Pennsylvania Game News - November 2013 - 22

Ternent Talks
Bears
By Joe Kosack
Associate Editor

B

LACK BEARS bring out
the best in hunters. Those
crafty bears never seem to be
where we expect them to be.
In the woods - even around
our homes - they're proverbial
needles in the haystack. They can
be pushed around about as easily as a truck on flat tires. If that
wasn't enough, they hang in the
thickest, nastiest cover when the
pressure is on. The old boys sit tight.
And if they do move, they seem to find
the holes in drives and ways to sneak
around stand hunters.
If you plan on taking a bear in
the state's upcoming bear seasons,
chances are it'll require a substantial
commitment on your part. Of course,
there's that chance you'll stumble into
one - happens ever year. But more
often than not, a bear taken in our
state is the result of picking off a bear
traveling between feeding and bedding
areas, pounding thickets with hardworking drivers, or setting an ambush
in thick cover and waiting for a bear
to come to you.
All of these approaches lean heavily
on scouting. And if there's one area
where bear hunters can invest more
time, it's in doing more preseason
scouting. According to Mark Ternent,
PGC bear biologist, scouting ensures
22

you're starting your season in the right
place.
"Bears will be where there is feed
because food intake during the fall is
critical to preparing for hibernation,"
Ternent explained. "In much of Pennsylvania, that means scouting before
the season starts to assess local acorn,
beech, hickory or black cherry conditions. If you find an area with good
food conditions, your odds of seeing a
bear are better than hunting in places
with poorer food supplies. Bears also
will seek heavy cover to avoid hunters,
so any good bear hunting plans should
include some time in the thickest vegetation you can find. It's also important
to take advantage of as much hunting
time as you can. The opening day is a
great day to be out, but last year there
were more than 200 bears taken on
the last day."
Food supply always plays a critical
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Pennsylvania Game News - November 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - November 2013

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Pennsylvania Game News - November 2013 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2013 - Contents
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Pennsylvania Game News - November 2013 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2013 - BB2
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