Not everything is bigger in America! The massive Brown Bear in some of the European based maps exceeds its American based black peer by far in size and weight. It can get as heavy as 482kg and thus reach almost the weight of a Roosevelt Elk. Despite its impressive size, the Brown is rather shy though. In order to hunt it in the field you need a good camo, a good weapon and a bit of experience. While it mainly inhabits the western parts of the winter map Hemmeldal, it roams the entire river area of Val-des-Bois. Often times even an inexperienced hunter can enjoy a long distance kill shot on one of these omnivores, at least as long as they brought a big caliber gun.
All Brown Bears travel alone. You might spot several of them at once, but this will be due to some areas being very fertile soil for the spawning of these bears. You will also see accumulations near feeders, but they all came alone to the party and will leave again without company.
The Brown Bear has a decent eyesight. Consider using Sneaky 3D Summer Camo or Winter Camoclothes to reduce your visibility. Sneaky 3D camo clothes provide no scent or sound reduction though. Brown Bears have good senses for hearing and especially smelling. Consider additional protection with Scent Eliminator. Also use Face Paint or a Ghillie Suit, but remember the loudness of this suit and reduce your movements to a minimum.
Scent Eliminator and Wind Indicator
This species has a sense of smell and will detect players around them. Especially when upwind, you will see close-by animals stick their nose into the wind, then run away. The Scent Eliminator works against all animals with a sense of smell. Apply it when you want to get close to the animal of your choice. Also, make sure to pay attention to the wind direction by observing objects tossed around or by using Wind Indicator. Use it and follow the smoke with your eyes to see in which direction it is blown. As a general rule of thumb, the wind will blow towards the North-East on all maps. If you are not sure about the wind conditions, apply the Scent Eliminator just in case. It doesn't hurt to use it once too often if you want to be on the safe side and not regularly spook animals by your smell.
Note that the smelling ability is the strongest of the Brown Bear's senses, so be extra careful around nearby bears.
The relation between weigh and score is rather strong. The very most of the top scoring Brown Bears are +420kg. Follow tracks of heavy males. The Brown Bear has a relatively high roaming speed. When you follow it you can catch up as long as you walk. When you get within reach of the bear you will naturally crouch. The problem is that the bear has almost the same speed for roaming as you have for crouching. In addition if the bear makes a turn you lose time searching for the next track. The result is that you can barely get any closer anymore and get frustrated. The circle on the Huntermate just doesn't get any smaller and the bear ahead of you just keeps going.
The solution is that you break this pattern by intentionally spooking the bear. At first it will run and gain some ground again, but then it will stop and stand around a lot. During this time you can finally catch up even while crouching. After some fleeing tracks you will find roaming tracks that show that the bear is now very close of you. Glass around a lot and try to find the bear, and keep crouching after it. In fact you will get so close that you might repeatedly spook it again, but that is not a problem. Just keep going after it, the bear won't go back to its crazy cruising speed if you keep it busy and don't let it fully calm down. Using this method you can get the bear within reach even for safe bow shots.
Note that the Brown Bear has a distinct walking sound that you can hear within about 30m (100 ft). If you can hear this sound behind a hill, lay flat and listen. Unless it is a Moose (at Hemmeldal) which has the very same walking sound, you have come really close to a Brown Bear and should be ready for a shot or for a run.
This animal can be lured with Bait, i.e. food that is presented to the animal in appropriate containers. The baiting stations have two effects. They increase the number of spawnings of the attracted species in the area, and they attract those animals that come within the attraction radius of the container. Baiting is used by many players to accumulate great numbers of animals around the stations. Consider this very effective method if you enjoy hunting the species in question. Hunting your feeders can be nicely supported by using stands. Place yourself in a stand and shoot any number of baited animals near the feeder. Others will scatter and run away, only to return some time later. The attractiveness of the feeder will stay at 100% for the duration of the hunting session. You can harvest a great number of animals if you spend a few hours at your baiting station.
After you have been watching them for a while you should be able to tell a heavy Brown Bear from a light one. However the score is calculated from the dimensions of the skull. It is not possible to tell a larger skull from a smaller one. It is advisable to shoot all heavy bears and spare the smaller ones in case you want stay undetected.
This species is one of those that can attack you. This happens if you shoot at it or when you got really close to it. The animal will start an aggression animation and look fiercely at you. It can also makes growls that you wouldn't normally hear. If you see the animal doing this you have a chance to run away or get ready for a shot. Sometimes the animal will abort the attack and flee. It can also happen that an animal will start fleeing but then stop and turn around for an attack. If you are very close to a species capable of attacking, have a firearm ready for your defense, or back out. You can also be completely blindsided by an animal that you did not realize it was there. When attacked, you will be hurt and will need to either heal yourself with a First Aid Kit or fast travel to a tent or lodge.
Shooting the animal
The Brown Bear is not easy to kill in the field. Make sure to bring the largest caliber rifle from your gun rack. Even with a powerful rifle or a muzzleloader you still need to place the shot well. Vital organs are hard to reach when the bear is +150m (~500 ft) away from you. A good spot is right behind the front leg. Wait for the animal to make a step forward with the front leg, then shoot the spot that is now uncovered. This takes some practice though. Avoid risky shots to the head, or snap shots on a walking bear. Taking a few more seconds for a safe shot will pay off manifold if you want to avoid a long tracking of a wounded bear.
Getting very close for a bow shot is tough. Consider a shot over 40-50m (~130-165 ft) if you get a chance, as many times it will be the only one you have in a long time before the bear walks off or spooks. An arrow will always kill the bear sooner or later when you hit.
If the animal flees
If you spook the animal of your desire, follow the tracks crouching. Use your optics and try to spot it, and also look for tracks or vocal signs. Do not go too fast. The animal can stop fleeing abruptly and return to roaming, and the roaming can be in any direction including coming right back at you. If you end up bumping into the animal it will flee again. Take your time. If the animal is worth it, a few more minutes will pay off.
Following spooked Brown Bears is one of the hardest challenges in the game. They encounter you from far away, now even more when they are in nervous state. It is essential to constantly glass the area. If you crouch after a high scoring bear and finally find a roaming track after many fleeing tracks, you have likely come too close already and spooked it again.
Quick Start Locations
Start at the following lodge(s) for quickly finding this species.
|Chalet du Mont-Bleu||Val-des-Bois||East|