View Full Version : Off to bear hunt!
Finally! First time hunting. Looks like son and I will be heading north (to Vermont) to bear hunt this weekend. We were supposed to go last weekend, but that got cancelled to a freak October snowstorm (yes, a lot of Connecticut is still out of power).
I made a thread last fall about starting out hunting:
Now we are doing it.
We will be hunting from a friend's cabin. My plan is simple -- I picked out a rough rectangle area bounded by roads. As long as we don't cross a road, we will be able to get back to the cabin. Go out early in the morning, with a combination of walking then sitting for awhile in heavy woods.
We have the licenses and all the necessary paperwork.
We are using 30-30 lever action Winchesters with iron sights. We are very confident with these out to 60 yards. 100 yds is fine also, but I prefer closer using the iron sights.
My friend (who owns the cabin), will be there but is not planning on going out in the woods with us. We are bringing enough food for dinner and breakfast and extra canned food as "thanks". He is very experienced, and offered to help take care of any bear we come back with (thank God, because I've never done anything like that!) - honestly, I think he is expecting us to not get anything.
I am thrilled just to get out hunting, whether or not I actually shoot my gun. I told my son that if we actually see anything, he can take the first shot as I will probably be reaching for the camera first! (plus, I would be proud as heck for him to get something!)
We are leaving this afternoon. The weather looks like it will be perfect - morning starting out at 25F up to sunny 45F in the daytime. I can't wait!
Those bears are getting ready for their long nap. How about some grouse hunting in your area? Be safe, eat well, & have fun.
Here is a 440 lb black bear from this Fall.
We didn't get any bears, but had a great time!
We went out at 7am Saturday morning (enough light to walk). Did "quiet" and slow walking... but we still sounded like rabid elephants stumbling around. The leaves had frost on them, and it sounded like firecrackers going off in the early morning silence. Walked for a bit, then sat down in decent looking spot. After about 20 minutes, the woods came alive and it sounded like we were in the middle of a zoo. We sat for about 30 minutes, then moved (carefully) to another spot. We stayed out until 11:30, then came back to a late breakfast of pancakes and sausage kept warm for us at the cabin. Relaxed for a bit, then went out again with my son's friend. We had fun being yelled at by squirrels (actually surprised one, which I guess meant we were doing okay sound wise). Ended up spending about 7 hours total in the woods.
The temperature in the morning was around 30 degrees, warmed up to about 40 in the afternoon. Gorgeous sunny day. We were properly dressed for the temperature, and were never too cold or too warm, but very comfortable.
We saw a ton of animal sign. Moose, deer, turkey, and bear poop all over the place, and not very old.
We never actually saw any bears or large animals (I was expecting to run into a moose, as they are common in that area), but did hear something once, and another time found fresh deer tracks where we had heard something and saw a shadow move. My experienced hunter friend said that the bears were probably denning by this time. We also had very little experience scouting the area.
We had a blast. I loved every minute of it. As my son said, "Now I know that hunting is addicting". We might be able to get back up there one more time this fall for deer hopefully. For a last minute, unplanned, no experience hunt, it was awesome.
Tvov, Happy to hear you made it up to Vermont to get some hunting in. It sounds like you had a classic VT weekend with the cabin, the woods, the weather and the pancakes. Hopefully you had the VT maple syrup too.
I live in CT now but lived in VT for a while and still own property up there where I hunt often. Bear hunting in VT is pretty tough, particulary without a guide or dogs. In all my time spent in the woods in VT over twenty plus years I have only seen two live bear with my own eyes. They are very difficult to find by walking around. They hear you coming from far away and move out before you arrive. I think bear, as well as bobcat, are pretty elusive when it comes to hunting in VT.
VT also has a nice deer population that is worth hunting and I recommend you guys consider coyote hunting too. If you have a shotgun, I second sourdough's recommendation to hunt grouse. VT has a pretty good wild grouse population and grouse (aka partridge) hunting is pretty fun, particularly if you have a dog.
As you are finding out, hunting is a great way to enjoy the woods and to spend time with your son. Also, keep using that Winchester with open sights as its the classic VT woods gun and you'll fit right in.
Have fun and most of all be safe out there.
CT is a great place to deer hunt. All you have to do is go to one of the places that cut them up for people and their walk in freezers are full a day or two after the season opens. If you are looking to put meat on the table look more into the deer seasons here. Probably better eating too.
Connecticut is kinda hard to find a place to hunt. You have much more options bow hunting (which I don't do [yet, at least]), but even then it takes a lot of effort.
In Vermont you basically just walk into the woods.
We will be hunting in CT, hopefully next fall - you have to apply for area permits by July, correct? And you have no assurance that you will get the area that you want (There are a couple state forest areas near me, but I have heard it is very hard to get permits for those areas). I don't know anyone that owns enough private land to hunt on who allows hunting. I am looking into gun clubs, as joining one seem to be one of the best ways to be able to hunt in CT.
My friend did say that during the deer rifle season by his cabin in Vermont there are a lot of hunters in the woods - the big downside to not being too far away from populated areas. When we went last weekend for bear, we did not see or hear anyone at anytime -- it was great.
I was not hyped up to actually get a bear, I just wanted to hunt. First hunt, have to start somewhere. We had a blast, and hope to do it again.
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