Getting started with bears

maverick9465

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Aug 2, 2018
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The idea of bear hunting intrigues me. I've started exploring the idea a bit more. I plan to start applying in my home state of Utah. It looks like it'll take a few years to draw a tag. What advice would you give someone with no experience bear hunting? I'll be doing spot-and-stalk. No dogs. Not opposed to bait (legal in certain areas here), but probably will stick with spot-and-stalk for a bit.

Pros/cons of spring vs. summer vs. fall?
 

maverick9465

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Aug 2, 2018
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That's what I gather. I had to take Utah's online course for bear and it was still confusing about telling M/F apart despite the descriptions given.
 

mtnrunner260

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May 26, 2015
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Utah has harvest objective bear units. Super low success rate but at least your out and learning.
Or could hit a better OTC option like Idaho or Montana
 

Crillyiv

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Dec 12, 2020
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I'm in the same boat as the OP. Looking forward to replies from folks who've got some experience with black bear hunting.
 

Erikg

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Jan 26, 2021
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I'm in the same situation, really wanting to get into black bear hunting in wyoming. Just looking for any advice an experienced person could give an amateur.
 

Dunning Kruger

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May 9, 2019
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For a couple hundred bucks you can hunt bears otc in washington, fall season opens august 1st. Tons of berries going on in august, easy to find bears. Hounds / baiting have been illegal for 25 years, so we have a very serious bear population. The northeast portion of the state is where i live and hunt and we seem to have at least 50% rate of color phase bears. Any bear is legal, and you dont have to have it inspected / hide sealed. Just mail in a premolar. Id never recommend a non resident hunt deer or elk here, but really the bear hunting up here is excellent.
 

Yooper906

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Jan 4, 2020
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I’ve experienced both, spot and stalk and bait. Both have pros and cons. For bait, I generally know the bears coming in and can judge them off pictures, my bait is set at 20-25yds (archery), I have a whole month to hunt them. Con is hauling bait everyday or two back to my spots, lots of work in 80 degree weather (fall hunt).

When I go spot and stalk it takes me to incredible places, not as picky about size, limited time to hunt (8 days)...

Hands down I prefer spot and stalk just because of the adventure, bait hunting is still fun and I’ll continue to do it.
 

belshawelk

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Aug 27, 2015
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Oregon
Hunt whenever you can. it’s about being out. But if you want a nice rug the latest in year you can hunt the better. Some spring bears are pretty rubbed with off. Little leaner obviously.
 

Nambaster

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Feb 23, 2018
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190
I lived in Utah and I have 3 bear points. After moving to Idaho I just laugh at those points every year that I put in for different Utah hunts. When it comes to bears, Utah doesn’t compare to Idaho. Just buy an over the counter tag in Idaho and shooting a bear in Idaho is comparable to shooting a 2 point buck in Utah. They inhabit most of Idaho North of I-84. Finding bear sign is so simple. They poop all over the place and concentrate specific areas. They let you sleep in during the spring hunt. You can sleep in til about 10:00 am hunt hard noon til dark.

If you spot one in the spring they are likely to be feeding and focused on filling their bellies. As long as the wind is right get in close. They don’t spook like a deer. The pandemic has taught me that Idaho has way too many bears.
 

Panda Bear

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Apr 23, 2019
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651
We use the hides and the meat and prefer a late fall mountain hunt. Good color and a bear full of berries is a good meal
 

teamhoyt

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Dec 4, 2013
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glendive, MT
The only con to spring bear hunting is the ticks! I love spring bear more than any other hunts. There's just something about being In the mountains this time of year. I dont really even care if I shoot one or not, I love to watch them. In MT and Wy start looking on the bare slopes 1000 ft below the snow line. I've seen bears all day, I never used to hunt the mornings too often, but after last year I will always hunt the mornings as well, however I've probably seen more bears between 4 and 6 pm than any other time.
 

neffa3

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Apr 17, 2015
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Wenatchee
WA OTC bear is very good. If you don't get a bear you didn't try very hard or did not find the bear you wanted.

I can't tell the difference between a boar and a sow, but so far I'm battle 100% on boars. They kinda just look more masculine. But I've also seen many that I had no ideas about, but I didn't want to shoot those.
 

Dunning Kruger

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WA OTC bear is very good. If you don't get a bear you didn't try very hard or did not find the bear you wanted.

I can't tell the difference between a boar and a sow, but so far I'm battle 100% on boars. They kinda just look more masculine. But I've also seen many that I had no ideas about, but I didn't want to shoot those.
I have a foolproof way to judge size and sex of bears. Shoot them and then you can walk right up to them and see whatcha got. Big boar? Good for taxidermy. Small sow? Easy packout. Its a win / win.
 

EYJONAS!

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Mar 17, 2017
Messages
3,330
WA OTC bear is very good. If you don't get a bear you didn't try very hard or did not find the bear you wanted.

I can't tell the difference between a boar and a sow, but so far I'm battle 100% on boars. They kinda just look more masculine. But I've also seen many that I had no ideas about, but I didn't want to shoot those.
Is this an invite.....
 

ccc23454

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Sep 22, 2010
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1,636
Location
Wyoming
Hunting in may of 2016 i pulled 72 ticks off of myself in one morning. Immediately headed home, ordered a bunch of permethrin next day air, and didnt go outside again until i got it. Worst tick year ever.
My grand total tick record(never bite) for a entire SEASON (2states every year) is 2! How do you get 72 in one hunt? Do you wear tick estrus or what...dam
 
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Dunning Kruger

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My grand total tick record(never bite) for a entire SEASON (2states every year) is 2! How do you get 72 in one hunt?
Just talented i guess. Really it was in maybe 4 hours. Like every time id look down there would be 5-10 crawling up my legs.
 

neffa3

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Apr 17, 2015
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Wenatchee
Just talented i guess. Really it was in maybe 4 hours. Like every time id look down there would be 5-10 crawling up my legs.
Two buddies had spring bear tags that year and bailed 2 hrs into the first day due to ticks. They came back a week later and duck taped every opening in their pants and shirts.
 
Yeti

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