It's bear season and I've been reminded of it all week on the radio from warnings to "bearproof your home." Yes, the picnic-loving Boo Boos are coming out of hibernation looking to munch on anything of caloric value regardless of the stink. That kind of sounds like my puppy who has found new interest in my activities as I boil skulls for European mounts.
Bear hunting can be as involved as you want it to be. You can spend weeks setting up baits. You can feed hounds around year-round hoping for that one window to tree a bear. Or you can hunt on your time schedule and do spot, and stalk hunting across the West. Of course make sure these hunting activities are legal in your neighborhood. Hounds and bait hunting have taken a big hit in bear country.
Regardless of the tactic you employ one thing is for certain. Bear hunting is exciting. You're going to get in the face of a predator that has the ability to maim or kill you. If things go really wrong a bear could even eat you. But put that aside. The odds of those things occurring are less than me discovering Jimmy Hoffa's body on my property.
We're going to try spot and stalk hunting as soon as the snow melts allowing us access to wide-open slopes that attract hungry bears. Like turkey hunting, I believe black bear hunting over baits is a great way to introduce younger hunters to the adrenaline rush of big game. Seeing a bear at close range is a rush of excitement, yet the bear comes in to a pre-ranged distance and busies itself in the bait giving inexperienced hunters ample time for a great shot.
I remember my first bear like it was yesterday. It tried to come up the tree with me and died in a jungle of brush creating a scary trailing situation. I nearly wet my pants, but I wouldn't trade the adventure for anything, except maybe dry pants.