Most people realize that if we go back far enough in human history, we will come to a time when we had to be hunter-gatherers in order to have food. We gathered nuts, berries, vegetables and fruits in season, and ate what was available in the area where we lived.
If we wanted to eat meat, however, it was necessary to hunt and kill animals, large and small. We also used the hides and pelts for clothing and warmth.
Once a necessity, hunting has survived the many changes in civilization and remains a popular activity even though we can eat very well without it. Now considered a sport for the most part, there are still those who rely on it to supplement their diet and add more meat than they could otherwise afford. Whether it is regarded as a sport or necessity, it is nevertheless as dangerous as it ever was, and proper precautions must be taken if we are to avoid injury or worse. A good part of the danger, of course, is other hunters in the woods with loaded guns. While not many hunters fear an “attack” rabbit or squirrel, all of that changes when considering larger game, such as exploring the dangers of bear hunting.
Dangers While Hunting Black Bear:
For the most part, the hunter will have to have a strategy such as baiting and stalking in order to get a bear in his sites to even have a chance at shooting it. It should go without saying that no-one should be out in the woods alone hunting bear. There should always be two, or even three hunters working together at any one time and in a particular area. One hunter faces in one direction and the second one in the other direction. Otherwise, a bear can come up behind you and get so close before you see him that you won’t even be able to shoot quick enough.
Although black bear are shy by nature, and would normally not confront a human, they are unpredictable and have been known to attack, especially if surprised, frightened, or if a mother bear has cubs with her. Prevention goes a long way to ensuring this does not happen. Rocks turned over, tree stumps torn up, broken limbs and bear droppings are all signs bears are, or have been, in the area. Some hunters advocate carrying specially made pepper spray and being able to reach it quickly, in the event a bear is encountered when shooting is not practical or is even dangerous, such as being too close to other hunters.
Hunting Grizzly Bears:
A grizzly bear is considered more dangerous than a black bear, although some of the same reasons can trigger an attack, such as surprise or protecting cubs. One of the reasons bears are seen as unpredictable are because they are all individuals, and just as animal, may react differently in any given situation. The hunter must also be in a state of awareness at all times due to the obvious danger of letting his guard down and running the risk of encountering a bear unexpectedly and at close range. Be concious of which way the wind is blowing as bears have a keen sense of smell, and unlike some humans, will always be aware of his surroundings, inclulding an approaching human.
Grizzly bears are not necessarily out to kill humans, but are most likely attacking in an attempt to remove something he considers a threat. Nevertheless, they are capable of inflicting great damage even if not trying to kill. If a bear is encountered, never run or that may invite a chase, and you cannot outrun a bear. If the bear is shaking his head from side to side, it is unsure of whether or not you’re a threat. In that case, try to back away slowly and you may be able to give the bear enough space that it may turn and leave.
The best preparation for hunting bear is education. Learn about the nature of bears, the strategies of experienced hunters, and what precautions to take. Following these steps should help to ensure that you have a rewarding experience and minimize the dangers of bear hunting.