• Thank you for creating an account on Hunt Talk! We require that all new users contribute at least 10 posts before gaining the ability to start new threads. Once you have made 10 posts, you will be able to start new threads in the forum.
SITKA Gear

Arkansas Public Land Black Bear

CubSlayer

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
91
Love seeing a bear story from the hunt all the way through to a bear meat meal. Bear meat IS awesome when cooked properly. The Insta-Pot is my good friend here.
 

JTHOMP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
813
Location
Louisiana
Congrats! There are a ton of bears in West Central Arkansas. What did you use for bait?

On Mikes property we used a variety of baits sweet fed, dog food, molasses, sardines. Didn’t have much activity on baits but acorns were falling. At one bait check it looked like the bear turned over the barrel of sweet feed only to eat the sardines that were in there. Going to try to collect and freezer donuts and bring the up next year.
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2018
Messages
41
Location
NW Arkansas
Great Job Jacob!
I got my first bear in AR this year too. I did a bait on my property. Corn, corn with molasses, and oats with fryer grease. You are correct the meat is delicious - better than venison in my opinion - also got a bunch of good oil by rendering the fat.
As far as the quota goes, I can remember one year that it only lasted 3 days in zone 1 but that's not normal in any way. They have since raised it and as of today it has not been met with archery or muzzleloader almost a month into the season. Last year it was never met.
 

JTHOMP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
813
Location
Louisiana
Don't know how I missed this. That sounds like a fun, albeit a tough hunt.

Definitely a fun hunt. Oddly what probably is a tough hunt turned out much easier than I expected this year. There’s a lot of luck factors that went into the first spot I scouting being where bears were.
But I’ll take luck any day. This time last year I was killing pigs every trip in the woods. Now I can’t seem to get on them and the woods are still just as full of them. Just the way it goes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LCH

RG_Adult_Onset_Hunter

Active member
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
168
Location
Ruch, Oregon
Sounds like you had a great hunt and you learned from it. I enjoy hearing from people who really appreciate the meat. Yeah it has to be treated differently in the kitchen, but man it's good.
 

CubSlayer

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2020
Messages
91
Sounds like you had a great hunt and you learned from it. I enjoy hearing from people who really appreciate the meat. Yeah it has to be treated differently in the kitchen, but man it's good.
My wife has gotten progressively better at handling bear meat every year. Nowadays she can make fantastic dishes from bear meat.
 

Silver15tacoma

New member
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
21
Spring of 2018 I wanted to change things up for an out of state hunt, and I began researching bear hunting in the east. I settled on Arkansas and have hunted it for 3 seasons now. The first two times were during rifle season and most recent with a bow. Based on sign I’ve found and advice of others early bow season is the time to find bears.

My first year I learned that I’m not as hardcore of a hunter I though I was. I failed to learn anything but told myself I had to go back and give it a better effort. My second year I scouted harder and started to put some of the pieces of the puzzle together. I killed a big doe that year, which I am very proud of. Found old bear sign and had a good idea of where to start for a 2020 bow season hunt. I also met a new hunting buddy who has a camp there and some private land adjacent to the public. We made plans for this season to hunt on his land over bait and on public. I wasn’t opposed to hunting bait, but really wanted one on public.

Opening day of archery season I found more bear scat than I had seen during the past two hunts combined, and I finally saw a bear. I didn’t settle for the spot. I kept scouting for the next best area until the wind was right to hunt it. Never found another spot as good, so I hunted it Monday with no luck. Scouted, rebaited, and hunted again on Tuesday evening.

I was hunting off the ground sitting on a small triangular folding chair behind a couple small white oaks. About 6:30PM I was watching a squirrel over my right shoulder when all of a sudden a bear is walking behind me almost straight to me. In the moment of excited I looked down, clipped my release to me bow bow, and was busted. The bear was 15 years away and was looking at me. After a nervous stare he ran to the east and stopped. Then turned around and made a loop around me to the west. I kept my head still and listened to where he was walking. It sounded like when he hit my down wind side he ran off. I was kicking myself for making a stupid mistake by not staying still, but at the same time excited about the experience and I had definitely picked the right spot.
Shortly after I saw movement to the north west and a bear walking my way. In hind sight I think this was a second bear. He came to 25 yds. He was behind and tree about to step through I good hole I had ranged when I first sat down. I drew back but he never stepped through the hole. Instead he turns and walks straight away, the turns right again. I pick the next hole and draw back. “MEH” and he stops in an opening. My 30ydd pin was on him and I sent an arrow. I saw the arrow hit and it was lower than I expected and I didn’t feel good about it. The bear ran off and after the woods were silent I heard him moan, but I was still unsure.

Once I quit shaking I went to find my arrow. It was covered in blood. I wanted to find blood on the ground before dark and then back out. Never found blood but a few yards from where I thought he was standing I saw a black figure on the ground. I walked very slowly and quietly to it, and paused between steps to look for signs of life. Eventually it was the beand he was dead.

I laid my hands on the bear and was caught between shook up and choked up. I still can’t believe what I accomplished. When I got most of my composure back I called my dad. We have very different hunting preferences but without him dragging me as a kid out I wouldn’t be here.

Mike asked if I needed help but I told him to finish his hunt then check in with me. I started getting to work skinning the bear. I was about half way done when mike called and asked if I needed help. I looked up from the bear for the first time since I started cutting and I saw 2 golden eyes shinning back at me. I turned my light on high and sure enough there is a bear 10-15yards away staring at me. Never got nervous until after I was off the phone and could hear it or other critters walking around.

Mike got there right as I was finishing up. We put the back legs in his pack, front legs, other meat, and hide in my pack and went down the mountain. A pleasant pack out. With my tag filled on Tuesday I spent the next day getting the bear to the taxidermy and sorting meat. Thursday and Friday was a mixture of scouting and hiking, and reluctantly went home Saturday morning after having one last cup of coffee with Mike.

Also, bear meat is DELICIOUS. I don’t care if the next one is on private land over bait. I’ve come to the conclusion that they are made for eating.

View attachment 157060

View attachment 157061

View attachment 157064

View attachment 157065
View attachment 157066
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
90,487
Messages
1,301,545
Members
28,109
Latest member
BendPharmD
Top