5 Tips For Spring Bear

Posted by Matt M. on Apr 20th 2023

5 Tips For Spring Bear

sunny mountains

1. The sunny side

Focus on South facing slopes early in the season while snow is still burning off. They typically work along the snow line looking for grubs, turning over rocks and stumps along the way. Avalanche chutes are good spots to look at because they have no trees and plenty of old stumps and rocks. If you stare at a South facing chute long enough, there's a good chance you will see a bear wander through.

2. Good glass

Finding bears is a all about patience. You have to be willing to sit in one spot and stare at the same hillside for days on end, and your quality of optics can make a big difference in figuring out if that black dot 2 miles away is a bear or a stump. Let your glass do the walking for you, hiking through the woods after things that look like bears is an exhausting way to try and kill one.

3. Find their food

A fresh kill site is like a bear gold mine. In Montana we can't bait bears, so if you know of a recent winter kill or calving area for elk those are great spots to try and wait out a bear. Of course, be extremely careful if you're hunting black bears in grizzly country and glass your site from an open area a ways away. "I make sure to look up often, trying to spot groups of circling birds. More often than not, they're will be a dead animal below, and hopefully a bear..." - Matt

4. Scent killer

What bears can't see or hear they make up for with their noses. If they smell you it's game over, even from a mile or two away. If you're looking at a hillside within shooting range, make sure you've got the wind in your face. It's also a good idea to spray yourself down with a scent killer of some kind. Most have been proven to suppress human scents drastically.

5. Bugs...

Ticks can be a S.O.B. in the Spring. Potential diseases aside, they're just downright annoying and can drive a person mad while you're trying to be patient and glass. Spray your clothes with permethrin, bring an elevated stool or chair to glass from if you're hunting off your back. The Sitka Equinox Guard system is great too, about as tick proof as clothing can get off the shelf. We ran it last year with great luck, and are happy to report zero tick encounters while wearing them!