Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Big Brown Hairy Beavers

In Minnesota the success rate of a black bear hunter is 25%. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) does not say anything further about that. That is just whether the tag was filled out and reported or not. In 2008 the odds of being drawn were 11 out of 16 (68.7%) and the year before it was 12 out of 16 (75%). That is just how the MN DNR does it. A total of 7,050 licenses are available in 11 permit areas for 2011. In 2010, bear hunters purchased 7,086 of the 9,500 licenses available and harvested 2,699 bears. That was a 38.1% success rate. That is really good. The MN DNR decreased the number of available tags this year. That should help keep the pressure off your bait sites from other hunters. I believe this to be the intention. I have spoken with the National Forest Service and DNR a number of times about guides with high number of bait sites. Hopefully they will restrict the number of baits a hunter or guide will be able to put out very soon. There are still a number of other variables that may affect your baits: food availability, heat, dryness, activity in your area, etc. This year is turning out to be very wet and this summer is very hot. Food should be growing like crazy in the woods. Some spots will not be accessible to bait. Those bears have it made this year. I suggest bringing out the big guns and present them with your best baits. Black bears like big brown hairy beavers. I have seen them used by stringing them on a line near bait sites in Canada. Sure seems to turn them on.

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