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Thread: First Time Bear Hunting

  1. #1

    Default First Time Bear Hunting

    This will be my first time black bear hunting, and actually my first time hunting anything larger then varmit/bird. So I was hoping some of you could give me advice on things to avoid or look for, etc.

    I will be using bait in Southcentral AK and hunting with my .338 from my tree stand. I have not been able to make it to a bait clinic due to my schedule, but I am pretty comfortable with my setup for bait. Any advice on ammo, gear, bear signs, bait station placement would be extremely appreciated. I have read quite a bit and talked with a few people, but I don't want to miss something important. Any assistance you guys are willing to provide is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHunt View Post
    .....I will be using bait in Southcentral AK and hunting with my .338 from my tree stand. I have not been able to make it to a bait clinic due to my schedule, but I am pretty comfortable with my setup for bait. ......
    In most Southcentral GMUs attendance in a bait clinic is mandatory in order to register your bait station (which is also mandatory).

  3. #3
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    Default Yep!

    Don't get caught out there without your registration and the clinic is helpful in letting you know the legality of setting up your station. If you can't make it to a clinic, I would recommend you go with another hunter that has.

  4. #4

    Default Reg's

    Sounds like you had better get up on the reg's or if caught or you could be found guility of a Class A misdemeanor, lose your gun, truck if you transported a bear and so on.

    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...rhunt.bearbait

  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for the link. I spoke with someone at fish & game about the clinic and they said I didn't need it for where I was going to be hunting. But the link says I will, so I hope there are openings still available.

  6. #6
    Member jimsmith80's Avatar
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    Default

    Other than reading the regs until you can recite page and verse, shoot strait, tell someone where you are going and when you will be back, carry a GPS, cell phone, and flashlite, the woods can get you going in circles, specialy after dark where you know the bears are out and you might have just killed them some dinner. if you are going to be out by yourself get one of those emergency radio becon (gps)
    oh have fun

  7. #7

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    Seems like you can never have too much gear! I will keep your reccomendations in mind.

  8. #8
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    Smile bear baiting

    If you are going to bear bait the one thing I would buy would be a trail timer. They are pretty cheap and will save you loads of time finding the pattern of the bear visiting the bait station. I would think twice about having a bait station far from your home as you need to be able to fill it at regular patterns or keep it full to get the bear coming in regularly. If you are in the woods bear baiting is pretty much the only option. But if you are near mountains, riverbeds, ocean or hills where you can see spot and stalk may be more productive and fun than lugging all that bait around and sitting at the bait station. As far as bait I found they love anything sweet! Good luck

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sollybug View Post
    If you are going to bear bait the one thing I would buy would be a trail timer. They are pretty cheap and will save you loads of time finding the pattern of the bear visiting the bait station. I would think twice about having a bait station far from your home as you need to be able to fill it at regular patterns or keep it full to get the bear coming in regularly. If you are in the woods bear baiting is pretty much the only option. But if you are near mountains, riverbeds, ocean or hills where you can see spot and stalk may be more productive and fun than lugging all that bait around and sitting at the bait station. As far as bait I found they love anything sweet! Good luck
    I will check into the trail timer sounds like a good idea. The location of my bait station, assuming I am able to attend a bait clinic, will not necessarily be near my home, so I agree that stalking may be more fun then dragging around bait.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHunt View Post
    This will be my first time black bear hunting, and actually my first time hunting anything larger then varmit/bird.

    This may seem like a simple questions, but taking into condsideration you have never hunted big game animals, it makes me wonder if you've been around big game kills, and know what to do after a suscefully harvest?

    No doubt you'll hone you're hunting skills with the more time you're afield and trying. Taking proper care of the animal, including meat & trophy parts, is another aspect of "hunting".

    At any rate, good luck to you! The #1 aspect of huntign bears is their nose. Keep good track of the wind at all times, espesially when coming into the bait station. You might make several different pathways into the bait station that can use depending on which way the wind is blowing when you aproach.
    Visit your local taxidermist BEFORE you go to the field. Have a plan. Make plans early in respect to what you'll do with the trophy. He can also assist you on making the proper cuts on the hide.

    Again...good luck on your hunt!

  11. #11
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    By the way....I baited Black Bear for many years, but that was many years ago. I wonder if some of my methods still work, or maybe they have gone out of style?

    Have you ever tried "cooking" sugar in a coffee can? If you're so inclined to sit at the bait for a good part of the day, versus morning & evening, take an empty coffee can and fill it about 1/2" deep with common sugar. Build a small fire, just a few twigs, near your bait station, the sugar will soon melt to syrup and the aroma (spelling?); the smell from the syrup like sugar will fill the area with a sweet smell in combination with a slight smoke smell from the fire.

    There are many different ways to "track" bears by putting some type of used cooking oil around the bait station and then after the first bear finds it and walks away, presumably he'll go where other bears might be, which means the other bears could follow the sent trail back to your bait.

    There is a very strong condenced "oil" commonly used in cooking, that I'm sure I can spell, but it sounds like "anise". You can find Anise Oil in the baking section at the local super market. Using plastic gloves to keep any sent from your hands, use a new dish sponge and soak that with the Anise Oil, poke a small hole and tie a string on it. Near your bait station, hang that Anise Oil impregnated sponge in a tree high enough that the smell can linger through the woods, but not in a good place where some varmit can take it away. This has always been a very productive method! Cookign the sugar works excellent at first attracking bears to the area...maybe they day you're sitting there waiting for one....

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron_Lamb View Post
    This may seem like a simple questions, but taking into condsideration you have never hunted big game animals, it makes me wonder if you've been around big game kills, and know what to do after a suscefully harvest?

    No doubt you'll hone you're hunting skills with the more time you're afield and trying. Taking proper care of the animal, including meat & trophy parts, is another aspect of "hunting".

    At any rate, good luck to you! The #1 aspect of huntign bears is their nose. Keep good track of the wind at all times, espesially when coming into the bait station. You might make several different pathways into the bait station that can use depending on which way the wind is blowing when you aproach.
    Visit your local taxidermist BEFORE you go to the field. Have a plan. Make plans early in respect to what you'll do with the trophy. He can also assist you on making the proper cuts on the hide.

    Again...good luck on your hunt!
    Thanks for that feedback.

    The only hunting I have ever done/been around has been rattlesnake & rabbit in Colorado. I know this is a big difference which is why I decided to post this thread. I realize I don't know everything & probably what I know is not comparable to what many of you may have forgotten about particular aspects of hunting. My father did not hunt therefore I never learned to hunt. I moved here 3 years ago after getting off a 6 year stint in the Navy so I could get more involved with hunting & fishing. I have learned plenty about fishing, so I decided that I would get into hunting this spring. I will be going with someone who has experience with big game, but in my experience no one person knows everything.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Byron_Lamb View Post
    By the way....I baited Black Bear for many years, but that was many years ago. I wonder if some of my methods still work, or maybe they have gone out of style?

    Have you ever tried "cooking" sugar in a coffee can? If you're so inclined to sit at the bait for a good part of the day, versus morning & evening, take an empty coffee can and fill it about 1/2" deep with common sugar. Build a small fire, just a few twigs, near your bait station, the sugar will soon melt to syrup and the aroma (spelling?); the smell from the syrup like sugar will fill the area with a sweet smell in combination with a slight smoke smell from the fire.

    There are many different ways to "track" bears by putting some type of used cooking oil around the bait station and then after the first bear finds it and walks away, presumably he'll go where other bears might be, which means the other bears could follow the sent trail back to your bait.

    There is a very strong condenced "oil" commonly used in cooking, that I'm sure I can spell, but it sounds like "anise". You can find Anise Oil in the baking section at the local super market. Using plastic gloves to keep any sent from your hands, use a new dish sponge and soak that with the Anise Oil, poke a small hole and tie a string on it. Near your bait station, hang that Anise Oil impregnated sponge in a tree high enough that the smell can linger through the woods, but not in a good place where some varmit can take it away. This has always been a very productive method! Cookign the sugar works excellent at first attracking bears to the area...maybe they day you're sitting there waiting for one....
    Great info, I have heard about the oil thing from several people but the sugar is a new idea.

  14. #14
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    Default similar idea

    we use honey. my dad has sat at the station for hours before and used the tall juice cans or the cans that chicken broth comes in, tall and about 4'' diameter. take that put about an inch of honey in it. then you have a coffee can or #10 fruit can and put holes in the sides at the bottom. then put charcoal in there. light that put the taller can inside that one. will cook for hours and no worry about a forest fire. i just use my back pack stove a burn a couple then wait. all i can say is it works!!

    yeah about asking fish and game, they will straight up tell you to your face lies all day long. better off reading regs yourself and just getting the permit. you just can't trust fish and game from what i have experienced. unreal they don't know their stuff and even more unreal they just give random answers they think is right. sometimes i think they are greenies in there at the office.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by akrstabout View Post
    we use honey. my dad has sat at the station for hours before and used the tall juice cans or the cans that chicken broth comes in, tall and about 4'' diameter. take that put about an inch of honey in it. then you have a coffee can or #10 fruit can and put holes in the sides at the bottom. then put charcoal in there. light that put the taller can inside that one. will cook for hours and no worry about a forest fire. i just use my back pack stove a burn a couple then wait. all i can say is it works!!

    yeah about asking fish and game, they will straight up tell you to your face lies all day long. better off reading regs yourself and just getting the permit. you just can't trust fish and game from what i have experienced. unreal they don't know their stuff and even more unreal they just give random answers they think is right. sometimes i think they are greenies in there at the office.
    Thanks. The lady I spoke with really didn't seem like she was to familiar with the regs, but I figured they of all people should know so I didn't give it another thought until today.

  16. #16

    Default f&g

    if you have questions about the regs, or a particullar species you are looking to harvest, I would talk to an actual biologist in the office. sometimes the front desk may not be able to answer your questions, but the biologist that works with the particullar species your interested in should be able too. They are not all greenies most of them you will find are hunters themselves.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by geoff156 View Post
    if you have questions about the regs, or a particullar species you are looking to harvest, I would talk to an actual biologist in the office. sometimes the front desk may not be able to answer your questions, but the biologist that works with the particullar species your interested in should be able too. They are not all greenies most of them you will find are hunters themselves.
    Thanks! I emailed two biologists from different units shortly after receiving responses to my thread.

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