Not sure what you mean by precautions. Anytime you hunt alone you should let somebody know where you will be and when you plan to return. Probably 99 out of 100 black bear will be anxious to avoid you rather than confront you. The biggest concern should be how you plan to get the bear out of the woods and into a cold place A.S.A.P. . Bear are a lot more difficult to handle than deer and they spoil very quickly.
you mentioned letting folks know where you're going which is good, but also interested in what other things you might do when hunting alone.
I carry a compass, two flashlights, extra batteries, and google earth print outs of the area I plan to hunt. I use paths I am familar with morning and dusk and learn new ones during the daytime. I carry a side arm, but I dont carry repellent. I am wondering if repellent should be mandatory. I wouldnt want to shoot a sow with cubs, but I hunt on the ground at least half the time, so need to be prepared what to do if the situation came up while I was on the ground. I hope the bear would move on out without any undue pressure from me though.
I do carry a cell phone, but it doesnt always work where I am hunting. I've been wondering if a flare would be appropriate?
I have contemplated the meat spoilage issue, but had the cross that bridge when I get there philosophy this year. You'll laugh, but I was hoping if the opportunity presented itself that the bear would be smaller as opposed to some big beast that would take quartering and several trips back an forth. I am hunting a wilderness area that doesnt permit any mechanized vehicle half the time and the other half in an area where I could use a game cart. The game cart is a great invention and can also be used to carry camping gear in and out of a place. When not hunting mine also doulbes as a hay hauler for my horses.
You are right about temperature being critical. Here is what I do. I use a sled ( Otter type) to remove the bear from the kill site away from my bait. I gut the bear as soon as possible. Wash out the inside with water from jugs in my truck. Then I use frozen milk jugs filled with water (from a cooler in my truck) and pack as many as I can inside the bear. I take the bear to my butcher who I have talked to ahead of time and he skins then cools the bear until morning in his walk-in cooler, he then cuts up and freezes the meat. If I can't get it to him immediately I put the bear in a big old chest freezer that I have until morning then take the bear to the butcher. If you shoot your bear in the evening and wait until morning to recover it, the meat may already be spoiled. Tracking is much easier in the dark anyway. One reason I use big bore rifles for bear. If I don't drop the bear, I have a good blood trail.
I prefer to hunt alone myself but it isn't always the wisest when it comes to an emergency or game recovery. I try to inform my wife where I am going & leave w/her some mile post readings where my Jeep will be parked. I also have made a point of telling my son in-law who is a registered climbing guide & EMT where I am going, in fact I have taken him w/me so he is familiar w/the terrain. I always carry a cell phone & an extra charged battery for it. Like you mentioned, the reception isn't always good, but I try to "check in" & let my wife know where I am (mile marker on logging road or gps) every 4 hrs or so if the reception is good. I'm embarassed to admit to getting lost once in the last 4 yrs & taking a non-injury tumble while climbing over blowdown timber on a steep hillside way off the road. At 67 I have to be careful as I can get into trouble quickly, especially when it is late in the season & hypothermia is a real possibility. Hunting alone is great when you are a serious still hunter, but be careful & good luck! No bear this year but my best blacktail ever over on the Olympic Peninsula. Game carts are great for a solo hunter. When I do my scouting (before the broadleaf trees get their leaves) I haul a game cart up to the area where I'm going to spend most of my hunting & use a bicycle cable to secure it to a tree. I usually push/ride a mtn bike 4-5 miles in to where I start to hunt. Its great at the end of the day & I'm tired & just coast down the mtn to my Jeep!
We all think about getting in shape for that up coming big game hunt but what about your truck or suv? Just how much thought goes through your mind on getting it ready for that out of the way hunt that you are heading out on?
The first thing that I usually do is check the tires. If they need replacement think what would happen if you get 50 miles from nowhere and not one but two of them go flat or blow out on you. What are you going to do? When my tires usually get...