Is hunting a black bear on your bowhunting bucket list? If not, it should be! There is a lot to love about black bear hunting. For starters, black bears can be hunted in dozens of states around the country. As a result, hunting black bears, even if you hire an outfitter, is fairly inexpensive. If you are on a tight budget, go on an unguided black bear hunt. Shane Mowery, the host of Bone Maniacs TV, hunts bears every year in his home state of Idaho and says even hunters who don’t have much money should consider going west on a black bear hunt. “In many of the western states, black bears are plentiful and hunters willing to invest the time to spot and stalk bears have a great opportunity of killing a bear.” Mowery explained.

One nice thing about going west or north to black bear hunt is the odds of success are extremely high. “The odds of success when black bear hunting are much higher than they are when a person is elk hunting or deer hunting. If a person is looking for an adventure and they are on a budget, black bear hunting is the way to go.” Mowery said.

Hunters looking for the backcountry experience can hike back into the wilderness and spot and stalk bears and likely find a few feeding in the meadows. Many eastern hunters dream of hunting in the mountains and spending days at a time hiking with a backpack and tent and experiencing all the west has to offer. According to Mowery, bear hunting can provide that experience and is often overlooked. “Elk hunting gets all the media coverage but stalking bears or hunting them with hounds out here is very exciting. Nothing beats slipping in close to a big black bear and shooting him with a bow.”

Another reason every bowhunter should bear hunt is because bear meat tastes great. “A good sized bear provides a lot of meat for the freezer and when it is cooked properly, it tastes great.”

If bear hunting sounds like fun to you, don’t forget to purchase a black bear target and spend time practicing before you go hunting. Unlike deer and other animals, black bears are difficult to field judge and choosing a spot to aim at can be difficult when they look like a big black blob when you are at full draw. Morrell Targets makes a great 3D target called the Bionic Bear that looks realistic and can help you fine tune your shooting skills before bear season. Learn more at

If you are looking for a fun adventure this spring or fall, try bear hunting! The success rate is high regardless of where you hunt them, the cost is fairly low even if you hunt with an outfitter, and you will likely have the adventure of a lifetime. Hunting black bears should be on everyone’s bucket list.