Robhuntandfish

advice for a NY bear hunt

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been considering trying to plan a bear hunt this year in NY.  I have always wanted to get one NY bear in my life and there is zero where i hunt now.  I have looked at some cabins in the Lewis co area in some areas where there is a decent bear take.  But i am willing to go about anywhere in the state - southern or northern tier.  I would like to get at least a two day hunt with a place to rent (cabin or hotel etc) and am looking within that early bear season or for the early muzzle loader season in the north.  Dont want to go later than that cause honestly i would rather bow hunt southern for deer and dont want to take time away from that esp from late Oct on.  Any tips , suggestions etc.  I know a bit of the lewis county area and been eyeing that mostly so far and if I book a cabin somewhere will also do some summer scouting.  Plus my buddy that is going isnt really into a bear hunt but this would give him muzzleloader deer to hunt.  I have hunted and camped in the dacks in early bear season and did some fishing.  Last time i went 2 years ago it was a record 90 degrees that weekend - yeah we didnt see a bear. lol 

but any suggestions are welcome.    

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Bear in NY is tough. Most NY bear are shot by a someone while deer hunting. Problem is we can't bait them. So you either have to be a local and shoot one in your woods or you really have to scout out an area and spend lots of time finding an area that holds a bear. Folks around me pretty much shoot them while they are on the way to someone's garbage. Bear Crap, scrapped trees, bent over broken saplings, berry patches, garbage dumpsters. Friend of mine would hang a big Walmart ham in a tree a few days before hunting an area

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It is good you do not have bears...........  We didn't either in southern dutchess county and now there like squirrels............   There a nuisance and deer do not like them.........

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10 minutes ago, cbyzerman said:

It is good you do not have bears...........  We didn't either in southern dutchess county and now there like squirrels............   There a nuisance and deer do not like them.........

I've spent more time picking be up garbage past summer than ever

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Got a healthy bear population here. But you could sit a whole season and see none. Or sit once and get a close encounter with one. Had a few on trail cam last September, including one very large boar. But never saw one during hunting hours. But someone we know, just a few miles away, saw a bear almost every time he was out.

Location is the key.

Best of luck to you Rob on your bear quest!

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13 minutes ago, cynthiafu said:

My neighbor has one napping under his house . It has been there for the last two years .

And I thought I took long naps...

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Back in the 80's, we went down to PA for a deer hunt. We found a corn field that had about a quarter of an acre mashed down flat with bear scat all over the place. There was a single trail leading into the field that was squashed down to mud. If you could stumble onto something like that, the bear hunting would be quite simple. We did see some bears on that trip, and down in that corner of that corn field. No need for bait if you can find that set-up.

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Back in the 80's, we went down to PA for a deer hunt. We found a corn field that had about a quarter of an acre mashed down flat with bear scat all over the place. There was a single trail leading into the field that was squashed down to mud. If you could stumble onto something like that, the bear hunting would be quite simple. We did see some bears on that trip, and down in that corner of that corn field. No need for bait if you can find that set-up.

They like Soybeans also. a7cedbcf1d267bbef1cb2613b3c24d88.jpg8a80348944db6e98af8e5b64f7fd1cba.jpg


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thanks all. Working on some ideas. Def not a layup to get one in NY but want to keep trying.  But looking to get my percentage and chance up.  Just looking for that one in NY.  Thought about a trip to maine/ canada etc.  But want to fill a NY tag!  Right now i am thinking of a summertime scouting trip, then an early bear season day up north in Lewis co in Sept, then go for two days during early muzzleloader and stay at a cabin for a couple of nights.  Gonna give it a try 

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Not sure if this will help but back in th fall late September We were popping some corn/popped and the Bears seemed to be attracted to the smell of it.

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1 minute ago, Dom said:

Not sure if this will help but back in th fall late September We were popping some corn/popped and the Bears seemed to be attracted to the smell of it.

i have heard of people in baiting areas putting out big bags of popcorn - but course cant do that in NY.   Maybe i should snack on a bag of popcorn while i am hunting.  Yeah that popcorn smell is like one of those you cant mistake and would bring em in.  

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im going to check some power line areas and back ends of swamps in lewis co area. During early bear there is so much leaf cover its pretty hard to see very far.  Gonna see if i can find something a little open with some food source of an apple tree or two as well and hope for the best.  Thinking still hunting that time of year is gonna be tough. 

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Yea  The only thing we can bait in NY is a hook.I gave this information from my own exp with bears.Now if there was  way of using corn as a sent attractant maybe we could make some $$$ lol

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6 hours ago, Doc said:

Back in the 80's, we went down to PA for a deer hunt. We found a corn field that had about a quarter of an acre mashed down flat with bear scat all over the place. There was a single trail leading into the field that was squashed down to mud. If you could stumble onto something like that, the bear hunting would be quite simple. We did see some bears on that trip, and down in that corner of that corn field. No need for bait if you can find that set-up.

yeah that would be ideal.  I know PA seems to have a healthy Bear population.  And prob would have a better chance of finding a situation like that in the southern tier.  The Dacks have sooo much land spreadout and so little AG .  Even tough to scout during summer as the food source changes am sure those bears are on the move as well.  Might be lots of bear sign near berries but once they dry up they are gonna move on.  Would have to find some AG or apples or Acorns as a source.  

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Here's my advice on hunting BEAR don't do it! The DEC caught me hunting BEAR and they said if they ever saw me hunting BEAR again they would throw me in jail. Also I almost froze my nuts off! The one officer had to take a leave of absents after that and hes never been the same.:russian::suicide:

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Try Sterling Forest State Park in Orange County.  Black Bears are too numerous in North New Jersey and Sterling Forest is right on the NJ Border. 

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It''s tough to pattern them unless you scout starting early and often. I enjoy small stream wild brook trout fishing, so I am in the woods a lot in late summer and early fall.

I am in the Adk. park and hunt state land predominately. The food sources I scout are an old farm area and some big hills with lots of cover and concealment.

Two years ago the apple trees in the area were very productive and the bears were there every day in August and September. I was able to get trail cameras up and identified about 20 different bears from every age group. The following year there was not an apple to be found and the bears hit the choke cherry trees that were full that year. Some years it's beach nuts and you never know what source will be most available.

All you can do is identify an area with a good population and scout on foot and with cameras.

Best of luck... 

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I would think finding farm/ crop lands bordering forest lands ….while limited in the daks, would be a best starting point. Then knock on some farmers doors as to if they have any problems with bears, when and where, and see if you can get a foot in the door. 

Many state parks in the ADKS (I know firsthand Limekiln in particular) have nuisance bears, and you need to be very careful with your campsite. There is a lot of nearby state land particularly at Limekiln, immed. adjacent, but those big black furballs sure know how to get scarce in a hurry.

What about inquiring with the local DEC/Ranger offices about areas with a lot of nuisance complaints?

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On 1/10/2019 at 3:32 PM, Dom said:

Not sure if this will help but back in th fall late September We were popping some corn/popped and the Bears seemed to be attracted to the smell of it.

Gas station by my house selling bear bait 

B478DC6D-CFAF-489B-838E-B496BA13CA7C.jpeg

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On 1/10/2019 at 8:08 AM, Robhuntandfish said:

been considering trying to plan a bear hunt this year in NY.  I have always wanted to get one NY bear in my life and there is zero where i hunt now.  I have looked at some cabins in the Lewis co area in some areas where there is a decent bear take.  But i am willing to go about anywhere in the state - southern or northern tier.  I would like to get at least a two day hunt with a place to rent (cabin or hotel etc) and am looking within that early bear season or for the early muzzle loader season in the north.  Dont want to go later than that cause honestly i would rather bow hunt southern for deer and dont want to take time away from that esp from late Oct on.  Any tips , suggestions etc.  I know a bit of the lewis county area and been eyeing that mostly so far and if I book a cabin somewhere will also do some summer scouting.  Plus my buddy that is going isnt really into a bear hunt but this would give him muzzleloader deer to hunt.  I have hunted and camped in the dacks in early bear season and did some fishing.  Last time i went 2 years ago it was a record 90 degrees that weekend - yeah we didnt see a bear. lol 

but any suggestions are welcome.  

My father in-law lives near the Lewis/St Lawrence county line (WMU 6C).  He has been after me to shoot him a bear, so that he can make a rug, since they began building their retirement lake-house up there 6 years ago.   He does not hunt or fish himself, but wants to decorate their place with native species.  I managed to kill a nice Adirondack 8-point buck up there, and had a shoulder mount made for him in 2014.  It looks kind of lonely up there all by itself on that wall.  He still complains on occasion about my release of a 22" smallmouth bass, back into the lake, a few years ago. 

On the year they bought the land, his relator friend (who sold it to them) got an arrow into a big bear up on the mountain behind their house, but did not recover it.  I have yet to see one alive during the last 6 early ML seasons.   I did see a big dead one in the skinning shack at Nolt's (in Lowville) when I dropped a doe off there on an 80 degree, early-October day in 2016.

Reading about the bear's attraction to apples on this thread gives me an idea how to step up my game a little this year.  I have had good luck with deer while sipping on hot cider from a thermos.  I usually reserve that tactic for cold weather, but nothing is stopping me from bringing a thermos of cider along on an early, warm-weather bear hunt.   Baiting may not be legal, but drinking a warm beverage is.   

A nice thing about WMU 6C, during the (3) day early crossbow, followed by the (7) day early ML/crossbow season, is that antlerless deer are legal to kill.   There is a pretty good population of them up there (I see about six per every one with antlers).  They make nice "targets of opportunity", when you are out after bear.  There is enough ag in the area, to make their meat taste good, which would likely apply to bears also.   

More often than not, those 10 days also include the peak fall foliage.  You would be hard pressed to find better scenery on the face of the earth than you can find up there at that time.  Good deer hunting, fishing and great scenery are worth the price of admission even if no bears show up.   Adding my mother in law's spectacular cooking to all of that makes it tough to keep me out of there at that time.   Good luck on your quest.

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2 hours ago, Salmon_Run said:

It''s tough to pattern them unless you scout starting early and often. I enjoy small stream wild brook trout fishing, so I am in the woods a lot in late summer and early fall.

I am in the Adk. park and hunt state land predominately. The food sources I scout are an old farm area and some big hills with lots of cover and concealment.

Two years ago the apple trees in the area were very productive and the bears were there every day in August and September. I was able to get trail cameras up and identified about 20 different bears from every age group. The following year there was not an apple to be found and the bears hit the choke cherry trees that were full that year. Some years it's beach nuts and you never know what source will be most available.

All you can do is identify an area with a good population and scout on foot and with cameras.

Best of luck... 

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IMG_0225.JPG

Thanks. Yeah I also used to do a lot of brookie fishing.  Was even thinking of a couple streams I used to fish and going up in sept and do a little of both. 

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