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Tips for Bowhunting Black Bear
Heading back to ME for a third season, past two harvested black bear with slug-gun, this year taking the compound bow. Using a Parker, 60# draw weight, Muzzy Hybrid Trocar broadheads, 25 yard shot.
I'll just throw this out there. Not saying its gospel or anything. Or that its the only way, or only setup. However, when I look back.....even with crack shot bowhunters with many longer (shot) successful kills under their collective belts. For some reason, maybe because many shots are those final moments before darkness sets in. Maybe its because bears are maybe harder to simply pick a spot on. I dunno. LIke I say, to each their own and all that sorta stuff.....but over the years....when our setups are somewhere between 15-18 yards from the bait (bear)....we have very few bad hits. Stretch it out to even 25, and it seems bad hits seem to rise disproportionately . And due to the fact bears just don't seem too concerned with a hunter placed at 15 yards, or at least no more than a hunter at 25 yards, and only because you posted your question ( not to be preachy) I'd suggest maybe (if possible) decreasing your shot distance by 8-10 yards. Make no mistake.....they can be successfully shot at 25 ( and farther) but imo, being closer does seem to aid in a better good/bad solid hit ratio, with little to no impact on being seen or winded.
I am going with a bow for the first time too. Some advice I have heard is don't shoot them laying down, with there head in the barrel. The vitals are less exposed. Wait for them to stand back up. Good luck.
At a 3D Shoot
At a 3D Shoot
Anyone in West Virginia willing to take on a newbie for his first bear hunt ?
Take the first good available shot that big boar presents. Ive missed opportunities waiting for the perfect shot. When they are in tight it can crumble real quick. I actually like 25 yards for a good clean kill shot. You hunting over bait?
I tend to agree with Bea....most stands are under 20 yards and it doesn`t alter the bears behavior in the least.
Best of luck! Hope you have a great hunt!
take a thermacell and then take another one
Make sure you know where the vitals are, as they are in a much different location than a Whitetail. They can move around a lot at the bait, just be patient and wait until they are still.
Don't assume you are going to get one to live at the bait and pose for 45 minutes to give you a classic shot. Or 45 seconds for that matter. They may never touch the bait or even stop moving...............especially in the spring (rut). A lot of big killable bears have walked into and out of someone's life in 15 seconds. What you do in those 15 seconds is the difference between a trophy and a memorable sighting.
I am also heading to ME in September for bear. This is my first bear hunt. Keep the suggestions coming and good luck to all.
Know ahead of time exactly what size bear you want to shoot and when you see him don’t hesitate because they can come and go fast. Just do your best to make sure it’s not a sow that has cubs behind her.
hit em right the first time
I might just have to hit Embryo's Bait site before the bear does!!
First tip is stay alert - they are incredibly quiet. So it helps to stay prepared. I've found they'll often break a single branch or make a noise a few yards away before coming in. I assume to warn other bears if they are there. Otherwise they can be dead silent.
2 - they aren't incredibly hard to take down. Made a poor shot on a bear a couple years ago but still managed one lung. He went about 75 yards. I wouldn't bank on this, but if you at least hit vitals I'd know he'd probably laying somewhere (although they can hit some pretty nasty areas to finding him can be difficult).
3 - they can make for a difficult track job as their fur is pretty oily and can clog up. If you hit both lungs it won't matter. But you're probably not going to get a great trail to follow.
4 - they can be a bit difficult to judge, so I always try to use something to gauge size. A line/mark on a tree, a barrel, really anything. They can come in fast as mentioned above. Aside from the really small ones and the really big ones, they can blend in - as seen on some of the weight guessing threads!
1. Know for a fact where the vitals are.
2. Know how to judge the size.
3. And I'll add if the clean shot ain't there, don't take it....be patient.
Thanks for all the insights. First thing I did 3 seasons ago was examine the vital area. I've taken 2 with a slug-gun. From my research, broadside is the best shot. On my archery range I set up a 3D bear going into a barrel. Practice makes perfect!
practice shooting him 10 yards behind the barrel too.
Practice as you'll be hunting - if you're shooting from an elevated platform, practice from an elevated platform. If your shot distance is going to be 20 yards, practice from 10 yards out to 30, do it in nice weather, do it in bad weather because that's how you'll be hunting.
Print Bou'bound's message from 8/2 and memorize it (I'm not kidding) because that's how it happens - I know from experience.
I bring 2 bow hangers to camp with me, one for my backpack, one holds my bow by my left side, with the grip right at shoulder height. If a bear comes in that I want take, I simply reach to my left, pick up the bow SLOWLY then, swivel in my seat into position so I can draw and shoot. I've been busted several times reaching for the bow and have eaten 'tag soup' as a result.
Conversely - Lady Bowhunter (my wife) takes one bow hanger for her backpack and quiver. She sits with her bow on her lap, hand over (not on the grip), She's never been busted and will be the first to tell you that she hunts using the same principle that Bou described. If you check the 2018 Bear Harvest thread you'll see a pic or two of her 2018 bear. She decided to shoot as soon as she saw him approach the bait from a thicket; the arrow was on it's way just seconds he stopped walking and stretched his left fore leg toward the barrel.
My point is: My 30 seconds resulted in 'memories', her 15 seconds resulted in a BOONER.
Hope this helps.