Bear stalking

Aussie_hunter_JD

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Is hunting bears by stalking a thing in the states? In particular the west? I've seen a lot of reference to hounds and spot and stalk but I always thought bush stalking/tracking would be one hell of a thrill.

On a side note, if there are any dedicated bear hunters I'd love to pick your brain on the topic.

Cheers
 

EYJONAS!

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Mar 17, 2017
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In Montana we're all spot and stock here. Baiting and running with hounds aren't permitted although I wish the hounds thing was. I bet that deal is a kick in the pants. But, back to the spot and stock question. I think it's just about like every other spot and stock situation...... they're all different. We have been pretty successful over the years on spring bears with rifles. This year we were pretty addimate about trying to get it done archery style and had one success story and a couple close calls. The things I have noticed during the spring especially during prime time is that when bears are out and feeding they're pretty much focused on stuffing their face. Theyre really not too worried about what's going on around them plus they're blind as a bat. If you find a bruin that's eating in a decent meadow and not moving around all over the place there's a good chance you'll be able to get on him. I've spotted bears in a drainage over or across some big country literally takes an hour or more to get to and when I finally get to where I need to be they're in the same damn spot stuffing their face almost without a care in the world it seems like. Now that being said your gonna be going after an animal with a sense of smell that's unmatched. They can pick up on just about anything, if you make a mistake or the wind swirls game over. Also, if you find a "cruiser" that's just on the move in and out of timber good luck unless he's headed to a big meadow or something he's gonna be tough to catch. They can cover a tremendous amount of country in no time at all. Spot and stocking bears is a blast its unlike hunting other big game IMO maybe it's the season or the spring or the species but they are awesome critters to chase. Good luck
 

Sask hunter

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I’m a dedicated bear hunter but it’s all over bait in sask so not sure how much help I’ll be
 

EYJONAS!

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Same thing bears are on food berries and pine nuts. A good fall can produce some excellent bear hunting. I don't hunt them much in the fall as my mind is turned else where but I do come across some real jumbos sometimes. Now that I have a tag going into fall who knows what will happen.
 

EYJONAS!

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Focus on berry fields, or any other fruit source. If you wanted to do a fly-in wilderness type hunt, shoot me a PM and I’ll dial you in on what I think would be an epic adventure with a chance for a great bear.
I'll take you to hillside, get you nice and comfortable, bring lunches, we'll talk for hours, find a bear, take bear, pack him out, grab dinner and a few beers. Then do it all over again the next day. I just want a tahr in return😁👍
 

Kiwi

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New Zealand
Aussie_Hunter_ JD I’ve done a couple of bear hunts and I highly recommend it! I did mine in the fall so nice weather. Also a lot of the western bear tags are “over the counter” so a nice add on if you draw another tag.
 
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Guy

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Oh ya, spot & stalk bear hunting, spring or fall, is interesting as all get out and can be very productive. I'm in Washington, our limit is now two bears per hunter annually, statewide! Woo Hoo!

Season opens August 1st, and I'm eager to get after them again. My youngest son enjoys hunting them with me as well. Good stuff. The meat is usually good on the fall bears that are eating berries, or raiding fruit orchards. :)

Bear my son got a few years ago, Washington:


One I got almost ten years ago. Made a real nice rug:


And the last black bear I took, fall of 2016. Have the itch to go again this year:


Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana are all good for bear.

Guy
 

Guy

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As far as just stalking them... without snow on the ground, they can be pretty tough to trail.

So, spot & stalk for me, although I've also called one in using a predator call. That was exciting! Bear came in with an attitude!

Guy
 

Cav1

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Mar 9, 2017
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Central Montana
I concentrate of the berry patches in the fall but in spring I just hike high ground like ridgetops and glass all the visible meadows and their edges across the way. Like EYJONUS said, if you find one that's eating good it'll usually still be there in the time it takes to you to get to it; I have also crossed a drainage or from one ridge to the next after spotting one a mile or even a bit more away and found the bear still in the same meadow "stuffing his face".

One completely un-planned stalk sticks out in my mind. I really just went for a conditioning hike on a ridgetop FS trail when I saw a huge fat spring bear, one of the two or three largest I've ever seen, feeding in a meadow just across the small creek at the base of the ridge. At first glance I thought there was an old 55-gallon oil drum out in the grass. It was so nice I HAD to try to get within pistol range with the S&W Model 629 I always pack in the back country. All went well sneaking down the north face of the ridge which is heavily timbered and the breeze was steady in my face the whole way. But as I crossed the creek itself, down in a gully out of sight of the meadow, I could feel the wind currents suddenly swirl around and a moment later I heard the alarmed "Woof!" In the time it took me to cover maybe ten yards scrambling up the steep eroded stream bank to where I could see again, all there was to see was a big fat black rump disappearing into the timber almost two hundred yards up the mountain. Viewing a running bear from behind always reminds me of a domestic hog, with all the fat over the rump just rolling from side to side with each stride, but in spite of that they can sure cover a lot of ground at high speed when they put their minds to it.
 

jbogg

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Feb 24, 2017
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Here in the mountains of North Georgia we only have a fall season with no bating allowed. There is no way to spot bear from a distance since the woods are so dense with trees. Most guys will wait on one to come past just as you would for whitetail, but I have a few buddy’s who like to stalk slowly up a white oak lead and catch them in the trees. In early bow season the bears will spend several weeks climbing the oaks to get to the acorns before they start falling. They will absolutely destroy the top of an oak tree 60’ up. Finding broken limbs and leaf litter on the ground below is a good sign that you are in the right place. Some will shoot them while in the tree, but I believe it’s better to wait until they climb down so you don’t run the risk of one expiring 50’ up a tree and getting stuck in a fork.
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