Yeti

First Montana spring bear hunt

MT Bound

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Nov 20, 2014
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443
Location
MT
When you roll into MT go to the nearest sporting goods store and buy bear spray and have it on your hip while you're out hunting, it is a fact of life in all of western MT now. Just be prepared is all I'm saying
 

Craveman85

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Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
47
When you roll into MT go to the nearest sporting goods store and buy bear spray and have it on your hip while you're out hunting, it is a fact of life in all of western MT now. Just be prepared is all I'm saying
Already have the bear spray. I can bring it with me since I'll be driving. Will also have my 45 loaded heavy for bears. Did some penetration tests on a cow head this weekend and was more than happy with the results.
 

EWpres

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Apr 22, 2020
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11
Location
Denver, CO
You can almost never go wrong with 10x for binos. Personally, I like 12x but in thick timber, it can be overkill. For a spotter, I'd make sure the max zoom is at least 48. Most good ones are somewhere between 20x and 60x, give or take.

As a general rule, the quality of glass is more important than magnification. If you can only afford one right now, get a nice set of binos. They'll last forever and you'll use them more.

With spotters, there are a ton of options but again, quality is more important. A high-quality spotter that only goes to 48x will likely serve you better than a cheap one that goes to 60x. With that said, I've successfully hunted and killed elk in Colorado for 4 years now with a Vortex Diamondback, which is the cheapest spotter they make. If you're western hunting, a cheap spotter is better than no spotter, but if you stick with it you'll ultimately want to upgrade.

You can apply this to any western hunting, really. Same rules for elk, deer, etc. Western hunting can easily become expensive but it doesn't have to. If you have unlimited funds then buy high-quality gear. If you don't, then use what you have and get out there and have fun. You'll learn what you can or can't live without.
 

Crillyiv

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Dec 12, 2020
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16
What would you guys say the average shot distance is for spot and stalk in Montana?
I'm curious about this too. I gather you can sometimes bump into them grazing on closed logging roads (so, short range), but thinking of the more "classic" shot across a draw or whatever?

Thanks to the OP and everyone who's been responding and sharing info/experience.
 

EYJONAS!

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Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
4,128
I'm curious about this too. I gather you can sometimes bump into them grazing on closed logging roads (so, short range), but thinking of the more "classic" shot across a draw or whatever?

Thanks to the OP and everyone who's been responding and sharing info/experience.
It can range from feet to hundreds of yards. Every scenario is different, the last few bears I've be fortunate enough to take I've literally walked up to 30 40 yards and tagged em with my rifle. Others I've shot from 3 to 400 yards. Now that I am trying to spot and stalk with my bow I haven't been able to close the gap.... go figure.

A word of advice when you find a bear eating, if they are engaged in eating odds are they're not going anywhere, do get to excited and rush situations. They are very engaged when eating sometimes almost oblivious to the world around them. Not saying it happens all the time but more times then not it does. If you find yourself in this situation chances are you have a decent opportunity to move or get a solid setup on a bruin maybe even get on the same hill as them if the landscape allows it.

Its not about how far as it is shot placement. Bust them front shoulders whatever you do.... bears vitals are a little different especially if they are sitting on their ass, they move.

Shooting across canyons or ravines also presents its own challenges because you could potentially get a lot of different winds. So be sure of your shot and the situation you are in. The last thing you want to be doing in winging bears left and right.
 

KyHunter98

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
27
What's a good magnification for binos and spotting scope for spring bear hunts?
I don't have too much to offer in the realm of bear hunting (Planning my first trip for bear in Idaho for this Spring). But I recently picked up the Vortex Diamondback HD 16-48x65 spotting scope and it plan on using it for my trip. Its not a huge scope and seems very packable. Also, you wont break the bank buying it. It was my first scope so I went with a cheaper option. I'm taking my 10x binos on my trip.
 

Craveman85

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
47
Bought a new rifle for the trip. Found a new very old stock weatherby vanguard sub moa 300wsm at a gun shop I go to. A local shop had 200 rounds of hornady outfitter (180gmx) ammo so I got all of that. Going to get a vortex 4-16 I believe.
 

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BenInMT

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Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
144
Location
Western Montana
I would definitely call the butchers first depending on where you’re going to be. As of right now you can’t even get a cow butchered until next year because of how backed up they are due to covid or geopolitics or who knows. Be prepared to maybe not be able to drive as high up as you probably want to be due to snow.
 

Craveman85

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2020
Messages
47
I would definitely call the butchers first depending on where you’re going to be. As of right now you can’t even get a cow butchered until next year because of how backed up they are due to covid or geopolitics or who knows. Be prepared to maybe not be able to drive as high up as you probably want to be due to snow.
The taxidermist I plan on going through said he'll freeze my meat for the remainder of my stay. Looks like most of my potential areas I'm hunting out of will be 3-4k feet and then hiking up higher from there. Hoping snow won't be an issue but I've got several spot areas picked out just in case. And snowshoes.
 

DogEatDog

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Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
13
Location
Glendive Mt
I am also interested in spring bear but in the big snowys but I cant start a thread until 10 posts so here's 1.
 

DogEatDog

New member
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
13
Location
Glendive Mt
I would definitely call the butchers first depending on where you’re going to be. As of right now you can’t even get a cow butchered until next year because of how backed up they are due to covid or geopolitics or who knows. Be prepared to maybe not be able to drive as high up as you probably want to be due to snow.
I like your strategy to keep the east and west coasters out. Respect 👊
 

Midwesternhunter37

New member
Joined
Mar 9, 2021
Messages
4
Planning my own diy spring bear hunt, looking like unit 106 is going to be my unit based on harvest reports and where I will be staying, looking for any tips on the area and overall day hunting spot stalk success. Thanks!!
 

Reeldawg

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Joined
Feb 19, 2021
Messages
8
I'm interested in spring bear hunting in NW Montana. My son lives in Kalispell. First post for me.
 
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