It would help if we knew where you will be hunting. Black Bear Hunting can be done with dogs; sitting over bait; spot and stalk, or just by still hunting. Not all methods are conducive to all areas depending on location, and the prevailing game laws in your particular area. GOSHENGRUNTER has an article on bear hunting further down in this section that pretty much describes a typical black bear hunt with dogs. They always go uphill, and will climb a tree or hole up in a cave if available. If you are following hounds, especially in the West, you will have muscle aches in places you did not even know that you had muscles. Taking a massive dose of vitamin C will do a lot to cure the muscle pains. As GOSHENGRUNTER says, it is truly one of the most exciting hunts that you have ever experienced. I have killed black bear while hunting with dogs; over bait; and even got one on spot and stalk (sort of) I looked down into a clearing and there he was. Scent control is of paramount importance when hunting over bait or still hunting. Scent control garments and cover scents are good ideas, as is a Thermacell in mosquito inhabited areas. Black bear are not especially hard to kill, but I like a rifle that has some power to anchor a bear. Especially important when hunting with hounds. My favorite bait gun is a Ruger #3 In 45/70 Govt.. My hound hunting guns are the old Winchester M.71 in .348 Winchester, or a Browning BLR or Savage 99 in .358 Winchester. Most of the houndsmen that I have hunted with carry a .44 Magnum handgun, or a Savage 99 in .300 Savage. All of the methods are effective, but the excitement of a pack of good hounds in full cry while pursuing a bear cannot be beat for heart pumping excitement.