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Bear Hunting Tips and Tricks

TJ Foster and Chad Folkmann are professional bear hunting guides in Canada. They provide tips for baiting, scouting and caping bears.

Bear Hunting Essentials

TJ Foster is a professional bear hunting guide in Canada and he shares which essentials he takes into the woods and why they're necessary. 



Must have items for bear hunting:

  • Good, thick gloves for bait handling
  • Rubber boots 
  • Machete
  • Rope for bait
  • Thermacell with spare cartridges and pads
  • Light source
  • Compass
  • Skinning Knife and extra blades
  • Lighter

Bear Baiting Tips



Put bait near field edge where the bear will have to come out into the open. You want a location with a water source nearby, since bear will be looking for water after hibernation. Smelly, rotten meat is a great bait option. Bears have great noses and can smell up to 2 miles away. By using a 55 gallon barrel, you can keep restocking your bait. It's also a great way to field judge a bear. Once you find your bear sign, put your barrel nearby. Place some small holes in the side of it and fill it with your bait. A good bait option is whole oats. Bears fill up on the oats, but it doesn't stay with them long so they keep coming back for more. Mix used cooking oil that you can get from restaurants to mix with the oats. The oil has a strong smell, and if you pour some of the oil out on the ground, the bears will step in it and take it out into the woods with them providing a trail back to the bait site. 

Scouting for Bears



Look for old timber and cutlines where green grass is coming up. Check for hair on trees and brush along these travel routes. Keep an eye out for trails and paw prints. Bent over and marked up trees, especially poplars, are good markers for a bear's presence. 

Bear Hunting Without Bait



Chad Folkmann has been hunting bears for 20 years. Successful bear hunting without bait is possible. During the spring, you want to look for things that are greening up. In the fall, field edges and oat fields are locations bears like to travel. If there are wild berries, look for sign around those. Bears are slaves to their stomachs. If you can find food sources, you can be successful at hunting bear without bait.

Caping a Bear



TJ Foster has grown up around bear hunting. He is a professional bear guide and he begins caping bears with a carpet ripper. He uses this for the 5 main cuts down the belly and legs. To skin the bear, he uses a Havalon knife with a changeable blade to keep it sharp. The Havalon is also a good knife for the tight spots around the head and skull. Next, he uses a buck knife to cut through joints and tendons. To get off excess fat and meat for salting the bear hide, he uses a thicker skinning knife. 

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