page title icon How To Hunt Black Bear – Black Bear Hunting Tips & Tricks

Among all the hunting activities, black bear hunting is the most challenging and adventurous hunting experience. From prehistoric times, people hunt bears for their meat and fur. But with time, the purpose of bear hunting changed, and nowadays, they are favored by big game hunters because of their large size and ferocity.

Hunting a bear is not an easy task; in fact, it can turn into a dangerous event if you underestimate this vicious animal. Therefore, it’s important you pick the right kind of hunting gear to kill the game. Though, the best hunting gears will make half the job done. You also have to make the hunting plan according to the place you are hunting and the black bear’s behaviors. 

Black bear hunting becomes more challenging because of the bear’s intelligence and acute senses. Moreover, bears are savvier than most other game animals. So as a beginner hunter, you should follow some black bear hunting tips and

tricks for a successful bear hunting experience. If you are up for the challenge, then read our tips and tricks on different parts of black bear hunting and implement them on your bear hunting plan. 

What Is The Best Time To Hunt Black Bears? 


Bears are predators; they like to stay hidden most of the day. Therefore, you have to hunt the bears early in the morning or in the late afternoon. These times of the day, bears come out to eat and drink. Though, for black bears afternoon is the best time to hunt them. Apart from the time of the day, there are other things that play an important role in black bear hunting. 


In the winter season, bears need more calories throughout the day. Cold weather makes bear more hungry compared to hot sunny days. Therefore, the bear remains more active in cold days. Black bears get lazy on hot days and hole up in their dens. So if you are planning for a spring bear hunting season, then wait for a cold day. 


Generally, on rainy day animals seek shelter but bears are exceptional. Black bears remain active in rainy seasons. Moreover, a rainy day improves your chances of hunting a black bear, since rain diminishes both sound and smell. So black bears will not be aware of your presence and you can hunt them invisible. 


The wind has no influence on black bears, but the winder it is, your scent will carry farther. Black bears can smell your scent from up to 20 miles away on a windy day. So it’s important you constantly aware of the wind direction and track them accordingly. 

Lunar Cycle 

Black bears intensely follow nature’s nightlight. During the full moons, the bear remains less active in the daytime but they remain active at night. Contrariwise, the bear remains less active on a moonless night. So it’s wiser to hunt bears in the daylight during a moonless night. 

Black Bear Hunting Tips & Tricks 

Kind Of Bait 

There are debates among the bear hunters about the kinds of bait they should you. Before picking the bait, you have to consider the situation and figure out what will work best for you and your situation. The best practice is to study the baits and hunting area to get a clear idea about what is ethically right or wrong. You can use the bait to bring the bear out of his hiding spot. You should use a stand so that you will be able to see the bait easily. Make sure you pick bait that has smell because black bears work by their sense of smell. 

Bears are very sensitive animals. They can easily spot the difference between prey and the bait. There are many ways you can make bear believes that the bait is prey. You can put bear faces near the bait or put the bait in the same place at the same time of the day to gain the trust. If you aren’t planning to use bait, then you can use trail cameras to figure out where the bears are and where they go for food. This way you can figure out your schedule and decide where you should set up your stand. 


In hunting, a stand is very important, especially for bear hunting. Because a stand keeps the hunter hidden from the bears. While making the stand, you have to make sure that the stand is comfortable enough so that you can easily sit there for hours and wait for the bear to go towards the bait that you have set up. You can use camouflage to hide the 

stand from the bear. Noise is another thing you have to aware of while making a stand. You have to keep your stand as low profile as you can. Any accidental sound will alert the bear and it will go away from the bait. 

Control Your Smell

We already know that the bear can smell the scent from a long distance. So while hunting, you have to hide or cover your smell from the bear, or you will find it nearly impossible to make a bear come near to your bait. You can use a couple of products to hide your smell while setting up the bait. You can use scent control detergents to wash your clothes. After washing the clothes, you have to store the clothes in a Ziploc bag to keep them safe from the scent of your house. Also, make sure you wash your hands and head before you get to the stand. 

You also have to keep an eye on what you are eating, how you smell when you get to the spot, where you are urinating, and whether you are smoking or not. You can use a container with a cover to hold urinate. While carrying the foods, make sure you cut down the smelly foods and bring foods that are less smelly. That way you can keep the beer away from sniffing you out. You can put more scent on the bait to mask your scent. There is a bear pheromone spray that you can use to attract the male bears and get them out earlier and bring them near to your baits. 

Study The Bear 

Before making your bear hunting plan, it’s important you study the black bears of that area and their behaviors. You can use the trails camera to observe them very closely. This way you can gather more specific information about the bears in the area. You can also stay in your stand for hours to scout them out. You have to gather information about their hiding spot, regular eating spot, and regular hanging spot. This way you will have an idea about what type of black bear you are dealing with. You will also find out how dominant or aggressive these bears are and how difficult it will be for you to hunt them down. You can use all the information to make a solid plan and execute it accordingly. 

Gear Recommendations 

All your hard work and plan will go in vain if you don’t bring proper gears with you while hunting black bears. There are hunting gears that may be less important for deer hunting, but they can make or break your bear hunting process. For example, deer can smell out the bug-repelling unit but you can bring it with you when you’re going to hunt for bears. You can also use a rangefinder during bear hunting though many will say you don’t need a rangefinder if you are using baits. But the truth is a rangefinder will help you watch the bear as it moves nearby. Moreover, a rangefinder helps you track where bears are moving and if there is any old bear available or not. Appropriate bear hunting gears will be the difference between a great trophy and a disappointing day.


For any kind of hunting, safety is necessary, but for bear hunting safety is very important. Hunting bears means you will be in areas where bears are common and they outnumber you. Therefore, it is very important you bring some safety gear with you so that you can use them against the bears in case of an emergency. If you come across a bear that you weren’t hunting, then try to move away without being spotted.  

If you are spotted by a bear, then stand still and speak loudly with a low tone of voice. You can also wave your arms but make sure you stay where you are. Most of the time, a bear comes close and then leave. But if a bear does attack you then fight back and try to heat the bear’s face. This way you can hart the bear and it will leave you alone. You can also use the pepper spray on a bear. Pepper spray will startle the bear and they will back off from you. 

You can use a local map of the area to find out the topographical details of the area. This way, you will have an idea of what area is dangerous and you can avoid them. Moreover, mapping out will help you be prepared for any danger that arises. Also, make sure you inform someone that you are going out for bear hunting. So someone not with the hunting team will know your location and can bring help in case of emergency. 


What type of weapons you need for bear hunting depends on how you have planned the hunt. If you are planning to use bait, then you don’t require a .375 H&H to kill the black bear. You also don’t need lots of speed and sub-MOA groups since your shots will be taken from the close range. What you need are massive energy transfer and projectiles that will 

penetrate the thick hair and layers of fat and reach vital organs. You can use the slug gun for a baited bear hunt. A 12- gauge Mossberg 930 Slugster with abundant ammo options will be a great weapon for close-range bear hunting. For ammo, you can use Hornady’s FTX Custom Lite line. They are 2¾-inch shells with a 300-grain bullet, best for close range shooting. 

Final Thoughts

Bear hunting is great fun, especially black bears. But if you are new to hunting, then you will require some extra help to become successful in bear hunting. You have to practice with your weapons to get familiarized with them. Moreover, you can follow the black bear hunting tips and tricks we have mentioned above to develop your skills.  

Let us know in the comment section if our tips and tricks help you in any way. Happy Hunting! 


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