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  #1  
Old 10-30-2017, 08:03 PM
kingfish kingfish is offline
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Guys, I hunt public land in Florida and for the first time in my life I had a bear encounter in the woods. It was huge, I'm going to say in the 400 lb range. I got a real good look at it because it was standing 15 feet below the lock-on I was sitting in. I always knew it was just a matter of time before I saw one but I always thought it would be at a distance. My question is do I need to be any more cautious than I already am scouting and going to my stand in the dark? I know I'm not exactly in what you would call bear country but I hunt by myself quite a bit and at age 57, I think it could take me now. Also, it hit my walk in trail and walked right to me. I figured it would spook. Any thoughts on that? Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-30-2017, 09:27 PM
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jbogg jbogg is offline
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Bears are highly intelligent and can be very curious as well, so I’m not surprised it followed your scent trail. I wouldn’t worry to much about them. Statistically you are probably one hundred times more likely to get struck by lightening before you get attacked by a black bear. Now the bears that get bayed up by dogs in a swamp is another story. All bets are off if a bear feels cornered. If a 400lb boar decided he wanted to have you for lunch it wouldn’t matter if you were 57 or 27.

I’m 54 and just started hunting the North GA mountains within the last two years. We have a ton of bears up here and I have seen quite a few during hunting seasons as well as during summer scouting. For the most part they are shy critters, and while a sow may bluff charge occasionally, this rarely leads to anything more serious. With all that said I too hunt solo, and do pack a sidearm during bow season just for peace of mind when trailing a wounded animal. I fully understand that a pistol can’t be used during bow season, but I want something more than a knife when crawling through a mountain laurel thicket after dark looking for a downed animal. I had a 400lb boar that was within 30 yds while I was sitting on the ground hog hunting last turkey season. One that size will definitely get your attention.
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Old 10-30-2017, 10:07 PM
ddd-shooter ddd-shooter is offline
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Much more likely to get hurt by a hog down there than a bear.
No worries.
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Old 10-31-2017, 06:53 AM
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muddsmoker muddsmoker is offline
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I feel ya I hunt by myself as well, Last Tuesday I came up less then 10 yards on a big one in the dark and Im not going lie with just my bow it rattled me. If could never hurt to pack a can of bear spray with you just in case, but as said before the statistic are on your side. Just be cautious of your surroundings and make sure someone knows where you are at and what to do if they don't here from you. And I don't know about FL but I can tell you I'm going bear hunting today!!!
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Old 10-31-2017, 03:52 PM
kingfish kingfish is offline
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Thanks guys !!!
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Old 10-31-2017, 04:20 PM
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j_seph j_seph is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muddsmoker View Post
I feel ya I hunt by myself as well, Last Tuesday I came up less then 10 yards on a big one in the dark and Im not going lie with just my bow it rattled me. If could never hurt to pack a can of bear spray with you just in case, but as said before the statistic are on your side. Just be cautious of your surroundings and make sure someone knows where you are at and what to do if they don't here from you. And I don't know about FL but I can tell you I'm going bear hunting today!!!
Guess if they knew where he was at they would know where to start looking. By that time ya may be scattered here to there
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Old 10-31-2017, 05:07 PM
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livinoutdoors livinoutdoors is offline
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Not usually gonna bother ya but like jbogg said, sidearm equals peace of mind. Truth be told i always have a gun on me.
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Old 11-02-2017, 11:05 PM
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Luke11 Luke11 is offline
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Just curious, do you hunt in the cohutta wilderness area much? I am coming up that way this weekend and looking to hunt up in there. I would love to shoot my first bear, or even a hog.
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Old 11-03-2017, 12:31 PM
Davem Davem is offline
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Well, I follow this forum as I come up to GA but I live in central Florida. The bear population has exploded. Now a days I will see a bear about every third day. I got in 2 days of muzzle loader and saw 1 bear. Sometimes I'll see 2 bears in one day so if I hunt six days and on one day saw 2 bears- that's a 1 bear per 3 days- as I tabulate it.
Years ago bears would bolt as soon as they saw you. That included a mother I bumped into that had 2 cubs. Now all is different. They have pretty much lost any fear of man because of no hunting. I have had 2 bears track me- I was sitting on the ground. Since I had a gun- not really afraid but it was screwing up my deer hunting.
Off hand, I've never heard of anyone attacked or hurt by a bear. Last year I saw a mother and yearling. I was again sitting against a tree stump. They both stood up to look at me. The yearling dropped down and ran off and then the mother did the same.
There are BIG bears. Several years ago I bumped into one where I only saw its head and then I noticed the small ears and realized it was a big bear- it didn't back off. Bears are directional- once they want to go someplace they usually do- so I backed off but hid in the underbrush and waited. It eventually came out and crossed the trail and I focused on how high its back was against the underbrush and then went over to measure. It was around 28" at the shoulder and the belly was nearly dragging on the ground- a good 400-450 lbs.
They brought back hunting on a very limited basis and then called it off because of public pressure. What they brought back was stand hunting but I thought dog hunting would have been far better as the dogs would run the bears and get them fearing man (and dog) once again.
I fear chiggers more than bears.
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:09 AM
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Triton Mike Triton Mike is offline
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I'm far from a expert but I have had some strange encounters with bears. Sometimes they are the shyest animal you have ever seen other times they are just super curious.. I was coming back from hunting and I strap my bow case on the back of my 4 wheeler. Got back to the truck and took one bite out of a sandwich and noticed my bow case was gone.. I dropped what i was doing got back on the 4 wheeler and didn't drive 50 yards and there is a bear in the road. Bear ran off found my bow case 50 yards beyond that. All this happened within 5 minutes.. Look at the bear tracks on my bow case LOL

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