New to chasing spring or fall black bears? Here are some all-too-common mistakes
#1 IGNORE SCENT CONTROL
Ignore the wind and you may as well kiss any opportunity goodbye. Bears rely heavily on their acute sense of smell, and to them, human odour typically means danger. Whether you’re approaching a bait site or spotting and stalking, any bear that catches your scent will vanish in a hurry if you discount the wind and fail to adjust your movements accordingly.
Whenever possible, keep the wind in your face. If you’re spotting and stalking, ideally you want a slight, constant breeze to cover any noise you might make. Like other wildlife, bears become more alert when it’s windy, so you don’t want a strong wind. Worse are erratic, swirling winds that carry scent all over the place, increasing your chances of being detected.
One of the handiest pieces of equipment I carry is a small plastic bottle containing odourless talcum powder. Before beginning a stalk or walking into a stand location, I squeeze out some powder to determine the wind direction. You’d be amazed how much that helps, particularly on very calm days.