5 Steps to a Monster Bear

Once you have located a big bore, don't screw it up.

In 2017, Dale Boyer caught the above picture of a large bear and has been after it ever since.  It’s at least ten years old and a Canadian bruiser that didn’t get old by making mistakes.  I asked Boyer about his strategy for a large, crafty bear, and he quickly identified five principles to follow.


“Wait him out. Wait for the right time,” said Boyer.  Just as overhunting a deer stand can contaminate the area with scent, so too with bears.  The rut is just kicking in where Boyer hunts, and he’s seeing bores showing up at new baits where they hadn’t been seen before.  Big bores are on the prowl, and playing the wind and hunting when the time is right is important.


“It’s all about timing when it comes to big bears,” Boyer says.  “Let them get used to coming to a bait site and not being disturbed.”  Since most bears are hunted in the evening, I asked Boyer about the potential of hunting in the morning.  He discouraged that idea because getting to a stand quietly in the dark could spook a bear near the site.


Don’t give up if a bear does not show up for a few days.  “The bait site is now ingrained in the bear’s brain and it will return.  Its stomach will prevail,” Boyer advises.  Like deer hunting, if you want a big one, you must let the little ones walk. This can be especially difficult as members of your group or camp have success, and the bear that was too small on opening day suddenly seems to be larger.  If you want a monster bear, stick to your arrows.


“Change nothing.  Keep the same bait and baiting routine.”  Do not introduce new baits or scent attractants.  If the bear approaches and investigates the site once, it will do so again.  To paraphrase an old saying, “Don’t fix what ain’t broke.”  You know the distance to the bait, so practice a few arrows daily to keep your aim tuned.

Stay the Course

“Know its schedule.  Trust your game cameras and the information they provide.”  The bear will form a pattern and stick to it like clockwork.  Normally, it will show up within 15 minutes on either side of the clock when it frequents the bait.  Good luck, Dale.  May your Grim Reaper find its mark on that giant bear so that you can watch it drop.





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