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Calling in black bears?
Im going to take a chance and try a diy public land black bear hunt in VT. If I find a spot with black bears I'm going to try to call one in with a distress call. What kind of calls would you guys use? Electric or normal? Would you go with a tail wag thing? How long do you call for? How long do you wait? Do you stay on the same spot or run and gun the whole area with significant amounts of sign?
One of my PBS buddies in TN experimented with this method and figured it out, killing at least one with his bow and getting good action with multiple shot opportunities. Wrote an article about it several years ago in the PBS magazine, if I remember correctly.
I've had some luck calling black bears in with a cub distress call. Would stay on location for about half an hour and then lose interest and move on. I don't know if that is the correct way or not but did have bears come in. It was a lot of fun and very exciting at times as they were not anxious to leave. Most of the bears that came in were sows and I would have to run them off.
I have called in 16 bears over several years. I like a loud raspy call. I call non-stop for up to an hour. I average a bear every 20 or so stands. I have had a much better percentage as the years gone on because I started calling mostly in smoking hot bear sign and less cold calling. One of my best calls was a Jones Javelina call. Of course in Washington and Idaho we don't have javelinas, but it was the raspy loud call I believe that brought them in. If I am calling by myself I like some protection from the back. Normally if I hear a bear coming in it's a big bear. My theory is they don't care what is eating what is screaming, they are going to walk in and take it away from whoever is killing the animal screaming. Most mid-sized to smaller bears I have called in sneak in. One minute there is nothing there and the next they are standing there.
I’ve called several in while Turkey hunting... doesn’t say much about my turkey calling I guess
I haven't called one in, but have several friends that are successful. I'm told that you have to call fairly continuously for a long period of time. If you stop calling, the bear coming in will lose interest and wander off. As far as using an electronic call or not, it depends in part on your goal. If you want to be able to enter it to P&R or B&C, you cannot use an electronic call to attract the animal.
I used a Quaker Boy Fawn in distress call to bring this Colorado black bear into bow range at 25 yards. I use the same call to attract a mt lion into bow range but the cat saw me draw and left before the shot.
Unlike a coyote that might come in quickly, a bear or lion take there time and sort of slowly come in. Wayne Carlton produced a bear hunting video on hunting and calling them with some good advice.
The main point I picked up when calling bears, is to call more often than not as the bear need more coaxing with more calling. It took my bear 25 minutes to come in and that was with blind calling. I just found a good spot and some good bear sign and started calling at first good light.
Just remember, when calling, you are their LUNCH. my best, Paul
I called in 2 this past fall. Both of them I spotted first (intentionally hiking & glassing) then set up and called. First one was small and even though he came to 10-yards I didn't shoot and he woofed and ran off. Second one was bigger and more cautious. He tried to circle me and I called sparingly if I could see him seem ready to lose interest. I stalked angling toward his circling path until I had an open shooting lane 40 yards.
I used rabbit distress predator mouth call.
Delicious BTW. Was very careful keeping meat clean and getting it cooled quickly and found it to be as good table fare as any other big game. Definitely will be going after bears again!
The last boar I called in and shot was 225 lbs and showed up in probably 6 or 7 minutes. I was calling and sloooowly turning my head, looked left, then slooowly right. When I turned my head back to the left he was standing there at about 10 yards, staring right at me. VERY exciting way to hunt bears!
What stickFlicker said, dont stop or change your calling pattern if you see one. If your calling loud and hard and you see one, just keep call the same way. You chance it up or stop,, bye-bye bear.
I've drawn 2 bear tags in my home state and I just don't prefer sitting over bait so I used a Primos call and I had good luck calling in bears but all 3 had cubs so I never did fill my tag (s) during those hunts.
Both tags happened to be Spring season.
Good luck, Robb
Thanks guys, alot of good info.
I’ve called in several bears. My experience is that they can’t hardly resist a South Dakota rabbit dying. There must be something about them that tastes delicious.
Called in a couple with a fawn bleat while deer hunting, and one with a dying rabbit call. Had a big one come within 15 feet. Stopped calling and he walked away. When he got 100 feet away, I called again and he came right back. I was in a brush blind and it was a rush. No gun on me, just a longbow.
While bowhunting for elk in Colorado I have called in many with a lost calf cow, one at 5 feet while trying to work a bull at 40 yards. I would use a fawn distress call or rabbit distress call and be ready.