Scouting for a fall bear hunt

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Ognennyy
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Scouting for a fall bear hunt

Unread postby Ognennyy » Thu Mar 14, 2019 5:31 am

I hunt in New York's Adirondack mountains and decided that this year I would like to start putting some time into learning bear hunting. I don't know if baiting is legal here but I am not interested in hunting that way regardless. I've been out in the woods a few times recently looking for bear sign on trees (both standing and fallen). But turns out the snow pack is a bit high for that yet.

My first and only encounter with a black bear up in the Adirondack woods took place under a mature beech that was dropping like crazy. The beech was located about 1/2 to 2/3 the way up the North-facing side of a ridge. This happened close to sunset. In fact the bear came into view as I was packing my bag up to leave and had already taken my release off. Obviously this time of year bears are doing what deer do; hiding from daytime heat and moving to feed mostly close to dusk and dawn.

So my thinking was I would look for bear sign near food sources on North-facing slopes at elevation, with the expectation that I would be close to potential bedding areas.

I'll be hunting basically the second half of September and I plan to bow hunt. The daytime temperatures are still usually pretty warm around here at that time of year, averaging 60F I'd say. One food source I'll focus my scouting on will be mature beech trees. Another one I've read about is fallen logs that bears will tear apart in search of insects and grubs. But that doesn't help me narrow a search very much. I know berries are a great food source bears will still be hitting in the early fall. Usually the berry patches I find up there are on the north edge of beaver meadows, but in general those are too far from north-facing elevation cover to be of much use I feel.

Are there any other food sources I should consider and focus on, given that I'll be hunting mid-late September?


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brancher147
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Re: Scouting for a fall bear hunt

Unread postby brancher147 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:31 pm

Acorns where there are oaks. I know oaks can be rare in ADK’s. Apples or black cherries or any fruit. I wouldn’t focus so much on north slopes just look for fresh food and sign. Bears don’t mind the heat and breed in middle of summer. I lived and hunted up there for a few years and only saw one bear. Not too good considering I see 20-30 a year now. Good luck.
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Re: Scouting for a fall bear hunt

Unread postby Ognennyy » Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:15 am

brancher147 wrote:Acorns where there are oaks. I know oaks can be rare in ADK’s. Apples or black cherries or any fruit. I wouldn’t focus so much on north slopes just look for fresh food and sign. Bears don’t mind the heat and breed in middle of summer. I lived and hunted up there for a few years and only saw one bear. Not too good considering I see 20-30 a year now. Good luck.


I never even thought of oaks because they're normally close to done by the time deer season opens. I'll look into these, thanks man.

As far as beds are concerned, if not in thick dark brush on north-facing slopes where should I assume they're bedding? Or do you suggest it's not necessary to consider bedding when scouting?
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brancher147
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Re: Scouting for a fall bear hunt

Unread postby brancher147 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:57 am

If you have oaks bears will climb them and rip off branches to get acorns even before acorns begin to fall. Same with beech or apple or any fruit tree. The only bear beds I found were in thick spruce in or near swamps. But bears bed similar to a mature buck except they may bed in middle of thicket where a buck may stay to the edge. I personally woul not consider bedding when scouting because it is hard to find, bear bedding in big woods is sporadic, and bears will be moving and feeding more than bedding in September unless they have a semi permanent food source which is rare in big woods.
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Re: Scouting for a fall bear hunt

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:30 am

Bears mostly bed in swamps, but don't spend too much time trying to find where they are bedding. Find the food you'll find the bears.
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Re: Scouting for a fall bear hunt

Unread postby Horizontal Hunter » Thu Mar 21, 2019 11:46 am

Image

I would also recommend his YouTube channel as well.

Lots of good advice above.

The Ultimate Giude to Black Bear Hunting by Douglas Boze is also a good read with an emphasis on calling bears. The author is a member here.

Bob
Vegetarian: vejiˈte(ə)rēən/noun: old Indian word for lousy hunter. :o

Excalibur Exocet, GT Laser II, 2" Bhoning Blazers 125g NAP Spitfire


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