A couple of weeks ago, a friend asked me where he should go to hunt bears in the Adirondacks. I told him he would be better off staying home, but he was rather insistent.
After a few minutes of discussion, I explained it this way. With all the leaves on the trees and overly-thick underbrush, he’d have a better chance of seeing a moose than he would a bear.
But if he had it set in his mind, then I’d open a map and just put my finger on it. After all, one place is probably as good as another. Then I’d find the nearest trailhead and start walking. Bears are rather lazy, so they’ll walk the same trails you do.
If you’re good in the woods and can use a GPS or a map and compass, I suggest climbing the hillsides in the hardwoods. There are a lot of beechnuts this year and bears love them.
The last time I hunted bears in the early season, I took my fishing pole and slowly wandered the trail to Long Pond. I did see some tracks in the mud, but I never saw the critter that left them. I caught a few nice brook trout, which made the walk worthwhile.
I’ve hunted and guided in the Adirondacks since 1969 and have seen just three bears in the woods. One was on Popular Hill in the Siamese Ponds Wilderness Area.
I had wandered back into the woods looking for a nice buck, but the leaves were so crunchy I never could have gotten up close to a deer. So I sat on some rocks that overlooked a large swamp. It was a beautiful day, so I just remained on watch for the better part of an hour.