Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    630
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    731717

    Default Tips for 1st time bear hunt?

    First, I have never hunted for bear. White tail and small game have been the extent of my experience through the years. I'm planning to hunt public land in 3D or 4C and would appreciate any pointers. As far as tactics, what sort of food sources does one look for while scouting or types of cover (thick brush, down trees)? From what I'm reading, their hearing and smell make them difficult to stalk?

    I may end up going with a small group when the time comes, but for solo hunters do you keep a cart or what sort of means do you have to drag out a bear?

    Thanks

    As for equipment, I think I'm set on using my 500 for this task (50 yards or less). Currently working on a 400gr sierra softpoint load. Or for the areas I'm going, should I plan for longer shots and switch to a rifle?

    "If guns cause crime then all of mine are defective." -Ted Nugent

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    lehigh valley, Pennsylvania
    (Lehigh County)
    Posts
    1,543
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    1115744

    Default Re: Tips for 1st time bear hunt?

    Bigger bears are stalk able, smaller ones are more skittish. When pushed they may just stay ahead of ya. Most part sit tight and pray!
    Peace is that brief glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Sterling, Pennsylvania
    (Wayne County)
    Posts
    4,807
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    21474851

    Default Re: Tips for 1st time bear hunt?

    I got my bear last year by stalking, it took me 3 hours to walk 1 mile. With your 500 practice 100 yard shots. If you get a big bear, you'll need some friends to drag it out, they're like big rocks. I'll be running around my house this year, we're being overrun by them so its pay back time. PGC has a trap set 1/10th mile from me, neighbor complained it was getting into his garbage. Good luck in your quest.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    630
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    731717

    Default Re: Tips for 1st time bear hunt?

    Thanks guys.

    Was the bear in sight the whole mile stalk or was that just your pace through the woods while looking?

    I've got a trigger stick tripod that I'm going to use for 100 yard practice. Without it, I can't stablize the handgun enough to make an accurate shot at 100 yards. If I can get anywhere decent at 100 yards, I might lug the trigger stick in or find a spot with a horizontal tree I can utilize as a rest.
    "If guns cause crime then all of mine are defective." -Ted Nugent

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Clinton, Pennsylvania
    (Beaver County)
    Age
    62
    Posts
    2,023
    Rep Power
    4281204

    Default Re: Tips for 1st time bear hunt?

    Food source white oak acorns and corn fields are favorites.

    If you are hunting in an area where a lot of drives are being staged,look for escape paths,and you might get lucky.

    Think thick cover.
    Μολὼν λαβέ
    Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Levittown, Pennsylvania
    (Bucks County)
    Posts
    6,490
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    21474851

    Default Re: Tips for 1st time bear hunt?

    1-Hunt with a buddy.
    2-Be able to outrun the buddy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mohnton, Pennsylvania
    (Berks County)
    Posts
    4,669
    Rep Power
    21474845

    Default Re: Tips for 1st time bear hunt?

    First thing find a bear. I only ever saw one once, a cub crossing 176 in a snow storm Christmas eve decades ago. So for me knowing where to hunt would be the clue. Nice gun.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Sterling, Pennsylvania
    (Wayne County)
    Posts
    4,807
    Rep Power
    21474851

    Default Re: Tips for 1st time bear hunt?

    Quote Originally Posted by Clark Kent View Post
    Thanks guys.

    Was the bear in sight the whole mile stalk or was that just your pace through the woods while looking?

    I've got a trigger stick tripod that I'm going to use for 100 yard practice. Without it, I can't stablize the handgun enough to make an accurate shot at 100 yards. If I can get anywhere decent at 100 yards, I might lug the trigger stick in or find a spot with a horizontal tree I can utilize as a rest.
    Grumpybear has the right idea, see if you can find food sources. I got myeslf up in between 2 developments and a swamp, and walked slowly and headed to the food sourse that I found, the bear was feeding along. If your going to stalk them, do it quietly, slowly and remember the wind.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    POCONO MOUNTAINS, PENNSYLVANIA, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
    Age
    67
    Posts
    2,347
    Rep Power
    16973455

    Smile Re: Tips for 1st time bear hunt?

    What I can add to good advice from other members,I hunted in 2004 a very big bear in Monroe County successfully with a bow from a tree stand,one shot,bear went 30 yards and dropped ! I waited an hour before cautiously approaching,he was done,NOW my hunt really began,I took 5 big men,a come a long,rope and 4 wheel drive vehicle to get him to Martinellis.Heigh weigh dressed out at 645 LBS a record for the bow that year.Point I am trying to make simply is Biggest isnt always better,the meat no matter how it was cooked was tough,even after 10 hours in a crock pot ! My othe bear was 250 lbs,much tastier,sweeter and a breeze to get him out of the woods.I see bear quite a bit and Tobyhanna,Moscow areas see a good success of harvesting ! Good Luck MDT

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Sterling, Pennsylvania
    (Wayne County)
    Posts
    4,807
    Rep Power
    21474851

    Default Re: Tips for 1st time bear hunt?

    Lets not forget that we almost had a world record bear takin in Covington/Gouldsboro area, missed by 1 inch. My neighbor just had a bear feast with the bear I shot up in New Brunswick in the spring, hot sausage, sweet sausage, breakfast sausage, sausage and peppers, bear stew, 2 different roasts, lots of cold beer and if you weren't told it was bear, you would have sworn it was beef and pork. To MDT point, my bear weighed 280, bigger isn't always better.

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