I've been spending my available hunting days here at home in the Cohutta Wilderness and Wildlife Management area just north of where I live. It's a beautiful area home to a healthy black bear population and every year more Georgia bears are killed here than anywhere else in the state. My first hunting trip here was also my first time going into the area, so this has been a "scout-as-you-hunt" proposition for me. My first two days I saw 4 bears, so things looked good right away.
Those were also the only bears I saw all season here, but I was able to learn about the area and do a lot of scouting. I found plentiful sign in some areas, and others devoid of any bear activity. Resident hunters here always say to look for the acorns and you'll find the bears. The only problem was, there were acorns everywhere! The task of narrowing down a small area to concentrate on was easier said than done, so I spent a lot of time walking and scouting new ground.
Baiting is illegal in the northern zone of Georgia, so bear hunting is much like deer hunting. You are looking for trails and funnels in addition to feeding and bedding areas, and hoping to catch the bears in between. The steep country and beautiful scenery make this a very different hunt than most would expect to encounter in the south. This is a true wilderness area, with no motorized or wheeled traffic allowed on most trails. Horses are even restricted in some areas.
The season in the Cohutta Wilderness/WMA tract has closed, but there are areas of state land inhabited by bears that I hope to pay a visit to before the deer rut begins. Although I didn't harvest a bear here, this has been some of the most enjoyable hunting I've done in Georgia and it's fast becoming my favorite area in the state. There's also some great trout fishing close by so I plan on spending a lot of time here during the next year, and I'll be ready for ole Smokey early next season.
Bow: Hoyt Maxxis 35 Sight: Spot-Hogg Hogg-It Arrows: Easton FMJ 400 Broadheads: Rage 3 Blade Chisel Tip Optics: Bushnell Excursion EX 10x42 binos, Sport 650 rangefinder Pack: Under Armour Camo: Under Armour Ridge Reaper in Realtree AP Boots: Danner Pronghorn Raingear: Redhead Thunderlight