During several guided but mostly fruitless hunts using bait to attract black bears in Ontario, Canada back in the 1960s, I thought of many ways I would do things differently if I ever had the chance to hunt black bears on my own. My chance came in the 1970s when names of my sons and I were drawn in the first Minnesota lotteries to receive permits to hunt black bears. My ideas worked with extraordinary success. We attracted eleven bears to our stand/bait sites the very first day we hunted and from that time on we have never failed to have several opportunities to take black bears during every hunt. Initial success seemingly easy, we began increasing the challenge of hunting black bears using bows only, limiting our shots to opportunities for quick and humane kills at very short range.
The only trouble was, all but a few the black bears we tagged back then were not particularly large, most weighing 180 pounds or less. We knew we had much larger bears in our hunting area, having often discovered their much larger tracks and occasionally seeing them crossing logging trails considerable distances away, usually at sunset. Thus we began a quest to discover how to attract these larger bears to our bait/stand sites, beginning with learning more about their habits and behavior. One of our first and most important discoveries was, larger black bears were mostly nocturnal (preferring to move about during nighttime hours only), especially during our warm days of early September when we hunted them. We soon learned our odds of taking larger bears were considerably improved when our bait sites were located near signs recently made by larger bears (such as paw prints) in cover so dense that approaching bears were very difficult to see until they stepped into our small bait site openings. We also discovered twelve proven baits provided much greater hunting success than a single bait and it is unwise to hunt large bears in the morning. Today, we’re still learning more about black bears.
All of what we initially learned was described in several outdoor magazine during the 1980s and in my first bear book, Do-It-Yourself Black Bear Baiting and Hunting, a guide to hunting trophy-class black bears with gun or bow published in 1990. This book quickly changed the way black bears were hunted all across North America. Upon gaining the reputation of practically guaranteeing hunting success, it soon sold out and a somewhat revised edition published by Bear Hunting Magazine in 2001, also soon sold out. Because of an unending demand for this book, plus the fact that trophy-class black bears and even smaller bears have continued to become more and more difficult to hunt (mostly because hunters have created increasing numbers of ways to goof up), I felt prompted to write a new, much-revised, 200-page-longer 3rd Edition of Do-It-Yourself Black Bear Hunting and Baiting in e-book form. This book is loaded with color photography and videos recently filmed in my Minnesota bear country near the Canadian Border. Like in my first bear book, I can truthfully state this book will enable beginners to successfully take trophy-class black bears (weighing 300 pounds or more) on first hunts, enable veteran bears hunters to at last experience the thrill of seeing truly impressive bears approaching their bait sites and enable guides to gain the reputation of providing hunters with the very best of black bear hunting. If black bear hunting is in your future, you will treasure this book like hunters treasured my first bear book back in the 1990s, the book that introduced the newly pioneered black bear hunting methods still used almost exclusively today.