When going on a bear hunt there are a few essentials that I never leave home without. Hunting with hounds involves some specialized equipment that is typically expensive but worth every penny. The equipment i’m talking about is tracking equipment for our dogs. The equipment consists of collars that you put on the dog and a receiver that can give an estimated direction and distance to that animal. This equipment cost around $125 per collar and we don’t turn a dog loose without a tracking collar. The receiver is where the real money is at though. These can cost anywhere between $600-$1200 depending on the make model, and features.
Another piece of equipment that can be seen in the picture is a handheld radio. This is very important when going into the woods. This enables us to keep contact with not only people still on the road, but with others that are in the woods. This is crucial, especially when guns are involved, because you have to know where everyone is. The next item that I don’t go bear hunting without is pretty obviously some guns. I typically take 3 different guns with me to be prepared for any situation. The pistol seen in the picture is a .44 mag revolver. This gun goes with me on any trip I make into the woods. It’s a gun that I don’t use very often but its very important in the sense that I have it in case I happen to be in danger. The next gun I have is my Mossberg 500 pump 12 gauge. This is the gun that gets the most use when hunting. Most of the roads we are hunting on are thick brushy roads that you can’t see very far on. That makes my 500 a perfect gun. Its great for close range knock down power as well as it holds plenty of shells. The last gun I carry is my lever action 30/30. This gun is used in the rare instance that we are on more open roads and I will be taking a shot over 50 yards. This gun is also used if we are fortunate enough to get the bear to limb a tree, which is a task all in itself.
The final piece of equipment, and probably the most important, is my compass. I never go in the woods without it for obvious reasons. We are walking in some of the thickest and most dense cover in Michigan and its very easy to get turned around. With a little bit of knowledge you can use a compass to navigate your way out of the woods wherever you are. With these technologically advanced as well as simple pieces of equipment I am always in the hunt.
For the next week I will be spending my time in the swamps of the Upper Peninsula in pursuit of black bear. I won’t be able to post any updates while i’m gone for obvious reasons bu i’m sure I will have plenty of stories and videos to share when I return. With some luck we will get some great footage to add to our work in progress “Dead Bear Running Part 1“. Make sure and check back in here at The Wild North for more great stuff.