How do you guys hunt bears every year?

HankFrank

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May 2, 2019
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Just curious what your approach is regarding black bears and hunting them every year. When I was in high school my old man and I setup a camp in SW Montana and dedicated a whole week to spring bear hunting. Between the time of year and the lack of pressure in the woods, it was one of my favorite hunts. I was lucky enough to harvest a 15 year old boar and had a beautiful rug made. I live very close to tons of bear country and want to keep chasing them but am having a hard time justifying it.

What do you guys do with bears you shoot, specifically medium sized bears? I'm not set enough financially yet to justify getting rugs made at ~$1000 bucks a bear, let alone the shear amount of space required for those rugs. I don't want to sell the hides and regret it when I'm older, if that's even legal in MT. Of course I could shoot them just to eat but if feels like doing the animal a disservice by not using the hide fully.

I'm curious to hear opinions from those of you that get out there every year and consistently shoot bears. Do you guys hold out for large mature rug-worthy animals or shoot average bears for the experience. What are your opinions on tanned hides as an alternative? Thanks
 

Twolftg

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I feel the same way as you. The hide is too nice to just throw out with the bone pile. I had my first bear rugged. Now unless it's something exceptional to me I just have them tanned and hand them by the nose in a row on and old barn door I have mounted my man cave. Makes me feel better than just tossing it. Also working on my fleshing skills so I can save on fleshing and evently hope to soft tan myself as well.
 

EYJONAS!

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Hunting spring black bears with hounds and horses next weekend in the mountains of Utah. Can’t wait! I still would like to harvest a color-phased bear.
That's a dream hunt of mine. Good luck and post pictures.
 

Sask hunter

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Ya usually tanned unless they are real big. Or shoot a meat bear late in the spring when they are all rubbed out lol
 

EYJONAS!

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I tan all mine I had a color phased bear fb mounted and a couple rugs made. The rest are tanned "throws" I am a pretty good decorator my wife says.😁When a giant chocolate or red bear with a big chest patch steps out one day he'll get fb mounted too

As far as hunting it's basically like you said. You find a hole and go glass, switching holes every once in awhile. Make sure you don't tell anyone about your bear hole. That's the golden rule, bears make people do weird shit. Good luck out there, I'm ready to get back it with the bow.
 
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Panda Bear

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Apr 23, 2019
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Besides hides for your home

learn to work the hides yourself and sell them at various venues--same with antlers However check and see if it is legal to do so in your area and if not--dont!

gifts

use fat for pain reliever

use fat for baking--biscuits and pie crusts

use fat to waterproof leather

good eating, if a mtn berry eating bear instead of a dumpster bear

Display at various venues to initiate conversation to promote hunting, it is always wise to have some flyers to hand out to those interested with facts--like how many bears are out there and that they are not endangered, why it helps to keep the numbers in check, hunting dollars go to help maintain wilderness areas-that kind of info---but be prepared to also be boycotted and therefore your purpose for being there--to sell stuff--suffers
 
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HankFrank

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I tan all mine I had a color phased bear fb mounted and a couple rugs made. The rest are tanned "throws" I am a pretty good decorator my wife says.😁When a giant chocolate or red bear with a big chest patch steps out one day he'll get fb mounted too

As far as hunting it's basically like you said. You find a hole and go glass, switching holes every once in awhile. Make sure you don't tell anyone about your bear hole. That's the golden rule, bears make people do weird shit. Good luck out there, I'm ready to get back it with the bow.
I also like the idea of "collecting" different phases. I'd really like to find a mature cinnamon but I think they're much more difficult to find around here.
 
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Panda Bear

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I have shot one of every colour
you have some beautiful ones Dan. The Grolars I have run into are unusual in color and interesting. As you know I have shot a bear of every color --literally . A lot of good product from a bear
 

EYJONAS!

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Some told me once there were 16 color phased black bears......I definitely can't name that many.
 

SnowyMountaineer

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...Make sure you don't tell anyone about your bear hole. That's the golden rule, bears make people do weird shit...
Ain't that the truth. I've gone to having a "sacrifice" area. A place I can take people who just want to go on a bear hunt because they just moved from wherever and it sounds like something they should do. And I don't want to be a tool and not take them so we go to the sacrifice area, sit for a couple hours, maybe see a bear, get really wet, and they probably never go again. They say things like "you just sit here?" and "you cross the creek how many times?".
 

EYJONAS!

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Ain't that the truth. I've gone to having a "sacrifice" area. A place I can take people who just want to go on a bear hunt because they just moved from wherever and it sounds like something they should do. And I don't want to be a tool and not take them so we go to the sacrifice area, sit for a couple hours, maybe see a bear, get really wet, and they probably never go again. They say things like "you just sit here?" and "you cross the creek how many times?".
I got one of those too........ haha
 

SnowyMountaineer

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I did have a memorable hunt with a first timer a few years back who was just along for the ride. We did a 14 mile afternoon in the rain, ran into a couple wolves at about 10 yards in the timber, found a big bear at dark that I never got, drank stashed creek beers at like 2am, and he fell asleep on the way home. Also has never gone again 🤷‍♂️. It was one of my very favorite "unsuccessful" hunts ever.
 

SnowyMountaineer

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Anyway I'm in a similar boat OP...I can't justify doing up smaller or medium bears. My plan for this year is to handle the skull myself and get an interstate G&F tag to sell the hide to a taxi or fur buyer. IDK.
 

neffa3

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I'm jealous of those who get a spring season. It's mostly fall around here.
 
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