Maine Black Bear Hunt!!!!

thatguyshm

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Jul 22, 2013
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282
Location
Maine
Everything stated is spot on. Back in the late 90s early 2000s my father would grab me after soccer practice and we'd head out to the stands about 40 miles from where you'll be hunting. I usually carried his 30-30 that he'd be successful with many times, he'd bring his 44 mag revolver for back up. The big bear came in at dark, where you could hardly see any sights, let alone black on black with irons. Once you got out of the woods it would still be legal shooting, but you couldn't see anything at the stand. We had a big sow climb our tree one day, she came in early with one of the fattest cubs I'd ever laid eyes on. Luckily she sniffed my boot and dropped out. Made a few diamonds that trip.

When he got done hunting bear he used a 444 Marlin, which worked great. He lost one with his 44 mag, huge boar, lung shot and he just didn't go down. We came up on plenty of lung blood but he didn't give up, it rained after midnight when we left the trail, never found him. That's why he got done baiting.

Scent will be everything when you get that close. Enjoy the view, that part of Maine is quite different from the rest of it. Use your 45-70 and a heavy slug, you'll be fine.
 

Alibiiv

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Jun 17, 2013
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Rhode Island
Thanks guys, Lots of good info and knowledge. Appreciate it all.
I know that cartridge means a lot, if you talk with the the outfitter I suspect that he/she will recommend a cartrige/bullet combination that will give you a large through-and-through hole just in case there's tracking involved. I have found that the heavier the bullet the better penetration and the larger the exit hole the better. Fat and hair will diminish a blood trail quite quickly, tracking a bear in the dark requires all the help that you can get. I wrote in a previous reply that I use a Whelen and a .358 Winchester as the go to guns, tried a 45-70 because I have seen the results of their performance from the hunters, but never got a chance to find out personally. And again the low-powere (1.5-5X or 2-7X) Leupold VXR Firedot have made the difference between taking an ethical shot or not.

I know that cartridge means a lot, if you talk with the the outfitter I suspect that he/she will recommend a cartrige/bullet combination that will give you a large through-and-through hole just in case there's tracking involved. I have found that the heavier the bullet the better penetration and the larger the exit hole the better. Fat and hair will diminish a blood trail quite quickly, tracking a bear in the dark requires all the help that you can get. I wrote in a previous reply that I use a Whelen and a .358 Winchester as the go to guns, tried a 45-70 because I'd seen the results from other hunters who were successful.

One last thing that I strongly suggest and something that can be oftentimes not thought of is to make sure that you have a mosquito head net and a pair of gloves to complement the headnet. Bear baits usually are set up close to water, along with the water comes mosquitoes. I bring tow pairs of glove and two headnets just in case I misplace them. Without gloves or a headnet I could not hunt as the mosquitoes start up the minute you are in the stand or ground blind.
 

Savage 12BVSS

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Dec 20, 2019
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829
Location
Maine
One last thing that I strongly suggest and something that can be oftentimes not thought of is to make sure that you have a mosquito head net and a pair of gloves to complement the headnet. Bear baits usually are set up close to water, along with the water comes mosquitoes. I bring tow pairs of glove and two headnets just in case I misplace them. Without gloves or a headnet I could not hunt as the mosquitoes start up the minute you are in the stand or ground blind.
Hmmm… Maine has mosquito's, deer flies, moose flies, and black flies? :eek: I thought they left us tough skinned hunter's alone. Seriously the ticks have gotten worse every year also and wet areas seem to produce bumper crops now. I get multiple tick bites yearly and do a lyme test every year. They have acclimated so well to the cold that they are active into mid november. Its the deer ticks that are the size of a pinhead that carry lyme. Don't want to scare anyone but lyme is nothing to mess with. If you are coming from a state that doesn't have lyme disease do a search and read about it. Dave
 
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wwbrown

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Feb 17, 2011
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87
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minneapolis mn
I would not want to use greater than a 3 power for bears on bait in the dense woods. I like my 375 Ruger as I am pretty much assured of two holes in a black no matter the size or angle of shot. This spring I will probably be carrying my 9.3x62 if the barrel blank gets to me in time to spin on one of my commercial Mauser 98's. Bears won't notice any difference between the 375 and the 9.3x62.

You will probably be amazed when the first few bears appear at the bait, like others have said how quiet they are bears will just appear. How an animal the size of a bear can move through brush and make almost no sound is amazing? You can almost take a long blink and have a bear 20 feet away from you that was not in vew before blinking. They are lots of fun. The one thing you will usually hear is the death roar, a great aid in finding your bear.

I have spent lots of time in headnets in the Canadian Arctic but now much prefer Thermacell units they keep the mosquitoes away. I have used thermacelll while spring bear hunting in swampy land in Manitoba and not been bittern by a mosquito once, I used to not worry about ticks much but after hearing many serious nightmare tales about Lyme disease I would recommend using Permethrin spray on your clothes or mesh bug suits with lots of deet at the ankles to keep the ticks from crawling under.

I have only used Thermacell on mosquitoes the company claims it works on other flying insects and ticks. I have no experience on using Thermacell for insects other than mosquitoes others can probably chime in how well it works on bugs other than mosquitoes.

wade
 

Pa Grizz

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Feb 8, 2014
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413
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Pa/Maine
They never show up early unless cubs, the bigger and older they are the later they arrive. Scopes make the difference in the low light shots ( I love my zeiss ). Good hunt and they often circle to wind you when they have no clue where you are, either that or head in a straight line towards horrible cover.
That's why we never have morning hunts Most of the morning hunts do take small bears
 

Powell

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Jan 30, 2013
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219
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Colorado
Sleep in or go fishing or goose hunting
Probably do a goose hunt 1 morning anyway. We originally booked the last week in August so Goose wasn't an option. Now that the game and fish bumped the season a week we are going the Sept 13th.
 

Devo64

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Nov 17, 2019
Messages
10
Location
WV
With a baited bear hunt you will be talking feet not yards. More than likely your outfitter is also setting up for bow as well as gun. Be prepared for a low light situation as well. Big bullet and break the bear down.
I’ve been 4 times on bow hunts, your shot will be 50 or less. A 3030 will be fine for a bear, good luck.
 

loren holland

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Joined
Apr 16, 2019
Messages
5
Location
texas
I second the thermacell. Mosquitoes ate me the first hunt, but luckily a guy in camp got one on day one and loaned me his thermacell. I used the earth scent, it allowed me to be still instead of swatting and was cover scent also.

our guide gave us a small vial of cedar oil for cover scent. I used a dab on my boots and cap, and I have become a believer in it. I used up the bottle since then deer hunting, where it worked just as well.

best of luck. By this time last year, I was getting increasingly anxious, the good kind.
 

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Alibiiv

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Jun 17, 2013
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Rhode Island
I have read some replies about the Thermcell. I have found that it works great, however....been told that a bear can smell the Thermacell as well. Despite what is advertised they do give off an odor that I can smell. I've found that the "Browning" Ghillie suit is a mosquite net as well as camouflage, with the gloves and head net the mosquitoes do not bother me at all. They buzz around but not bites at all.
 

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