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bear hunting in MN

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Hi Everyone!!!

I am looking for some info on bear hunting in MN. I am currently a college student here in the TC and just found out that I have the opportunity to bear hunt here. If anybody has any info on where to go(as far as public or private land) or if anybody knows anybody that would let somebody hunt on their land that would be great. I don't know anybody here and barely even know the area. I can't afford too much since I'm a college student but would be willing to pay some money for somebody to guide/bait for me. Any suggestions, ideas, or even general bear hunting tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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Welcome! I'm sure that there are many, MANY, more people more qualified than I am to talk to you about bear hunting in MN, but I'll just share some ideas/tips I have since I'm still a rookie at it after 5 years. I'd go to the MN DNR HSOforum and click around in the bear hunting areas they have there. You'll find out when you need to apply for your permit and what all of the zones are.

You'll find out that if you ask 10 people how to hunt bear and where the best place is, you'll get 10 different answers. Everyone has there favorite bait/scent/technique to hunt. Also, if you are going to do it the "right" way, expect to invest quite a bit of $$$ and time---unless you can find someone else to bait, scout, or guide for you.

I hope others will contribute to this as I'm learning as I go. It is fun and very addicting. I love it as much or more than deer hunting! Good luck!

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One of the first things to figure out is where you want to hunt. I prefer farther up north then central minnesota due to the ease of TC guys staying close to home. however if ya want to save time and gas I have had some awesome hunts around Hinckley area. To find locations contat dnr check on nuisance bear complaints and followup with the complainant for access to private land. Also check co-op's, area sporting goods stores, etc. try to get your bait in the cities for easier access local places are hit hard and bait can get scarce. Decide on your weapon rifle, shotgun, bow and be sure to practice ya don't want to have track an

animal into a swamp I know. get apartener to help ya for baiting scouting etc. attend a dnr bear hunt clinic. lot's of things ya can do to improve your odd's. Let's hear some more ideas.

big drift

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For your first year I would heartily recomend using a guide. I've been out three years now and really enjoy it, go out of red lake with Kelly Petroske, he's an advertiser here so I think I can reccomend this. If you go to the upper

red lake site click on the washkish minnow station link and contact him. I saw him up there last week and he was filling up already, there are also 3 zones right in that area that you can apply for and I have been drawn 3 years in a row in zone 13, think they even had extra's available last year.

Advise: Don't shoot the first one you see right away, they are hard to size up if you haven't been around them before. I had to live with being called Boo-Boo for a year till I could get back up there again and get a bigger one. Let 8 (yes EIGHT) go by before I shot the second year. That stopped the mocking. They also will stay at the bait or scatter off and then return (watch your sent, keep your face in the wind, etc just like deer) take your time and make a good shot. There's lots of storys of bad hits and long trailing efforts, I think you just get too worked up when a big one comes in close to a bait.

If anybody wants I'll email pics to post, I don't know how to do that and never can figure out what the heck people are saying when they explain what to do.

Good luck, it is a lot of fun.

PS the meat is really great too, but it does not freeze well the DNR recommends eating the meat within three months. So plan on turning a LOT of people on to bear meat if you shoot a big one.

Computerly challenged Dancing Bear

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I highly recommend doing it yourself the first couple years. The first year will be a complete learning process. The second year is where you take everthing you've learned and fine tune it.

Here is a short list of some things you may want to consider that will help make it easier down the line.

1. It's September 9pm. The temp is 70 degrees and the humidity is in the 50's. What are you going to do with the bear you and your buddy's just field dressed?

2. Find a good bait source. This can take some time and it wouldn't hurt to start now. Don't talk to employees. Ask to talk to the manager or owner. Stay in contact with them and give them your name and number. Competition can be heavy so be prepared to pay for it also.

3. Get your hands on a half dozen or so 5 gallon pails with lids.

4. Figure out where your going to store all this bait. Once baiting season starts it's first come first serve and the early bird gets the worm etc...A big freezer works great..

5. Go scouting early and often. Build your crib(s) it's good to have at least two bait stations. Find a good tree for a stand and brush your shooting lane.

6. Check your bait as often as you can. I was checking mine every 2 to 3 days. I piled up the miles and burned alot of gas and vacation time to do it, but it payed off in the end.

7. Don't put out to much bait. A five gallon pail every few days is plenty.

For me, bear hunting has been some of the best fun I've had hunting. There is nothing like walking into your bait and seeing the logs all strewn about like a bomb went off and your bait cleaned out to the ground. It takes a serious commitment if you expect to see bears.

Oh, by the way, welcome to Fishing Minnesota huntingislife. This is a great place filled with alot of great people.

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i have hunted bear a few times and was lucky enough to get one my first year. one of the baits that was pretty hot where i hunted was just plain old dog food, sometimes i put some molasses on it but it really did work well. another suggestion if you want to save money is to talk to your local bakeries. they always have scraps of frosting and bread and other goodies that mr bear would enjoy. ask them and if they would be willing to just bring in a few 5 gallon buckets and they'll gladly fill em up. i also talked to a bread place and they gave me all sorts of old buns and rolls and loafs of bread. ok, one last spot, got scraps from Pearson, you know the ones that make the nut rolls, and i got boxes and boxes of scrap nut rolls, and other things that they make like licorice and lemon heads and other things. the nut rolls taste good. cut into the middle and dig in yourself, good stuff. hope this helps a little.


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hil, You could travel about 1 hour north of St.Paul to shoot a bear; there have been numerous bears shot in the NBranch, Stacy area and towards the St. Croix- this is if you don't want to drive a ton for baiting and hunting. there are plenty of nice people in the area that would let you hunt on there land with their permission. I know a fair amount of people who have shot nice bears in the area, so if you are looking for a closer area, Chisago county wouldn't be a bad area to look at.

-good luck


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