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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is anybody heading out for archery bear I'll be heading up to potter county for the week my game plan is to hunt acorns for the most part any other pointers that could help me succeed have a lot of Bears on camera just hoping they cooperate when I'm in the stand
 

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get near any standing corn field you can find, that or , you really need to be super lucky to have a bear walk by you in bow range in archery season
unless your a cheater and have bait out!

bears are just so here today so where else tomorrow type big woods animals, with 20+ SQ mile home ranges
unless there is a HOT food source holding them,. they wander in a never ending search for food!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah I wish I could find some corn but none near me at all that I know of definitely will not be baiting I can't stand cheaters I will be in stand from sunup till down everyday I've heard north facing slopes are better then south facing is their any truth to that
 

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I don't know about what side of a slope to be on, My property is a south facing slope, more or less and I have bears here all the time(food plots attract them, as to all my fruit tree's)
But about half the bears come from my back, and others seem to come from the north side
I had 16 different bears here this yr
most at once was 9!
I don't hunt bears anymore, but do have a LOT of bear encounters on a regular basis and have for many many many yrs

bears live by there stomachs, don't care what anyone says, if you feed them, there easy targets
if your trying to get lucky being in a forest setting, you HAVE to be one lucky to get one here in PA

I used to hunt every single day of PA archery and gun season(had 3+ months a yr off for about 25+ yrs)
I have seen a LOT of bears in them 3 months, but they were mostly ALL random encounters, unless I was hunting NEAR a food source, be it a food plot, planted for wildlife, or corn fields, and NOT every corn field holds bears, bears are just too far and few to be at every corn field
BUT find one that is hitting a corn field, and odds are it will be there about every day eating till its cut
and why SO many farmers HATE them, they can be super destructive
my farm, used to loose about 4+ acres a yr to bears
they will lay down in it and roll over stalks so NOT having to get up to keep eating, seen sections that were 50x50 yards rolled flat from them, and while deer hunting , it was a daily almost clock work deal on them showing up once you found where they were feeding!

when I bear hunted a lot in PA, the most productive LEGAL way to kill a bear IMO, is in large groups of guys doing drives, we had a group that produced 4-7 bears a yr every yr we hunted>
worked your but off and sweated up a storm and covered MILES of hard woods and swamps and thickets, and seen 10 times more bears then we ever got a shot at, they will run circle and go right back into a swamp you killed yourself to get thru LOL
can recall walking thru swamps in the Pocono's, SO thick and nasty, you would literally be walking on branches 4-8 feet over water/swamps, was like a squirrel at times HAHA!
after a while I gave up even carrying a gun when I was a driver
BUT you got into bears on a regular basis

I have tracked bears when there is snow, and covered 10+ miles and never seen one,but KNEW I was close, just could never catch up!
I have passed on a LOT of small bears as well, or mothers with cubs, a NO NO in my group.

but hunting bears legally in PA< is a challenge
and sadly I think FAR too many bears that ARE killed are in part thru cheaters

I have worked with a taxidermist and have seen bears come in with chocolate under its claws and in its teeth
and yet?? no one seemed to care or??
and they DO pull a tooth at check stations, so?? NOT sure how they miss that stuff
as far as I know, Chocolate doesn't exist naturally in PA's wilds!!

I personally think the state turns a blind eye on it most times, unless they get lucky and stubble into one hunting over bait AT the Exact time they pull the trigger!

But that's another topic all together! lol!

If I was looking to KILL a bear in bear archery season,
I wouldn't be in the big woods period, unless I wanted to just enjoy nature and just go with IF one walks by, OK, if not , I am enjoying nature attitude ,
and I have been there a bunch of times too, as to me the hunt isn't JUST about a kill, its about enjoying YOUR way if hunting!

if your aggressive about WANTING to kill a bear with a bow in PA< you have to be pro active and search out crops with lots of bear damage and get permission to hunt them
other wise your poking and hoping only!
OR cheating IMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the response I really don't like doing drives for bear with rifle in fact my body really can't I have really bad knees they won't replace cause I'm to young but anyway I understand my chances are very slim in the big woods but I feel like I'm accomplishing something more if I do get a shot at one if not I get to spend a week out in gods country doing what I love so what do I lose the way I see it is I don't
 

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like I said, Nothing wrong with just going out and enjoying things
just offered some advice IMO on best way to actually get a bear in PA legally! LOL
I too have very screwed up knee's now, so feel your pains there
when I did lots of drives for bears we had several OLDER guys that never did any drives, always posters
we never cared, figured some day we too would be old or injured and get our turn to do the shooting and sitting LOL

But NO skin loss here, that I gave up before getting there!
I'd rather enjoy hunting , ANY WAY you like it, than just being able to say I killed something, any day of the week
as I said, to me hunting isn't ONLY about a kill, its about enjoying time in the outdoors to me more than anything!
Heck Honestly I don't even hunt much anymore at all, but I still spend tons of time in the outdoors, and find it just as enjoyable, maybe even more so, don't have to carry as much JUNK with me now LOL
 

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I know this will ruffle some feathers but unless you have a group of 25 guys with crossbows flinging bolts at running bears I'd say 85 percent of bears shot in pa archery season are shot over. Bait !!!!!!!


Come on guys open your eyes you think just because you sit on a trail with acorns in the area a black bear just going to walk under your stand and give you a 20 yard shot ???

Just my two cents but it's also common sense !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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sadly I agree with this,
and I wasn't saying doing bear drives was great for archery gear(X box or vertical bows)
way better odds of it working with guns, due to more range and faster back up shots!
unless your hunting crops or food plots
the odds of a bear JUST walking by as almost impossible! IMO
Bait or hunting near where there is a man made draw
is where IMO, MOST bears get killed in this archery season too!

MY hats off to ANYONE That kills one by random luck!
and does it honestly !
I'd suggest buying Lottery tickets on the way home as well!! HAHA! as your Lucky
 

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sadly I agree with this,
and I wasn't saying doing bear drives was great for archery gear(X box or vertical bows)
way better odds of it working with guns, due to more range and faster back up shots!
unless your hunting crops or food plots
the odds of a bear JUST walking by as almost impossible! IMO
Bait or hunting near where there is a man made draw
is where IMO, MOST bears get killed in this archery season too!

MY hats off to ANYONE That kills one by random luck!
and does it honestly !
I'd suggest buying Lottery tickets on the way home as well!! HAHA! as your Lucky!
Finnanly a man with common sense !!!!!!!
 

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I know this will ruffle some feathers but unless you have a group of 25 guys with crossbows flinging bolts at running bears I'd say 85 percent of bears shot in pa archery season are shot over. Bait !!!!!!!


Come on guys open your eyes you think just because you sit on a trail with acorns in the area a black bear just going to walk under your stand and give you a 20 yard shot ???

Just my two cents but it's also common sense !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
People do it all the time without cheating. I've read on here more than a few times people having bears walk by while deer hunting. It's also not right to take away from those who put time in, pattern bears and have success during archery season.
 

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I know this will ruffle some feathers but unless you have a group of 25 guys with crossbows flinging bolts at running bears I'd say 85 percent of bears shot in pa archery season are shot over. Bait !!!!!!!


Come on guys open your eyes you think just because you sit on a trail with acorns in the area a black bear just going to walk under your stand and give you a 20 yard shot ???

Just my two cents but it's also common sense !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I've got 9 different bear that show up on one trail camera on a fairly regular basis. No bait, just an overgrown food plot that no longer has any clover in it. Nothing's easy, but I'd say I'd have a pretty good opportunity to see a bear within range if I chose to archery hunt for bear.

I've also seen plenty of bear within range during archery season. To say the majority of people that harvest a bear with a bow have cheated is insulting. And I don't have a dog in this fight - I don't have enough vacation time to take off and archery hunt bear - but if you live/hunt in the right area, and put your time in scouting, you most certainly could do it without cheating.
 

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I'll be out a evening or two and all day Friday.

I would find a nice plateau with thick cover close by. I wouldn't hunt in the super thick stuff just the edge to more guys get out in the woods. When the guys are picking there spots on Friday hunt the nasty.

As for north facing slopes I think it's just the freshest food available later in fall since it doesn't get as much direct sunlight. That's my gathering of it.

I use to think every bear shot in archery season was poached. I would guess it's around 5 to 15 percent though. The bears shot in archery season are your guys that pound the woods looking for sign and have the time to do it. It's more luck, location, time, and more luck.

Good luck for next week.
 

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I know this will ruffle some feathers but unless you have a group of 25 guys with crossbows flinging bolts at running bears I'd say 85 percent of bears shot in pa archery season are shot over. Bait !!!!!!!


Come on guys open your eyes you think just because you sit on a trail with acorns in the area a black bear just going to walk under your stand and give you a 20 yard shot ???

Just my two cents but it's also common sense !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Around here the wco usually checks each kill site. If they bait they'll probably be caught. There's far more deer shot from trucks with crossbows than bears baited, but that's another can of worms.
 

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How they check your kill site ? I would be like up their I shot the bear up on top of that mountain you do not have to show them your kill site ? They have to prove your guilty you don't have that your innocent !!!!!!!!!!'
I hate to say it but here in PA< if the Game commission wants to push the issue, you DO have to prove your innocent, way more often than you think

I have had to do so several times over the yrs and never once broke ant laws or rules, or ws even close to doing so
just some random stops where they wished to search things, and well when I sold there hunting lic's they took me to court several times saying I BROKE THERE rules< yet never once did
even the Judge told they last time(took me to court 3 times , 3 yrs in a row) that they better start reading there own rule book better or he was going to fine them ! for wasting the courts time! LOL
SO, I legally HAD to prove I was innocent, when I was ALL THE WHILE
the GAME Commission has the highest authority in the state of PA
they can do about anything they wish and NOT get into trouble.
I wouldn't challenge them over anything if you were innocent, a loosing battle on your side MOST times, and will cost you more money and time than , just walking them into a kill site ever would!

I have always TRIED to be as helpful to them as possible, letting them search what ever, as I KNOW I play by the rules! so never had to worry about hiding anything!
But I will also admit I never heard of anyone in bear season HAVING to show a kill site for a bear
the ONLY baiting fines I know of, are of one's they been watching and then AFTER the kill, they stepped in and enforced
and that is a rather common practice I understand, they DON"T step in till AFTER the kill, so they can get a bigger fine or??
ME< I'd rather them NOT let the critter get killed before stepping in?
Poaching should have a HIGHER penalty if you ask me than it does!
I hate cheaters!
 

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Probably some do but it's not that hard if you put the effort forth. With a lot of leg work and scouting to find the bears first. Then setting up and calling with a mouth blown fawn, rabbit distress call or a bear call you may be surprised.Bears are very curious and will easily sneak in on you without a sound. That's if you have the nerve to be the food source the bear is looking for.
 

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Coyotes out number bears by a LARGE amount,
ask some hunters and they might tell your there are TONS of coyotes LOL
the issue with bear archery season I say is, TIME< its short, and the odds again of you CALLING one in in the few days, is RARE
they hold countless amounts of coyote contests in PA< with some BIG money on the line(some pots over 30 grand)
and its a very small percentage of hunters that manage to kill a a coyote and they do so in winter time when food is at its lowest point!
I have been calling to coyotes with callers at all times of the yr since the 80's
and have NEVER once called in a bear!
and have hunted a LOT when bears are NOT in hibernating .

I have a LOT of bear experience in many places
and will say YES some places bears are MUCH more likely to come to a call.
they are normally very much remote places!
Places you don't find in many places in PA, and that IMO is why calling them doesn't work very well here!

any thing IS possible, so NOT saying it cannot happen, I just believe it a VERY low odds deal

AS for scouting bears, yes that HELPS< but its far from a deal maker
due to the FACT< bears travel so much
can be where today and GONE tomorrow!
which again brings back into the most common high odds place to kill one, a CROP field, be it corn, or some other Prime FOOD ,( BAIT, being a BIG one IMO)
be it a hunter hunting down stream or UP stream of a man made food source, that is where MOST bears in Archery season get killed BY FAR the MOST often!

according to a local warden in MY area, there is NO distance that is NOT considered hunting OVER bait, , his words to me were this
"IF YOU KNOW ITS THERE YOU CAN BE FINES FOR IT!"
up to several miles away he added?
MILES< come on??
But if your hunting a few hundred yards from a man made PUT out to attract BEARS,
IMO thats hunting a baited area!

and again, I think MANY of PA"S bears are killed this way, maybe NOT 100% over a pile, but they are using the known food put out, as a lure and hunting far enough away that they feel they are NOT cheating or going to get caught/fined!

Random encounters with bears in the most common way folks see them, and in a short archery season, that means you have to be one lucky to set up in the woods and kill one!
a VERY very LOW odds way, due to how few there are in the big picture of things!
Ain't like deer where any where one can be with a fairly decent odds, and scouting increasing that a large amount!

its why MOST places that allow baiting DO so, and have such high success rates!
randomly waiting for a bear to walk into you, is like winning the lottery! HAHA!
I believe the odds in firearm bear season on Average, Where many large groups do drives and again many cheaters here too, is less than 10% over a 3 day season where shots can be LONG
archery gear ?? shorter distances to make kills at, odds of hitting a RUNNING bear even lower?
and its a again a RARE low odds game!
UNLESS????
 

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I must be one lucky son of a gun then....I saw 3 bear in bow range during archery season this year. I almost always see at least one. Archery bear?.....yea you bet I'm trying.

say what you want about the odds. But you gotta be out there if your gonna score. Simple as that.
 

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Good topic..I also have tried for fun to just hang a stand in an area where bears have been known to travel and hunt and never saw one, but enjoyed being out and hoped to see deer for future hunting in archery..
 
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