TITLE: Radical Bear Hunter
Dick Scorzafava
Stackpole Books
RIBUTOR: Stackpole Books
Radical Bear Hunt by Dick Scorzafava


Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055

WEBSITE: Stackpole Books for more information on this and other Stackpole Books
ISBN#: 978-0-8117-3418-9, for bookstore ordering
COST: $21.95 + S/H; Paperback, color photos, 212 pages with index

The interest in black bear hunting has grown significantly in recent years. Whitetail deer, for most hunters, remain their primary focus. Bear hunting is less expensive than going after caribou, elk or moose, and bears frequently become the second big-game species to be hunted.

Black bears are relatively common in certain states, and the author features a chart that shows approximately how many bruins live in certain states and Canadian provinces. Anyone planning a spring or fall bear hunt should pick a state or province with high bear numbers.

I look at this book after being an experienced bear hunter for over 30 years. It covers all the angles a new or experienced hunter should know to be successful. Bear hunting is available in many areas, and after hunting deer for many years, sportsmen decide to tackle a game animal that has the ability to fight back if it chooses to do so. For some hunters, this faint element of danger is welcomed.

Don’t get me wrong: even though black bears can be deadly, the danger is fairly remote providing hunters do not get between a sow and her cubs. Make no mistake about it: bears can be dangerous, as the author points out in this book.

It has some great bear-hunting chapters, and the book is well illustrated by color photos. Some of my favorite chapters include:

  • Reading Bear Sign
  • Reading A Bear’s Body Language
  • Baiting The Black Bear
  • Spot And Stalk
  • Hunting With Hounds
  • True Trophy Black Bear
  • Deciding On A Hunt Location
  • Picking An Outfitter
  • Live Smart In Black Bear Country

The chapter on How To Field Judge A Bear is very informative. All bears look as big as a black VW Bug to the uninitiated sportsman when they see their first up-close bruin. Judging a big bruin can be handled in many different ways, and the author outlines his methods of judging a bear’s size.

He tells how to establish the height on a bear standing with all four feet on the ground, and how to place markers on nearby trees to give a better idea of its size. Know too that the difference between a spring bear that has just come out of hibernation, and a fall bear that is fattening up prior to hibernation, can be vastly different.

Several years ago I shot a 450-pound black bear on Vancouver Island while hunting with guide Jim Shockey, and the hide squared seven feet. That spring bear weighed 450 pounds but would have tipped the scales at about 600 pounds in the fall. The author of this book explains the differences between spring and fall bruins.

I found this book to be very informative, and chockful of useful information about bruins. It offers most of the information a beginning hunter will need, and there is some data here that even some advanced bear hunters may not know.

It is a worthy book to add to any hunter’s library, and if that hunter is gearing up for a future bear hunt, this is one title he should read.

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Written on June 22nd, 2008 , Book Reviews Tags: , , , , , , ,

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