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How to hunt black bear in north georgia –

 

Famed hunter and explorer Daniel Boone once killed black bears in a single year. Today, most American hunters who do hunt bears will kill only one or two in their lifetimes. For them, bears are regarded as a novelty species, something to break up the monotony of a lifetime of whitetail deer hunting. For some hunters though, black bear hunting becomes a highly anticipated annual event. The fat of a black bear can be rendered into high-quality oil that fluctuates between a solid and liquid at room temperature.

It works incredibly well in pie crusts, and can be used as a frying medium as well. The tanned hides can be made into floor rugs, wall hangings, and even comforters for your bed. This animal should be regarded as a worthy quarry for any serious hunter. Bar Room Banter In many areas, black bears have surprisingly small home ranges for an animal of their size. Some black bears will spend their entire lives within five miles of where they were born, and will spend an entire summer on a single square mile of ground.

Despite their homebody nature, black bears have tremendous navigational skills. On many occasions, black bears that have been trapped and relocated have traveled well over miles across unfamiliar terrain, including urban centers, to return to their home turf. They have also been known to swim long distances, sometimes traveling back and forth on a regular basis from islands that are beyond sight from the mainland. In the West, colors range from black to blond. It seems that color phases are linked to annual precipitation.

Wet areas, particularly in coastal environments, tend to have primarily black-phase black bears; dryer inland climates have far greater percentages of blond-phase and brown-phase bears. Females are typically much smaller.

Diet An omnivore, black bears are opportunistic feeders with a wildly varied diet. Favorite food items vary according to location and time of year, and are almost too numerous to list. Common staples include hard such as acorns, beechnuts, and hazelnuts, pine nuts. Fruit such as cranberry, huckleberry, bear berry, salmon berry, buffalo berry, and wild strawberry.

Insects and insect larvae such as yellow jackets, bees, ants and beetles. Meats such as winter-killed ungulates, anadromous fish, beached sea mammals, and newborn calves and fawns of deer, elk, and moose.

Grasses, forbes, buds and shoots from trees and shrubs and agricultural products such as corn, peaches, apples, alfalfa, and honey. Life and Death Black bears are the primary natural predator of black bears.

Boars, or males, will practice infanticide on the cubs of their own species, probably in order to make the sows, or females, receptive to breeding. Breeding and Reproduction Although breeding occurs in June and July, implantation is delayed about 4 months. Young are usually born between January and March. Litters range from 1 to 5 cubs, with 2 cubs being the norm. Females give birth every two years at most.

Habitat Forests and wooded swamps in the East. In the West, forests and timbered mountain ranges. Telltale Sign Evidence of feeding includes shredded stumps and rotten logs, overturned rocks, pawed-up ground, discarded fish carcasses along spawning streams, and the scattered remains and crushed bones of carrion. Territorial markings include trees that are scarred with tooth and claw marks, often about head-high on a human.

Also rubbing marks on tree trunks, along with clumps of hair stuck to bark. Bears that have been feeding on hard mast or berries have superb flesh that is reminiscent of beef brisket when cooked; the meat from these bears can be used for most applications that are suitable to pork, such as sausages and a wide variety of smoked and slow-cooked preparations. Hunting Opportunities Black bears are increasing in population throughout the U.

Residents of black bear states will find getting tags fairly easy, either through lottery draws or over-the-counter sales. Non-resident black bear tags are abundant and easily gotten as well. States differ widely on seasons, spring or fall or both, and the allowable methods for hunting bears. In some states, dogs and bait may not be used.

In other states, these hunting methods are permissible. Human odor and disturbances, he found, will clear bears out of the country much more quickly and completely than they will affect species such as deer. Locating Feeding Areas These feeding areas can come in many forms, apple orchards, dead livestock, berry patches, salmon streams, moose gut piles, avalanche slides in the spring of the year, and manmade bait stations placed by hunters with the deliberate purpose of attracting bears.

The key to finding bears is locating their feeding areas. In coastal areas during the late summer, this might be as easy as locating a productive salmon spawning stream. But in other places at other times of the year, particularly in places with low concentrations of bears, finding active feeding areas can be frustrating. The upside is that bears tend to use the same areas from one year to the next.

In the West and Alaska, where most spot and stalk bear hunting takes place, the animals typically emerge from hibernation between mid-April and mid-May, with larger boars emerging before the sows. When the bears leave their dens, they find a world that is still somewhat winter-like. Northerly and Westerly exposures are often still shrouded in snow, as are shaded, low-lying areas.

In steep country, one of the best places to find these conditions is on exposed south-facing slopes, particularly those that have been cleared of snow by slides and avalanches. These slopes often produce an abundance of preferred black bear foods, glacier lily, skunk cabbage, clovers, grasses, and various other herbaceous plants, while many square miles of the surrounding country are still locked beneath a blanket of snow. Watch areas with beach rye grass, horsetail, and skunk cabbage, especially near the timbered edges of grass flats where bears are most likely to feel comfortable.

A notable exception is during low tide, when bears will work the exposed shorelines to graze on beds of blue mussels and flip over rocks in search of small crabs. In the fall, berry patches are the most reliable places to glass for bears.

A hunter might sit at the base of one of these mountains on a September day and see a dozen or more bears during an hour or so of glassing, all of them standing in knee-high growth of blueberry, crowberry, bear berry, and cranberry, without a single tree within hundreds of yards. This type of bear hunting can seem almost too easy, at least until you start climbing the mountain toward a particular bear. At the same time of year, concentrations of black bears can be found where salmon are spawning.

But bears are just as likely to feed on rotten fish that have achieved a consistency of pudding. These salmon stream bears are best avoided, as their flesh can be useless: bears that feed on rotten salmon will taste like rotten salmon. In the lower, berry patches tend to be a bit more dispersed and often occur on ridge top and hillside mosaics of mixed timber and brush.

Here, the spot and stalk hunter wants to get into a high position where he can see as many of these patches as possible. Then hunker down and wait for the bear to reemerge while you continue to glass other areas for more bears.

And before shooting at any bear, make sure to assess the quality of its hide. In the late spring, black bears will often rub their rumps and flanks against tree trunks or rocks. Judging Bear Size Learning to properly judge the size of black bears can take years of study. Large black bears left have proportionately smaller ears that sit off toward the side of the head; their belly seems to sag, giving their legs a shorter appearance; they have thick rumps and shoulders and heavy legs.

They seem to have an overall powerful appearance and a ponderous gait. Bears in one area of the country will feed on things that bears in other areas have never seen. In dryer portions of the Rockies, fall black bears can sometimes be glassed while they feed on pine nuts in subalpine parklands.

White bark pine and pinyon pine are favorites. They might also turn up in old apple orchards, stands of live oak, and near mountain ash trees when the berries are ripe. In the southwest, hunters often glass hillsides of prickly pear cactus in anticipation of bears coming out to feed on the blossoms. Another thing to watch for are big game gut piles left by other hunters, including bear gut piles left by your hunting partners.

Once a bear locates the pile, it will not last long. Baiting Bears Ambush hunting over artificial bait stations is the most common black bear hunting strategy in virtually every state and Canadian province where the practice is allowed.

In actuality, bear hunting over bait requires significant know-how, especially if you want to consistently kill mature bears.

This means placing the bait station along a frequently used bear trail or in the vicinity of naturally occurring food sources.

A wide variety of baits can be used, specifics are usually determined by the budget of the hunter. Some hunters use dog food with molasses poured over the top, which can be very expensive. Others use beaver and muskrat carcasses salvaged from fur trappers.

Some use rough fish such as carp and sucker harvested with a bowfishing rig. One of the easiest and most economical baits are expired bakery goods from grocery stores and donut shops. A bear fattened on old donuts will taste much better than a bear fattened on maggot-ridden carp. Some hunters will simply dump their bait on the ground, or place it in a hole.

Others prefer to place baits in such a way that they are harder to get at. This keeps birds and small scavengers from eating it all, and it forces bears to linger for longer periods of time rather than just running in and grabbing a piece of bait on the fly.

Baits can be placed in burlap sacks that are hung from trees, or put inside barrels with access holes that allow the bears to get their paws in there to scoop out food. Another strategy is to build a covered pen out of downed logs with an access point that helps put the bear in a broadside position relative to your blind. The bear or bears will use regular trails when coming into the bait, and you should stay clear of these routes in order to avoid spooking the bear with too much human odor.

Place your stand in a downwind direction of the bait, keeping in mind that you need to be well concealed but still within reasonable shooting distance. Get close enough so that you can see the bear clearly and make a lethal shot. If you can get to their nose, you can get them to you. I get corn or some kind of food that has enough consistency to it that I can pour that oil all over it. I also throw it in the trees and pour it on logs and branches.

The early spring they like foods with a higher protein base. Old meat, fish or chicken seems to do really well. About the time summer hits they start wanting those carbs to cake that fat on.

 

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