For many hunters, black bear hunting is the ultimate challenge. It's not easy to get the chance to hunt a black bear in the United States. The seasons are often restricted in various states and usually the tags are issued via a lottery. (Not to mention the hassle of trucking around with your hunting gear.) Also, the areas of the country where bears live are getting more regulated as state and local governments put restrictions on when and who can participate in black bear hunting.
Numerous bears in the high country make Montana a hot spot for black bear hunting. With the perfect habitat of high mountain forests and varied food sources, Montana requires a fair chase method of hunting, where the hunter must stalk the bears. There are no dogs allowed at bear hunting, nor can hunters use bait. Montana's bear hunting season usually starts in mid-April. Black bears are the only kind that can be hunted in Montana, as grizzly bears are a protected species. Pick up a bear hunting license at the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks division.
Wyoming allows bear baiting during hunting season, unlike many other states and provinces. The female mortality quota also applies-when a certain number of female bears have been taken both in the spring and fall hunting season, the bear hunting season ends immediately. The higher elevations will provide more black bears, as that is the habitat they prefer.
Spring and fall black bear hunting is held in British Columbia, Canada. BC has a fine reputation for large black bears and several record-sized black bears have been taken from this part of Canada. In fact, Vancouver Island features the black bear subspecies known as the Island Bear-one of the most densely populated for bears in the province. The spring hunting season for black bears in BC starts in May and goes until mid-June, with another in the fall.
Easily the most populated region with bears, Alaska is the perfect place for successful black bear hunting. Bear baiting is allowed in some areas, but Alaska features a conservative regulation of just one bear bagged per year per person. One of the best black bear hunting regions within Alaska is at Prince William Sound and south into the panhandle.
Want to know how to make a hunting bow? These instructions can help you understand how our ancestors hunted for food.