BY SEAN GRAY
Although it seems as though winter isn’t going to end and the snow will never melt, inevitably it will. We will then have a short time to enjoy the last few weeks before the annoying black flies and mosquitos begin. Most of us get very excited about summer and forget to enjoy the spring weather. My favourite activity in the spring is the black bear hunt.
After a 15-year closure, many avid hunters had to find other activities in the spring that didn’t include hunting, but now that the hunt is back, we have a big game season again. The spring bear hunt has plated many tasty meals in my household, so I will give you a few tips on how to get started.
Many hunters believe the spring bear hunt to be easy – especially if the hunter is using bait. However, black bears are extremely smart and have a keen sense of smell and hearing which can make a hunt difficult depending on spring food sources. Here are ten quick tips that can help make a spring bear hunt successful if you are baiting.
- Find a stand location with good cover that’s close to water. Bears need water and feel comfortable in good covers such
- Bears usually approach baits at dawn and dusk, but sitting all day can also prove to be successful – especially if more than one bear is on the bait
- Be sure you are about 40 yards away from the bait to avoid being noticed.
- Most bears prefer sweets over meats. However, a separate stink bait of rotting meat or fish is a sure way to get a bear’s attention.
- Always be sure you are downwind from the bait, or you will be sitting for nothing. A bear will smell you from kilometres away.
- Try to remain motionless. Although bears do not have excellent sight, they can spot sudden movement.
- Be sure you have a clear lane for a clean kill shot as bears are super powerful animals and can travel long distances if a shot is not great.
- After you shoot, always wait for 20 minutes or so which will prevent the animal from moving.
- As it is a spring hunt, always wear mosquito netting and always use a Thermacell. If you do not have a Thermacell, get one as they will keep the bugs at bay. Never use fly repellent.
- Be sure to have a backpack with all of your supplies such as knives, gloves, rope, a flashlight, etc. Many times you will have to track in the dark, so a good light is a must!
Spring bear hunting can be frustrating, but these simple tips will certainly give you a chance. Good luck and have fun!