Bear hunting in Pennsylvania for the lone hunter is quite an experience. This kind of hunter (Me) has no person to follow, but his instincts. That is the way I like it. However, as I age I may need to rethink still-hunting to more stand hunting.
Last Friday, the 20th, I scouted the area I planned to hunt bear, the opener fell the following morning of the 21st of November. I planned to concentrate in, and around, a recently clear cut hollow on a local state game lands. I found several piles of bear droppings. I knew bear had been in this area two to three days ago. Maybe a bear would still be sticking around.
I walked about a mile on the first morning (Second morning here)while darkness still was the norm. I reached an area as the sky became colored as the sun crept higher. It was a beautiful sunrise. However, prior to my arrival I was serenaded by a pair of Great-horned Owls. I stopped several times just to take their soothing hoots in. I smiled.
A flock of Canada Geese fly over minutes after the skies became bright. I always enjoy seeing, and listening to geese. I saw four hen pheasants in the autumn olive thickets as well as one rooster. The next morning I saw this same rooster perched high in a tree.
I left the woods earlier than I had planned due to severe knee issues.
I still-hunted most of the morning finding a total of fifteen piles of bear dung. They, too, were not “smoking fresh”. I talked to one hunter as he was coming in to hunt, and I was leaving.
The second morning (Third morning hunting)I moved in to one area where the bear sign was most numerous. the food supply was still present, and I hoped they might be cycled back around. They were not around and no new sign was present.
Again, I saw geese. I patrolled around until after noon before leaving for home. I never saw another hunter.
The morning of the 24th found me in another area and game lands. I was near Mahoning, and could often see Mahoning Creek. This hunt consisted of still-hunting a steep northern exposed hill. I had hoped to find a bear in this habitat.
I heard the sounds of a screech owl this morning as I maneuvered into the early woods. Around 7:30, I heard bear hunters way across the Mahoning putting on a drive. Five shots rang out…bear, coyote?
I saw a number of deer, a grouse, and squirrels on these days afield. I feel blessed to be able enjoy times like these.