How to Hunt Black Bear – Tips for a Successful Day

There’s no doubt black bear is a big game. So if you end up hunting one, then the feeling of satisfaction is only going to be that greater. But black bears are not easy to hunt and capture. Because they often tend to fight back, which makes the undertaking even more challenging. So it’s only natural to find out How to Hunt Black Bear – Tips for A Successful Day.

The hides, for the most part, are used as tanned hides or rubs. Skulls determine the trophy class. And the meat contains an immensely high level of protein.

So let’s dive into all things to know about bear hunting…

When to Hunt Black Bear

The Spring season is the best time for hunting black bears. Starting from April till June. You should know that black bears reproduce during springtime. So the time frame between late May and June end is the most suitable for taking advantage of the situation. The situation consists of big and old boars wandering about to breed with receptive females.

It’s the time when those huge, shy black bears let down their armor. And turn up in places where, normally, they wouldn’t dare to go.

Another popular black bear hunting season time is the Fall. So you get the wonderful opportunity for harvesting a black bear. While you’re hunting other big creatures.

How to Hunt Black Bear – Tips for a Successful Day

The 2 Most Common Ways for Hunting A Black Bear

#1 Spot and Stalk

For the most effective Spring spot and stalk black bear hunting tips, this is the section to read.

This particular strategy of spot and stalk renders useless if your target is close enough. So close that stalking is not really necessary. In that case, you don’t even require any spotting scope for the task. Even so, it’s useful to have for viewing the intricate details of your big game. The kind of details that aren’t normally visible with compact field glasses.

Moving on, now let’s talk about the spotting and stalking technique. It’s much the same as I’ve described in the previous paragraph. The only difference is the longer distance. Once you target your black bear. And you make the decision for pursuing it. It’s time to put your predatory intuition into action. When it comes to getting closer to the game.

But how are you possibly going to do that? Black bears are predators themselves, right? So it’s only natural for them to be on complete alert. Any signs of disturbance and you get into trouble.

But during the Fall season, black bears are more occupied with setting up fat reserves. This is for the winter season hibernation that follows. So they’re more concerned with the task of eating. Eating nuts, berries, mast crops, and fruits. Instead of looking for meat sources. But of course, there are exceptions.

Much like humans, black bears are also fond of sweet and soft berries. Berries that are bitter and hard are sidelined. In the same manner, acorns just fallen from trees are the best to consume. So it’s only common sense to locate your black bear near such food sources during Fall. That’s where you’re most likely to find a solid population of bears.

This is where your knowledge of the area comes into the picture. You have to find out where to find the right sources of these foods. And also where such fruits are the ripest. After that, your only job is to choose your viewing stand. This viewing stand should be downwind as well as concealed from the quarry.

Now let me tell you all about the 3 senses black bears have that you should consider…

  1. Acute hearing
  2. Very sharp sight. After all, they are predators.
  3. Keen sense of smell. This means if you’re upwind of the target, then the bear won’t be a target for too long.

Also, those hunting in steep areas should know this. Test the normal air current. More often than not, it’s downwind during the afternoons. And upwind during the mornings.

Make use of trees, terrain, and other such sight-barring hindrances. You should do everything to hide or disguise your approach. Find trails or routes that don’t make your walking sound like loud stomping.

#2 Predator Calling


Hunting during the late summertime means taking advantage of the predatory ways of black bears. It’s before the crops of berry and mast ripen. So what do black bears typically eat in the summer? Insects and broad-leafed plants’ flowers and leaves.

What does this tell you? That a black bear simply won’t miss an opportunity to consume varmints and other such small creatures. Whose sounds you can create by the way. And this paves the way for your bait.

The thing about predator calls is that they demand a prompt reaction. But this reaction cannot just be from a black bear. But also from other animals like mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, and foxes. That said, avoid using predator calls for bear hunting. Unless you’re hunting in a group of 2-3 people.

Make sure your position provides a dominant field of view. It should be from a hidden and elevated stand. One that allows everyone to face in opposite directions. So you’re all watching each other’s backside.

The direction of the wind should be cross-scape or nonexistent. Otherwise, the success factor gets compromised. Sit close enough to hear one another’s calling. And also to communicate without having to use your voice to prevent getting busted. Such as a nod.

This way you get a lot of time for checking your target’s pelt condition, size, and other such factors.

It takes a lot of practice on the field to achieve success. Practice and tons of patience too. Just make sure you’re ready for the black bear to react to a call. At the same time, be open to keep trying if the first call doesn’t attract the attention of the creature. As long as you’re around active bears, you shouldn’t be worrying about this.

How to Hunt Black Bear – Tips for a Successful Day – Conclusion

Every black bear hunter is going to give you his/her own unique tips for achieving success out in the woods. So all this advice can get confusing or difficult to remember during game time. Thus, the best thing to do is pick any one of the two strategies I’ve discussed. And simply go with it.

Let your predatory intuition guide you. Be quiet and safe. And avoid using the predator calling method unless you’re hunting in a group. As for lone hunters, the spot and stalk technique works best.

About the Author

I'm Rodney Heaton and I love hunting in the wild. In the past, I was in the military for over 5 years. After that I became a licensed hunter and a mountain guide.