How To Hunt Bears With Your Bow

Let’s Go Bear Hunting

 Want a change of pace this year? Try bear hunting with your bow and arrow. Black bears are absolutely awesome to hunt and observe at close bowhunting ranges. Here’s what to do to get yourself dialed in with bear hunting … archery style.

Bears, are often hunted during spring and early Fall. They provide delicious meat and hunting them helps control the bear populations. As with other big game animals, bears are managed to sustain a healthy balance between predators, prey and the habitat.

Where Do Bears Live?

Four of the bear species live in North America. Brown Bears and Grizzly bears are mainly in Alaska, Canada. Polar bears live in far northern Canada and Alaska.

The most common bear species are Black Bears and they are found from central Mexico up to the Arctic Circle, as well as from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific coasts. Black Bears are the most numerous of the bears and can be found all across Canada, the northern U.S. and the mountains of the Western Rockies. The Eastern plains land and Midwestern heartland are the only regions of the U.S.A. without black bears .

Black bears are North America’s most abundant bear and it is the bear most commonly hunted by bowhunters from the U.S.

Black Bear Diet

Black Bears are omnivores, and eat nuts, plants, insects and also other mammals  including other bears. Black bears have and impact on other game species.

A four-year study from New Mexico found black bears were the primary cause of mortality for elk calves.

Are All Black Bears, Black?

Foxes, squirrels and coyotes have genetic traits that cause them to have variances in fur color. According to the North American Bear Center, black bears have more colors than any other North American mammal. Black Bears ‘color phases’ can be black, brown, tan, cinnamon, blond and white. The majority of bears in the Eastern U.S. states and Canada are black. However, west of the Great Plains areas many bears have other colors. The most common ‘color phase’ in the Southwest is tan and blond.

Methods Of Bear Hunting

The main methods to hunt Bears are: baiting, calling, spot-and-stalk, and trailing with hounds. Bowhunters use all of these methods, but states regulate when and where these practices are allowed. Some states allow hunting bears over bait or with hounds. Other states do not allow baiting, or dogs, or either.

Of course, always review the state and local game regulations where you will hunt bear. Hunting methods for bears have been debated causing some practices to be allowed in some states but not in others. Thick forests in Eastern states and Canada can be extremely difficult to hunt. Hunting with bait or dogs provides better opportunities to judge the animals’ age and sex. Many states forbid shooting a female bear with cubs. By using bait, bowhunters can study the bears to ensure they arrow males.

Let’s Eat Your Bear

Successful bowhunts for bears yield more than beautiful hides. Bear meat provides excellent table fare. However, bears sometimes carry trichinosis, and trichinosis is also found in pork. Cook both meats thoroughly to guaranty safe eating.

If you’re seeking a change of pace this spring or early fall, give bear hunting with your bow a try.