Gastro Gnome - Eat Better Wherever

A question for JJHack


New member
Jul 17, 2001
Benton City, WA
I've been trying to get a bear in Washington for a few years now. Usually I hunt in the NE corner and the Blue Mnts. I'd really like to try over on the West side, due to the larger animal population.
Not being familiar with that side and not knowing anyone that hunts over there, I'm at a disadvantage. So, I'm attracted to the Kapowsin tree farms, due to the obvious advantages of accessablilty and length of season.
Would you have any information or personal experiences that you could share, that might help me? I can't take the kind of time off work that some guys can, due mostly to having 4 kids at home...
Some story about your cat problem! We have alot of them over here too. The Blues are just full of them.

I don't think you need to travel that far. Much of the tree farm is at a lower elevation than you will find bears anyway.

Let me re-state this to be a bit more clear. There will be tons of bear at those elevations but if you cannot see them your wasting your time. You need to be at an elevation where the flora is no more then Knee high and the preferable flora is blueberries and Huckelberries.

In the cascades this is typically 5000 ft elevation more or less. On the north side of the slopes you might get away with 4000 in some places or lower in clear cut areas which have not grown back much.

For your effort the non-reservation areas around Mt. Adams is fantastic and very little pressure due to the distance from any big city. I would stay away from the areas that the highways pas through as they are busy with many hikers and hunters already due to easy access. Anyplace high above Highway 410 is going to be nice and high. Remember if you see goats in Aug through Sept your at the right elevation for bears!jj
Any Idea's about where I could find some berry's? My Wife wants berry's, probably more than I want that Bear...she's a real junky for them things. The kids like em too and they never back down from an opportunity to go camping & hiking.
There are NO good berry patches in the blues, I worked for the Forest Circus for 4 years, in the Blues, and never found more than a handfull at a time. That's probably why I've never seen a bear, over there, that was any bigger than my dog...
If you don't want to disclose those details, I more than understand. I'm just trying to make the best use of my day's off, and asking folks that frequent the Cascades, seemed the best way to keep from burning too much gas & time.
Thanks for you reply JJ
In the cascades anyplace above treeline or near treeline with a raod network will have blue berries galore.

I did a lot of hunting from the road networks when My daughter was between 3-7 years old. I still remember her mom seeing her with a totally blue face, hands and shirt from eating the berries along the roads as we would walk and glass the clear cut's, meadows, and vallys below. Get a map of the various areas and look for the highest roads you can drive. Then get out and walk them and glass you don't need to walk long distance just sit for 20 minutes glassing and walk another 1/2 mile and glass again. Do this three times out and cover the same places on your way back and you have a whole evening timed out. The kids will just eat berries and play. As long as they do not run around screaming they will not disturb bears 200 yards away or more. Once you spot one check the wind and plan a stalk or a shot. jj
When do the berry's get ripe? The Wife and Kids are amped about picking & getting blue...!

Hey, thanks for the info. It's kind of hard to learn about that kind of stuff, when you live in the tumble weeds...

We haven't gotten our goats yet, I had to have a barn built and am still fencing the property. I think that when we do get the goats, that we will not have cat problems, not at home anyway. What ever happened with your Cat problem?
That is a tough question, they could be at the peak of ripeness between Aug first and Sept first. I have taken more bears in my life (including clients) within a week eitherway of Sept 20th then any other time. I have alos taken lots of bears the first week of August. The season falls in the perfect time of berry season so just get up there a few times and look at the condition of the berries. I will tell you they go from Not ripe to over ripe in about 3 weeks and can have a freeze which will whipe them out in Sept as well.

I looked in your profile but you don't have an Email listed. I will send you the details in Email regarding the lion.jj
I thought that I had done the profile right? I guess not. Anyway, we just got back on line and haven't tried the new e-mail yet. Most of the time I'm at work [email protected] that's were I usually am when I post.
Thanks again for the info. My 10 year old Daughter and I were just in your neck of the woods, last weekend. I thought about trying to find your place, I'd really like to see what millions of bugs, in a tank, look like. We ran out of time and I just couldn't bring myself to just drop in on you. Maybe next time we're over, I'll drop you a line & see about a tour.
If things start going better in my hunting, I'd sure like to give you some business. I think your system is just fantastic.

JJ gave some good info on bear hunting. I
live in Enumclaw, and theres some good areas
off HW 410.One such area is Slippery Creek.
This is about 20 miles E of Enumclaw, and is a
series of roads that end up on the ridge
that is the border of the Tacoma water shed.
A couple of years ago, a friend at work wanted a bear. I took him up, and after a
couple of day of glassing, he got a 6' boar.
My brother was up there a month ago, and saw
a big cougar. If you need alittle more info,
I'd be more then glad to help. Good luck.

Thanks for the offer Bryan, I would be interested in that area. I got out the maps and checked it out a little bit, It's not as high as everyone say's you need to go? I also looked up the harvest statistics and there were very few bears taken in that area? Is it possible that guys take bears in one area and tell the F&G that it came from somewhere else?
I'm also glad that I looked at the harvest records for another reason. It seems that the highest success for bear, per square mile, is in GMU 113 the second one is GMU 101, GMU 121, GMU 154 and then GMU 105. It goes on and on, but the way the statistics indicate, the East side has more concentrated population of bears than does the west side...the overall number of bears shot on the west side is more, but then close to half of the east side doesn't even have bears in it. I would say that from what I've heard that the West side bears are far bigger, better quality bears than thoughs on the east side. And you can hunt just about anywhere on the West side for them. But, overall for the amount of hunting days and the shear number of bears killed per square mile, it looks like this side is almost twice as good?
As a straight comparison, GMU 437 was the highest in number of bears killed on the west side (40). It's a pretty good sized GMU. The highest number of bears killed in a GMU on the East side was GMU 113 (52) with al close second in GMU 101 at 51. There are several eastern GMU's that had harvest's in 40's and the 30's. On the west side the harvest's are almost all in the low 20's. There are a bunch of GMU's on the West side but there must not be as many bears per square mile, as in the area's on the east side? I'm so confused by that...everyone says hunt the west side if you want a bear...but the odds are in the East...
Any offers for clarity, would be surely welcome. I'm looking for the best place/area to go, so I can finally get that bear.

I am not an expert on black bears, but I have killed or helped on 15 bear kills in the last nine years on the westside of WA.

I think the NE has a lot of bears and it is probably the easiest area to hunt bears, therefore the high numbers.

I can tell you that where I hunt I personally know of about 10 bears killed per year but the harvest reports usually only show half. So I do not put alot of stock in them.

I do not know how many bear there are per square mile in the NE, but where I hunt in the NW I have seen 6 in 20 minutes, only a half mile apart...
That's a pretty long drive for me. Are you in the Nooksack area? The Sauk area? Those two areas do have the highest number listed in the statistics...I suppose I could come over there and help you get a handle on your bear problems.
You can see what a logistical problem that I have, being from the deserts of SE. I have to use maps and statistics to find the bears, there's just no way that I could put in the quality time to scout every area, especially as far away as the NW corner...I could waist alot of time if I just showed up over there and then started looking for bears.
You guys on this board have been far more helpful than I could ever have hoped, I guess I could just keep waiting for the opportunity to happen over here, but I've spent alot of time reading post's by guys bear hunting in Canada and Alaska and even over there on the West side. They all make it sound like you can pick and choose your bear, even wait a few days and pass up several, for the grand opportunity of the trophy...I've read plenty in the past but, for some unknown reason, this year it stuck and I feel the overwhelming desire to bear hunt. I'm not sure if I should thank the writers or curse them?
I do thank you for your post, I haven't heard from anyone that has hunted the NW corner.


<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 29 July 2001 12:21: Message edited by: 45/70 ]</font>

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