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Do you want to hunt brown bears? Are you interested in learning how to hunt brown bears? Brown bears are challenging to hunt as they are difficult to kill, are one of the biggest bears, and are apt to attack you if you get too close to them or shoot and injured them. In this article, we share information and knowledge to help you successfully hunt brown bears.

How To Hunt Brown Bears
How To Hunt Brown Bears

How To Hunt Brown Bears

1. Scouting Brown Bears

Scouting for brown bears is an essential aspect of preparing for a successful hunt. Hunters typically begin by researching bear behavior, habitat preferences, and food sources in the target area. They may study topographic maps and satellite imagery to identify prime bear habitats, such as dense forests, river valleys, and alpine meadows.

Once on-site, hunters look for physical signs of bear activity, such as tracks, scat, and claw marks on trees. They also observe areas where bears frequent, such as fishing spots along rivers or berry patches in the mountains. Using binoculars or spotting scopes, hunters scan the landscape for bears, paying attention to movement and behavior patterns. By thoroughly scouting the area before the hunt, hunters can increase their chances of locating and harvesting a brown bear.

Do pre-season scouting to get information on brown bears. You want to find possible food sources, dens, and travel routes. Look for signs of bear activities like rubs on trees, huge claw and teeth marks, overturned rocks, shredded stumps, fish carcasses, and bones of carrion. Brown bears eat fish like salmon, green grass shoots, berries, fruits, other mammals, etc.

Additionally, before going to the area to scout, you can study satellite images from Google Earth or hunting apps like HuntWise, HuntStand, or onX to identify possible den sites, streams, food sources, and travel routes. If you are hunting in winter or spring, look for bear tracks in the snow.

2. Spot & Stalk Hunting

The spot and stalk hunting method for brown bears involves scouting for bear activity from a vantage point, such as a hilltop or ridge, before carefully moving into position for a shot. Hunters meticulously scan the landscape, using binoculars or spotting scopes to locate bears from a distance.

Once a suitable target is identified, hunters plan a stealthy approach, taking advantage of natural cover and terrain features to conceal their movements. The goal is to close the distance without alerting the bear, allowing for a clear and ethical shot.

Spot and stalk hunting requires patience, sharp observational skills, and the ability to navigate challenging terrain quietly. It can be a thrilling and rewarding method for hunting brown bears, offering hunters the opportunity to immerse themselves in the wilderness and engage in a dynamic pursuit of one of North America’s most iconic big game species.

The spot and stalking hunting method is one of the commonly used methods to hunt brown bears. To spot and stalk brown bears, you have to find a high point that is not too far from the area where bears are usually spotted and undercover, glass the area with binoculars, or spotting scopes for bears. When you spot a brown bear that wants to drop, you have to silently and carefully stalk the bear.

Brown bears have a very good sense of smell and if they pick up your odor, they will quickly leave for their dens. Hence, you have to stalk the bear with the wind in your face to avoid the bear picking up your odor. Additionally, as much as possible, you want to use any cover as you quietly stalk the bear. Bears have a good sense of picking up movement and as you stalk the bear, you have to reduce body movements as much as possible to not be detected by the bear.

Tricks For Hunting Brown Bears
Tricks For Hunting Brown Bears

3. Baiting

Using bait as a hunting method for brown bears involves strategically placing bait, typically food items with strong scents like fish or meat, in areas frequented by bears. The goal is to attract bears to the bait site, allowing hunters to position themselves nearby and wait for an opportunity to take a shot.

Baiting can be an effective technique for hunting brown bears, as it capitalizes on their keen sense of smell and instinct to seek out food sources. However, it requires careful planning and adherence to local regulations to ensure ethical and sustainable hunting practices.

While baiting can increase the likelihood of encountering bears, it also requires patience and perseverance, as hunters may need to spend extended periods waiting for a bear to appear. Additionally, hunters must prioritize safety and proper bear management to minimize potential risks and ensure a successful and responsible hunting experience.

Dead animals, smelly fish, fruits, and other foods can be used as bait piles. If you use treestands when hunting brown bears, how to hunt from a tree stand will give you tips to be more successful when using treestands.

4. Still-Hunting

Still hunting, also known as stalk hunting, is a method commonly employed by hunters seeking brown bears in their natural habitat. Unlike other hunting techniques that involve waiting in a stationary position or actively pursuing game, still hunting requires hunters to move slowly and quietly through the terrain, carefully scanning their surroundings for signs of bear activity.

This method relies heavily on stealth and patience, as hunters must approach cautiously to avoid alerting the bears to their presence. By blending into the environment and using natural cover to conceal their movements, hunters can increase their chances of getting within shooting range of a brown bear.

Still hunting allows hunters to cover a significant amount of ground while remaining vigilant for any opportunities to spot and target bears, making it a strategic and challenging approach to hunting these elusive and formidable animals.

When still-hunting, you track and stalk bears until you can get within shooting range of them to take a good shot. With still-hunting, you want to use trees and other vegetation to break your image as you watch the bears and slowly and quietly get closer to them. When you are about 100 yards or closer to the bear and remain unnoticed, you want to take a good shot to drop it.

Tips For Hunting Brown Bears
Tips For Hunting Brown Bears

5. Hound Hunting

Hunting brown bears with dogs is a traditional and effective method employed by some hunters. Specially trained hounds often breeds like Plott Hounds or Karelian Bear Dogs, are used to track, locate, and sometimes even tree or bay brown bears.

Hunters release the dogs to pick up the bear’s scent and follow its trail, allowing the hunters to follow behind. The dogs’ keen sense of smell and agility enable them to navigate through dense brush and rugged terrain where bears may hide. Once the bear is located, the dogs may bark or corner the bear, providing the hunter an opportunity for a clean shot.

This method requires skilled handlers and well-trained dogs, as hunting bears with dogs can be dangerous due to the bear’s size and strength. Additionally, regulations regarding the use of dogs for bear hunting vary by location, with some regions permitting it and others prohibiting it.

6. Glassing

Glassing is a vital hunting method used to spot brown bears from a distance. Hunters typically position themselves at vantage points with clear lines of sight, such as elevated areas or ridgelines, and use binoculars or spotting scopes to scan the surrounding terrain.

By meticulously examining valleys, meadows, and slopes, hunters can detect movement or shapes that indicate the presence of brown bears. Glassing allows hunters to cover large areas efficiently and identify potential targets while remaining concealed and minimizing disturbance to the bear’s habitat.

It requires patience, keen observation skills, and a thorough understanding of brown bear behavior and habitat preferences. Once a bear is spotted, hunters can devise a strategy for stalking or approaching the animal for a shot.

Ideas For Hunting Brown Bears
Ideas For Hunting Brown Bears

7. Ambush Hunting

Ambush hunting is another method used by hunters to hunt brown bears. To implement this hunting method, you find travel routes between dens and food sources and set up your hunting spot or treestand slightly off the travel route but not out of shooting range.

When bears are moving from their dens to find food, you can then ambush them and drop the one you want. It is always better to set up your hunting spot closer to the den and hunt early in the morning or late in the evening. If you are interested in buying treestands, you can read a review of the best climbing treestands on the market.

8. Wind Direction

Knowing the wind direction is crucial when hunting brown bears as it can significantly impact the success of the hunt and the safety of the hunter. Bears have a keen sense of smell, and they rely on it to detect potential threats or sources of food.

Hunters must pay close attention to the wind direction to ensure that their scent is not carried towards the bears. Hunting against the wind allows hunters to approach bears stealthily, reducing the risk of alerting them to their presence.

Additionally, hunters should use the wind to their advantage when positioning themselves for a shot, ensuring that their scent remains undetected while maximizing their chances of a successful encounter. Overall, understanding and accounting for the wind direction is essential for a safe and effective brown bear hunt.

Ideas For Brown Bear Hunting
Ideas For Brown Bear Hunting

Brown Bear Hunting Tips

1. Brown bears have a very good sense of smell and hearing.

2. The eyesight of brown bears is not the best.

Hunting Brown Bears
Hunting Brown Bears

3. Brown bears usually travel alone.

4. Always hunt downwind of the bear as they have a good sense of smell.

Hunting Brown Bear Tips
Hunting Brown Bear Tips

5. Brown bears have a distinct walking sound that you can hear within 100 feet.

6. Baiting can be used to hunt brown bears.

Hunting Brown Bear Ideas
Hunting Brown Bear Ideas

7. Use treestands to hunt brown bears.

8. Spot & stalk is one of the popular hunting methods for brown bears.

9. Still-hunting can also be used to hunt brown bears.

10. Use high-quality optics such as binoculars and spotting scopes to glass for brown bears. If you are interested in binoculars or spotting scopes, you can read reviews of the best hunting binoculars and the best spotting scopes on the market today.

Brown Bear Hunting Tricks
Brown Bear Hunting Tricks

11. When scouting for brown bears look for shredded stumps, overturned rocks, dead fish and animal carcasses, human head-high tooth and claw marks on trees, etc.

12. Ambush hunting is another method used to hunt brown bears.

13. The best time to hunt brown bears is the early morning and late evening.

Brown Bear Hunting Ideas
Brown Bear Hunting Ideas

Brown Bear Hunting Tips
Brown Bear Hunting Tips
What is the best caliber for brown bear hunting?
One of the best calibers for hunting brown bears is the 270 or .30-06 rifle with 200- or 220-grain Nosler.
Where is the best place to shoot a brown bear?
The best place to shoot a brown bear is behind the front shoulder and take the shot when the bear moves forward with its near side leg thus exposing the heart and lung area.
What is the best time of day to hunt bear?
The best time to hunt bears is early morning and late evening.
Do you stand your ground against a brown bear?
The best strategy, when confronted by a brown bear, is to calmly let the bear realize that you are a human. You can do this by calmly talking to the bear and waving your arms. Let it realize that you are not a prey animal. Stand your ground and calmly talk to it so it becomes convinced you are a human. It might come closer to smell you to confirm that you are a human.
What smells attract bears the most?
Bears have a very good sense of smell. Any smelly food like salmon or dead animals will bring bears to check it out.
What color are bears most attracted to?
In 2000, Alaska behavior scientists determined that bears were more attracted to their yellow and blue tents than their camouflaged tents. They also figured that grizzly bears can distinguish between colors.

The Bottom Line

Hunting brown bears is very challenging and dangerous. Brown bears have a good sense of smell and hearing that they use to hunt prey and evade predators. Brown bears are one of the largest bears and can attack you if you injured them or get too close to them.

Brown bears are difficult to kill therefore you need a powerful bullet to drop them. In this article, we discussed the methods and strategies to have a successful hunt of brown bears. If you are also interested in hunting black bears, then read how to hunt black bears. You can also read how to hunt black bears.