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Sun. Dec. 17, 10:00 AM ET

4 Keys to a Successful Spot-and-Stalk Bear Hunt

My heartbeat felt so hard I was sure everything in the timber could hear it. I felt like a tai chi instructor as I slowly inched my way closer and closer. Each step was so strategic and so methodical, with my toes just wiggling their way through each dry leaf.

My bow was at the ready for the draw because in only one more step I would have a shot at a world-class, color-phase, black bear at only 18 yards. There was no bait here, just a giant, sleeping bear curled up under the overhanging limbs of a fur tree. I had spotted him earlier while he was feeding along the field edge.

Now I was on the stalk! Every instinct I had learned as a bowhunter was put to the test as I readied for my shot on this beast. I drew in silence, settled the pin and eased on the trigger as I listened to my blood pump. Thump, thump, thump, WHACK! A truly magnificent chocolate bear was mine.

What a rush!

One of the “must do” adventures for any bowhunter is a spot-and-stalk bear hunt. This has undoubtedly become one of my favorite things to do each year.

It is such an adrenaline rush to test your skills, eyeball to eyeball, with one of the food chain’s top predators. I did my first one nearly 15 years ago and now have dozens of great trophies under my belt. It has made me a better bowhunter on so many levels.

Spot-and-stalk tests your strategy, your stealth, your nerves and your ability to make a shot count when your adrenaline is at its peak. What I would like to do in this article is share the keys I have learned to be totally successful on your next spot-and stalk hunt.

Where To Go

There are lots of places that offer spot-and-stalk bear hunting. My favorite place is in British Columbia, where bear hunting is not legal over bait. I was introduced to this from one of my good friends who ran an archery shop in Texas.

I had mentioned to him that I had the offseason blues one day after turkey season had finished. He offered me a place at camp where he had done spot-and-stalk. I was up for that challenge since I had never really had much of a desire to hunt bears over bait. BC isn’t the only place to stalk them.

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