Discover The Best Time Of Day To Hunt Black Bear

Black bear hunting is a popular pastime. However, black bears are also very wary and elusive creatures, so knowing when to hunt them is important for success. So, when is the best time of day to hunt black bear?

The optimal time to hunt black bears is closely tied to their natural behavior and environmental factors. Black bears are crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk, as these crepuscular creatures are most active during low light conditions. This behavior aligns with their omnivorous diets. During these periods, black bears are often foraging for food or moving between feeding and resting areas.

Additionally, seasonal factors such as hibernation periods also influence a hunter’s good time to hunt black bears. Understanding the circadian rhythms and habits of black bears enhances the chances of a successful hunt. Let’s discover the golden time to hunt black bears in the following article.

Factors Affecting Black Bear Activity

Three main factors that can affect black bear activity, including the time of day, the time of year, and the weather. Understanding these factors increases your chances of encountering and hunting black bears. 

Time Of Day

Because black bears are crepuscular, they are most active in the early morning and late evening. During the day, they often rest in dense cover, such as thickets or woodlands.

In the early morning, black bears will often be out foraging for food after a night of rest. This is a great time to catch them off guard and make a successful shot. In the late evening, they again go out searching for food before settling down for the night.

Black bears are not truly nocturnal animals, which means they do not only come out at night. They can be active at any time of day, although their peak activity is in the early morning and late evening.

Read more: What Time Of Day Are Bears Most Active?

Time Of Year

Black bear activity also varies depending on the time of year. In the spring, black bears are emerging from their winter dens and are actively feeding to replenish their fat reserves. This makes them more active and easier to locate. In the fall, black bears are preparing for hibernation and are again actively feeding to store fat for the winter. This is another good time to hunt black bears.

During the summer months, black bears are less active as they do not need to forage as much for food. They will also be focused on raising their cubs, making them more cautious and less likely to venture out into the open.


Black bears are less active on hot days and often seek out shade and drink. Because of their thick fur coat, they have a tough time regulating their body temperature in warmer temperatures. Black bears are more active on cool days and can go out looking for food.

It is important to note that weather patterns can vary greatly depending on your location. In some areas, hot days may be rare and therefore have little impact on black bear activity. It is always best to research the typical weather patterns in your hunting area before planning your trip.

Best Time Of Day To Hunt Black Bear

Dawn and dusk are the best time to hunt black bear of the day. Early morning and late evening offer hunters the advantage of reduced visibility for black bears. These bears exhibit a distinct crepuscular activity pattern, with heightened movement during the low-light hours surrounding sunrise and sunset. 

best time of day to hunt black bear

During these times, black bears are actively engaged in foraging, traversing their territories, or transitioning between feeding and resting sites. The selection of these exact times is deliberate. Bears, despite having a good sense of smell, frequently rely on low visibility to navigate their surroundings, giving hunters a tactical edge. Cooler temperatures during dawn and dusk also play a pivotal role, as black bears tend to be more active in search of food when temperatures are moderate. 

However, you need to plan your hunt carefully during this time. Black bears are very sensitive to human activity and can easily be spooked. When hunting early in the morning, remember to set up your hunting site before dawn and stay quiet until you spot a bear. You should always pay attention to the wind direction, because black bears have a keen sense of smell and can detect human scent from afar. 

Similar to early morning, hunting in low light conditions late at night always poses many difficulties. You must prepare the right equipment such as high-quality binoculars and scopes and always wait patiently for the perfect shot opportunity. 

Additionally, mid-day can also be a successful time to hunt. Black bears are resting in dense cover during the midday hours, making them difficult to observe. However, you can have a chance at catching one off guard, if you are able to locate their bedding areas. Remember to stay quiet while scouting these areas, as any sudden movement or noise can alert bears to your presence.

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