Mathews Inc.
Eastern big woods spot/stalk bear hunt?
Contributors to this thread:
md5252 20-Jan-19
TSI 20-Jan-19
spike78 20-Jan-19
Ace 20-Jan-19
Panther Bone 20-Jan-19
Panther Bone 20-Jan-19
Carcajou 20-Jan-19
Outside 20-Jan-19
Huntskifishcook 20-Jan-19
Buskill 20-Jan-19
Trial153 20-Jan-19
md5252 21-Jan-19
travistroop 21-Feb-19
Bill Obeid 21-Feb-19
Jeff Holchin 21-Feb-19
From: md5252
Anyone hunt bears in the eastern big woods, like the Adirondacks, spot and stalk style? If so what’s your primary (or even secondary) strategy? Thanks! Mike

From: TSI
Spot and stalk is a risky way to hunt bears in big woods.You can get lucky but it’s risky. I did a really risky but successful and exciting hunt last fall with Tom Miranda,Tom understands the risk of being unsuccessful but wanted to do something rarely done in the big woods so we hunted a stream crossing,we had many bears utilize the crossing and we got some great footage but it took us many days and close calls on a big mature boar before success on the final day.Tom will be airing the hunt sometime in 2019 and it’s a good one to watch.

From: spike78
I hope you have lots of days off to attempt that. That would be a needle in the haystack for sure.

From: Ace
Under the right circumstances you might be able to pull it off when they are feeding heavily like in beech trees. I have heard of people still hunting a Beech Ridge and walking up on Bears.

You better be in the kind of shape these western mountaineers talk about being in, and be mentally prepared for a less than %5 chance of killing.

There’s a reason the guys where I live run dogs for bear and hog. Talking eastern/western NC.

You ain’t gonna be doing any long range glassing either.

I see bears a decent amount around the back country campgrounds in the Smokies Natl Park though. Let me know if you need more intel.

Eastern Tn/Western NC

From: Carcajou
I hunted a remote area in the Adirondacks last fall, but had done a ton of scouting, trail cam, etc. I pinpointed where bears were traveling frequently, but hung my Lone Wolf instead. Saw 3 bears the first evening; Missed one at 24 paces with my CoyWolf Longbow. Hooked is an understatement. I will be back there again in September!

From: Outside
Want to hunt bears, then find the food. I hunt easten bigwoods in NY incl. the Adirondacks. Never spot and stalk, woods where I hunt are to thick. In early bear season Ive called a few in with a fawn distress call.

The dude from Bear Hunting Magazine has a couple great videos on YouTube where he was able to kill 2 bears, 2 days in a row, with a trad bow while hunting in this fashion. It was a situation where conditions came together perfectly. For some reason oak trees were only producing acorns at higher elevations, which really helped to concentrate bear movement.

From: Buskill
One option , at least in Virginia , would be to find a farmer with a bear damage permit or two and get your name on said permit . In my area , thats usually in September when the corn fields are getting hammered . The bears are very predictable. Beyond that it’s incredibly random and I would think you could easily hunt multiple seasons away and never find one to stalk .

From: Trial153
We have a good population density of bears in the northern Catskills. I have had decent success early bow season however it’s mostly incidental, hunting flats and saddles that have food on them. Beech and oak will both attract bears however keying in on spefic areas is very hit or miss. Even in a high density areas they still have a big range and none of the natural food sources ( except corn fields or bait piles ...illegal in NY) will bring in bears with any regularity. There are years I see a handful of bears over the entire season and there are years I see none except on my trail cams. I have killed 3 since 2000 on one property and 1 on public land. The last 5 years i haven’t killed any, even though I have couple in bow range. Spot and slalk would be an extraordinary feat in this it’s mostly big woods.

From: md5252
Thanks for the info fellas, definitely a challenging hunt but looking forward to giving it a shot.

Anyone else with advices/info? Thanks

From: travistroop
I'm planning a big wood bear hunt in vt. The green mt national forest. I was planning on doing alot of scouting this summer to find some areas. And then more scouting/hunting in September with dawn distress calls. From what I've read they seem to group up on food so if there's no sign I'm not hunting it. If you want more I will lay out my strategy for you.

From: Bill Obeid
Eastern big woods .... & bear spot and stalk does not sound like a successful combination to me.

My advise would be to locate swamps in the area you are hunting an try calling , if that’s allowed.

The only time I’ve been successful hunting eastern bears is by hunting fresh sign as late in the bear season as possible. Their home range shrinks just before hibernation, you might get lucky and cross paths with one when their range has compressed before they den up.

It can be (and has been) done in northern GA, and in western VA, the latter before the hound hunters invade the woods. Not as likely in eastern TN/western NC because of the hound hunters. I came close several times myself in western VA, but was detected just before I could shoot. I know of several guys who have shot them out of white oak trees, like squirrels! I live in NC and there are a lot of bears here, but the vast majority are killed by the houndsmen, and there is no separate archery season, like there is in VA.

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