Gear Notes For Bear Hunting
By Robert Hoague
Sep 15, 2009 – 5:45:56 AM
A small Light to see inside blind
– Because the Ontario woods is so
dense and has such thick overhead forest cover it gets dark in the
woods before it is dark. A
ground blind will be pitch dark inside while you can still see outside.
Ground level details will fade from view while you are in your
treestand. When it is time to leave, a small light is very handy when
you gather up
your stuff. I use one I bought at Wal-Mart that has a green
light. I prefer it to the bright light of a regular flashlight.
Rope Ratchet – On a bear hunt there are plenty of uses for a Rope
Ratchet tie down. Drag the bear out with it. Fasten bait buckets
together so they don’t bounce around or tip over in a pickup bed or an
ATV. It’s a great make shift clothes line. When you take down your pop
up blind cinching it together is easier than using a bungie cord or
struggling with the skinny case that came with the blind. It’s just the right thing for fastening your scouting camera to a tree, too. www.roperatchet.com
Hang Em’ High – We use the Hang Em’ High from Rope Ratchet to weigh the
bears. You just hook it around the bear’s legs and pull it up off the
ground. It is also handy to lift the big ones from the ground or
tailgate to the skinning table.
ThermaCELL – Flying insects can be an unpleasant part of your Canadian
hunt. Mosquitoes, black flies and noseeums will visit you in your bear
stand, guaranteed. Sprays are smelly and only keep them at bay for an
hour or so. The hands down answer is to bring a ThermaCELL with you. It
keeps the flying, biting little monsters out of your ground blind. and
away from your treestand. And it lasts for hours. www.ThermaCELL.com
Scouting Cameras – An excellent way to know about the bear activity on a bait site and record both its picture and the time it came. Of course, we are interested in day time pictures. Also, if a sow with cubs is visiting a particular site Fred takes hunters somewhere else. Just for grins here is a picture from one of Fred’s scouting cameras.
BOOTS – Canadian woods are full of fallen trees, steep gullys, swampy
areas and dense under growth. Broken limbs that want to trip you are
hidden under ferns and ground cover. And you will probably wade through
some water too. Boots with good support for your ankles and feet are
important. Boots that are comfortable to walk in. They need to be water
proof. And tough.
For deer hunting I wear the LaCross type rubber boots that fit snugly
around the ankles and they are OK for bear hunting. But my personal
preference for bear hunts is leather boots with good support. Leather
is as tough as it gets. Sno Seal is excellent for waterproofing your
boots. There are sprays too and I really like them too. This Page on
the ATSKO web site has what you need. I used Wolverine work boots this
trip and sprayed them with ATSKO’s Fast Drying waterproofing.
Every day, we waded a creek and had three swampy areas to splash
through to do our baiting chores. And my boots kept my feet dry.
Rheostat On Your Bowsight – I like a rheostat light on my bowsight for ground
blind hunting. It’s dark inside the blind, and that’s the reason it
works so good, but seeing your sight pin can be a problem. I have a
Cobra BoomSlang bowsight and it’s rheostat screws in the sight bracket
at just the right angle to further brighten up the fiber-optic pins.
The Rheostat gets brighter and dimmer and that is perfect because you
can adjust the brightness of the pins to fit the light situation around
you. Simply put, the rheostat helps you get off an accurate shot when
it counts. cobraarchery.com
Binoculars – Even though this is thick woods a pair of
binoculars can be helpful. Bears regularly come into the area and watch
it from a distance. A dark spot in the woods can be a bear’s leg, or
nose, or ear, or fur. Binocs can help you locate the bear early. On this hunt I used Nikon Monarch 10×40 ones.
Loc-A-Peep – This is a new peep sight system. What I like best about it
is the peep locks down tight and can not move while you are sighting in
with it. I used a red one with a tether. I also like the looks of the
one Fred used called the Whisper (from Loc-A-Peep). It has sound
eliminating material around it and it zaps any noise from your
bowstring. LocAPeep has taken peep sights to a new level.
After you release the arrow it’s all up to your broadhead. On an animal with less fur, thinner skin, and smaller bones you might get decent penetration with an arrow that wobbles or porpoises. On a bear you want it to shoot perfectly straight so you get the and accurate shot and maximum penetration. On this hunt I used the Magnus Stinger. It went through the bear and flew another 10 yards. That is superior penetration indeed. Another thing I like aboout the Magnus heads is they fly like my field points and that makes it easy to practice for shooting them. www.magnusbroadheads.com
Camera and Video Camera – These days almost every hunter brings a
digital camera as well as a video camera. So take some pictures to
remember your hunt by. Before taking pics of you with your bear I
suggest you clean it up as much as you can. If it is bleeding from the
nose wipe away any blood and then stuff leaves or moss in the nostrils
to arrest further bleeding. Brush branches and debris off the fur too.
And pictures with the arrow still in the animal are offensive to many
Everybody loves taking video of their hunt. There are plenty of
instances I know of where videoing cost me the shot. Either I videoed
too long or moved to much trying to get the bear in the viewfinder and
the animal left before I even got to my bow. This is one place where a
ground blind is better than a treestand. The Double Bull Matrix or
Primos Dark Horse by Primos are the easiest I know to video from. If you stay to
the back of the blind you can leave the mesh down and you will get
The new Roscoby Riser Cam screws into your stabilizer socket and will video your hunt on an SD card that you can play on your computer. It’s easy to use, designed right for bowhunting and takes excellent quality video. Riser Cam
Ok, on the count of 3 lets heave your bear in the back of the truck and say a few words about one of the unexpected things about hunting with Fred … Color Phase Bears.
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