How to be Unpopular in the Bear Hunting World

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Below you will find the information you need to guarantee yourself a successful Ontario Black Bear Hunt.

Instead of showing you the same old stuff you see from every other outfitter, we thought we would give you something you could really use.

You see, if you’ve requested this article, there is a high probability that in the near future you are going black bear hunting in Ontario. The only problem is, there are 100’s if not 1000’s of black bear hunting outfitter’s to choose from. All of them with the same pictures and statements about how great they are and why you should choose them.

If you choose to black bear hunt with Pasha Lake, great! Anyone can put you on bears, but few can match the service and quality of hunt they offer. If you choose to go somewhere else, then we hope you find the following information useful no matter where your black bear pursuits take you.

Mistake #5: Being Afraid of the Dark

Sounds silly, but don’t let it fool you. It is an ungrounded fear and one people need to overcome in order to have a successful black bear hunt; especially if you are hunting for a trophy.

It can be very intimidating leaving a bear stand, by yourself, in the middle of the dark when you know with 110% certainty that there are active black bear in the area. You’d be off your rocker if you weren’t a little apprehensive.

When you are hunting into the twilight hours, and getting ready to depart your stand, remember this.

Since 1883, in North American there have only been 30 reported black bear fatalities, most of which occurred during non-hunting activities. That means in 125 years, there has only been 30 fatal black bear attacks and subsequent deaths. With the 100’s of thousands of hunters that take to the woods every year, that puts the odds of being attacked by a black bear inconceivably in your favour.

Hunting until you can’t see anymore gives you better odds when pursuing that trophy black bear of a life time. Most BIG black bears are taken within a half hour from dusk, when the smart animals feel most secure eating from an unnatural food source. Stay in your stand as late as you can, and the odds of shooting a monster increase tenfold. Take a quick note of the first two trophy bears pictured in this article, it’s no mistake that they were harvested just minutes for legal shooting time ended.

And should there still be bears on your bait when your ready to leave your stand (although this rarely happens), shining a light or a sudden loud noise will send these skittish critters running for miles. Black bears, in their natural setting, are extremely fearful of humans, and would rather turn tail and run then face an unknown advisory.

Mistake #4: Recovering Your Harvested Bear

Many people take to the bear stand, rightfully so, with excitement and anticipation of a successful hunt. Myself included, we get like little children full of excitement when hunting these magnificent creatures. While most hunters will do a tremendous amount of prep work prior to the hunt, few prepare for what happens after the hunt.

Bears rarely pile up on the bait or in an open area with easy access. Instead, these hearty creatures are famous for taking a double lung shot and running for miles, deep into thick woods and cedar swaps.

Having a plan on how to recover your trophy will put you light years ahead of most black bear hunters when it comes to a successful hunt. Planning should include how to track and more importantly flag the path the animal takes.

What to do if it starts to rain or gets dark. Who will help you track the animal and once found, how will you get it out? Lastly how will you protect your trophy from spoiling on a warm fall night.

Mistake #3: Underprepared for long hours in the stand

Part of the thrill of the hunt, is the anticipation knowing that with every second that ticks by, you are inevitably closer to harvesting your trophy black bear. What happens when those seconds turn into hours and then into days? Being under prepared to be in your stand for extended periods of time can be frustrating, and worse yet, can prevent you from achieving a successful hunt.

It would be awesome if we knew when and where the harvest was going to take place, but that wouldn’t be hunting then would it?

Having a plan in your bear stand can make your hunt much more enjoyable. Things to consider: weather, bugs, boredom and nature calls.

Weather – Avid hunters know that fall weather can change in a heart beat. It can go from warm, to cold, windy and raining in the blink of an eye. Having the right clothes in your back pack can make the best of a somewhat undesirable situation.

Bugs – Bugs can be a huge annoyance in the great outdoors. Especially when you are forced to sit still for extended periods of time. Avoid bug sprays when bear hunting… PERIOD! A new, unfamiliar scent, along with an intuitive feeling that something isn’t right, will keep trophy bears from over coming fear and committing to your bait. Bug jackets and bug nets are a must. (Oh, on side note, make sure you practice shooting with your bug net on, more about that later). Regarding the portable propane bug eliminators, I have seen hunters use them with success. In fact, in 2008 there was a beautiful 350lbs sow taken while a hunter used one. My vote, however, isnt’ in on them yet. I can’t get over the feeling that if something is as potent to keep bugs away, it will probably do the same to bears?

Boredom – Nothing will end your hunt faster than impatience and constant movement in your stand. If you are like most guys who can’t sit still for more than 30 minutes at a time, you must bring something with you to keep yourself occupied while at the same time, SITTING STILL. I personally use a book, and have also seen guys

use portable, pocket video games. Regardless of what you use, make sure you sit sill and be quiet!

Natural Calls – Ever been in the stand when all of the sudden you have to take a pee? Sucks, doesn’t it? I don’t know how many times I have had this happen to me, yet somehow always forget to bring a container along. Put a portable urinal on your packing list. Doing so will make the difference between shooting that monster and taking its offspring.

Mistake #2: Shot Placement

One of the most frustrating concepts of bear hunting is placing a clean kill shot. The frame of a bear is so deceiving that even the most skilled marksman misjudges from time to time. If you learn nothing else from this information, please keep the following in mind before taking the shot.

Your target is no more than 5 inches, just behind the front shoulder, a fraction of an inch under center mass. If the bear is reaching forward, especially while quartering away from you, it is never more of perfect time to shoot. As the bear reaches forward, he exposes his vitals which are protected like armor from its shoulder blades. I have heard of several methods to try and visualize your shot placement, but when it comes down to real world

situations, those methods all go out the window. You will have so much adrenaline pumping through your veins that you’ll never remember them anyway.

The best advice we can give you is practice, practice and when your done practicing, practice some more. Make hitting your target so ingrained into your muscle memory that you have no choice but to hit the mark. And equally as important, get up in that tree stand. Placing the key shot is much different while in a tree stand than it is while standing on the ground. When I am in a pinch and only have a few seconds of practice time, I have even been known to stand on my roof and shoot. Just as important, practice using the same equipment you will use on the hunt. This includes your bug jacket, safety harness, clothes and, if possible, your tree stand. It can’t be over emphasized, a proper shot placement will only come from practice.

Mistake #1: Judging the size of your bear

THE MOST DIFFICULT CONCEPT OF BEAR HUNTING IS ACCURATELY JUDGING THE SIZE OF YOUR BEAR. It can’t be said enough, and any outfitter in their right mind will tell you the same thing.

Our brains are very complex organs. Using many different processes we learn the concept of right, wrong, harmful, safety and pleasure, among other things. To break it down to its simplest terms, we learn through the process called association. For instance, we know that fire equates to danger, the two go hand in hand.

When a black bear canters into your bait, your mind races through its archives to find an appropriate association. In a fraction of a second, your brain accesses your billions of life experiences to come up with a picture so you can judge what it is you are looking at, in this case a black bear. Guess what? Most of us have never had an up close and personal experience with such an animal. For most of us, a large dog is the only thing that comes close. It only leads to reason then, that even the smallest of black bears can look huge when compared to a large dog.

Now people will tell you many ways to judge the size of a bear. But there is one simple concept that will work for you every time. Big ears, small bear… small ears, big bear! I have taught my 5 year old son this concept since he could talk. When we see a bear in the bush, he immediately shouts out the above slogan. When we see a bear on TV, he does the same. Only being 5, he is able to better judge bear size then most hunters we see every season. And he does it using one simple saying… Big ears, small bear… small ears, big bear!

And there you have it folks. Five common mistakes we all make when it comes to hunting the glorious North American black bear. Avoiding these simple mistakes will put you one step closer to becoming an accomplished and productive bear hunter.

If you would like more information on the world class American Black Bear hunting offered at Pasha Lake Cabins, please feel free to give them a call 866 333 5943 or send them an email at

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