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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

So you want to hunt Bear?

A Kodabow Crossbow is an ideal choice for Spring Bear 
hunting. In many places, the preferred method is hunting Black Bear over a bait site and with trail cameras in use, the hunting possibilities are exciting. There can be a good sense of what to expect with an understanding of projected animal movement patterns as the norm. We have taken Black Bears in spot and stalk hunts as well as over bait. Very different hunts for sure but for the first time Bear hunter interested in seeing bears, a hunt over bait offers a more settled environment. Always keep in mind that there is considerable preparation between the "idea to go" and having a successful trip.  Expect your Kodabow to work flawlessly and providing you do your part and execute a well placed shot, you will soon be in the skinning shed. The most significant decision will occur months before you head to  the bush.
Pick a good outfitter and you will have a good time, see plenty of game and have shooting opportunities at good sized animals. Make a mistake with your outfitter selection and standby for a miserable time.
It is that simple. If you don't do your homework, you might end up in a camp where taking a good bear is the rare exception and even seeing a bear or having a shot opportunity will not be in the cards.  The tragedy is that your hard earned money was expended just as if you ended up in a great camp. The way to avoid this is to get into the details. Obtain references by phoning hunters who were in camp in the past year. Build a picture of how the operation works and see if everything makes sense and adds up regarding harvest rates, # of hunters in camp, overall success rates, food and lodging. Most outfitters are very good but there are some who will gladly take your money and have no problem creating the illusion of a great hunt. If you get parked on a bait site that has no activity and sit for 6 days with zero opportunity, you are paying the price for failing to do your homework months earlier.  Outfitters may have "go to clients" who can provide  glowing reviews. (They are the one's that get the best treatment and the active bait sites if there are any.) Be more interested in what the hunters say who showed up in camp last year for the first time.
If you can't build a good picture and things don't seem to add up, choose another outfitter.

A successful hunter in the skinning shed.
Ask about fishing possibilities. Many Bear camps offer excellent fishing in lakes and streams and determine if fishing is included or an extra. If you will need a boat, will the outfitter provide that service at a fair price.

Tossing a fly before heading to a Bear stand. 
When hunting over bait, ensure you have the correct yardage measurements in hand and be confident that your Kodabow will put the arrow exactly on the mark. No guide wants to chase down a bear in the thick bush. The Bear pictured in the skinning shed (above) was arrowed at 30 yards with a Koda-Express 185 lb bow. The shot was with a Killzone mechanical 100 gr broadhead and a Kodabow Magnum .338 arrow which resulted in a pass through shot in the vitals. The Bear was recovered 10 yards from the point of impact.
If there will be "bugs" --- be prepared and go overboard with your preparations. Mosquitoes will bite through a single pair of hunting pants so suit up with multiple layers and cover all exposed flesh. Bring a Thermacell and multiple pairs of socks. The critters seemed to be stymied by three pairs of socks but could routinely bite through two pair. A head net or one of the Bug Tamer style outerwear jackets is a solid investment and is a serious element in ensuring a comfortable hunt. Sunset can be very late up North and spending hours chasing bugs is not only bothersome --- all the movement will scare the Bears!

Kodabow at the Ready Position