You don’t have to go to Africa to hunt dangerous game, we have dangerous game right here in North America Black Bears. There is something about hunting an animal that can hunt you back. Spring black bear season runs from April 15 to May 31 in Montana. My part of the state is on a quota system, so when a certain number of bears get taken the season ends. So before you go hunting you have to call the 1-800 hotline # in order to make sure the season is still open. In Montana you can’t use bait, dogs or electronic game calls, but you can use a manual predator call.
Bear hunting is a great way to extend your hunting season, but it’s not for the faint of heart. The first thing you have to do in Montana is to go online and take a bear ID test. You need to pass this test in order to buy a bear license in Montana, so you don’t shoot a grizzly bear (a protected species) by mistake. Passing the test is not as easy as you think. If you have the money there are some outfitters who provide guided bear hunts. If you are a novice this is probably your best chance of bagging a bear.
When you go bear hunting, you need to make sure that you are packing a big enough gun. 30 caliber guns work the best; the minimum caliber to take is a 270. Bears are generally forest and mountain creatures, in the spring time hunt south facing slopes, and look for berry bushes. Make sure you have good optics. Rule of thumb “spend more on your optics then your rifle.” Finding a bear is not an easy thing to do, in Montana only 1 in 10 bear hunters are successful, so you will need to do a lot of scoping. When you see a bear you can either put a stalk on him, or try to call him in with a predator call. Boar bears go into rut, just like buck deer and bull elk. Like every other male in every other species, they tend to get stupid around females. The rut runs from the last two weeks in May through the first two weeks in June, This is the best time to spot a bear. Remember be ethical, if you see a sow with cubs don’t take her, the cubs probably won’t survive without her.
You can also bait bears in some states, i.e. Idaho. This is the best way to take a bear where it is legal. Do some scouting and find a place with a lot of bear sign, which you think has fairly high bear traffic. Set up a tree stand, and put out you bait. You can use: apples, bread, honey, fish etc. Anything that puts out an odor. This hunting works best in the fall, when bears are trying to get fat for their winter hibernation. In some states you can use dogs, but I wouldn’t do this unless I was with somebody, like a guide, you really knows what he is doing.
Whether you’re sitting over bait, following dogs or spot and stalk hunting, what make bear hunting exciting is that you are hunting something capable of hunting you back. So if you have the guts, go out and give it a try!