3 Ways to Prepare for Bear Hunting Season in Michigan

With the recent end of the 2018 application period for the fall black bear hunting season, Michigan residents eagerly await the June 25th drawing results. While waiting to see if you're lucky enough to snag one of this year's limited licenses, you can distract yourself by preparing your big game gear for the upcoming season.

Gather Information

Michigan hunting zones are divided into Bear Management Units (BMU). Each BMU covers a specific area and has unique season dates and license quotas. Some BMUs have special rules on baiting, using dogs, and the type of equipment hunters can use. Familiarize yourself with the rules and dates of your favorite hunting grounds. Get answers to any questions before scheduling your trip to ensure a smooth, and fully legal, hunt. It's a good idea to visit your preferred hunting grounds before the season starts. Use the time to scout out the land and find potential habitats.

Collect Your Camping Gear

Bear hunting is a great way to enjoy the unique beauty of fall in Michigan. However, it's important to make sure your camping gear is ready for the unpredictable weather, especially for hunters in the Upper Peninsula. Check tents, sleeping bags, and tarps for holes and other damage. Stock up on odor-proof bags and containers. These items will keep your food, trash, and personal items safe from the black bears' incredible sense of smell. Brush up on your bear-proofing techniques. Strategies like a bear hang, temporary fencing, and conscientious campsite cleaning help hunters avoid become the prey.

Sharpen Your Skills

When your prey is in your sight, you need every shot to count. Make sure you're ready with a few visits to your local shooting range. Try to extend your practice distance as far as possible. This will give you the best chance of successfully bagging a pelt. If you hunt with dogs, spend the summer months exercising them and practicing calls and signals. Most first-time hunters are required to complete a safety education course to obtain a license. However, more experienced hunters could also benefit from these classes. An online class is a quick way to refresh your memory on the finer points of safe hunting.

Spend a little time preparing for the upcoming black bear hunting season to maximize your chances of bringing home a trophy this fall