Caribou Gear Tarp

First bear hunt, Canada over bait or somewhere in US spot and stalk?

davecz

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Jan 16, 2021
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Planning my first bear hunt. Lots of options, Im looking for either a Manitoba or Saskatechawan hunt over bait (most likely spring but maybe fall) or a Colorado maybe Montana spring/fall spot and stalk hunt. less likely but still on the list is BC spot and stalk.

I like the idea of spot and stalk better than hunting over bait, but seems like over bait you have a better chance plus might be little easier.

Im still young enough where hiking through the mountains wont be a problem, and probably more entertaining than sitting over a bait pile.

Has anyone done both and which have you prefered. One plus of Canada over bait would be bonus fishing opportunities.
 

npaden

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If your #1 goal is to get a bear then hunting over bait in Canada is probably the way to go. You generally are going to look over several bears and they will have it relatively easy to judge the size of the bear with comparison features (like a barrel).

If you enjoy spot and stalk hunting for other species, you will enjoy spot and stalk hunting for bears. You are looking at a lot lower harvest odds though, and it can be very difficult to judge the size and sex of a bear so lots of newer bear hunters end up shooting some pretty small bears. Spring is for sure better for spot and stalk, you can't spring bear hunt in Colorado so that throws that out.

You may want to check into Alaska as an option. Spot and stalk but higher bear densities it seems like to me. Probably can do a DIY type hunt in Alaska cheaper than you can do an outfitted over bait hunt in Canada.
 

SaskHunter

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The border might still be closed and even if it opens, travelers might still have to isolate for 14 days. Let's hope things improve and this isn't the case...

Hunting bears over bait is fun, you normally get lots of action, lots of small bears doing bear things which is always a great time. I love having those little f&ckers climb up my stand or tree, it gets the blood pumping, watching a couple large bruins fight 10 yards in front of you is pretty cool too!!! But it's more sightseeing than hunting, the whole baiting process is time consuming and hard if you have to pack it on your back like I do and it's part of the fun. If you want an opportunity to see lots of bears and pick the one you want, go over bait. It's not the most challenging hunting but the experience of watching all those bears is super cool, I find.

If it's more about the overall experience, see some country and getting a bear isn't a priority, go spot and stalk.
 

davecz

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Yeah was worried about if Canada will be an option this spring. If not might plan for spring 2022
 

SaskHunter

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Yeah was worried about if Canada will be an option this spring. If not might plan for spring 2022

Please bring your US monies to our outfitters in 2022!!! Bears are everywhere on the forest fringe now, not enough American hunters coming in due to COVID. Massive bears were shot last spring (and I managed to snag a massive colour phase) and I think bear hunting in the AB/SK/MB forest will be great for the next few years.
 

ashersdad

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I've done both. Only did the over bait hunting in Canada once but do spot and stalk every year. The bait hunting was super fun especially if using archery. As has been mentioned already, your odds of getting a bear are alot better over bait.

Spot and stalk is much more challenging and physical which is what I like about it.

I've also done spot and stalk in Alaska and that was super fun.

Depends what kind of experience you're looking for. Regardless, hunting bears is great fun.
 

Panda Bear

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Please bring your US monies to our outfitters in 2022!!! Bears are everywhere on the forest fringe now, not enough American hunters coming in due to COVID. Massive bears were shot last spring (and I managed to snag a massive colour phase) and I think bear hunting in the AB/SK/MB forest will be great for the next few years.

I agree! Huge Bears, a lot of them, beautiful scenery, and for every bear shot you will be allowed to shoot a wolf or two--for free !

Good luck and enjoy your hunt
 

Cheesehead

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Planning my first bear hunt. Lots of options, Im looking for either a Manitoba or Saskatechawan hunt over bait (most likely spring but maybe fall) or a Colorado maybe Montana spring/fall spot and stalk hunt. less likely but still on the list is BC spot and stalk.

I like the idea of spot and stalk better than hunting over bait, but seems like over bait you have a better chance plus might be little easier.

Im still young enough where hiking through the mountains wont be a problem, and probably more entertaining than sitting over a bait pile.

Has anyone done both and which have you prefered. One plus of Canada over bait would be bonus fishing opportunities.
If ok with fall hunt, CO has a lotta bears and cheap tags. Could combo with elk or mule deer tag.
 

MITCHMO

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Running the bear baits is 1/2 the fun of a bait hunt. I tried an outfitted hunt in Canada and had fun but it wasn’t the same. I would be hunting any place where I could do it on my own and I would certainly have some baits out, even if I would spot and stalk hunt the first half of the day.

pretty disappointed with how Ontario has handled its nonresident hunting rules for bears. There is a fair amount of harassment from the ministry of natural resources and its obvious they don’t want Americans there. That took a lot of the fun out of it for me. Ontario also changed its rules so even if you own land there, you still have to go through and outfitter for bears. That got pushed through recently by all the outfitters who didn’t like nonresident hunters. I just don’t feel very welcome up there. I’ve been there a LOT over the years.
 

Jason73

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I believe you can hunt over bait in MN too. That might be an option if the border is still closed.
 

Panda Bear

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Running the bear baits is 1/2 the fun of a bait hunt. I tried an outfitted hunt in Canada and had fun but it wasn’t the same. I would be hunting any place where I could do it on my own and I would certainly have some baits out, even if I would spot and stalk hunt the first half of the day.

pretty disappointed with how Ontario has handled its nonresident hunting rules for bears. There is a fair amount of harassment from the ministry of natural resources and its obvious they don’t want Americans there. That took a lot of the fun out of it for me. Ontario also changed its rules so even if you own land there, you still have to go through and outfitter for bears. That got pushed through recently by all the outfitters who didn’t like nonresident hunters. I just don’t feel very welcome up there. I’ve been there a LOT over the years.

A lot of Canadians are also disappointed in the actions of some here, as they have made it harder for those living in Canada as well. The actions last year in British Columbia regarding bear hunting is just one example. The regulations and costs have, or are, eliminating the ability for the average Joe or Jill to hunt here .

only speaking for myself, as other's here may not share my opinion on this subject.
 

westbranch

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Sep 11, 2017
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ID Panhandle
I believe you can hunt over bait in MN too. That might be an option if the border is still closed.

There are outfitters in the no quota (unlimited OTC tags) areas. I did a quick google and the first one I found was already booked out for 2021. There can be some fat bears in those areas since it is the transition from woods to cropland and plenty of acorns combined with the ag land. NW MN would probably be the best for no quota and I know guys that have done well DIY baiting in East Central MN no quota.
 

OntarioHunter

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Vancouver Island has the highest density of black bears in North America. Once the salmon start running the stalk is easier. It's real hunting, not shooting something over a barrel of donuts. Downside is the meat is not as tasty then. Upside is Vancouver bears are larger and darker than the mainland variety.
 
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Guy

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Dec 5, 2018
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I baiting bears still legal in Idaho? It was recently, and they've got a lot of great "color phase" bears.
 

Jason73

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There are outfitters in the no quota (unlimited OTC tags) areas. I did a quick google and the first one I found was already booked out for 2021. There can be some fat bears in those areas since it is the transition from woods to cropland and plenty of acorns combined with the ag land. NW MN would probably be the best for no quota and I know guys that have done well DIY baiting in East Central MN no quota.
My buddy used to get old donuts from some bakery and he had good luck!! I believe he hunted in the Milaca area. As far as public land goes I'm not certain how much if any there is.
 

kansasdad

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If Canada opens borders and you want to see some huge bears at the bait sites, here is my story from 2018 in Alberta.....



 

KyHunter98

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Jan 26, 2021
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I am planning a trip to Idaho for a spot and stalk this Spring. Relatively cheap. Never hunted the country but mostly going for a great backpacking experience at the end of May. If you can't get across the border, I would keep Idaho in your options! Lots of great information out there and for the most part locals have been great help.
 

Reed

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May 8, 2020
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There is always Maine or Arkansas for baiting & some southern states for hound hunting
 

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