Well it’s that time again. Time to start getting ready for black bear hunting in Minnesota. Lottery applicants can check to see if they were drawn online at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources since early June.
Bear lottery winners must purchase their license by August 1, 2012. Unsold licenses will then become available for purchase by anyone starting August 6, 2012 at 12:00PM.
At this time of year I start thinking about where I am going to get my bait from. Craigslist sometimes has items for free, then there is freezing your leftovers or you could always buy bait.
When buying bait I would suggest bait that does not spoil quickly exposed to the elements like doughnuts, bread and dog food. Simple cracked corn and grease works just fine. I prefer – if I can get my hands on it – dried expired fruits packed in sugar. Easier said than done. I also like peanuts and trail mix if there aren’t too many crackers in it. I have never really had too much luck with fresh fruits like apples. Every bear seems to have their own likes and dislikes, so try a number of different baits.
A good place to just buy bait is Lucky 7 Bear Bait in Cambridge, MN. Their inventory changes so visit their website frequently. I believe they may even ship throughout the US.
It doesn’t hurt to go to your bakery or gas station for bait. Don’t forget to go to the local watering hole for the tastey bar grease! Bring a bucket and a way to scoup it out. Don’t get it on you vehicle cause once the sun hits it – you aren’t every going to get it off.
This year my group intends to use bait barrels chained and / or bolted to trees. Should be interesting.
Baiting may not begin prior to August 17, 2012.
I am sure some of you have heard of wolves being shot and the collars thrown on a train. I heard it on the radio this morning and thought maybe someone has done this with a bear radio collar? The joke this morning was that in Roseau, MN someone shot a wolf and put the collar on his sheep. The other was that the wolf was going 70 miles per hour (the train). Let me know your thoughts or if you have ever heard of this with a collard bear or other tracked animal…maybe a Minnesota Moose?
This information is as of 09-21-2011
Bear hunting success has been limited this season
Timberline Sports and Tackle : (218) 835-4636
GRAND MARAIS AREA
A few bears continue to be taken
Buck’s Hardware : (218) 387-2280
GRAND RAPIDS AREA
Bear activity has improved during the day
Ben’s Bait and Tackle : (218) 326-8281
Bear hunting seems to be winding down
Swanson’s Bait and Tackle : (218) 675-6176
I am not sure that many of you know that bears like corn on the cob, field corn, corn chips – just about anything corn. Even corn oil! They even like to hibernate in corn fields in shallow pits they dig and even bear young there. Some even die due to combines in the winter harvesting the corn. In some parts of the state that have bears and corn fields –there are great opportunity to hunt bears like you would hunt deer. From the edge of a field. Here is some video I took of a field in central Minnesota that a bear had knocked down some corn stalks. The previous year the bear knocked down the stalks in a pattern. This time it is completely random. I am assuming it is a different bear or the young from the previous bear. I found it rather interesting and I hope you do also to see some crop circles naturally made. Maybe you will find a new hunting opportunity from it.
So everyone wants to know what the HOT bait is?!
What it really boils down to is what does the bear you’re after like to eat to pack on the pounds for hibernation? Bears are just like humans. They eat what they like when multiple options are presented to them. I can’t tell you how many times I have put stuff out and none of them eat it.Then one big male comes along and eats everything like dad at a restaurant cleaning all the kids plates.
They are pretty funny creatures. My advice to you is to start out with foods that will not deteriorate with rain or humidity like dog food or bread. Unless you are certain it is going to be dry out. Apples and other vegetables are going to keep in these conditions, but are just a filler. Not the desired fattener for winter. The guy who sets up shop second weekend across the street that found your bait site right off the side of a forest road has sugary treats. The bears are going to think “Screw that pile of apples!” you put out.
When starting your bait use stinky fish fryer or the local watering hole bar grease. You should be able to get this for free. Pour it at your bait site for the bear to lap up and step in (Read : Back Trackers article). Once you place all your goodies out, spray the area with molasses. Get it on the bait logs, on tree trunks and up in the leave canopy. You really want to get this wafting in the air for the bears to smell. The number one hot bait is something that will keep in the elements and will put on the most fat in a short period of time.
There are many instances when a hunter should reconsider taking the shot at their prey. You aren’t comfortable with the shot, can’t catch your breath, there is brush in the way, etc. When bear hunting you should be aware that there are some shots that should be avoided.
Bears have a very large shoulder blade and humerus (upper arm bone). These act as shields to bullets and arrows. Their heart is well protected behind these if the front leg is back along the body.
The best shot on a black bear is a quartering away shot with the front leg extended forward along the side you intend to shoot. The vitals are all exposed for a proper kill shot.
Quartering Away Shot:
Red Arrows Are Kill Shots (Black Bad Shot):
Take this into consideration before you pull the trigger or let that arrow fly. Nobody likes to chase after a wounded bear at one in the morning in the darkness unless your buddy likes getting his ankle bit just so he can shoot one with his glock handgun.