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For years I have had this discussion with buddies, "do bears hoot", I claim they don't but for the last two nights I have heard something that is definitely not a owl...It sounds more like a drawn out howl...This first appen at 4:00 and then again from the same location at 5:45...The sound was approx 300 yds from my stand and the last I heard the howl a pack of yotes opened up 75-100 yds from me...Could the howling me from the dominent yote male and the rest of the pack responded or was it a bear???...
Ive had the same discussion with many people. Ive personally never heard it but was always told they did. Id like to know a definitive answer as well!!
BEARS DO NOT HOOT !!! I still can't get this threw my fathers head either and if you search it on the web you will see its a strange thing that is local to our area that people think they hoot... I went to University of Maine and this was one of my first questions to some proff.
New England myth and mostly from VT. there are many different owls in VT and they make various call not just the normal owl hoot that we are used to.
I'll say yes(kinda) and no. I've had several people say they here them hooting back and forth, pretty sure owls. A girl I work with let me put her myth to rest after she told me for about the 10th time she heard them hooting the night before and her boyfriend said it was bears. So I said did it sound like this? Who cooks for you, who cooks for youall.... "that's it" she screamed! She still hasn't heard the end of it from me.
Now some of you may remember me telling the story of me having a bad encounter with a sow and two cubs. Breifly, I had the sow bed down right underneath my stand and the cubs run up in a butternut tree in front of me. After about ten minutes one of the cubs picked me off sstanding in my stand about 20' away. Both of them starting what I would call an alarm hoot. More of a woow woow woow! The rest is a long story, but I got out in one piece! So call it what you want but that's what I heard, I doubt too many people have herd that.
I think most everyone is hearing owls.
Rob in VT's Link
I agree George, bears are very vocal, making a variety of woofs, grunts and growls along with jaw snapping. The one thing they don't do is long distance loud hooting that folks is owls. If you go on the VT Fish and Wildlife sight they have an article on black bears and a paragraph explaining the hoot myth and that most of what people are hearing is owls.
Slightly off topic, but here is a video my buddy took 2 weeks ago in Colorado where I hunt. I loaded it to YouTube for him. This is a Black bear which is a chocolate color phase. Probably mid 300's in weight. Not hooting but it was snapping his jaws a couple of times (prior to video being shot). He had a little itch!
. . . Rob
My whole family are "old school" Vermonters and they swear that bears hoot. Of course I always told them it was either owls or morning doves. I was the first one in the family to get into turkey hunting. I did some hooting on a call for them and my dad finally agreed that he had probably been hearing owls all that time.
call it a coincidence but 15 years ago i was sitting in a tree stand in Pennsylvania when 50 yards away i heard this animal start hooting more like a long drawn out hoot and an answer came from the next ridge over,a few seconds later a huge black bear came under my stand right from the direction of the howl!! now i always thought people where crazy saying the heard a bear hoot but you will have a hard time convincing me now that they dont commmunicate with a howl or hoot!!
I think bears do hoot and bobcats scream. I also think the hoots we hear are normally owls and the screams are normally porcupines. The porky scream will stand the hairs up on the back of your neck.
The screams you are hearing I would bet are coming from also a different owl called a screech owl. they are very loud and also will send chills down your spine. They make various screams and screeches.
I hoot and scream sometimes. Just saying . . . ;^)
Had to just add this sound (link) to this thread. For us it seems like it's a pair of Barred Owls. Thought it was bears, myself... but nope. This is what we are hearing each Spring here... https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Barred_Owl/sounds