6 p.m.–8 p.m.
▶ When a bear comes out of its den, it remains idle for a week or so. Once its digestive system starts churning, the bear cruises for food in moist areas like creek bottoms, swamps, and south-facing slopes with an exposure to the spring sun. A binocular can help you cut down somewhat on the hiking, but hunting bears in places where they're not baited requires covering ground to find the new grass and forbs that bears prefer early in the season. A study in northwestern Montana found black bears keyed on clover and dandelions at this time.