A Lady’s Guide to Bear Hunting

Note: I started this post a few weeks ago because I was amused by the concept of ‘bear hunting rules’ being translatable to the realm of dating. Whether or not you, my galleons, are as amused as I am remains to be seen. Some of this is taken word-for-word from various bear hunting guides, but much has been embellished by me for clarity/humor’s sake. Here’s hoping it at least elicits a titter or two from you.

It may also be amusing to note that I am in no way qualified to write this.

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It’s bear season again, ladies. That time of year when our fuzzy, growling bears stumble out of their winter dens, blinking in the bright summer sunlight. Time for the avid hunter to bag herself a trophy.

This is the definitive guide for any bear hunter, from a dame on the hunt for the first time or an experienced lady looking to increase her odds of getting that desired bear. From hunting tips and tricks to proper procedure for bear registration and handling, this is the place to be.

General Information

BEARS or Burly, Epidermically Adorned, Rumbly-voiced Specimens (or the more accessible/amusing Brawny Everymen, Aka Ron Swanson) are a plentiful, yet elusive, subspecies of man, due in large part to their reclusive natures. This is not to say bears cannot be found in the wild- they simply appear at events for briefer periods of time. Only one or two bears are ever present in one group at any particular time, making bear hunting a sport of skill and precision.

For, not only must the hunter work under the strict limitations imposed by the bear’s very nature, she must also be ever wary of imitators. Oh yes, there are many males who don the trappings of the noble bear in an attempt to fool wannabe hunters.

You know, the douchebag hipster fucks.

Distinguishing between a true bear and a pretender to the title can be difficult for new hunters, but is surprisingly simple for the experienced (and the true bear devotees). While the false bears may sport ample facial hair, deep voices, and a large, cuddly build, do not be fooled. They are easily spotted by their “ironic lumberjack” attire and a distinct lack of inner MAN. Best sensed through the distinguished, occasionally troubled, lines of the face/forehead, as well as glinting sharply in the depths of the eyes, that inner manliness cannot be feigned and quickly separates the bears from the imposters.

This is best shown through a visual guide.

Figure 1: BEAR

Figure 2: IMPOSTER

Figure 3: BEAR

Figure 4: OH HELL NO

And now that you can identify your prey, let the hunt commence! You must meet all legal requirements to hunt in the current season. Only single women over the age of 18 are eligible to apply for a license. That’s right- before hunting, you must acquire a license from your local DRR (Department of Relationship Resources). The number of licenses available varies depending on region and season (please contact your local DRR operations service center for more information). Remember, you can only apply for one license. Individuals who apply more than once are ineligible for the license drawing, as are applicants who apply in parties of four or more (large packs of hunters create irreversible damage to the ecosystem for other hunters… plus, more bears tend to be injured, spooked, or driven away from public hunting grounds when pursued by large hunting packs).

Inexperienced hunters/burgeoning bear enthusiasts may be eligible for an apprentice license. There are additional restrictions on apprentice hunters. When afield, an apprentice hunter must be accompanied by someone 21 or older who possesses a regular current-season bear license for the same region as the apprentice. “Accompanied by” requires the accompanying hunter to be able to come to the immediate aid of the apprentice and stay within a distance that permits uninterrupted, unaided visual and verbal contact. Waiting at the bar while an apprentice moves in on a bear across the room is fine- waiting in the car is not.

Most importantly, observe all hunting rules:

  • A lady shall not snag or attempt to snag a bear unless she has an unused bear harvest license issued in her name for the area in which she is hunting.
  • Hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset (bears tend to be solitary, nocturnal creatures).
  • Upon snagging a bear, the holder of the bear license shall immediately attach a TAKEN tag provided with the bear hunting license to the furry lower jaw of the bear. If he grumbles at you affixing a sticker to his face and swipes at it to remove it, silence him and bind his hands. A slag tag may instead be placed on the neck of the bear if the TAKEN tag is lost or destroyed, provided the hunter’s mark is in the unique shape designated upon the license (this unique marking is established at time of licensing). The TAKEN tag must remain attached to the bear until the bear is registered at a designated bear registration station.
  • It is unlawful to disturb a bear’s den or disturb, harm or molest a bear in his den. Bear hunting is a dignified sport, and we respect the sanctity of a bear’s den. Being a solitary creature, the bear will always retreat to his den as his place of safety. Defiling a bear’s den can provoke a violent verbal reaction from the bear, as well as cause psychological trauma. Remember, a hunt is only satisfying when there is respect and admiration for the prey.
  • It is unlawful for anyone to assist and/or guide another person in any manner in the taking of a bear for a fee.
  • BAG LIMIT: Only one bear per calendar year [note: this does not preclude the hunter from bagging other game in the interim].
  • It is unlawful to take a cub (Currently Un-Bearded) bear. No bearling under the age of 18 can be legally harvested. If you are having difficulty determining whether you are dealing with a full-fledged bear or merely a cub, remember the Golden Rule: WHEN IN DOUBT, LET IT PASS.

Tips and Tricks

While it is important to know the rules and regulations surrounding bear hunting, it is equally important to familiarize oneself with some known tips, tricks, and techniques for successful bear hunts. While all bear hunts are unique, there are some widespread similarities among bears.

Baiting

There are many ways of luring a bear into a hunter’s trap. Food, scent, common interests… proper use/application of any of these can bring a bear out of the shadows and right to the prepared hunter.

While omnivorous, bears are partial to meat and flavorful, hearty dishes. Bringing a bear to a dinner suited to their tastes will make them content and complacent. Spicy world foods, savory meats, and unique desserts draw a bear in. While there is a healthy appreciation for well-prepared/paired vegetables and fruits, it is rarely productive to lure a bear with dishes composed primarily of greens.

Remember, this is a bear, not some nibbly little rabbit.

Bears often have a keen sense of smell. The hunter must remain aware of this and avoid cheap, acrid colognes and soaps. A soft, pleasant aroma detectable from close proximity but not strong enough to create a cloying cloud around the hunter is the goal.

Many bears can also be lured with activities and objects surrounding their interests. This requires careful study of the bear during the early stages of the hunt and can only be employed after the bear is already warily on the hook, as it were. However, when properly used, these can lead a bear to become firmly ensnared by the hunter quickly and effectively. This type of baiting requires more finesse than other methods and may be less suitable for novice hunters. Subtle, probing questions can reveal adequate interests, as well as context clues. We’ll use the following example:

Solely from the sign the cheeky bear above is sporting, we can make an educated guess as to a few potential interests. The sign is clever, often signalling a bear of above-average intelligence, wit, and potential interest in science/science fiction elements. A few quick questions at the beginning of the initial interaction phase of the hunt could determine more specifics, though this initial assessment allows the skilled hunter to proceed in a more detailed fashion. She can, for example, mention an interest in Doctor Who or Star Trek, programs with time travel elements. By baiting a bear with these types of shared interests, a hunter has an easier time eventually harvesting the bear.

Spot and Stalk

While not advocating anything as intense as a Sting song, a brief period of initial (mild) stalking is often helpful for a hunter. Give yourself plenty of time- the more time you can spend in a potential bear zone, the more likely you are to have a successful hunt.

During the summer months, it is often useful to patrol local watering holes in pursuit of bears. Their furry bodies and penchant for wearing too many layers even in sweltering weather lead them to a constant need to slake their thirst. Wandering a crowded bar or gathering in search of a bear can be exhausting and frustrating. Instead, it is helpful to linger around bar counters, coolers, and water fountains.

Let the bears come to you, dear hunter.

Watching their interactions with friends or other folk around them can reveal facets of the bear’s personality. Is he shy or outgoing? Loud or quiet? Playful or reserved? A bit of foreknowledge, as discussed above, can be key to a successful hunt. Allow for a brief observation period at the beginning of every hunt.

Knowledge is power, ladies.

A Few Final Notes…

The later stages of bear hunting usually occur in… ah, in warm and wet conditions. Be prepared to handle damp, sticky situations.

Further information can be found in the DRR guide What To Do With Your Bear Now That You Have Him.

And finally, it is important to remember through all the preparation and planning that bear hunting is supposed to be an enjoyable sport. Find a method that works best for you- when the hunter is comfortable, the bear is more relaxed and pliable. And never forget that, in the end, bear hunting proves as enjoyable for the bear as it does for the hunter- both benefit from the pursuit.

Happy hunting, ladies.

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