First Western Black Bear

KyHunter98

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Jan 26, 2021
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27
Hey all, long time lurker here, first time posting a thread. I am heading to Idaho for a spring bear in mid may - till the end of season, going to hunt in the hells canyon area. The plan that I have envisioned is heading up one of the main drainages around Riggins and backpacking in a few miles to hunt the some of the nearby basins. It looks like good bear country on OnX and google earth. I've never been in the area so do you all think this sounds like a solid plan? I'm sure I am overlooking some obstacles because i'm not familiar with the area. Also, the elevation is pretty high so I'm not 100% sure how that will impact the bears during the 2nd half of may. Overall, I know I have to just get in there and hunt to learn! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. This will be my first western black bear hunt so I mostly just want to make sure I have a safe, and well planned trip. Bear or no bear, I just want to learn.
 
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EYJONAS!

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Hey all, long time lurker here, first time posting a thread.

Boy if I had a dollar for everytime I heard that line......

Welcome aboard mate, sounds like your in for a fun adventure ahead. I can't say much to the area but a little research on this forum and you'll have all the bear habitat detail you need. Good luck and keep us posted.
 

EYJONAS!

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A word to the wise might be to keep the description of location a little more vague next time. Might have a few more chime in when it isn't so specific.
 

KyHunter98

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Jan 26, 2021
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27
Boy if I had a dollar for everytime I heard that line......

Welcome aboard mate, sounds like your in for a fun adventure ahead. I can't say much to the area but a little research on this forum and you'll have all the bear habitat detail you need. Good luck and keep us posted.
Thank you.
Maybe I should have omitted that overused line!
I was looking for a good adventure after my college graduation and was able to convince a few buddies that Idaho was the destination. Couple day trip coming from Ky but it'll be breathtaking country
 

EYJONAS!

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I hear you, I'm just busting your balls buddy. I've got a pretty dry sense of humor. Do some reading on a few topics covering this. It'll help you get a great understanding of what you should and shouldn't look for. If you have any questions just ask.

Spring bears are right at the top of my list for most enjoyed adventures. There's something special about it.
 

KyHunter98

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Jan 26, 2021
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27
Do any of you all have any suggestions on books, informational videos, or specific threads on this site that have quite a bit of info on bear hunting?
 

JLS

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Mar 26, 2012
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12,517
Location
Where the Wild Things Are
Your biggest concern should be access to where you want to get to. From there, glass the green up. Some of your higher trailheads may still be drifted in. If you are using a reduced price bear tag, make sure you know which unit you’re in. 18 is a full price unit.
 

KyHunter98

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2021
Messages
27
Appreciate the advice! Already purchased the full price tag for the extra freedom in planning the trip. Is there any certain elevations I should try to look for? Or should I just find the green up and hunt those locations?
 

Smokeybarrel

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Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
23
Location
Central Oregon
Hey all, long time lurker here, first time posting a thread. I am heading to Idaho for a spring bear in mid may - till the end of season, going to hunt in the hells canyon area. The plan that I have envisioned is heading up one of the main drainages around Riggins and backpacking in a few miles to hunt the some of the nearby basins. It looks like good bear country on OnX and google earth. I've never been in the area so do you all think this sounds like a solid plan? I'm sure I am overlooking some obstacles because i'm not familiar with the area. Also, the elevation is pretty high so I'm not 100% sure how that will impact the bears during the 2nd half of may. Overall, I know I have to just get in there and hunt to learn! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. This will be my first western black bear hunt so I mostly just want to make sure I have a safe, and well planned trip. Bear or no bear, I just want to learn.
KyHunter98,
Welcome aboard. I'm new to Hunt Talk as well. I got on here to chat about Spring Bear and hunting OR and ID.

I drew a tag for the Snake River / Hells Canyon unit in OR, I'll be hunting across the river from you. I've never stepped foot in the northeast corner of the state, but I'm beyond excited for the opportunity to hunt and harvest a bear out of that country.
My plan is quite similar, hike at least 3-5 miles from truck depending what access is given, setup a base camp camp and approach from the top, or higher elevation. I'm somewhat flexible on dates to hunt, I'm thinking 2) 4-day trips.

I've personally only harvested one bear... about 7yrs ago. I moved to the Olympic Peninsula in WA state and took up archery hunting. Best decision of my sporting career!! While holding a deer tag and a bear tag, I had a bear coming into the area I had left my climbing treestand. It was more of a nuisance as the deer had stopped frequenting the area due to his presence. I had never harvested anything with my bow, but as he stood up on his hind legs and began looking in my direction at 50yds I gained the confidence to send one downrange. My shot was fatal, and he expired quickly, only 30' from where he was standing. Talk about a adrenaline rush!

Plan ahead, stay safe and have fun!
I wish you and your buds the best of luck in the steep and deep terrain of Hells Canyon!
 
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