How to hunt black bear in virginia
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Beforehand, like right now, their main focus is packing on as many calories as possible to sustain them through that dormant period. Corn fields are productive early in fall. Later, apples and especially hard mast crops like acorns, beechnuts and walnuts rule. That tells you what the bears are eating. Also pay attention to other wildlife species.
Many eat the same things bears do. Find the cover Black bears that spend a lot of time in close proximity to people can become indifferent to their presence. So when hunting for them, seek out hiding spots. Like when hunting white-tailed deer, stand hunting works best early and late in the day, around dawn and dusk, when bears are most active. Remain alert, though. Bears are big and dark. It seems like they should be easy and obvious to spot. Spend too much time looking one way and you can miss a bear.
You may see a bear before you hear it coming. Staying alert and remaining vigilant are critical. So, if you find yourself alone in the woods, still hunting might be the way to go, especially midday. In the more open West, this usually involves glassing an area with binoculars until a bear is spotted, then stalking it. In the more heavily wooded East, things are a bit different.
Move slowly and stop periodically to scan the surroundings for signs of bears. Predator calling Black bears are omnivores, willing to eat just about anything and everything, including prey. So they do respond to calling. Fawn bleats really can trigger a response — research in Pennsylvania revealed bears are the No.
Whatever noise you make, make it frequently. But one word of caution. Bears are big, powerful and surprisingly sneaky when honing in on what sounds like supper.
Persons with a disability that prevents them from drawing a bow or crossbow may hunt with an arrowgun during the special archery season provided they have in possession an authorization form provided by the Department that has been completed by their physician. It is unlawful to use explosive head arrows or arrows to which any drug, chemical, or toxic substance has been added.
It is unlawful to use dogs, except that dogs may be used to track wounded or dead bears see Hunting with Dogs, Hunting Information and dogs may be used by youth or apprentice bear hunters on the Saturday of Young and Apprentice Bear Hunting Weekend.
It is unlawful to have a firearm in possession, except that a muzzleloading firearm as defined in the muzzleloader bear season section may also be in possession when and where there is an overlap with a muzzleloading bear season where bear hunting with a rifle or muzzleloading firearm is permitted. Legal Methods and Restrictions Special restrictions apply to specific firearms use during this season. Muzzleloading guns that can be used during this season include: Single shot muzzleloading rifles.
Flintlock, percussion, or electronic ignitions are permitted. It is unlawful to have in immediate possession any firearm other than a muzzleloading firearm while hunting with a muzzleloader. Never use smokeless powder of any type in any quantity in a muzzleloading firearm that is not specifically designed for it. Scopes are permitted. Pnuematic arrowguns are allowed. It is unlawful to use dogs, except that dogs may be used to track wounded or dead bear see Hunting with Dogs, Hunting Information.
On the Amelia, C. Phelps, Featherfin, G. Hours a. Licenses Required Same for hunting seasons where bears can be taken. Unlawful Methods It is unlawful to have in possession a firearm, archery tackle or any weapon capable of taking a black bear while participating in the bear hound training season. It is unlawful to chase, hunt, or train dogs from baited sites or with use of bait. November 28 through December 2 in Madison and Greene counties.
On the Amelia, C.
How to hunt black bear in virginia.Black Bear
Keep an Keep an eye out for more species and how to hunt them. They may not have the headgear of our antlered ungulates, but black bears are very game, indeed. Next to whitetails, black bear may be the most actively pursued big game in North America. In Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, black bears grow fat on a diet of berries and fish. Along the spine of the Rockies, they gorge on yarrow roots and elk calves. They range all across the Great Lakes country and north toward Hudson Bay.
Black bears roam from New England south to Florida and across the Southeast. Bears are returning to their native habitats in the Ozark Mountains and the piny ridges of the Great Plains. But wherever they live, black bears prefer dense timber, a variety of food available from spring through late fall, and enough room to allow them to avoid their main persecutors: humans. If bears are our most opportunistic foragers, we are their most relentless predators. We tend to think the worst of a bear.
Most black bears exist on our periphery without causing a spectacle or a problem. But when we enter their world as hunters, our antipathy toward bears turns to something approaching admiration. How can they grow to such remarkable dimensions—a bear killed in New Jersey weighed pounds kg —and live on such a varied diet as acorns and roadkill, wild mushrooms and whitetail fawns?
Many states and provinces offer spring bear seasons, and hunters who frequent food sources find bruins hungry from hibernation. In the West, hunters drive forest roads, where greening clover attracts bears, or glass south-facing avalanche chutes to find black bears gleaning the first succulent growth of spring. To stalk a bear is to employ every hunting skill you possess. You must play the wind, as black bears have prodigiously sharp noses.
You must walk silently, as their triangular ears are keen and stereophonic. Though its name suggests otherwise, color is the least reliable identifier of a black bear.
Ursus americanus comes in browns, blonds, reds, and chocolates. Because they are often hunted for the quality of their hide, a color- phase bear is a trophy, indeed.
In one camp I hunted in Alberta, half the bears killed were as chocolate as candy bars. That may be because in the warmer, more open habitats of the West, black hair may make bears more susceptible to heat stress than their lighter-colored kin. That is the question that many black bear hunters ask themselves at least once in their careers. More than half the jurisdictions that allow black bear hunting also allow hunters to set out baits that lure bears into specific spots.
Is that sporting? Is it ethical? The answer, like most matters of ethics, is situational. In many areas where baiting is legal, the habitat is dense, boggy, and largely inaccessible. Baiting may be the only consistent way to reliably see bears, especially later in the spring—when leaves and underbrush obscure much of the forest. On the other hand, many hunters feel that using bait is an inappropriate crutch that habituates bears and makes them dependent on the handouts of humans whose only interest is in killing them.
These hunters prefer to pursue bears in their unaltered habitat, either by tracking them in tight cover or by glassing them as they move across the vast landscape of their home. This latter method is my favorite, and in my home state of Montana where baiting is prohibited, glassing high-country meadows and avalanche chutes can be effective for mobile hunters.
But I see the value in baiting bears. Fundamentally, baiting ensures both positive identification—reducing the chance that a hunter will kill a sow with cubs or a young bear—and a quick, killing shot, since encounters are at close range.
Here are five elements to consider as you size up your next black bear. In areas where their range overlaps, know how to distinguish the species. Grizzlies often have shoulder humps, concave faces, long claws, and tend to be larger than black bears.
Hair color is the least reliable way to identify a bear. Context Is the bear in the very midst of prime forage? The center of the berry patch or the best fish-catching riffle in the river? Black bears that lurk on the periphery likely are juvenile or smaller specimens. Attitude Does the bear walk with a swagger? Does it seem to own the meadow and intimidate other bears?
Scale One of the arguments for baiting is that hunters can compare the size of a bear to known items, such as the large drums that are often used to distribute bait. But bears can also be judged relative to each other. The bear most frequently misjudged is the solo bear. The ears of large, old boars tend to look small and jut from the sides of his head while a younger bear has pointed ears that appear close together. An older bear looks like he has short, squat legs, because his body is so muscular.
And a bear whose belly sags close to the ground is probably an older, well-fed boar. Bear Hunting. Black Bear Hunting. Predator Hunting. Scouting and Hunting. Want more hunting and fishing stories? Sign up to receive our emails.
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