The most obvious difficulty with spear hunting is that you must get quite near to the bear in order to obtain a shot at it. "I frequently practice from a tree, much like I do when bowhunting. To preparation for the hunt, I even toss my spear into a Morrell Target "Wells stated. "But instead of shooting at bottles, I'm trying to hit bears."
The first thing to understand about killing a bear with a spear is that you are looking for a vital area of the body. A bear's chest or stomach are typical targets because they are difficult to reach from a distance. You will also need a sharp spear. "It has to be a straight, slender spear," said Wells. "About three feet long, with a point about one-quarter inch thick."
Bears can usually be killed with a single thrust of the spear into their vital areas. It may take several attempts before you succeed. If you don't kill the bear right away, it might run away. This makes bear hunting more dangerous than usual hunting where you hope your prey falls over so you can shoot it.
Bear hunting is not for the inexperienced or those who prefer safety over thrill. However, if you are willing to take this risk, then bear hunting can be extremely rewarding. Bears have been known to cause problems for farmers and residents when they break into houses looking for food.
Bears are not difficult to dispatch with a pistol or a bow and arrow. A well-hit bear isn't going to live long. They are, however, highly merciless when struck mildly. In summary, only take broadside shots, emphasize obtaining two holes, aim four to five inches back from the bear's shoulder, and don't fire too low.
Allow the bear to settle down at the bait spot once you've established it's one you want to catch. The most effective shot, regardless of weapon—bow, rifle, pistol, or muzzleloader—will go into the heart/lung region. Consider the angle of entrance of the bullet or arrow. Will it be through the shoulder, neck, or head? This will determine which body part needs to be aligned with your target to ensure a kill.
If you are able to shoot the bear in the brain, do so immediately after it falls because as soon as it loses consciousness, it will begin to bleed from the ears and eyes. A bear can live for several hours after it has been shot so you have time to deal with the animal before it becomes too dangerous.
Bears are typically wary of humans and will usually avoid contact but if you come upon one that is not afraid then stay back away from its retreat sites (especially if it has young) and give it time to move on. Never approach a bear that is guarding food!
In conclusion, there are many ways to kill a bear. You should only worry about bears when they are a threat so use your best judgment and keep your distance if they appear agitated or defensive.
Bears that have been injured with an arrow, knife, or pistol may escalate the assault, and killing a charging bear is tough at best. If you shoot a bear in self-defense, leave the location as soon as it is safe to do so and immediately report the occurrence to Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Self-defense is not an excuse for violating any other law regarding bear management.
Bears that are not injured but merely curious about your presence may wander close by. If this happens then avoid aggressive behavior such as standing up or yelling. Instead, stand your ground and remain still. In time, the bear will likely move on. Should the bear continue to approach however, it is recommended that you take cover in order to protect yourself from being attacked.
Bears that are protecting their young are usually willing to let you pass by without incident. However, if you come into direct contact with a protective bear, make sure to keep your distance and never run away from it.
If you are lucky enough to be able to use a rifle to take down a bear, then by all means, do so. Bears that are killed this way cannot harm people later by releasing harmful substances into the environment. Rather than harming an animal that can't fight back, please call a reputable bear management group such as the National Park Service or wildlife rehabilitators where you can find help for your animal.