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Thread: More Bear Hunting Questions

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    Okay guys, so we've figured out that no baiting, no scents unless they are sprayed in the air and not on an object. Im going deer/bear hunting in the D14 area around the San Bernadino National Forest, I'm going to go during archery season and general season, but I'm figure I might have a better chance during archery season. So question one, I know that bears have a great sense of smell, so the clothing Im going to wear should I treat it? I've seen these packs online that you wash your clothes with, and they are suppose to remove the "human" scent, are those worth looking into? Should I treat the clothes Im going to wear, then store them in a airtight bag until I go hunting? Should I look into the soaps that are suppose to remove your scent too? I have no experiance with these, but I don't want to ruin my chances because a bear caught wind of me. Second question, would my regular mossy oak camo be good enough or should I be looking into something else, like asian tiger stripe or multicam? I suppose I should wait until I start scouting and see the terrain to figure that out but Id figure Id get some opinions here first. Also, are there any mouth calls I can look into that could help bring one in, or would that just send them in the opposite direction?

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    OK not an Expert Bear Hunter like Wild1, but I have had great results from scent free Fabre spray. spray your clothes before you head out and scent free baby wipes for you when you change. I use Real Tree and Mossy Oak but earth tones work well, if you are setting in a specific area try to match the best you can.
    And Last I heard from CDFW all scents are illegal, either by Baiting or Harassment of animals regulations, I know there is still debate about the aerosol and Mist scents but when I posed that to CDFW they cam back with harassment of the wildlife. As or me I'm am passing on all scents or attractants. Yes I know you told me so Wild1.
    A fawn Bleat call can work to stop and some times draw in deer, have been told a bear will check out a lone fawn, but never have used one in the fashion. DO NOT USE A DISTRESSED RABIT CALL! that will call in all the mean nasty and now slobbering carnivores that are expecting an easy meal . Hoe this helps as I said Not an expert but I have Hunted D14 for many years

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    Play the wind. Scent control products are a marketing scheme. If the wind is in your face you can stalk an animal even after wearing the same clothes for a week.

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    Yea scent control products do nothing. I've heard that ozonics actually works but it's not cheap.

    I know they tested them on a k9 dog and spray scent products did nothing the dog was able to find the people instantly. But with ozonics the dog had trouble and it took him a lot longer to find the person. I will try to find the link to the article I read this in
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    The problem with scent control products is that in California during Archery season it normally hot as Hades everywhere! The instant a hint of sweat starts anywhere on your body, all the time effort and $ just went down the drain. Archery is imperative to have wind in face. Way too close of quarters too mess around.

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    You can start off washing your clothes and pack in a scent-free soap, but like these guys above me stated...you need to play the wind. A bear is going to smell you even is you take all the care in the world to be scent free. They just will. Play the wind and hunt. Depending on where you go in D14, archery is good, but so is the firearm season. All depends on weather, food, water, and how many people are out and about. Like Opah reiterated, scents are illegal according to DFW from the prior post. Good luck!

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    I do it all. I know that for my own nose I can smell a big difference. But for a human apparently my nose is pretty sensitive. Like... if you just *walked* past a smoker within the last like X number of days, I'll smell it on you and ask if you're a smoker.

    After washing them with non scented detergent (I don't buy special hunter-specific ones for the detergent, I found the hunter specific ones weren't fully removing my odors from the fabrics of the hunting clothes, go figure) and drying them with those special scent removing dryer sheets (the dryer sheets are important too because everything in your house goes thru your dryer too, Also if you can pass a non-scented load thru the dryer ahead of your hunting gear so that other load can remove any leftover chemical scents from the other types of detergent your wife might use, thats a big help).

    I have a dedicated plastic storage bin with a snap-loc type closure to keep it air tight. Only cleaned items go in that storage bin, AND I sprinkle some of the boot storage powder in there.

    Personally I can smell the difference between spraying down the clothes with febreeze free-nature vs hunter specific products. The febreeze, does pretty good, but doesn't quite kill it all, whereas the other do.

    I was watching a special that talked about Native American hunters, and how they would NOT eat Fish for 1 week before a hunt. So that really got me to thinking about all the smells that would come with us as modern man via the food products some of us eat. So because of that... when I'm going to go hunting, I'm mindful of what I eat the day before, and I won't bring any food stuffs that are spicy or that I think will definitely give me a strong breath smell or perhaps agitate my stomach which is easily upset into acid reflux. If I can swing it... I try to bring only fruit/nut/grain type eating materials as much as possible. I figure if anything... if a deer or bear catches the wetted-up smell of those on your breath, if anything it'd make 'em curious thru hunger perhaps?

    Also I always wear a 3/4 camo face netting mask on hunts. Stops sun-burn pretty good, keeps your breath a little more contained and most importantly keeps the darn bugs outta your face.

    Hair and fabrics/thread/fibers holds on to scents VERY much. I don't have an admirable hairline anymore so I keep my head shaved. Take care to wash/rinse your goatee if you just ate something that might have spilled or dripped into it.

    I use dead down winds bar soap and their under-arm deodorant. I really like that deodorant! It works better than anything else I've ever tried, and it doesn't give off a scent (most of them smell way too perfumey for me with my nose), just takes away the scent that's there. And like... I work from home and sit in my office room and never use air conditioning unless it gets above 85 F ... so by the end of the day... yeah...not very "fresh". But I have to go pick up my kid from the AfterSchool Daycare (i.e. be surrounded by all kinds of pretty young MILF's), and don't always have time for a quick shower first. The dead down wind deodorant (which is just Aluminum Chlorohydrate 14.4%) really does amazing at takin' away smell from my pits.

    I mean... obviously using the winds direction to your advantage is very important. You'd be surprised how darn far away you can smell a thing. When I'm on my moto sometimes on Fwy's jammin' along 80+ I'll catch wind of drivers many yards ahead where someone in the car is smoking weed. Happens A LOT more than you'd think.

    Also... when driving to your hunting destination... I like to make sure to open my windows once I get into the mountains so all the smells from that locality can draft into the car and swoosh around. Look up at the ceiling in your cars cabin sometime nearby the windows.. look at the dirt/dust staining that deposits into the fabric in the headliner up there! Most of that is from out city life. Don't want that smell do we?

    Avoid your dogs like the plague on the morning you leave for your hunt! On my brothers property sorta by Quail Lake, sometimes we go up there and shoot... for a Target holder... I brought this temporary fence thing I built which I use sometimes to keep my dog on the side of the house when we've done outside summer parties (some people are put off by affectionate 23 Lbs dogs, go figure). Long story shorter, one morning during deer season I'm there and I trail this Doe who descended thru the property down into the Gulch below, the target-holder was around this bush where I had stashed it last time I was there. This deer was very calm. When she walked around that bush... moments later she bolted outta there like the devil himself was chasing her! She ran right back up towards me and we had a frozen standoff.

    Later-on I got to thinking about Why? Why was she soo spooked? Didn't make any sense. Then it dawned on me! What smells like a dog in their world? A COYOTE! Then it all made sense!

    So yeah... you really gotta clean then spray your car seats too. I know mine always have a bunch of dog hair in them.

    I also don't drink any coffee in the field. If I want caffeine, I'll drink some pre-workout mix in water. Again.... smell/breath and also acid-reflux from my stomach sometimes with the coffee.

    Another really interesting thing to note from that morning encounter with the Doe... the weekend before we also shot-up some left-over beers from our pool party (I'm not really a beer guy so much). You should have seen how interested she was in the dirt all around that area where my brother's Target Gong is (where we blasted those beers) she spent a significant amount of time putting nose to the ground in that spot. Very interesting indeed.

    If you're out there solo, and want to blow on a mouth call... just be damn careful... because the possibility exists that they can come in from any direction... namely one you're not looking in!
    Last edited by TheGDog; 06-02-2016 at 02:01 PM.
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    During Archery season... Find the Choke Cherries!
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    As always, lots of great info here guys, thanks.. What are choke cherries though?

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    Mario: This is great info but you have been up in Big Bear, its a bowl wind will be in your face one minute and then at your back the next minute, you know this!
    Scent control is not bullshit when hunting D14. so if nothing I have said helps please use some knid of scent control. I slapped a fawn on its ass after the doe walked by me, wind in my face i can not remember cause it is constantly changing on you. But you can control your scent!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Beastmode View Post
    Play the wind. Scent control products are a marketing scheme. If the wind is in your face you can stalk an animal even after wearing the same clothes for a week.
    +1^^^^^^

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    Man i must have beer in my head. I thought it said more beer lmao. Hunt the wind. Scents kind of work but bears have good eye sight. Keep your eyes on the trees too. Black bears can climb. If you see berries hunt the berries.

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    I know a guy that works the funnel cake shack at the county fair, he gets his bear every year first thing Monday morning 😂

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    Like all the guys above "the wind". You will not be able to to be 100% scent free.or 90%. Washing your clothes with scent free detergent using scent free deodorant etc etc will help . But once you start hiking sweating "smelling" it all goes away.
    What I do is I pack my hunting clothes in a separate bag .don't wear it while you drive .start fresh seen one of my favorite hunters Randy Newberg come back from a hunt and rinsed his clothes off and hung them dry to help with the scent. I also do that Good luck


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    Sure plenty of experienced guys don't bother with scent control, and they get their bears. But I prefer to have as much on my side as I can get. It should be obvious that bears have an exceptional sense of smell. It's extremely difficult if not impossible to beat a bears nose, if they are minding what is being received. But here is the thing, they, or any other animal first need to get enough scent molecules into their olfactory receptors to first send a signal to their brains. if the signal isn't strong enough, it doesn't register. For most animals we are talking parts per million relative to the olfactory sensitivity, bears being highly sensitive and requiring less parts per million as opposed to say a dog. So the more you can eliminate human odor and smells that might be associated as human odor to a bear, or whatever your hunting, the fewer parts per million your putting out there for them to detect. Subsequently your reducing the chances of the signal being strong enough to elicit a mental response and becoming awareness.

    Granted, at some point, in most hunting situations, no matter what you do, your going to start stinking like a human again, unless you can eliminate your human odor in the field prior to a stalk (that was a tip boys, and ladies). So, if you start off clean and odor free from camp or such, and hike for a while, your likely to stink like a human well before you ever see a bear, at levels easily detected by a bear. So yes, playing the wind is often the most effective thing you can do by far. But it certainly will not hurt to try and control your stink if you can, when feasible, other than your pocket book.

    IMNSHO, your odds are better during archery season as food is easier to find, and generally plentiful, thus you should be able to find areas a bear or bears are concentrating on/in while scouting prior to the archery season, and they should still be utilizing those areas during archery season (I can not say that for rifle season, in general). Just keep in mind that bears are primarily nocturnal, so despite knowing the area(s) they are hitting regularly, you still might not find them there during legal hunting hours, so you might need to find their bedding, usually a big living pile of brush with a bed in the middle.

    Camo: Every experienced bird hunter will tell you that camo that blends into the environment and make you less detectable is extremely important because birds have color vision. Well bears also have color vision, likely to aid in finding and identifying food sources (as if they superior nose wasn't enough). However, if a bear is feeding, they are often not paying much attention to their surroundings, especially if they are mature animals, as they are the king of the forest and don't have any predators, with the exception of man (for the most part anyway). So, if you see a bear, and it's busy feasting, and you have the wind in your favor, move in quietly but fast. If the bear is on the move and not exactly stalk-able, get to a high position and keep an eye on it, as an opportunity might present itself, then or give you information for a future opportunity.

    Best of luck!

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    All experienced hunters employ sent control in way or another. Hunting with the wind in your face, attempting to eliminate your sent and sent saturation are all forms of sent control.
    Hunting with the wind in your face is by far the most important and is as not as easy as it sounds. Learning the wind and the thermal currents in the area you pursue game is the biggest challenge.
    Camouflage clothing is down the list a bit of things you will need to do.
    There wasn't enough room in the boat.

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    1. About Scent Control: You'll never fool a bear's nose, period. Like mentioned above, play the wind. Having said that, I still pay attention to my scent, but I don't use any hunting scent control products - they're a rip-off. I wash my clothes twice, once in scent-free detergent (any brand will do, I use Arm and Hammer), then I wash them a second time with nothing but water. Then I line/air dry, never use the dryer. Again, keep the wind in your face, or game over!

    2. About Camo: I use camo, especially 3D/leafy shirt of some sort, but it's mostly to look cool and impress my hunting friends. Here's the key to camo and bear hunting: movement. Let me say (write) that again, movement, or lack thereof. I've had all sorts of animals walk right past me in the forest or woods when the wind is right, but the instant you move, game over. Buy one or two pieces of camo, but, for the most part, save your money for a good pair of socks (darn tough) and boots. When you locate your bear, play the wind, and don't move unless you're absolutely certain the bear can't pick up your movement.

    By the way, comfort and performance in your clothing is more important that scent or camo. The more comfortable and confident you are, the longer you tend to stay out in the field - which increases your odds of success exponentially. Buy merino wool for warmth and long-term scent control, and do yourself a favor and purchase some darn tough socks - you can thank me later.

    Good luck and enjoy the experience.
    Last edited by Wild1; 06-03-2016 at 07:36 AM.

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    Real nice info to learn from. Is this all differ by zone? I have seen big tracks up in d10.
    Last edited by KTKT70; 06-03-2016 at 12:22 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MariotheBarber View Post
    As always, lots of great info here guys, thanks.. What are choke cherries though?
    They bear fruit right around the beginning of Archery Season.

    They grow near to water-way areas. Creeks and such.

    The cherries are delicious... but they don't have a lot of "meat" to the fruit.

    The pits within them are rather large, hence the term choke-cherries.

    The Scats with choke-cherry pits look like this :
    WP_20150725_006.jpg

    The bushes look like this (this is a rather large one, usually not quite this well developed):
    WP_20151013_002.jpg
    Last edited by TheGDog; 06-03-2016 at 09:56 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild1 View Post
    1. About Scent Control: You'll never fool a bear's nose, period. Like mentioned above, play the wind. Having said that, I still pay attention to my scent, but I don't use any hunting scent control products - they're a rip-off. I wash my clothes twice, once in scent-free detergent (any brand will do, I use Arm and Hammer), then I wash them a second time with nothing but water. Then I line/air dry, never use the dryer. Again, keep the wind in your face, or game over!

    2. About Camo: I use camo, especially 3D/leafy shirt of some sort, but it's mostly to look cool and impress my hunting friends. Here's the key to camo and bear hunting: movement. Let me say (write) that again, movement, or lack thereof. I've had all sorts of animals walk right past me in the forest or woods when the wind is right, but the instant you move, game over. Buy one or two pieces of camo, but, for the most part, save your money for a good pair of socks (darn tough) and boots. When you locate your bear, play the wind, and don't move unless you're absolutely certain the bear can't pick up your movement.

    By the way, comfort and performance in your clothing is more important that scent or camo. The more comfortable and confident you are, the longer you tend to stay out in the field - which increases your odds of success exponentially. Buy merino wool for warmth and long-term scent control, and do yourself a favor and purchase some darn tough socks - you can thank me later.

    Good luck and enjoy the experience.
    The darn tough brand socks are nice! Just got a pair recently.

    I totally forgot on my previous post that nowadays, yes, I always air-dry the gear.

    Also... definitely pick-up a Peet's Boot Dryer! Immediately wash-out your boots when you get back home and then put'em on that Dryer!

    Before the Dryer... I was never able to get the boots to where my nose was satisfied regarding scent/smell. There would always be a faint smell left behind when I would stuff my nose inside the boot and sniff. Regardless of how hot the sun was when I would leave them out to dry.
    Last edited by TheGDog; 06-03-2016 at 10:09 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheGDog View Post
    They bear fruit right around the beginning of Archery Season.

    They grow near to water-way areas. Creeks and such.

    The cherries are delicious... but they don't have a lot of "meat" to the fruit.

    The pits within them are rather large, hence the term choke-cherries.

    The Scats with choke-cherry pits look like this :
    WP_20150725_006.jpg

    The bushes look like this (this is a rather large one, usually not quite this well developed):
    WP_20151013_002.jpg
    I would have guessed those were pits from manzanita berries.
    There wasn't enough room in the boat.

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    The manzanita berries... at least ones I've seen... are much smaller (and bitter, ick!)
    Last edited by TheGDog; 06-03-2016 at 11:07 AM.
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    Thanks guys, this place is a goldmine of great information, I really appreciate it. I can see that the wind is gonna be a key factor here, as are the boots.. I need to get some new boots and some scent free detergent... Probably a more lightweight pack too.. Keep it coming guys, you guys are a huge help.. Im gonna do some research on those choke cherry bushes too

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    Quote Originally Posted by MariotheBarber View Post
    Thanks guys, this place is a goldmine of great information, I really appreciate it. I can see that the wind is gonna be a key factor here, as are the boots.. I need to get some new boots and some scent free detergent... Probably a more lightweight pack too.. Keep it coming guys, you guys are a huge help.. Im gonna do some research on those choke cherry bushes too
    Let me put it this way... I was seeing all those choke-cherry pit-filled scats in the areas I was scouting in Angeles Forest. In D14 it could be something totally different. But definitely find the water-ways. And in the spots I was hitting up... we had surprised them twice where they were chilling out in the shade of Dogwood saplings which grew beside the path of this water way, since they provided these neat little areas of cool and shade with wet cool ground to lay on in the summer heat.
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    So spraying a bit of bug repellant around my ankles to avoid lyme disease carrying ticks is obviously a bad idea then, right?

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    Depends. It is an artificial smell, and a bear will notice it, and a boar will most likely be spooked by it - BUT given a choice between applying bug repellant, and movement to scratch your ankles (or scratch anything), I'd choose the repellant. Movement in bear country will lose you a bear every time.

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    Not every strange or new smell results in a warning reaction, women have been told not to wear sweet smelling perfumes while camping or in the out back because it will attract Bears and other animals. there are skin lotions that repel insects and if you don't mind smelling a little sweet it may be a choice. there is also a pill that Bubble takes I forgot what it is but it will also help you naturally repel insects. Hopefully Bubble will chime in and clarify that for us.
    Last edited by OPAH; 06-08-2016 at 01:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MariotheBarber View Post
    So spraying a bit of bug repellant around my ankles to avoid lyme disease carrying ticks is obviously a bad idea then, right?
    Use Permethrin exactly as directed on your clothes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OPAH View Post
    Not every strange or new smell results in a warning reaction, women have been told not to wear sweet smelling perfumes while camping or in the out back because it will attract Bears and other animals. there are skin lotions that repel insects and if you don't mind smelling a little sweet it may be a choice. there is also a pill that Bubble takes I forgot what it is but it will also help you naturally repel insects. Hopefully Bubble will chime in and clarify that for us.
    I have no idea what pill your talking about.

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    Sorry Pill / spray got it mixed up, I think it was garlic capsules for the bugs.
    I use Deet 90 some odd % and then over spray with the no scent Fabre, works for me
    Last edited by OPAH; 06-08-2016 at 01:39 PM.

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