Early Bear Season, 2015

     Vermont’s early bear season opened on September 1st, and although I haven’t had the time to hunt nearly as much as I want, I have gotten out a few times. The first few weeks of September were tough due to dry conditions. I primarily still hunt, and walking quietly has been nearly impossible. There is an awful lot of green on the trees, reducing visibility and making the hunting even tougher. And then there is the heat. Daytime highs have been in the high 70’s and low 80’s which tends to limit bear activity to the cooler times of day early in the morning and later in the afternoon. The only break I’ve gotten has been the wind. Air currents typically move down the mountain in the mornings, as I  hunt up. When the currents started to flow uphill, I switch direction and hunt back down.
     The foliage is starting to turn a bit, but visibility is still limited. Without coming across any distinct sign, I have tried to stay high along ridges that overlook stands of open woods, preferably patches containing beech trees. Temperatures are starting to cool off noticeably, which should get the bears moving a bit more. Perhaps I will have better luck out of my stand once the archery deer season opens. On the one hand, I hope this is the case. Then again, I’ll have a bow and arrow in hand instead of a rifle.

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