California Black Bear Hunting

California Black Bear Hunting


Shane G. with  his 1999 bow hunt bear near Redding California



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2011 California Bear Hunting Season

BEAR APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be at least 12 years of age at the time of application and possess a 2011/2012 California hunting license. Hunters are limited to one bear tag each license year. Resident bear tag applications are sold at your nearest hunting license agent or DFG office. Tags are issued in person at DFG offices or by mail from the DFG’s License and Revenue Branch (LRB) in Sacramento. Nonresident bear tag applications are available from DFG offices or by calling the LRB at (916) 227-2245.

Definition of Resident. A resident is defined as any person who has resided continuously in California for six months immediately before the date of application for a license, tag or permit; persons on active duty with the armed forces of the United States or an auxiliary branch; or Job Corps enrollees.

Bear Hunt Tag Application Fee.

Resident $42.38
Nonresident $269.74

Bear Tag Refund Policy. Tags are nontransferable and refundable only if the season has not opened.

LICENSE REQUIREMENTS: Hunting License: You must possess a California hunting license to hunt bear in CA. The cost of a hunting license is:

Annual resident - $43.46.
Junior annual resident hunting license - $11.37.
Non resident annual hunting license - $151.20.
Reduced Fee, Disabled Veteran - $6.74.
Duplicate Hunting License - $9.72.

NOTE: The One Day and Two-Day Nonresident license, age 16 and over IS NOT valid for bear hunting. You must buy the Non Resident Annual license.

The California hunting license is good from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. California resident and nonresident hunting licenses are nonrefundable and nontransferable.

Disabled Veteran Hunting Licenses. A $ 6.74 hunting license is available for qualified disabled veterans. To be eligible, applicants must submit: (1) a letter from the Veterans Administration verifying that the applicant has a 70 percent or greater service-connected disability and was honorably discharged from the United States armed forces; and (2) evidence of meeting California hunter education requirements. Applicants renewing this license may submit their disabled veteran hunting license from the previous year as proof of meeting eligibility requirements. The reduced-fee provisions do not apply to hunting tags or species stamps. Disabled Veteran Hunting Licenses are issued only through DFG Offices.

Definition of Resident. A resident is defined as any person who has resided continuously in California for six months immediately before the date of application for a license, tag or permit; persons on active duty with the armed forces of the United States or an auxiliary branch; or Job Corps enrollees.

Hunter Education Special Requirement. Hunting licenses shall be issued to hunters only upon presentation of one of the following:

An annual California hunting license from a prior year or evidence of having held such a license; a California hunter education completion or equivalency certificate; a certificate of competence or completion of a California approved hunter education training course from any state or Canadian province; or a current year hunting license from any state, province, European country or South Africa. For further information, contact any DFG office or license agent. A California hunter education validation stamp must be affixed to hunter education certificates from California.


ARCHERY BEAR SEASON - Archery bear season opens Aug. 21, 2011 and runs through Sept. 12, 2011.

GENERAL BEAR SEASON - The general season for black bears opens with the general deer hunting seasons in deer zones A, B, C, D, X8, X9A, X9B, X10 and X12, and extends through Dec. 26, 2010. In the remaining X zones, the season opens Oct. 9, 2010 and extends through Dec. 26, 2010. When hunters report harvesting 1,700 bears, regulations require the DFG to close the season early.

For daily updates on the bear season harvest numbers you can call PH# 877-277-6398.

In addition to other information sources, the DFG will mail notices to all bear tag holders that the season is closed. DFG wardens and biologists will also inform hunters they encounter in the field. All bear tags (including those unused or unfilled) must be returned to the Wildlife Programs Branch, DFG, 1416 Ninth Street, Sacramento, California, 95814 by Feb. 1, 2003. Those who bag a bear also must submit the bear skull to the DFG for extraction of a tooth. The collected teeth are aged and the data are used to help Fish and Game determine the health of the state's bear population. DFG contact: Lorna Bernard 916-653-0991 Doug Updike 916-653-1937.

USE OF DOGS: Hunters are limited to one dog in any area where the general deer season is open. No dogs are allowed during the bow season hunt.

USE OF BAIT: You CANNOT use any bait to attract a bear, or hunt within 400 yards of a dump. You may use bear gland scents but not food scents like anise or vanilla. The definition of “baited area” shall mean any area where shelled, shucked or unshucked corn, wheat or other grains, salt, or other feed whatsoever capable of luring, attracting, or enticing such birds or mammals is directly or indirectly placed, exposed, deposited, distributed, or scattered, and such area shall remain a baited area for ten days following complete removal of all such corn, wheat or other grains, salt, or other feed.

USE OF CALLS: You CANNOT use any electronic calls of any type. You CAN use mouth calls.

BAG AND POSSESSION LIMIT: One adult bear per season. Cubs and females with cubs MAY NOT be taken. (Cubs are defined as bears less than one year of age or bears weighing less than 50 pounds. If you take a bear, you must present the skull (even if damaged), to a Fish and Game department office/officer within 10 days of taking the bear for removal of a tooth for study purposes. Make sure you return your unused bear tags after notification that the bear season has ended by February 1st at any DFG office or by U.S. Mail.

SHOOTING HOURS: Legal shooting time for bear is from 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1/2 hour after sunset at the location of your hunt. California does recognize and use Daylight Savings Time.

SHOOTING FROM VEHICLES: DFG reg. 252. No person shall pursue, drive, herd, or take any bird or mammal from any type of motor-driven air or land vehicles, motorboat, airboat, sailboat, or snowmobile, except: 1) When the motor of such motorboat, airboat, or sailboat has been shut off and/or the sails furled and its progress therefrom has ceased, and it is drifting, beached, moored, resting at anchor, or is being propelled by paddle, oar or pole. (2)if they have a Mobility Disabled Persons Motor Vehicle License.

WEAPONS AUTHORIZED TO TAKE BEAR: DFG reg. 353. Bear may only be taken by rifles using centerfire cartridges with soft nose or expanding bullets; bow and arrow or wheellock, matchlock, flintlock or percussion type muzzleloading rifles using black or pyrodex powder with single ball or bullet loaded from the muzzle and at least .40 caliber in designation, shotguns capable of holding not more than three shells firing single slugs and pistols and revolvers using centerfire cartridges with soft nose or expanding bullets. Crossbows are NOT allowed to be used to hunt bear.

DFG reg. 354. Bow, as used in these regulations, means any device consisting of a flexible material having a string connecting its two ends and used to propel an arrow held in a firing position by hand only. Bow, includes long bow, recurve or compound bow. (b) Crossbow, as used in these regulations means any device consisting of a bow or cured latex band or other flexible material (commonly referred to as a linear bow) affixed to a stock, or any bow that utilizes any device attached directly or indirectly to the bow for the purpose of keeping a crossbow bolt, an arrow or the string in a firing position. A crossbow is not archery equipment. (c) For the taking of big game, hunting arrows and crossbow bolts with a broad head type blade which will not pass through a hole seven-eighths inch in diameter shall be used. For the taking of migratory game birds, resident small game, furbearers and nongame mammals and birds any arrow or crossbow bolt may be used except as prohibited by subsection (d) below. (d) No arrows or crossbow bolt with an explosive head or with any substance which would tranquilize or poison any animal may be used. No arrows or crossbow bolt without flu-flu fletching may be used for the take of pheasants and migratory game birds, except for provisions of section 507 (a)(2)`. (e) No arrow or crossbow bolt may be released from a bow or crossbow upon or across any highway, road or other way open to vehicular traffic. (f) No bow or crossbow may be used which will not cast a legal hunting arrow, except fluflu arrows, a horizontal distance of 130 yards. (g) Crossbows may not be used to take game birds and game mammals during archery seasons. (h) Archers may not possess a firearm while hunting in the field during any archery season, or while hunting during a general season under the provisions of an archery only tag. (i) No person may nock or fit the notch in the end of an arrow to a bowstring or crossbow string in a ready-to-fire position while in or on any vehicle.

SPOTLIGHTING: DFG reg. 2005. It is unlawful to use an artificial light to assist in the taking of game birds or game mammals. It is unlawful for any person, or one or more persons, to throw or cast the rays of any spotlight, headlight, or other artificial light on any highway or in any field, woodland or forest where game mammals, furbearing mammals, or nongame mammals are commonly found, or upon any game mammal, furbearing mammal, or nongame mammal, while having in his possession or under his control any firearm or weapon with which such mammal could be killed, even though the mammal is not killed, injured, shot at or otherwise pursued. It is unlawful to use or possess at any time any infrared or similar light used in connection with an electronic viewing device sometimes designated as a sniper scope to assist in the taking of birds, mammals, amphibian or fish.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to the following: (a) To the use of a hand held flashlight no larger, nor emitting more light, than a two cell, three-volt flashlight, provided such light is not affixed in any way to a weapon, r to the use of a lamp or lantern which does not cast a directional beam of light. (b) In the case of headlights of a motor vehicle operated in a usual manner and there is no attempt or intent to locate a game mammal, furbearing mammal or nongame mammal. (c) To the owner, or his employee, of land devoted to the agricultural industry while on such land, or land controlled by such an owner and in connection with such agricultural industry. (d) To such other uses as the commission may authorize by regulation. No person shall be arrested for violation of this section except by a peace officer.

RADIO USE WHILE HUNTING: It is legal to use and posses two way radios while hunting in California.

HARASSMENT OF ANIMALS: DFG reg. 251.1. Except as otherwise authorized in these regulations or in the Fish and Game Code, no person shall harass, herd or drive any game or nongame bird or mammal or furbearing mammal. For the purposes of this section, harass is defined as an intentional act which disrupts an animal’s normal behavior patterns, which includes, but is not limited to, breeding, feeding or sheltering. This section does not apply to a landowner or tenant who drives or herds birds or mammals for the purpose of preventing damage to private or public property, including aquaculture and agriculture crops.

TRESPASS: If the land you hunt on is not your own, it belongs to someone else. Make sure you have a legal right to be there. Contact the owner or person who administers the property, and secure written permission to hunt. A hunting license does not entitle you to enter private property.

“It is unlawful to enter any lands under cultivation or enclosed by a fence, belonging to, or occupied by, another, or to enter any uncultivated or unenclosed lands, including lands temporarily inundated by waters flowing outside the established banks of a river, stream, slough, or other waterway, where signs forbidding trespass are displayed at intervals not less than three to the mile along all exterior boundaries and at all roads and trails entering such lands, for the purpose of discharging any firearm or taking or destroying any mammal or bird, including any waterfowl, on such lands without having first obtained written permission from the owner of such lands, or his agent, or the person in lawful possession thereof. Such signs may be of any size and wording, other than the wording required for signs under Section 2017, which will fairly advise persons about to enter the land that the use of such land is so restricted.” Section 2016, Fish and Game Code.
Click the link below to get a trespass permission slip you can print out and carry with you.

What is the fine for a trespass infraction ticket? Look it up here:

Page #117 starts the Hunting infractions.

2016 M Trespass While Hunting = $760

2000 M Unlawful Taking or Possessing of Fish or Wildlife = $760

Click the link below to get the trespass permission slip you can print.

SAFETY: It is always unlawful to: Place on, or carry or possess a loaded rifle or shotgun in a vehicle or conveyance or its attachments on any public road or other way open to the public: Hunt while intoxicated; Shoot at any game bird from a powerboat, sailboat, motor vehicle, or aircraft while under power or still moving from use of sail or motor. (See Section 251) Shoot any firearm from or upon a public road or highway.

DISCHARGING FIREARMS OR OTHER DEADLY WEAPONS SAFETY ZONE: It is unlawful for any person, other than the owner, person in possession of the premises, or a person having the express permission of the owner or person in possession of the premises, to hunt or to discharge while hunting, any firearm or other deadly weapon within 150 yards of any occupied dwelling house, residence, or other building or any barn or other outbuilding used in connection therewith. The 150-yard area is a “safety zone.”


DFG Bear Management webpage

2006 Season

The 2006 black bear hunting season closed according to the regulations on Dec. 31, 2006. The recent regulation change that increased the tag quota from 1,500 to 1,700 bears harvested has made this the sixth time in 12 years that the season has run to its designated closure date rather than closing when the DFG has received its tag quota. A total of 24,104 bear tags were sold in 2006, including 23,818 resident and 288 non-resident tags. Non-resident tag sales decreased in 2006, comprising one-half of one percent of tag sales. A total of 1,735 black bears were reported taken this year. Overall hunter success was 7.9 percent, the same as 2005.

Once again, success rates for the different hunting methods varied only marginally in 2006 compared to previous years. Hunters with trailing hounds took 789 bears (45.5 percent), which is down approximately 7 percent from 2005 but still representing about half the take. Hunters took 651 bears (37.5 percent) while they were deer hunting, a 4 percent increase from last year. Archery hunters accounted for only 122 kills, about the same as last year, and the number of hunters using guides decreased slightly to 6.2 percent (108 kills). Ninety-three percent of successful hunters and 1.5 percent of unsuccessful bear hunters indicated the number of days they spent hunting on their report cards. Successful hunters spent an average of four days and unsuccessful hunters spent an average of 8.5 days hunting bear. Successful hunters spent slightly more time hunting than last year. A total of 362 (20.9 percent) successful bear hunters said they had taken bears on private land, up three percent from last year.

Again in 2006 the general bear season and deer season overlapped in the A, B, C, D, and some of the X zones. Zones X1 through X7b opened on Oct. 14, 2006. During the general deer season hunters were limited to one dog per hunter. Regulation changes in 2002 continue to be the primary factor affecting tag sales, season closure, and changes in the proportions of bear take by hunting method.

California 10 year bear take statistics

2002 Bear Season

The 2002 black bear hunting season closed according to the regulations on December 29, 2002. A regulation change in 2001 increased the tag quota from 1,500 to 1,700 bears harvested making it the first time in six years that the season has run to its designated closure date rather than closing when the Department has received its tag quota. The License and Revenue Branch has reported that a total of 22,157 bear tags were sold in 2002 with 21,901 resident and 256 nonresident tags. Non-resident tag sales increased moderately from 2001 but still compromising just over one percent of tag sales. A total of 1,743 black bears were reported taken this year and overall hunter success was 7.9%, down from 2001.

Once again, success rates for the different hunting methods varied only marginally in 2002 compared to previous years (see Table 3). Hunters with trailing hounds took 923 bears, (52.9%), which is up from 2001 but still representing about half the kills. Hunters took 652 bears (37.4%) while they were deer hunting, a slight increase from last year. Archery hunters accounted for only 89 kills, down about a percent from last year, while the number of hunters using guides decreased from 5.6% to 4.7% (82 kills). Eighty nine percent of successful hunters and 3.9% of unsuccessful bear hunters indicated the number of days they spent hunting on their report cards.

Successful hunters spent an average of 4.2 days and unsuccessful hunters an average of 8.0 days hunting bear, slightly higher than in 2001. A total of 369 (21%) successful bear hunters said they had taken bears on private land. Preliminary numbers, as of 5/27/2003 show that premolar teeth were collected from 1,155 (66%) of the bears harvested. Again in 2002 the general bear season and deer season overlapped in the A, B, C, D, and some of the X zones (see Table 4). Zones X-1 through X-7b opened on October 12th. During the general deer season hunters were limited to one dog per hunter. Regulation changes in 2001 continue to be the primary factor affecting tag sales, season closure, and changes in the proportions of bear take by hunting method.

2002 Bear Method Of Take Graph


2001 Season

By Jim Matthews

WRIGHTWOOD -- Tim Glenner first saw the huge bear four years ago, and he has been after it ever since. Two season back, the Wrightwood archer hit the brute in the shoulder with an arrow shot from a tree stand, but no vital organs were hit and the bear came back to the same area the next season, seemingly no worse for wear. This time Glenner’s hunting partner Louie Lesnikowski of San Bernardino hammered the same bear with a broadhead, right on the point of the shoulder, but the arrow didn’t penetrate, and the bear had a limp for a while.

This past Saturday morning, Glenner had another chance at the blond and brown bear. This time his arrow slipped behind the shoulder and went completely through the animal. As soon as the bear heard the bow and felt the sting of the arrow, he turned and came straight for Glenner, who was just 20 yards away. “He looked at me and came straight at me, swinging his paws. The only thing between him and me was a small oak tree,” said Glenner. But the arrow had gone through the bear’s lungs, and it stopped trying to get Glenner and walked away and died.

“They are tough animals,” said Glenner. “Dick Phillips [the local game warden in the Wrightwood area] said that he has seen one bear that had two broadheads in his shoulder, double-ought buck in his rump, and a .22 slug in his head, and none of them killed the bear. After seeing this, I believe it.” When dressing the bear, Glenner said he found the two wounds from the arrows they had shot previous years. His tree stand arrow left a gash across the shoulder, while his partner’s arrow left a deeper wound on the shoulder, but both were healed.

Once the bear was down, the work began. The bear was skinned and all the meat boned out. It took five backpacks of meat and one backpack load of just head and hide to get the animal off the mountain. Glenner had help from two other hunters, but it was still 2 p.m. before they had the bear at the vehicle -- 7 1/2-hours after the bear was arrowed. Glenner and Lesnikowski estimated the bear weighed around 500 pounds, and it had a huge head. Besides being a blondish-brown color, the bear also had a white blaze on his chest. Glenner said he’s going to have the skull scored for the Pope & Young record book after the required waiting period.

The bear continues the annual tradition of having at least one huge bear come out of the San Gabriel-San Bernardino mountain complex. Huge, old black bears from 500 to 700 pounds are taken each year, and some years several bears that size are taken by hunters.

Jimmy Rizzo of Orange County took another SoCal bear. Jimmy usually hunts in the San Bernardino Forest and the bear was said to be just under 200 lbs. Pictures to come of Jimmy's bear, if we can catch up to him.

Congrats to Jimmy and Tim on some real nice bears. Anybody else with any archery bear reports?


DFG News


REDDING--Bear kill totals slackened last year in some key north state counties, the Department of Fish and Game's Region 1 office said today in releasing hunting season harvest numbers. Statewide, hunters bagged 1,629 California black bears in 2001, slightly above the average of 1,611 for the previous nine years. The kill in 2000 was 1,796.

Under current bear hunting regulations, the fall season closes near the end of December or when the number of bear tags returned to the DFG by successful hunters reaches the 1,500 mark. The final kill always exceeds 1,500 because of the late arrival of tags. Hunters who bag a bear are required to have the DFG validate their bear tag and must submit the bear skull so Fish and Game can extract a small tooth for age analysis.

The 2001 totals show a significant decline in the kill in three prime bear hunting counties of the state--Shasta, with a harvest drop from 179 to 104; Siskiyou, down from 181 to 102; and, Humboldt, which fell from 130 to 110. The three are consistently at or near the list of top bear producers in California.

For 2001, Trinity County was the leading bear kill county in the state with a reported take of 198. Trinity's 2000 harvest number was 190. In second place this year was Tulare County, with a reported kill of 130. Tulare's count in 2000 was 133. Mendocino County had the third highest kill in the state at 122, up from 93.

Other north state bear kill statistics for 2001, by county, include Del Norte, down from 32 to 18; Glenn, down from 33 to 18; Lassen, down from 19 to 13; Modoc, down from 6 to 3; Plumas, up from 49 to 82; Butte, up from 38 to 39; and, Tehama, up from 65 to 79. Fish and Game said 797 hunters reported using dogs to help bag a bear; 91 used archery equipment; 594 bagged a bear while deer hunting; and, 92 used the services of a hunting guide.

1999 Season

Archery bear season opens Aug. 21 and runs through Sept. 12, 1999. The general season for black bear opens with the general deer seasons in deer zones A, B, C and D and extends through December 26. In the X zones, the season opens October 9 and extends through December 26 or until the DFG receives 1,500 bear report cards from successful hunters. No changes are proposed to the annual bear tag quota of 18,000 or the harvest quota of 1,500 bears. Last year’s tag allotment filled in mid-October, as in previous years, despite an increase of 3,000 tags (up from 15,000 in 1997). Hunters reached the harvest quota in early December 1998, closing the season early for the third consecutive year. The best counties for bear hunting in 1998 were Siskiyou with 204 bears taken, Trinity with 186 bears, Shasta with 183 bears, Humboldt with 182 bears, Tulare with 103, and Mendocino with 102.

Method of bear take graph for 1999 by county

As in past years, bear hunters had their best success at the northern end of California during last fall's statewide bear season, according to kill numbers released by the Department of Fish and Game. The DFG's Region 1 office in Redding said Siskiyou, Trinity, Shasta and Humboldt counties, respectively, were the top four bruin hunting sites in 1999, followed by Mendocino and Tehama counties. Statewide, hunters bagged 1,775 California black bears in 1999, some 99 above the final reported kill of 1998. DFG sold the full quota of 18,000 bear tags last year.

The north state rifle bear hunting season opened in most areas with the opening of the deer rifle season. Scheduled to close December 26, the season ended on November 29 when the reported kill reached the statewide quota mark of 1,500. Late arriving tags pushed the final total to 1,775. The Redding office said hunters bagged 254 bears in Siskiyou County, 240 in Trinity, 204 in Shasta, 161 in Humboldt, 84 in Mendocino and 79 in Tehama. Other totals showed there were 52 bears taken in Del Norte County, 29 in Lassen, 45 in Butte and six in Modoc.

Data from the 1999 season reveals that hunters using dogs bagged 897 of the 1,775 bears killed in California; that 615 hunters killed a bear while deer hunting; that 108 hunters bagged a bruin using archery equipment; and, that guided hunts accounted for 99 of the bear kills.

11/30/99 A wild rumor going around that bear take reached 1500 bears today and the season is closed. Say it ain't so someone. Yup, it's official now, bear season closed Monday November 29, 1999. Make sure you mail in your unfilled bear tags, the address is on the closure notice and the tag.

9/15/99 Bear tags are selling at a rate over over 1,000 tags a week. Only 2,850 tags in the 18,000 tag quota remain.

Hercules about to go to work

     8/23/99  D14 area  Check out the Holcomb Creek area, Barton Flats, Sugar Pine Mtn. near Lake Silverwood, above Oak Glen if you can gain access, and Mission Creek drainage. A large bear was hit by a car near Lake Arrowhead 8/20/99 and supposedly killed. No word from Caltrans or Fish and Game on all the details. I was lucky not to hit a 250 pound cinnamon bear 8/20/99 driving in to our camp for the bow opener. We came around a corner and luckily had room to swerve as the bear jumped up the cut bank in the dark.

    8/21/99  Congrats to Ken Pace who arrowed a 400 lb. bear near Oak Glen. Ken set up on a well used bear trail and shot the bruin from a treestand.

    8/20/99   D11 area Crystal Lake above Azusa is having bear problems. If you have a bear tag, check it out for bowhunting. The bears are hitting the trash cans, dog food bowls, and Manzanita berries. The gooseberries are just about ripe, and the acorns are looking real fat this year. Check the north side of the slopes and the running creek bottoms for fresh sign. I worked up at Henniger Flats above Pasadena last week and the forest workers are not seeing any bears there they said. Check out Fenner Canyon (near Wrightwood) and East Fork near Fire Camp #19, as these are bear hangouts too. I heard a wild rumor from the DPW road crews that Caltrans is going to open up the road through Crystal Lake all the way to Hwy 2. No word on when, just a rumor now. Good luck to all the bowhunters on the 21st opener.


1998 Season

2 bear cubs in tree12/7/98
It's official this time, bear season officially ended today. I haven't heard of any whoppers yet this year, except for Loren Nodolf's record bear up in Ventura Co. I think Loren is still waiting for the skull to be scored after the drying period, so I'll post what it scored when it's recorded. FYI for those unfamiliar with Loren, he is the #1 record holder in Boone and Crockett for Black Bear taken by a hunter. His previous record bear was from the Frazier Park area near the 'Grapevine'.

Update on the bear season closure. After hearing a rumor I talked to Tina at the Long Beach DFG office today, and she confirmed that the bear season closure notices were sent out by accident. BEAR SEASON IS STILL OPEN!!!

Well, after checking my mail today, bear season is officially closed. I got the dreaded notice of bear season closure today. I was getting ready to pack for this weekend after finally finding a couple of bears. Oh well, I don't think I care for the extra tags being sold this year, as it cut about 2 weeks off the season. If you agree, let DFG know and maybe they'll change it next year. Look out turkeys, here I come.

For the latest bear tally, call 1-916-653-4263.

The statewide bear hunting season remains open until Dec. 27, or until the reported bear take reaches 1,500 animals, whichever comes first. The DFG declared the season closed last year on Dec. 4 and on Dec. 2 in 1996. The California Department of Fish and Game today announced that hunters purchased the last of the States 18,000 bear tags Tuesday, the third consecutive year all tags have been sold and the first since the quota was raised by 3,000. Hunters purchased the allotted 15,000 tags last year by Sept. 16. As of November 8, 1998, 815 bear tags had been filled. To learn the latest count of bear taken, hunters may call a recorded message in Sacramento at (916) 653-4263. DFG biologists said the California black bear population has remained steady to increasing for several years. California's bear population is estimated at between 17,000 and 23,000 animals.

10/2/98 .... Bear report in D-14 zone
A bear was struck and killed by a car on State Highway 38 near Mountain Home Village. This is the back road to Big Bear Lake, and also near where a 400 lb. bear was taken by Rodney McGee in 1994.

2 bowhunters scored a nice bear south of Big Bear Lake. No word on size or color, anyone know the story?

8/31/98 .... Bear report in A zone
A report from Loren (Aka 'bcbear') in Ventura Co. indicates that 2 hunters were cited for waste of meat by Fish and Game. Evidently the hunters were worried about getting the hide out in the 100 degree heat to prevent hair slippage. Both have hired lawyers to fight the citation. 'bcbear' also say he took a nice 500 lb., 7 foot, brown color bear last week with a rifle. His partner was also lucky, scoring with a 5 foot black bear. Congratulations to both.

8/29/98 .... Bear report in San Gabriel N.F.
A 250 to 300 lb. cinnamon bear is raiding L.A. County Fire Camp #19 north of the San Gabriel Dam on East Fork Road. The bear seems to enjoy dumpster diving in the early a.m. hours. This is a bow only area, so you better hurry, as the season ends Sept. 6th

8/16/98 .... Bear scouting report near Wrightwood (San Gabriel N. F.) by Big Wind
Well, we saw no bear, and little sign. I guess I can tell you the spot, since it was no good, ( what a nice guy I am ). I hiked from Pinyon Ridge to the bottom of Fenner Canyon and then up Blue Ridge. I have hunted there before, and saw lots of sign and a sow and three cubs on one occasion. The bears have been going into the Fenner Canyon Honor Camp and raiding the trash dumpster and the grease trap. Yesterday, I saw only mountain quail and squirrels. This morning I drove down to Cabin Flat and scouted that area and saw only old scat. That area burned good last year. I think that with all the rain that we have received, the critters are not concentrated around water or easy feed areas. The choke cherries down around Cabin Flat and Lupine are not ripe yet, and there was no sign near them. I'll keep ya posted. Anyone else have a report???


Bear trackScouting Bears

Tracks  If you're looking for a big bear, look for big tracks. The rule of thumb is to take the front paw pad and measure across it. Now add 1 inch and you get the size in feet. Example in picture is a 6 inch across front paw track. 6 + 1 = 7 foot bear. The bear that made this track weighed 450 lbs. Bears have 5 digits on their paws like us humans. The front toes look like stubby short fingers in a track, and you'll not always see the claw prints.  Front tracks about 4 in. long and 4 in. wide. There may be a small heel mark on the front as well, but it usually does not show. Black bears have plantigrade feet, which means  both heel and toe make contact with the ground. The black bear's characteristic shuffle results from walking flat-footed, with the hind legs slightly longer than the front legs. Each paw has five strong, non-retractable claws used for tearing, digging, and climbing. Claws extend about 1 1/2 in. beyond toe track . Black bears have a characteristic way of climbing and descending trees. They mostly use their front claws for climbing and keeping a hold.

bear scat full of Manzanita berriesScat 

Bear scat can tell you a lot about the bear, like it's size and what it likes for diner. Analyze all scat you find to see what the bear has been feeding on. If you see wrappers and garbage in the scat, you know the bear is hitting dumpsters or garbage cans somewhere nearby.

The bears here in Southern California seem to eat Manzanita berries year-round. The Manzanita berry seeds are a dull brown about 1/4 " in diameter (see pic on left). Gooseberries, which are favorite fall treat for bears, have smaller seeds like the blackberries we all have eaten. When berries are in season, scat will be loose like a cow dung. Scat can be in piles or logs. Logs about 1 1/2 inch in diameter (a little bigger than Baby Ruth candy bar size), are from a decent bear. When the logs get to about the size of a coke can, you have a very large bear.

Bear claw marks on tree
Bear claw marks on a tree can give you an idea about the size of the bear by how high the reach and how wide the paw is.

Bear claw marks on tree
Bear scat. This guy was eating the acorns like mad.

Hunting Bears


If you're in a area that has a good bear population, you can set up with good optics to glass up a bear. Places to look are berry patches when the berries are ready, oak flats or benches just off brushy canyons or drainages. Once you've found the bear you want, you can then plan your stalk to get in closer for a shot. Remember to watch your wind, as bears have fantastic noses. If the bear is foraging, you will hear the bear when you get close usually. Whether you have a rifle or bow, try to get in position for a rear quartering away shot. A bear has massive shoulders and you do not want to try a shoulder shot. Instead, let the bear take a step forward with the near side leg, this will expose the vital heart/lung area.


Another way to hunt bears is to call them in with a varmint mouth call. I recommend you only do this with a partner to watch your backside because even a big bear can slip in on you in the oak leaves pretty darn quiet. If you have an area that is choked with brush and a known bear loafing or bedding area, setup downwind with a good raised view of any approach if you can. A deer fawn bleat call or even a turkey call can get the bear's attention. Be alert for other animals like cougars or coyotes to barge in on your party too. You cannot use electronic calls while bear hunting in California.


Sometimes a bear will have a pattern that you can figure out. Maybe a favorite trail or berry patch at a certain time of the year. You can set up an ambush using whatever cover you have available, even a treestand will work. One big bear I was on with a partner one year you could set your watch to. Every morning at 7:30 am he showed up on a trail in a clearing. My partner blew his first chance, and I didn't think the bear would show the next morning, but right on schedule he appeared and he made a clean kill. Again, when you set up, consider the prevailing winds, and watch your approach to your hide as not to alert the bear of your presence. Use full camo and try to keep the fly swatting and nose scratching to a minimum. Bears do not have great eyesight, but they can spot movement good enough to ruin a long wait in the woods for a shot.

Black Bear Biology 101

Black bearPHYSICAL DESCRIPTION - Ursus americanus, commonly known as black bears range from 89 to 102 centimeters (35 to 40 inches) tall when on all fours and have a length of 140 to 180 centimeters (4 1/2 to 6 feet). The weight of a black bear, which is highly variable, ranges from 57 to 272 kilograms (125 to 600 pounds) with males within a geographic area on average about a third larger than females. It has small eyes set close together, rounded ears, a long tan or grizzled snout, a large body, and a short tail. The largest American black bear to date was found in Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba, Canada. It weighed in at 365 kilograms (805 pounds). Bears have forty-two teeth. Permanent teeth are normally in place by the time a bear is approximately two and a half years old. Black bears have premolars and molars for grinding their food.

PREDATORS - The black bear's primary predator is man. It is the one bear species which seems to have the greatest capacity to live in close proximity to man. The only animal known to kill a black bear is a porcupine, when the bear gets the quills stuck in his tongue after trying to eat them and then dying from starvation. Bears can trot up to 30 mph in short bursts and are powerful swimmers. Will climb trees for food or protection. Rugged terrain and dense shrubs provide escape cover and den sites for black bears. Black bears also seek den sites under fallen trees, in hollow trees or caves, or in previously occupied dens. When possible, black bears will choose streams with dense bank side shrubbery as travel corridors to and from food sources. Primarily nocturnal, although it may be seen any time, day or night. Their curved claws are highly adapted to tree climbing and all black bears are agile tree climbers.

LIFESPAN - The life span of black bears in the wild can be twenty-five years or more. The oldest known black bear was 30 years old. (1985)

COLR PHASES - The fur color of the black bear is often, in fact, black but color phases can also include light brown, dark brown, cinnamon, beige, and even a blue-white color. There is evidence to suggest that in areas of relatively high rainfall, black bears predominate while in the drier inland areas of the continent, brown and blond bears are more common.

DIET - Eating virtually anything edible, it has been determined that more than 75% of their diet consists of vegetable matter including, berries, flowers, grasses and sedges, herbs, tubers and roots, and nuts of all kinds. For the remaining portion of their diet, animal matter such as decaying animal carcasses, fish, small marine animals, ants and other insects, honey, elk and moose calves and a variety of other small mammals (e.g., ground squirrels, marmots, etc.) are consumed. Black bears like to feed in the cool of the evening or in the early morning. During the heat of the day, they will often seek shade in the dense underbrush.

SENESE - Excellent sense of smell. Good hearing and thought to have poor vision. Recent studies have shown that a bears eyesight is fairly good. A bears eyes are reflective and mirror the slightest light like a deer.

BREEDING - Black bears reach breeding maturity at about 4 or 5 years of age, and breed every 2 to 3 years. Black bears breed in the spring, usually in May and June, but the embryos do not begin to develop until the mother dens in the fall to hibernate through the winter months. However, if food was scarce and the mother has not gained enough fat to sustain herself during hibernation as well as produce cubs, the embryos do not implant (develop). Black bear cubs are generally born in January or February. The blind cubs weigh about 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound at birth, and twins are most common. By spring thaw, when the bears start leaving their dens, the cubs are fur-balls of energy, inquisitive and playful. They are weaned between July and September of their first year, and stay with the mother through the first full winter. They are usually independent by the second winter.

Cub survival is totally dependent on the skill of the mother in teaching her cubs what to eat, where and how to forage (find food), where to den, and when and where to seek shelter from heat or danger. Except for breeding and raising young, black bears are generally solitary animals. They try to avoid humans and are considered non-aggressive except when injured, protecting their young, or protecting themselves. Daily movements are influenced greatly by temperature and food availability. Bears usually feed in the cool of the evening or early morning. During the heat of the day, they will seek shade in dense underbrush. Home ranges are determined by food types, abundance, and availability, and can be as small as 1 square mile or as great as 100 square miles.

Except for females with cubs, black bears spend most of their time alone. During the breeding season, a male and female may remain together for several days at a time in June, July and August  and groups of bears may feed in close proximity to each other if food is abundant, such as in berry patches or at dumps. Gestation is 220 days. Cubs are weaned at 8 months, but stay with mother for 1.5 years 

HOME RANGE - Female home ranges are 3 to 40 square kilometers (1 to 15 square miles). While the home ranges of individual bears are usually exclusive from those of other bears of the same sex, male home ranges are larger and may overlap those of several females. A young adult female is often allowed to establish her territory within that of her mother, while subadult males must disperse. Characteristically, a home range does not constitute one large area but rather is composed of several smaller food source areas connected by travel lanes. Open areas are usually avoided by black bears as they prefer wooded cover. Found throughout most of Canada, Alaska, south on West Coast through California, in Rocky Mountain states to Mexico, and parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New England, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri and Louisiana. Black bears (Ursus americanus) originated in Asia. They migrated to North America over time. The current black bear population, world-wide, is approximated at up to 500,000. (1992)

HIBERNATION - Most black bears, including all who live in areas with severe weather climates, will hibernate for between four and seven months. Where the weather is much more temperate and the period without food available is quite short, black bears may either not hibernate or they may simply nest in a thicket or other sheltered area for brief periods of time. During the entire period of hibernation, the black bear will neither pass urea or solid fecal waste. While urea poisoning causing death would occur in all other animals, bears have developed a unique process of recycling the urea into usable proteins. During the hibernation period, all bears lose a great deal of weight. Adult males and adolescent bears lose between 15% and 30% of their weight while it is not uncommon for a female cub with newborn cubs to have lost as much as 40% of her weight.

Most black bears vacate their winter dens over a one to two month period commencing in April or May. Both the climatic conditions (snow cover and temperature) and physiological factors such as the bear's age, the status of its health and its remaining fat reserves affect the exact timing of emergence from its den. Normally, adult males emerge first. Females with newborn cubs are usually the last to leave their dens.

Black Bear Safety

The following is the reproduction of a Usenet post originally posted in alt.animals.bears and rec.backcountry.

DO NOT leave your food, waste, or other scented objects within reach of a bear. Bears can smell anything from far distances, and will taste it, even if it is something inedible! (Eg. I have seen bears try gasoline, candles, and the grease remaining in a fire pit.) Even if you think they can't smell the food (eg unopened pop) think again... I heard of a bear who put his claw through a pop can and drink it. The only smell black bears aren't interested in is that of humans. Don't forget that gum in your pocket!


CAMPER CAMPING -- Store food and scented objects inside the camper. !!! CAVEAT !!! Do not store inside a soft-side camper as black bears can (and do) rip the sides open. Store it in the car. Put waste in the designated garbage bin in the campground. Use the campers privy, or an outhouse provided by the park. Empty the campers privy only at designated trailer dumping stations.

TENT-OUT-OF-TRUNK -- Store food and scented objects inside your car. Put waste in the designated garbage bins in the campground. Use the outhouses provided by the park. Do not store a "port-a-pottie" in your tent.

BACKPACKING/CANOEING/TRUE CAMPING -- Store all food and scented objects at least 3 meters (9 feet) up, between two trees, at least 1 meter (3 feet) from each tree trunk (remember, black bears can climb)! Burn all combustible wastes. Bury the ashes at least 20 meters (60 feet) from the campsite. Place remaining wastes in a garbage bag and store with the food and scented objects. All non-combustible garbage must be "packed-out". Use outhouses provided by the park, or, if unavailable, dig a trench six inches deep at least 10 meters from the campsite, and fill it in before you leave.


Do NOT come between a mother and her cubs. The mother will become scared for her cubs, and will attack if she fears they are in danger.

Due to their territorial nature, black bears can prove to be nuisances when they leave their mother, searching for a home. Each bear has a different temperament.. sort of like humans. Some bears will attack, others will not. Some bears are scared of humans, others have a natural curiosity. (But still don't try to get too friendly with a bear that seems nice, just like people it can have a nasty streak.

Even if you have no food out whatsoever, you may still encounter a black bear wandering during its daily travels. Upon spotting a human, the naturally curious black bear will either a) run away, or b) stop and observe the human.

If you want to completely avoid black bears, talk continuously or make loud, unnatural noise (ie. Bear Bells). This will scare off most black bears.

If a black bear DOES come uncomfortably close, or if it starts approaching you, back away SLOWLY, always watching the bear. Speak in a LOUD, DEEP voice (It doesn't matter what you say. I use "GO AWAY BEAR" as it also serves to inform others around me of my situation).


DO NOT PLAY DEAD WITH A BLACK BEAR. It is curious, and will rip you open just to see "what's inside"!

Sometimes black bears will still approach, or even attack (VERY, VERY UNLIKELY). The next step is one I have trouble convincing campers of... FIGHT BACK! Get angry with a black bear. Throw your arms up in the air, yell and scream in a deep voice, throw something at it. Throw a pot at it, or a big rock. You want to show the bear that you are in control. This sounds futile, but it works. The black bear will get scared and run away. Keep in mind though, you don't want to kill the black bear... just scare it.

Respect the black bear. Remember, you are in it's home. It may look cute and cuddly, but don't try to pet it. Let the black bear be and it will let you be.

Fatal Black Bear attack in the Smokey Mountains, May, 2000.

Bear Hunting Gear List

You'll need Acrobat Reader to read and print this .pdf file gear checklist, you can get Acrobat at

Acrobat Reader

Please click the link below for a gear checklist you can print out.


Being a hunter and living in Southern California has its challenges. The biggest problem is knowing where you can legally discharge a firearm. Each county in California has its own firearms ordinance, so Netcomp creates its maps starting with the County Ordinance. There are also many other agencies involved such as Federal, State, County, City, BLM, Private, Fish and Game, OHV, Forestry, University, Indian and Preserves. The average hunter has no way of knowing which jurisdiction prevails. The collection of data we use tries to account for all these factors and agencies. With land ownership constantly changing, it requires us all to verify that one can discharge a firearm in that area before going hunting. JHO Sponsor.

Cleveland National Forest Supervisor's Office  10845 Rancho Bernardo Rd., Suite 200, San Diego, CA - 92127. (619) 673-6180, Fax - (619) 673-6192. Email: mailroom/   California Relay Service, (800) 735-2929 (TTY), (800) 735-2922 (voice). Office Hours 8:00 am - 4:30 pm Monday - Friday.

San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor's Office  1824 South Commercenter Circle, San Bernardino, CA 92408-3430. (909) 383-5588. Hours: 8 am - 4:30 pm M-F

Angeles National Forest Supervisor's Office  701 N. Santa Anita Ave., Arcadia, CA 91006. (626) 574-1613, (626) 574-5200. (562) 342-7145. FAX (626) 574-5233.

Black Bear Hunting Links


Black Bear Hunting Ammo/Reloading

Accurate Reloading .... Saeed's great talk forum on reloading.
Alliant Powder (formerly Hercules) .... check out the online reloading data.
Barnes .... They make great bullets.
Berger Bullets .... Some of the best bullets made.
Cheaper Than Dirt .... Shooting supplies and hunting gear.
Dillon Precision Products .... One of the best reloading companies.
Federal Ammo ....
Graf and Sons Inc. .... The reloading authority.
Hodgdon Powder Company .... Reloading powder.
Hornady .... Bullets and reloading equipment.
Lapua .... Makers of match grade ammo and Vihtavuori powders.
Lee Precision Inc. .... The Lee family has been providing affordable reloading products since 1958.
MEC .... Reloading equipment.

Midsouth Shooters Supply Co. .... Your complete source for shooting accessories and supplies.

Midway USA .... The world's largest mail order shooting and reloading superstore.
Nosler .... Maker of the famous 'Partition bullets'.
Powder Valley .... Offering the finest in reloading components at the best possible price.
Precision Reloading Inc. .... Unique and hard to find reloading products.
RCBS .... If you're into reloading, bookmark this page now. All the info you need to be a top-notch re-loader is right here:
Redding Reloading Equipment ....
Remington .... Guns and ammo.
Sierra Bullets .... Bullets.
Speer .... Bullets.
Western Powders .... Western Powders is the largest Master Distributor of reloading powders in North America. We carry a full line of smokeless and black powders, and have also released our own line of high-performance, smokeless powders called RAMSHOT.
Widener's .... Here you will find great deals on all your hunting needs. From Ammunition to Powder. Featuring all the top name products such as Hornady, Nosler, Remington, RCBS, REDDING, SPEER, Winchester and much more.
Winchester Ammo .... Makers of great ammo.

Black Bear Hunting Blinds


The All-Terrain Umbrella Blind .... The All Terrain Umbrella Blind is a uniquely designed and patented camouflage blind that can be set up quickly and quietly, camouflaging the person or persons behind it.
Ameristep Pop-Up Blinds .... Portable camo blinds.
Avery .... Cerex and burlap camo blind material.
Bowsniper Blind Co. ....Compact blinds that mount to a shotgun or bow.
Buckwing ..... They make blinds, archery gear and camo umbrellas.
Double Bull Archery L.L.C. .... Makers of the popular ICE Blind, a portable camo blind.
GameTracker Portable Pop Up Hunting Blind ....
High Racks .... They have brackets for hunters to effectively add branches and camo to any stand, blind or hunting location with ease.
Hunters Equipment .... They offer a full line of deer stands, game blinds, and game feeders.
Hunters Specialties (H.S.) .... They have burlap, nylon and Cerex camo blind material and portable hunting blinds.
Invisiblind .... Portable camo blind.
Isometric Hunting Blinds .... Portable hunting blinds.
Klinger Pop Top Blind ....
Little Big Horn .... Camo tree blinds and Pac-Lounge.
Quick Pro Blinds .... Portable hunting blinds.
Oak Hollow Products .... Portable hunting blinds. 309 Old Highway 9, Waukon, IA 52172 (319) 568-4075. You can order the blinds here.
P & M Concealment Products Inc. .... Portable blinds.
Ultimate Hunting Blind .... Portable and expandable hunting blinds.
Underbrush .... Portable blinds and 3-D Leafy Camo Wear.
Wolf Den Hunting Products .... Portable hunting blinds.

Black Bear Hunting Bow Equipment

Archery Headquarters .... Online retailer for archery supplies.
B&B Archery and Bowhunting Books .... Books and videos on archery and bowhunting.
Bear Archery .... Makers of excellent bows and bow equipment. Fred Bear is a legend of the bowhunting world.
Ben Pearson Bow info .... Great place to look up info on old Ben Pearson bows, broadheads, arrow boxes and logos.
Black Widow Bows .... Fine bows and arrows.
Bowhunters Discount Warehouse .... As of 7/2001 their website is closed.
Bowhunter Magazine  .... The site of the number one bowhunting magazine. .... The Bowhunting Netcenter.
Bowsite .... If you're a bowhunter, this is one place you have to check out.
Don Brown Traditional Archery ....
California Archery Web
.... Webring of California archery shops.
Custom Feathers .... David Mitchell. 6117 Highway 190, Chillicothe, MO 64601. Phone #s: 660-646-6630 (Work), 660-646-0469 (Home-eves.), 660-646-9703 (FAX), & 1-888-353-8246 (Orders only). He makes custom arrows using fresh turkey wing primaries and some secondaries. Most fletching is natural, but he'll custom dye colors on large orders. He also buys wings, fans, and beards, so you might be able to work a trade.
Dink's Feather Shop .... They make custom arrows and sells supplies. Murraysville, WV. Ph # 304-273-3485.
Easton .... Fine arrows and other gear.
edersbow .... Online bowhunting magazine.
The Essentials Of Archery .... Original printing 1942 (This document has been liberally transcribed from the 1953 edition). "How to Use and Make Bows and Arrows" by L. E. Stemmler , Manorville, L.I., N.Y.
Game Tracker .... String tracking system. 3476 Eastman Drive Flushing, MI 48433 Phone (800)241-4833 Fax (810)733-2077
Hidden Wolf Woolens .... Sorry folks, this company closed the middle of 2000.
High Mountain Archery Equipment Sales .... they carry Gold Tip, Bow Tech, Champion, PSE, Jennings, Hoyt, Golden Key, Sims, Archers Choice, and many other quality products.
How to strip turkey feathers .... If you want to make your own barred feather fletchings.
Hoyt USA Bows .... Makers of fine bows and bowhunting equipment.
International Bowhunting Organization .... The IBO is a non profit organization founded in 1984. Their intent is to provide a means by which all persons, interested in the sport, can unite to ensure ours and our children's rights to the pursuit of bowhunting.
Jackson's Archery and Hunting Page .... Check out this San Diego California bowhunters website. Lots of good info and links here.
Magnus Broadheads .... I use these broadheads and they shoot well and are very tough.
Martin Archery .... Good bows.
The National Archery Association .... National governing body for U.S. Olympic archery.
Primitive Archer ..... Good forum and quarterly magazine.
Professional Bowhunters Society ....
PSE Archery .... Bows and other archery gear.
RibTek Broadheads .... Good tough broadheads.
Stickbow .... Your traditional archery connection.
Tammy Jo's Archery Supplies .... Custom flemish-twist bowstrings for recurves and longbows.
Trackmaster Arrow Tracking System .... Radio signal arrow recovery system.
Traditional Bowhunter Magazine .... 6 issues per year of good traditional bow info.

Black Bear Hunting Camo & Clothing

10X Wear .... Camo
Advantage Camo ....

Aervoe-Pacific Co. .... Camouflage paint in all the military colors. Best supplier I've found for painting your equipment. P.O. Box 483, Gardnerville, NV., 89410, ph# 800-227-0196.
ASAT Camo .... Tel# 423-531-7110 or you can email them at ASATCAMO@BELLSOUTH.NET.
Beartooth Products .... 3 piece camo kit for shotguns.
Brigade Quartermasters .... Outdoor gear, military issue gear, GPS, everything you need.
Bug Out Outdoorwear .... Bug nets and suits.
Bushlan Camo .... Camo clothing.
Bush Rag Camouflage Systems .... Camo ghillies.
Camo Skin .... Removable camo overlays for shotguns.
Camovision Eyewear .... You can see out, game can't see in. UV protected, patented, durable frames. I tried a pair of these and I found they kept the sun out real good but it was like looking through a thick screen door. Too distracting for me.
Columbia Sportswear Co. ....
DK Flatwoods Camo .... 3D camo
DownWind 3D Camo ....
Hidden Wolf Woolens .... Quality, Service, Dedication- Unexcelled -For your camouflage clothing needs.
Image Country Camouflage .... Camo.
Lacrosse .... Excellent boots and waders.
LongBeard Industries L.L.C. .... Makers of the "The Backpack Recliner" .
C. C. Filson .... For 102 years, Filson has been supplying rugged clothing for extreme conditions out of doors.
Mossy Oak .... America's most effective concealment system.
Natural Gear Camo ....
Polar Wrap .... Great clothing to keep your face and head warm.
Predator Camo ....
Permanone .... Spray this on your clothes to kill ticks, chiggers and other bugs. Not a repellent like "Off" or "Repel", it actually kills the darn creepy crawlies. PERMETHRIN is the generic name of the active ingredient. It is a natural pesticide from pyretherum (African flower in the daisy family) and the active ingredient is permanone. It is used on cloths only because if applied to the skin, it mixes with oils and sweat and becomes useless. It is harmless but some people may be sensitive to it. It goes by several brand names, Permanone being the most common. Once applied properly, it binds to the fabrics and lasts a minimum of two weeks, even through several washings. Another brand is called Duranon and you can get it for $3.66 for a 6 oz. can at Wing Supply.
Ranger Joe's .... Military, Law enforcement and outdoor gear.
Rancho Safari .... Camo ghillies.
Raven Wear Canada Ltd. .... Extreme cold camo clothing.
Realtree .... Excellent camo.
Rightnour Manufacturing Co. Inc. (RMC) .... Archery and Muzzleloading supplies, turkey vests, unique Non-Typical shotgun sling.
Scent-Lok .... Camo clothing and scent control suits.
Schnee's Boot's .... These guys make the best cold weather elk boots I've ever owned. I like the 'air bob' soles.
Sleeping Indian Design .... Wool and cotton camo clothing
Stick N' Limbs Camo ....
Trebark Camo ....
Underbrush .... Portable blinds and 3-D Leafy Camo Wear.
Woolrich .... Fine wool clothing.

Black Bear Hunting Gear

2nd Amendment Sports .... Stores in Bakersfield CA. and Tucson AZ.
Badger John's Huntin' Stuff .... 5400 Date Ave. , Sacramento CA. PH# 916-489-1022.
Bass Pro Shop .... One of the biggest hunting and fishing gear suppliers. Stop by one of their 'Outdoor World' stores, you'll be amazed. They have calls, decoys, shells, sights, blinds camo and tons more.
Brigade Quartermasters .... Outdoor gear, military issue gear, GPS, everything you need.
Cabela's .... One of the biggest retailers of outdoor and hunting gear. They have calls, decoys, shells, sights, blinds camo and tons more.
Field Time Sports & Guns .... 14542 Beach Blvd. Suite A, Westminster, CA  92683. Ph  714-891-3131.
Gamesaver .... Better than pepper, fights bacteria growth in warm weather. Concentrated for taking into the field.

Being a hunter and living in Southern California has its challenges. The biggest problem is knowing where you can legally discharge a firearm. Each county in California has its own firearms ordinance, so Netcomp creates its maps starting with the County Ordinance. There are also many other agencies involved such as Federal, State, County, City, BLM, Private, Fish and Game, OHV, Forestry, University, Indian and Preserves. The average hunter has no way of knowing which jurisdiction prevails. The collection of data we use tries to account for all these factors and agencies. With land ownership constantly changing, it requires us all to verify that one can discharge a firearm in that area before going hunting. JHO Sponsor.
Ranger Joe's .... Military, Law enforcement and outdoor gear.
REI ....The biggest outdoor store on the net.
Shomer-tec .... Law enforcement and military equipment. Box 28070, Bellingham, WA. 98228 ph# 360-733-6214. Call for free catalog.
Schumachers Waterfowl Supply .... 1122 W. Struck Ave., Orange, Ca. 92867. PH# 714-288-0465.
U.S. Cavalry .... World's finest military and adventure equipment.
Yellow Mart .... 82740 Miles Ave., Indio, CA 92201 Ph# 760-347-1107
Yellow Mart .... 228 W Hobsonway, Blythe, CA 92225. PH# 760-922-4215.

Black Bear Hunting Guides/Outfitters


If you know of any other good bear guides or outfitters please e-mail us at Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors webmaster emailand we will update the list. This list is for information only and no endorsement is implied. Caveat Emptor.

Blue Ride Guide Service .... Bill Sweetser, Guide license # 80. 46438 Blue Ridge Dr. Springville, Ca. 93265. Dove, band tail pigeon, turkey, bobcat, fox, duck, coyote, bear and deer. PH# 559 789 1954. bill'
Dry Creek Outfitters ... is a professional hunting guide and outfitting service. We specialize in Trophy Desert Bighorn Sheep hunts in Arizona, California, Utah and Texas. We also offer hunts for Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Coues Whitetail Deer, Mule Deer, Elk, Pronghorn Antelope, Javelina, and Bear. We are fully licensed, bonded, insured, and permitted. We have a full time team of professional, knowledgeable guides. We have also filmed, edited and produced a video called "Hunting Desert Bighorn Sheep." It includes two different sheep hunts and information on how to find and field judge rams as well as instructions on how to video tape game through your spotting scope. It is currently for sale on our website and through the new FNAWS Mercantile catalog.
Larry Lowell .... PH# 760-963-9790. Guide license number 11412.
Lassen Gun & Guides .... Guided hunting and fishing trips. PLM tags. Deer, bear, antelope, boar and birds. P.O. Box 1483, Susanville, CA 96130.
Native Hunt Enterprises .... T. Michael Riddle. License # 0001813. Wild boar, bear, deer and upland game. Lodging and meals. ph# (408) 224-6899.

Pusch Ridge Outfitters .... We are an Arizona based outfitting business that outfits and guides in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico. We are proud of the fact that we consistently produce trophies of the highest quality for our clients. Several have qualified for the Boone and Crockett all-time record book, as well as the Pope and Young, Safari Club International, and Longhunter Society books.
San Gorgonio Wilderness Outfitters .... Terry Anderson. Fully guided hunts on 7200 acres of private land in southern California. D14 PLM program. Desert bighorn, deer and bear. ph# (760) 363-6892.
Sierra Guide Service .... Littlerock, CA. PH# 805-944-9770.
Southwestern Hound Adventures .... is your headquarters for outdoor fun, outdoor video products and great pictures. If a quality hunt for Western Big Game is on your wish list we can make it happen. We specialize in Bear and Lion hunts with hounds and now have a video of the bear action you can expect.
Bucky Stone Guide Service .... Black bear hunting with hounds. Shasta lake, CA. PH# 530-275-1457.

Optics, Scopes, Binos, and Night Vision

Aimpoint .... As the choice of the U.S. Army and elite forces around the world, Aimpoint sights offer high performance, military-proven technology and rugged durability. Aimpoint's both-eyes-open, heads-up, rapid target acquisition and superior accuracy deliver unmatched precision for a variety of applications.
Backpack Hunter .... Sorry to say it, but Don "Backpack Hunter" has shut down his website after many years.
Bear Basin .... Good prices on binos, scopes and rangefinders.
B & H .... The Professional's source for tripods, photo gear, and video.
Brunton .... Makers of the 'Eterna' and 'Lite-Tech' line of binos. They also make compasses, wind meters, and survey gear.
Burris .... Fine American made scopes and binos.
Bushnell .... Scopes, binos, and Yardage Pro rangefinder.
Bogen .... Distributors for 'Gitzo' and 'Manfrotto' tripods.
Canon .... Makers of binos.
Celestron .... Makers of binos and scopes.
Crooked Horn Outfitters .... They make a bino harness that works real good for $19.99.
Custom Ophthalmics .... Manufactures custom lenses to correct astigmatism. These small lenses are made to your prescription and fitted into the eyecup of your binoculars to let you remove your glasses while viewing. For more information: 11603 Hampstead Drive, Fredericksburg, VA. 22407 . PH# 1-540-786-9276 voice/fax, e-mail:102171,
Deutsche Optik .... Retailers of 'Wild' and 'Barr & Stroud' rangefinders, Leitz Intel Analyst Magnifiers, Visulette Aspheric Magnifiers, Hensoldt binos, Optolyth scopes and binos, and WWII military optics.
Doctor-Optic Technologies Inc. .... Makers of great scopes and binos. Contact them at: 4685 Boulder Highway, Suite A, Las Vegas, NV 89121 USA, PH# 1-800-290-3634, 1-702-898-7161, (fax) 1-702-898-3737.
D & R Sports .... Good prices on binos, scopes and rangefinders.
Eagle Optics .... Online Retailer of name brand optics, also good info on scopes and binos specifications.
Fujinon .... Makers of fine scopes and binos. They also make the 'Staboscope', a bino that you can use at night and while moving.
Global Mart .... Online retailer for Tasco scopes and rangefinders, Bushnell, and ITT Night vision.
'Grippit' .... With this strap and mount, you can mount your binos on a tripod for more stability. $29.99.
HawkEyes International .... Online retailer of binos, scopes, laser sights, and night vision.
HI VIZ Fiber Optic Sights ....
Kahles .... Kahles Riflescope Manufacturing Company of Vienna, Austria is one of the premier rifle scope manufacturers in the world. With over 100 years of optical engineering behind every scope they make, Kahles has always been known by professional guides and hunters as "One of the very best and most rugged rifle scopes".
Kowa .... One of the better scope and bino makers.
Leica .... Fine German binos and scopes.
LensPen .... LensPen is a lens cleaning device that uses a carbon-based cleaning compound. Also has a little brush on the other end to aid in removing debris.
Leupold .... Fine American made optics.
Meade .... Makers of fine binos, scopes, CCD cameras, and microscopes.
Minolta .... Makers of binos.
Nikon .... Great binos and scopes.
OP/TECH USA .... Long been known for their comfortable binocular and camera straps. They have branched out into several other products of interest that are available via retailers: Fashion Strap: binocular and camera strap, E-Z Comfort Strap: binocular and camera strap, Soft Pouch: binocular and scope covers, Bino Caps: binocular, scope, and camera lens caps, Tripod Strap: tripod strap, Tripod Leg Wraps: Cordura covered foam leg wraps. For more information: PH# 1-800-251-7815 or 1-406-388-1377
Optolyth  .... Fine German optics. Contact: SCM Corporation, (distributor), PO Box 7518 San Diego, CA 92167 USA, PH# 1-800-225-9407, (fax) 1-619-692-8199.
Orion .... Online retailer of binos and scopes.
Pentax .... Makers of binos.
Redfield .... Scopes and mount.
Schmidt & Bender .... Fine German optics.
ScopLevel .... ScopLevel is a device that dramatically increases your shooting accuracy by dramatically reducing CANTING. Check out the effects of canting and what ScopLevel does to reduce it's effect at this website.
Segway-Industries home of the Reticule Leveler .... Segway Industries manufactures and sells the easiest-to-use scope alignment tool ever developed for gun owners and gunsmiths.
Shepherd Scopes Ltd. .... This scope gives you a one shot zero and accurate range-finding. Dual reticule system allows for better accuracy and reliability.
Simmons .... Good scopes and binos. Blount is the maker of this line of optics.
Springfield Armory .... For more than a decade, Springfield Armory™ has been providing high quality, proprietary counter-sniper sighting systems to the world's most demanding customers. Now with eight Government Models™ to choose from, Springfield provides outdoor, severe duty telescopic sights designed to meet the most extreme performance demands of serious law enforcement personnel and hunters world wide.
Steiner .... Pioneer Research is the maker and importer of Steiner optics. They also make dive cameras.
S.W.F.A. Inc. .... Great prices on scopes, binos and rangefinders.
Swarovski .... Fine Austrian optics
Swift Instruments Inc. .... Makers of excellent binos, scopes, magnifiers, opera glasses, and weather instruments.
Tasco .... Makers of binos, scopes, and rangefinders.
Tru_Glo .... Make fiber optic sights.
US Optics .... They design and build special purpose riflescopes for, Military and Law Enforcement, sniper and tactical use. Also, riflescopes for competition and Varmint shooting.
V-Vax Products residual oil remover .... The best lens cleaning solution since alcohol. A lot of optics shops use it and it's available at retailers all over. Leica and Zeiss use it to clean all of the internal components prior to assembly of their binoculars. For more information: V-Vax Products, 1507 Elston Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622. PH# 1-312-276-1747, (fax) 1-312-276-0909.
Weaver .... Fine scopes. Blount is the maker of this product.
Wholesale Hunter .... Good prices on binos, scopes and rangefinders.
Williams Optics .... Telescopes, mounts and camera adapters.
Zeiss .... Fine binos and scopes.

Black Bear Hunting Organizatons


The American (Black) Bear Association  .... The American Bear Association is dedicated to promoting the well-being of the black bear across North America through education and scientific research, as well as by providing opportunities for the public to observe first-hand, the true nature of this incredible species at the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary.
Boone and Crockett Club .... Promoting wildlife conservation and 'fair chase hunting'.
Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) .... Offers weekend skills clinics to women throughout North America. Explore our pages and discover  what's waiting in the great outdoors! .... All gunowners in CA need to help support Calguns.
California Dept. of Fish and Game
California Rifle And Pistol Association (CRPA)
.... Founded way back in 1875, the California Rifle and Pistol Association is an organization of sportsmen dedicated to the preservation of our American heritage. In this age of constant political attacks on the rights of law-abiding citizens to own and use firearms for legitimate purposes, the California Rifle and Pistol Association is the state organization dedicated to protecting firearm freedoms and promoting shooting sports.
Deersearch Inc. .... Dedicated to tracking wounded big game with leashed dogs. Check this site out, to see if you can help.
Hunters for the Hungry .... A great nationwide effort for sportsmen to donate extra game meat to help those in need.
Hunt Of A Lifetime .... is a nonprofit organization that grants hunting and fishing adventures to children who have been diagnosed with terminal or life threatening illnesses. We are making a difference. We need your help.
International Hunter Education Association
.... Hunter Education classes explore a variety of topics, including wildlife identification, landowner relations, outdoor survival skills, wildlife management, field care of game, and more. Volunteers teach all types of hunter safety, including the use of various modern firearms, black powder, and bow and arrow.
Pope and Young Club .... Dedicated To The Protection Of Our Bowhunting Heritage And North America's Wildlife.
National Rifle Association .... If you're a gun owner, you really need to join, to maintain your 2nd amendment right to bear arms.
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance .... The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance is a huge grassroots effort to give hunters and anglers a stronger collective voice. It's an alliance of individual sportsmen and women, plus national conservation groups, as well as local and regional clubs and organizations who care about the future of wildlife and outdoor activities on the 192 million acres of National Forests and grasslands.
Safari Club International .... Advocate for 45 million hunters and wildlife conservation worldwide.
Wildlife Legislative Fund of America .... The Wildlife Legislative Fund of America (WLFA) provides direct lobbying and grassroots coalition support to protect and advance the rights of hunters, fishermen, trappers and scientific wildlife management professionals. This is accomplished through coalition building, ballot issue campaigning and legislative and government relations.

Know of any other good bear organizations? If you do, drop us an email at Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors webmaster email

Black Bear Hunting Publications

All these books are available at unless noted otherwise. You can get used books there that are well below the new book price.

California Game And Fish ....
California Sportsman ... Some of the staff from the old Fishing and Hunting News are here.

Bear Hunting Magazine .... Excellent magazine with info on bear hunting , baiting and other topics.
"Pocket Guide to Field Dressing Game" .... by Steve Gilbert. $12.95, plastic, spiral-bound, 3 5/8 x 4 1/2 x 1/4, 26 pages, fully illustrated, ISBN 1-886127-19-0, Item #P144.

Know of any other good bear publications? If you do, drop us an email at Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors webmaster email

Black Bear Hunting Websites/Forums


Alberta Mike .... Mike's excellent website on hunting Alberta Canada's backcountry. Lots of good hunting pics here.
Bear Attack Survival Webpage - This site is for all those people who like and appreciate bears but do not want to be injured or killed by one. By James (Gary) Shelton, Bella Coola Valley, British Columbia, Canada
The Bear Den - Don Middleton's webpage on all kinds of bears. Great website to learn about all types of bears.
Bear Hunting Network ....'s great site for bear hunters. Excellent info from Stu Keck, recipes from SusieQ and more.
Black Bear Field Care Guide - Excellent tutorial with pics on how to skin your bear in the field by Russell Knight of  Knight's Taxidermy
Black Bear Weight Chart - Jim Hackiewicz of Custom Osteo has put together a girthing chart to find the weight of black bears. Many years of doing bear depredation in the state of Washington has allowed Jim to gather this helpful info.
Black Bear Meat Care and Preparation - Good info adapted from an Alaska Department of Fish and Game hunting information leaflet
California Game and Fish Magazine .... Your ticket to the hottest fishing and hunting in California.
Canuck2 ... The Lucke family - J.R., Ellen, Jennifer, Aaron, and Mike, from British Columbia Canada. Stop by here for some excellent pics and hunting info.
Care of Game Meat in the Field - Lots of good info here on how to care for your bear meat while in the field from  Doug Drum, Indian Valley Meats, HC52 Box 8809, Indian, AK 99540  Tel. (907) 653-7511.
Deerslayer 1's Webpage .... Dan has lots of deer, elk, caribou and bear pics from public land hunts.
Eastman's .... The Eastmans' Journal is the original bi-monthly magazine devoted to western trophy hunting.  Hunting journal, videos and books.
Field and Stream .... The popular magazine online. They have a great hunting and shooting forum too.
Fishing and Hunting News .... This is the fishing and hunting news magazine online version.
Hunt .... Marshall Talbott's great hunting website. He has forums for everything from Big Game hunting to Backpack gear. Check it out.
Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors (JHO) Bear Hunting Forum .... Great place to view and ask questions.
Monster .... "Online Mule Deer and Elk Hunting Magazine". It's our goal to entertain, educate, and be one of your valued hunting resources. We add new pictures, stories, tips, survey's, etc. every two weeks, so be sure and save us as a favorite and visit often.
Ted Nugent's United Sportsmen of America ....
Trophy Hunter Magazine .... Offering real hunting stories about the biggest and best trophies taken in the west every year.
Outdoor Life .... The well known magazine online.
Rocky Mountain Game and Fish Magazine .... A sportsman's guide to the best hunting and fishing in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
Washington-Oregon Game and Fish Magazine .... The one-stop information source for Northwest hunters and anglers.
Western Hunter .... Information about hunting in the west from the former editor of "California Hunter" magazine, Jerry Springer.
Jim Zumbo's webpage .... Lot's of hunting tips and cooking recipes.

Know of any other good bear websites? If you do, drop us an email at Jesse's Hunting & Outdoors webmaster email


" If you hit 'em wrong, it doesn't much matter what you hit 'em with...
If you hit 'em RIGHT, it matters even less.."

Jack O'Connor, regarding shot placement on big game animals.