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 The Freelance Bowhunter


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The Bear Baiter’s Manual


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New bear hunting guidebook offers effective systems for successful black bear hunting
By Bernie Barringer
224 Pages, 90 Photos, retail $19.99

A first of its kind book, the Bear Baiter’s Manual is a comprehensive guidebook that offers tactics and strategies that will help the novice bag his first bear and the experienced bear hunter shoot the big mature bruin of his dreams.

Barringer has hunted black bears from Idaho to Maine and across Canada. Years of baiting for family and friends, combined with more than a dozen hunts with outfitters have taught him some things that simply aren’t common knowledge. As managing editor of Bear Hunting Magazine, he is involved in bear hunting every day, and offers a wealth of bear hunting lore.

Chapter topics include choosing a general hunting area, choosing the right specific bait site to get the bears in during daylight, targeting mature bears, acquiring the right baits and how to use them, how much bait and how often, using trail cameras effectively, understanding the black bear and its behavior, and a Trouble-shooting Guide. The book also includes the results of a survey given to 887 bear baiting guides and outfitters across the US and Canada which offers some revealing insight into their methods.

If you have an interest in bear hunting, this is a book you must have. The insightful systems described in these pages will significantly increase your odds of putting a black bear in your sights this season.

To order by mail send $19.99 plus $4 S&H to Bernie Barringer Outdoors, 9969 50th Avenue Brainerd, MN 56401
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CONTENTS

Chapter 1 ……………………………………………… 13
Understanding Black Bears and Their Environment • Sense of Smell • Sense of Eyesight • Predators VS Prey • Color and Night Vision • Visual Acuity • Sense of Hearing • Sense of Taste • Sense of Touch • Do Bears Have a Sixth Sense? • Hyperphagia and Hibernation • Home Ranges

Chapter 2 ……………………………………………… 41
Choosing a General Bait Location
Tech Talk • Land Features • Technology in the Woods • Access is Important • Terrain Features and Natural Foods

Chapter 3 ……………………………………………… 57
Choosing a Specific Bait Location
Bedding Areas • Know the Area Intimately • Mountains and Steep Slopes • The Perfect Spot

Chapter 4 ……………………………………………… 67
Preparing the Site and Treestand Placement
Weeding Out the Unproductive • The Right Tree • Shooting Lanes and Site Improvement • Backing

Chapter 5 ……………………………………………… 81
The Right Bait
Scents For Opening a Bait • Starting Baits • Keep them Coming Back • Mix and Match? • Acquiring Bait • Oil and Grease • Leave it to Beavers • Bears’ Personalities • Keeping Baits

Chapter 6 …………………………………………… 107
Baiting Strategies
The System • Balanced Diet • Bait Opening Strategies • Honey and Bacon Burns • When to use Commercial Bear Scents • How Much Bait is the Right Amount? • How Often Should you Bait? • Positioning Baits • Barrel Strategies • The Roller Barrel • Small Holes and Big Holes • Multiple Barrels • Frequency of Baiting Barrels

Chapter 7 …………………………………………… 135
Targeting Mature, Trophy Boars
Understanding Scent is a Deal-Breaker • Big Bears are Different • More Bait Less Often • Types of Bait for Big Bears • Locating Baits for Big Bears

Chapter 8 …………………………………………… 151
Trail Camera Tactics
Interpreting Trail Camera Photos • Flash or No Flash? • Time Settings • Protecting your Cameras • Checking Cams Before you Hunt

Chapter 9 …………………………………………… 175
Winning the Bug Battle
Clothing • Liquid Repellents • ThermaCELL

Chapter 10 …………………………………………… 183
Trouble Shooting Guide
Those Darn Acorns • When Baits go Dead • Nocturnal Bears • Sows with Cubs • Bears that Pattern You

Chapter 11 …………………………………………… 197
A Bit About Weapons
Broadheads: Expandables or Fixed Blades? • Rifles • Shotguns and Muzzleloaders • Crossbows • Handguns

Bonus Features

Spring Hunts vs Fall Hunts ………………………………32
Youngsters in the Woods …………………………………54
Treestand Choices ………………………………………74
Too Much Chocolate ……………………………………..89
You are what you Eat …………………………………..102
Wheels for Bear ……………………………………….132
Getting Your Bear Out ………………………………….144
Hang ‘Em High …………………………………………154
‘Shroom Cravings ………………………………………195
Choosing a Carry Gun …………………………………..208

Appendix I
Bear Hunting Laws for US and Canada ……………………. 210

Appendix II
Survey Results……………………………………….. 214


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The Freelance Bowhunter: DIY strategies for the traveling hunter

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Bernie Barringer AKA “The Freelance Bowhunter” has made more than 20 Do-it-yourself whitetail bowhunting trips in a dozen states. He is well known as the guy who moves into a new area, figures out the bucks and gets it done even when surrounded by the heavy hunting pressure that often accompanies public land. And he has been able to do each hunt on a tight budget so he can hunt two, three and sometimes four states each hunting season.

In this book he shares tactics that can help you be successful hunting public land in the great destination states. He starts with a wide view by explaining how to choose the right state and offers loads of information and stats on the best states with nonresident tag data and application information. From there he helps you narrow your search the right area within the state and the particular property that shows the most promise. Finally, he helps you pick out what he calls the “perfect stand site; the killing tree where you will get your first big buck or your next big buck.”

He also goes into detail on the aggressive hunting tactics needed to be successful on a hunt with a deadline. He explains how to eat well on the road, explores lodging options, discusses effective trail camera use, choosing the right equipment for the mobile hunter and how to deal with a buck on the ground when you are miles from home.

Finally, he explains in detail the opportunities for the 16 best whitetail “destination states” which helps the traveling hunter choose where he would like to hunt on his first or his next DIY hunting trip.

Any whitetail hunter who has ever considered traveling across state lines to have a chance to shoot a mature buck will find this one-of-a-kind book a gold mine of useful information. Every deer hunting enthusiast should have the valuable reference. The book is over 200 pages with 90 photos.

What the experts are saying:

“There are television deer shooters and then there are deer hunters. Bernie is clearly a hunter. This book should be required reading for every deer hunter setting off on a hunt in a new area. This is not just another book about rubs and scrapes, it’s a treasure of valuable information. I wish I had this book years ago.” – Myles Keller, Legendary Bowhunter

“DIY road trips are becoming more popular as a new generation of whitetail bowhunters gain the confidence to venture far from home. Bernie Barringer has put in the years and miles required to become a consistently successful DIY whitetail bowhunter. What he’s learned will help you, too. His book offers a proven game plan for success.”  – Gordon Whittington, Editor in Chief, North American Whitetail 

“No archer I know is as willing to do what it takes to be a successful DIY whitetail bowhunter like Bernie Barringer. That he would share his secrets is a gift you should treasure. Do what he says and you, too, can successfully bowhunt big whitetails on the cheap, just like Bernie has been doing for decades. – Bob Robb, Editor, Whitetail Journal Magazine.

“When it comes to traveling and bowhunting mature whitetails, the time constraints and weather variables often handcuff even the most seasoned whitetailer. It’s these situations where Barringer’s tactics and problem-solving ideas really shine. Success in the whitetail woods with stick and string is often illusive, yet the base knowledge contained herein is priceless.” – Tom Miranda

“Bernie Barringer is one of those “been there, done-that” deer hunters whose advice is worth heeding. Why? Because it can make you a better bowhunter, especially if you’re a do-it-yourselfer. And that’s why his new book is a savvy investment that offers suggestions to expand horizons and boost success.”M. R. James, Founder, Bowunter Magazine
Books can be ordered at bowhuntingroad.com or by sending $19.99 plus $3.99 shipping to Bernie Barringer Outdoors, 9969 50th Ave, Brainerd, MN 56401

CONTENTS

Foreword by Tom Miranda
Introduction by Bernie Barringer “How I got this way.”

Chapter 1 ……………………………………………… 16
So You Wanna be a Freelance Bowhunter?
DIY or Guided, which is for you? • Other Options: Leasing or Buying • What do you want from a road trip? • Do you have realistic goals? •

Chapter 2 ……………………………………………… 26
Where Do You Want To Go Today?
Choosing a general location • State Hunting Forums • State Wildlife agencies and aerial photos • Record-keeping organizations • Speaking with biologists • The Backup Plan

Chapter 3 ……………………………………………… 36
Choosing a Specific Location
Using Google Earth and Topo Maps • Downloadable Maps – iPhone and Tablet Apps • GPS Mapping • Preseason Scouting • Postseason Scouting • Trail Camera Timing

Chapter 4 ……………………………………………… 48
Choosing the Perfect Stand Sites
Find the Killing Tree • The Confidence Factor • The value of scouting • Observation stands • Setting on Sign and Instinct

Chapter 5 ……………………………………………… 60
When to Go: Early, Pre-Rut, Rut, Late
Early Season – Opening Day • Pre-rut • The Rut! • Late Season

Chapter 6 ……………………………………………… 72
Travel & Lodging Options
Camping on a Hunt • Motels and Cabins • Friends and Family • Flying versus Driving

Chapter 7 …………………………………………… 82
Eat Like a King While Staying on a Budget
Save money and eat well • Hearty and easy breakfasts • Lunches on the run • There’s nothing like a hot meal! • Cook for yourself: Fridge, microwave, crock pot, toaster • Favorite slow cooker recipes for hunting

Chapter 8 …………………………………………… 90
Equipment for the Mobile Hunter
Stands, sticks, ladders, terrain and trees • Ground blinds • How many stands do you need? • Accessories within reach • Storing and accessing equipment • Clothing and boots

Chapter 9 …………………………………………… 102
Efficient Use of Trail Cameras
Inventory the bucks • How many cameras should you run? • Put them out early • Batteries, SD cards, mobile electronics topics • Positioning cameras to gather info

Chapter 10 …………………………………………… 114
Your Deer is Down
Getting the deer out • Taxidermy: Home or away? • Meat processing options • Coolers and freezers • Dealing with doe tags

Chapter 11 …………………………………………… 128
Some Off -Beat Tactics
Get in, get up and get a big buck • Pinpoint rutting areas • Plan your strategy • Go get them! • Give it a chance to work • Windy Day Whitetails • Open country spot and stalk • Think high and think low • Creatures of the corn • Bump and Hunt

SECTION 2
State Hunting License Information …………………142
16 Bowhunting Destination States ………………….143

Colorado • 152
Illinois • 154
Indiana • 157
Iowa • 160
Kansas • 165
Kentucky • 170
Minnesota • 172
Missouri • 175
Montana • 178
Nebraska • 181
North Dakota • 184
Ohio • 188
Oklahoma • 190
South Dakota • 192
Wisconsin • 195
Wyoming • 197

Bonus Features
The Weekend DIY Hunt ……………………………. 32
Should I Keep Trying New Places or Go Back Again? ………………………………. 46
The Lost Art of Getting Permission ……………….. 58
To Partner or Not ………………………………. 76
Trade A Trip …………………………………… 81
Protecting Trail Cameras From Thieves ………………………………….. 108
Hunting on a Deadline: It Pays to be Aggressive ……………………….. 133
Realistic Expectations …………………………. 147
Glossary of Tag Terms ………………………….. 150
The Whitetail SLAM …………………………….. 201