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HELP!

I am new to black bear hunting and here in Vermont we have a no baiting policy... well a no hunting over bait policy.

Last year I decided to give hunting bear a try and to my amazement I walked in the woods on the side of a ski area at about 2200 feet and within five minutes I ran into a 150-200 lb black bear. I had a split second to shoot and instead I was dumbfounded and just watched the bear run in to thick brush… that won't happen this year.

I have located what I believe to be a solid bear hunting area. I am hunting in a spot with a large swamp and a black berry patch (about 40' deep and 200 yards long) within a 1/4 mile of each other. Just above the swamp and berries is a large beech tree flat. There are not many bear hunters in the area so I am not too concerned about hunting pressure.

I hear placing scent cans (vanilla) might help bring them in to the area. With the black berries coming ripe just about the first week of bear season my plan is to sit in and work the area between the berry patch and beech trees.

Guys… any thoughts on how to get it done.
 

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Hunting Black Bear Without Bait... HELP in

There are tons of spray scents on the market. Check and see if you can do honey burns. Sounds like you may have a good area, what are there for tracks around your berry patch? How about crap piles? I recommend checking out a place here in Wisconsin that sells lots of good quality scents. you can find them at www.bearscents.com
 

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Hunting Black Bear Without Bait... HELP in

buckskin.....you ever hear anything definitive on the use of honey burners in wi? ive tried to check and get nowhere in trying to find out legality.

the regs read (as you know) no metal plastic wood or glass other than natural can be used in baiting. but does not apply to scent. but they dont explain what is allowed as scent and is a honey burner qualified as scent or bait?

so its pretty unclear.
 

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Hunting Black Bear Without Bait... HELP in

Hi Chad
I too hunt bears in VT and MA, it's a great sport and can be very exciting. It sounds like you already found a good location. In September blackberries are the best place to find bears. What I have done many times, with much success is slowly walk power lines where there are blackberries. If you take your time and walk slowly you often will hear bears feeding in the berries. I carry a cub call with me. It sounds like a cub in distress and will work for both sows, who want to come to its aid, and boars who want to make a meal of it. Once you know a bear is feeding in the berries, sneak as close as you can and give a couple of calls on the cub call. I've had bears run to me after calling. Sometimes they don't come in but the call makes them stand up to see what it is giving you a shot.
Good luck and let me know how you make out. We have less than a month till it opens.
Tony212
 

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Hunting Black Bear Without Bait... HELP in

I agree with tony212 though I would like to add a couple things.

I would use a cub distress as a second choice. My first would be a fawn bleat or calf mew. I do this while walking (to cover noise) as well as when I am watching a cut or before actually calling. I feel that these sounds are less "intrusive" on the area. I feel that a cub bawl could be interpreted as a warning and scare the bears. Basically it is like calling soft for a while and waiting as not to scare close game, then calling louder. But if you do scare a bear while calling, keep calling! Often they will come back to take a look.

Calling bears works, I have been doing it for a dozen years.
 
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