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Thread: Nocturnal Bears

  1. #1
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    Default Nocturnal Bears

    Starting to plan my spring bear hunt and figured the earlier the better. I have only really been an active bear hunter for the last 3 years. The 25 years prior to this I would buy a tag and once in a blue moon would take a bear while out doing something else. My point is I am a relative newbie to intentionally hunting bears and have been lucky enough to fill tags the last 2 seasons and even managed to get each of my sons a bear this past season. Lately I have been brainstorming ideas on how to get those wily monster bruins that are primarily nocturnal to show up in the daylight. From what I have read the consensus seems to be that less is more. By this I mean use small amounts of bait every day or two so that there is competition to get the food before it runs out. I would love to be able to do this but unfortunately distance is a factor and I typically can only get out once every 7-10 days to freshen up the bait. As a result I have been putting out enough food to last this length of time. Cameras on my 2 baits last year had about 8 different bears on them with a decent amount of daytime activity but the monsters only came out at night.

    Actually there was one exception where I think I might have the smartest small bear around visiting one of the sites. The site is water access and the shooter typically sits on the ground behind a boulder with his/her back to the lake. This one little guy (no more than 100lbs) would be on the camera every night about 2am and was always soaking wet. I interpret this as he was swimming in and coming ashore at or close to where the shooter would normally be - smart little bugger.

    One idea that I have been pondering is to use a small AM/FM radio wired to a photocell and one or two IR motion detectors so that any movement in the dark would trigger the radio tuned to some annoying CBC talking head for 5 or 10 minutes. I was thinking that I would put the radio, wiring and a deep cycle battery in a PVC NEMA type weatherproof enclosure and lag it somewhere 20 feet up a tree. Thoughts on whether this is a worthwhile experiment or other ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
    Last edited by Species8472; January 17th, 2018 at 01:35 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Great post Joe! Hopefully you get some solid answers or at least some ideas.
    I don't think there's a bear hunter in Ontario that at some point has not suffered through this!
    All the bear related posts in the last 4 or 5 years show quite a few successful hunters but very few if any were real record class bears. They're out there!
    Finally a post with some depth!
    Maybe I'll stop bashing the MNR for a while!
    Not likely ... but there's hope!
    If you keep doing what you've always done. You'll keep getting what you've always got!
    Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

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    I think the radio thing is a good idea. I would leave the radio on all night long...from dusk to dawn... Bears may think that the only time to avoid humans at the bait site might be during daylight hours....
    I for one would give it a try if the bear I wanted to target was only coming in at night.
    Looking forward to reading some more of your successful bear hunts.
    "Everything is easy when you know how"
    "Meat is not grown in stores"

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    Yeah, hook that radio to an outdoor timer for all night noise, then off during the day, might help ya out

  6. #5
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    Based on my experience with bears and being nocturnal. In the spring, if the rut is on the big boys will be following the sows around. I find in general, the spring is far better for daytime activity. juvenile boars also hit the bait far more often in the day as well, or whenever their competition isn't around! Which may be in the middle of the day or morning.

    In the Fall, the best advice I can give you is pick a spot that's as remote from human activity as possible in the thickest ugliest bear bush you can find. areas with little light penetration like cedar swamps are great. I was never able to just visit my bait sites every few days so I would fill a barrel right to the top with dog food popcorn and deer feed. Bears come in and out of the bait far more regular and comfortably in my opinion, based on trail cam picks anyways.
    Things that fly turn me on

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    Bump to top.
    Still waiting for someone to chime in.
    If you keep doing what you've always done. You'll keep getting what you've always got!
    Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SK33T3R View Post
    Bump to top.
    Still waiting for someone to chime in.
    Who is the someone?
    "Everything is easy when you know how"
    "Meat is not grown in stores"

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    Quote Originally Posted by fratri View Post
    Who is the someone?
    Someone would be absolutely anyone.
    Species was asking for help and was hopeful that some of the bear experts out there would give him some ideas and direction on the nocturnal bear dilemma. I too am very interested in what the cure to this might be.

    So come on guys, get your hands out of your pockets and start typing.
    If you keep doing what you've always done. You'll keep getting what you've always got!
    Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

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    It seems lots of people have lots of 'tips'...I entered "nocturnal bear hunting" in google and got over 1million hits.

    Took a quick scan thru some and found a whack of 'experts' providing a vast era of opinions...a lot of them contradictory.

    I guess if you took the time to read thru a bunch of them and picked out what makes sense for your situation you have at least a place to start.
    Arte et marte (By Skill and by Fighting)...The RCEME motto

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    No expert here as I have only taken a few bears and have been quite happy to take the first good eater bear that shows up even though I have bigger ones coming in after dark. Like others have said I think creating more competition by limiting the amount of food put out may be the easiest trick but Like Joe I drive up on Friday aft, put 100 -150 pounds of feed out and hunt Saturday and Sunday then repeat the process the next weekend.

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