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Top 5 Bear Hunting Tips for Beginners
- Last updated: Jun 8, 2023
Bears are mainly hunted for their highly nourishing meat and fat as well as their super warm fur. However, even the thought of hunting bears is daunting, especially for beginners. The reason is not just their size but also because they are one of the most difficult animals to field-judge accurately. A few experienced hunters are always ready to share the best tips and tricks to hunting bears which suggests you would get an overwhelming response. Still, the task is challenging for the newbies but do not worry anymore as this article is crafted especially for the aid of the beginners who are going for their first hunt of a bear. The below-mentioned bear hunting tips for beginners are truly helpful, so do not give it a miss.
1# Make a Pre-Hunt Plan
Before starting with the actual hunt, beginners need to plan everything in their minds and prepare a step-by-step plan. It is not just about targeting the bear accurately, but the hunter must also have a proper plan of how the hide will be used and how the meat will be processed. The hunter must have all the tools to handle the big bear. The bear you’ll shoot is huge and cumbersome and handling it overall, like skinning, processing, and transporting could be a hard task and is impossible without assistance, so make sure you have all the preparations and are working on the plan, ahead of time. Without a proper plan, your hunt could get wasted as the meat and hide tend to spoil quickly, especially when the temperature is above freezing. Make sure to remove the hide as soon as possible as it would save your meat from spoilage. Furthermore, if you believe there is going to be a delay in transporting the harvested bear to a cooler, fill its body with ice bags. This would allow the heavier portions of the dead bear to cool quickly.
2# Gear Up for Bear Hunting
Not just the ice bags, but you’ll have to keep several essentials with yourself when going on a bear hunt. Make sure you wear a specifically designed hunting suit by Under Armour. Carry other essentials including a rope for bait, rubber boots, light source, compass, skinning knife extra blades, machete, thick gloves for bait handling, Therma cell with pads and spare cartridges, and a lighter. Without any of these essentials, it could be hard for you to move towards another step. Another crucial thing to have for bear hunting is good binoculars as they are a must for field-judging. Most importantly, make sure to wear proper attire for bear hunting which you may easily shop from Under Armour. It is better to wear foliage-dark greens and browns during the hunt. Also, make sure that your apparel is scent-free as the bear’s sense of smell is quite stronger.
3# Set Bait Site and Observe Bear Behavior
Proper baiting is vital to set your target. Start with keeping the bait near the field edge where you will find the animal coming out into the open. Make sure to use a 55-gallon barrel so that you may restock the bait whenever it will be required. Take this additional tip to choose a site with a water source nearby as the bear would come out looking for water after hibernation. The two best bait options could be smelly, rotten meat, and some oats. Since the bears have a great sense of smell, they would smell the rotten meat even at a 2 miles distance. This would eventually help you with field-judging. On the other hand, filling the barrel with whole oats is also beneficial as they would come back for those oats from time to time, and for the smell, you might add mixed oil to it. It's also a great way to field judge a bear. Once you find your bear sign, put your barrel nearby. After setting up the bait, you can easily observe the bear coming towards the bait site. The bear behavior at this point is a significant key for field-judging as well. Pay attention to every step of the animal, like how is it approaching the bait site. Looking like the biggest bear with no fear? Then you must shoot him instantly. If your observation says it’s a tentative bear who is stepping very cautiously due to the fear of any biggest bear in the surrounding, then you need to be vigilant and just wait and watch. Remember, you must be safe first.
4# Plan a Perfect Shot
The correct shot placement must be your ultimate goal. The hunter must plan an accurate shot because managing bears is not as easy as coping with the deer. The build of a bear is completely different, and their chest is quite compressed if you carefully look at it from the side. One poor shot could wound up the bear badly and mess up your entire hunting experience. A wounded bear might run for miles before dying and then it becomes hard for the hunter to track the injured. So, it is very important to understand your capabilities and learn your shot! To plan a perfect shot, you must have all the knowledge about the bear’s anatomy. The most critical part of the bear is an 8" circle behind the front shoulder and the perfect shot opportunity is a broadside shot for penetration into the major organs. For an accurate shot, you need to wait for the bear to move forward as the near side would expose the heart/lung area. Shoulder shots are never recommended as the bears have heavy bones and muscular shoulders, so the probability is that the hunter might miss the shot or injure the bear. A headshot is also not suggested because of the dense skull of this animal. Frontal shots are again not a good option to penetrate the vital organs of this giant animal. At last, also, never take a shot when the visibility is unclear.
5# Be Ethical and Be Safe
Last, but not least tip to keep in mind is to be ethical and to be safe. In fact, it is one of the most important things to consider. All hunters must accept all the hunting ethics to make a clean kill. It should be as humanly as possible as it is definitely a basic component of ethical hunting. All hunters must make it a top priority for themselves to respect the outdoors and basic hunting ethics for a successful hunt. Unnecessary suffering or wounding of the bear due to the incorrect shot placement is very unethical so it is much important to gain all the knowledge and understanding of the anatomy, habits, and surrounding of the animal you are going to hunt. A humanly harvest bear would show the character of the hunter. So, as a beginner, make sure that you enlist yourself in the names of the most ethical hunter by making a clean kill of the bear and emphasizing ethics. However, for this, one must be proficient in employing the firearm and the now as it always leads to a quick and effective kill and diminishes the chances of hurting the bear.
Bear hunting seems not as easy as the hunting of other animals but once you know all the basic tips of hunting, which includes learning the bear’s behavior, having all the knowledge about what should a hunting plan include, and understanding how to make a perfect shot, you can definitely become a pro in it, even as a beginner. This article shares all the best tips for beginners so make sure you pay attention to each and every step before going on a hunt.
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