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Dan's Bear Hunting advice!

Black bear info

Who's hunting who? Are you hunting the bear or is the bear hunting you? Well I allways laugh when I hear someone say they are afraid to go camping, hunting or fishing because the are afraid of bears. I believe anyone who has spent much time in the outdoors realizes that bear really are not to be feared, respected of course but not feared. Almost every bear I have ever seen in the wild has been on a fast run in the opposite direction. For this reason bear can be dificult to hunt, especially since using hounds has been outlawed. The use of hounds greatly enhances your chances of a successful bear hunt and allows you to "tree-and-release" until you see the one you are looking for. My best advice without hounds is to be where there are bear, be as "stealthy" as possible, do your homework, hope for some luck, and I like to use a predator call. I know there are large numbers of black bear in the Northern Cascades as well as on the Olympic Peninsula, I have even seen them on the Kitsap Peninsula, but I prefer to hunt them in the Okanogan National Forest myself. The problem with the Olympic Peninsula or the Northern Cascades is just plain 'ol visibility. You can't shoot what you can't see. The visibility on the eastern slopes of the Cascades and further east is just far better, and far longer than on the west slope of the mountains or on the coast. Bear hunting early in the season may be a good time for a "meat hunt", and it does taste good, but it isn't a good time for a "rug hunt". It is better to go hunt for that next living room rug as late in the season as possible. Working the rivers during the salmon run can be productive as well. However, I have heard, no personal experience, that bear that have been feeding on salmon are no good to eat. There meat becomes just to high in protein. Remember be safe, have fun, share the experience with someone else, and good luck.