first things first find a good source of berries or big old stumps that have been clawed up like ADK said they love bugs as much as berries bugs, grubs etc.Find the water and food source you find the bears most likely the home range will not only be for one bear thier is usually more then one around if there is one.Once youve found a good source of food and water try some predator calling see what you can bring in. Im not sure exactally where you are hunting but if you can find a good fish feeding ground salmon, trout whatever you have that they can catch easily. Streams, rivers and small ponds where they can feed regularily with no threats to scare them off are the best places to start scouting. Try a nice high spot so you can see everywhere and try to bring someone with you if you are planning on trying the calling routine so they can watch your back.

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