Safety should be your number one priority anytime you are hunting. However, it is especially important when you’re bear hunting, as these large and powerful creatures can seriously injure or kill a human. Stay safe this with these bear hunting safety tips.
Preparing for your hunt ahead of time is one of the most important bear hunting safety tips. Be sure to obtain all necessary licenses, permits, equipment, and clothing in advance.
Safety in Numbers
The expression “safety in numbers” is very true when it comes to bear hunting. When possible, go hunting with a small group of friends. If you’ll be hunting by yourself, make sure a friend or family members knows where you’ll be hunting and what time you plan to return.
Steer Clear of Scents
Bears have a very keen sense of smell. This is important to keep in mind when you are hunting them. They may detect scents you may not think much of, such as your soap, deodorant, cologne, or insect repellent. Avoid all scents when bear hunting and stick with unscented products.
Also keep scents in mind when selecting your target terrain. If possible, you should try to stand downwind of it. You also don’t want to track between your target terrains, as this will only spread your scent.
If you’ll be camping in the woods, make sure that you cook, eat, and store all food at least 100 yards away from your sleeping areas because these scents will attract bears. After you finish eating, put all of your garbage and leftovers in a container immediately. Burying your garbage isn’t an effective way to mask its scent. Keep your tent area as odor free as possible by sleeping in different clothes than you cook in. Keep all scented items (including toothpaste and lotion) stored with your food and away from the camp.
Know Your Seasons
One important rule for bear hunting safety is knowing what other seasons coincide with bear season. Being properly camouflaged and hidden is an integral part of almost any type of hunting. The problem is that a hunter hiding in thick brush may look like a bear to you. Always protect the safety of your fellow hunters by using binoculars to confirm any possible bear sightings before raising your weapon.
Aim Your Hits Properly
The kill zone on a bear is the middle of its chest cavity. Before you go out, practice these shots using mock dummies. Once you successfully hit a bear, watch which path it runs towards. You will need this information to track it. It’s very possible that you’ll not have a solid blood trail to follow, even if you have mortally wounded the bear.
Take extra precaution if you’re not sure whether you mortally wounded the bear. A non-mortally wounded bear will be more difficult to track, but it will also be agitated and possibly confrontational.
Properly Time Your Hits
Bears aren’t known for having the best eyesight, but that doesn’t mean you should treat them as though they are blind. While their eyesight may be poor, they can detect even the slightest movement. If they catch you moving, they’re very likely to run off immediately. Wait to raise your bow or rifle until the bear is looking away from you.
Whether you’re an expert bear hunter or just getting started, these bear hunting safety tips are important to remember to keep you safe this season.