Black Bear Hunting: What Beginners Need to Know

Hunting a black bear could be lethal as well as thrilling. For someone who is going for the first time bear hunt, there are plenty to small to extensive details that one can use to make the expedition successful.

First of all, if you hunt in the western states, then it is crucial to determine the difference between a black bear and grizzlies. While black bears are huntable, Grizzlies are not as they seek protection under federal law.

Well, without any ado, let’s talk about some of the significant tips.


#1. Scouting

The beginners would not appreciate it a lot because, in the beginning, we all are a bit impatient and want to experiment newly attained skills of bear hunting.

I would recommend that even before the starting of the hunting season, prefer moving out and scout a little. There are plenty of hunting forums to seek ideas on the places to scout. You can go hiking or camping to observe the environment.

This will also give you a chance to save maps and drop pins. As soon as the season opens up, you would know where to go for the harvest instead of searching for the right spots then. Scouting can save you a lot of time.

#2. Choose A Hunting Area & Related Tips

It is essential to choose the right area for hunting and acknowledge the hunting laws. All hunting regions have their websites where you can find all the significant information on the hunting rules and regulations.

The second thing that you should consider is looking for suitable accommodation. Bear hunting is not a one-day chore. Sometimes, it takes weeks to find and hunt the game. Therefore, you need to be prepared for all the situations and make accommodation arrangements.

You can look for a motel or an inn nearby where you can come back to rest after a long hectic day of bear finding. If you wish to stay in action all the time, then pack a camp.

Although, the next tip that I am going to mention here is not precisely relatable to this point but make sure to pack clothes that match all weather conditions. You should be prepared for rains, harsh sunlight, winds, and all kind of climatic changes.

Also, take some vital supplies along such as night vision gears, GPS locator, first-aid kit, etc. that can help you in the process of the bear hunt. 

#3. Timing & Scheduling

Bear hunting is not open throughout the year. Therefore, it is essential to search for the right time of year. It might vary from place to place. So, you have to check with the region where you plan to go for the bear hunt. One thing that we can help you with is that bears hibernate during winters so you might have to search for them during the fall and spring months. Some states keep the hunting open for both the seasons. It depends on the state hunting rules so you might want to check that while applying for a hunting permit.

Not only the time of year matters but the time of the day is equally significant. Many professional hunters will agree that while searching for a bear, you should start early.

Most of the black bears come out during the afternoon but by reaching the target spots early, you can do your preparations and hunt will be more comfortable. However, you need to be extremely patient with the hunting process.

#4. Important Gears

As a beginner, it is not uncommon to look past some of the essential gears that will help you with the hunting. Bugs and mosquitoes are everywhere in the wild. Unlike deers, a bear doesn’t have extremely sensitive smelling, and they are not able to smell the bug repellent unit if you take one along with. Since you will be spending your entire day in the company of bugs and mosquitoes, a bug repellent can make your experience far more relaxing.

You can also advantage from a rangefinder to a large extent. People who prefer using a bait might not feel the need, but a rangefinder is more beneficial that you would have ever speculated. They spot the bears along with their movement to help you hunt them conveniently. Also, these devices track more massive bear also so that you can protect yourself from the attack.

#5. Best All-Round Black Bear Cartridge

The information regarding bear hunt is not complete without suggesting about the best rifle or guns with which you need to shoot the bear. Well, if you ask me, the best all-around black bear cartridge is 308 Winchester which is a perfect thing available on the market for bear hunters. It gives muzzle velocity of 2900 fps and energy of 3547 ft/lbs. The uncompromised performance of the cartridge doesn’t require a second shot. 

What Are The Safety Measures While Hunting Black Bear?

To hunt bear, you need to step into their territory. As a beginner, it is vital to understand the means to protect yourself when a bear confronts. Therefore, the first thing that you should do is to arm yourself with protective gear.

In case if you have seen a bear that hasn’t seen you, the idea should be of running away from it. However, if the bear spots you, it will be best to stand still. Don’t play dead in front of a black bear. It will probably take you along as an evening snack for its family.

You can also wave your arm without running or moving from your position. It’s in the nature of a bear to get closer and then leave. However, if the bear decides to attack then target its face. This way, it will not fight for long and probably go.

Also, you should always be prepared with pepper spray. It will startle the bear to back off, without damaging it permanently.

For safety, it is essential to stay in safe territory. For that, you should refer maps to find topographical details of the area. From there you can get an idea if the place is densely populated with bears or partially. It is better to stay clear from the massively populated areas.


It is always a good idea to connect to the active hunters to understand the core methods of hunting a bear. I hope the suggestions and tips that I have shared above will be useful to you.

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