Montana 2019 Spring Bear Season

Bascott1

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Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
63
Well that's kind of an open question?? I believe that your timing might be perfect as far as the green up is concerned. Region One is a big place! What area are you planning on and how are you going to hunt that area?
We are gonna be around the libby area. Around the cabinets mtns and prob see what just north of libby looks like around last year's big burn. Mostly classing South facing slopes and walking old logging roads. Gonna be out there for 8 days total. In decent shape, run 3 miles a day and lift every day as well so should be able to cover decent ground.
 

EYJONAS!

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Messages
996
Man 510 gets hammered every year with a quick season. 90% of the district doesn't even get explored I bet because of it. Betcha there's a jumbo or two lurking in there.
 

Mtnhunter1

Active member
Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
189
Location
Big Sky Country-The Last Best Place
What's a realistic expectation of filling a tag in the nw corner?
We are gonna be around the libby area. Around the cabinets mtns and prob see what just north of libby looks like around last year's big burn. Mostly classing South facing slopes and walking old logging roads. Gonna be out there for 8 days total. In decent shape, run 3 miles a day and lift every day as well so should be able to cover decent ground.
Bascott1,,,, You are headed to an area of Montana that has become famous for its bear population. You seem to have a very good plan figured out as well. Your “odds of seeing a bear, or multiple bears,” is very high if you hit it hard and cover as much country as possible. So realistically, your odds of filling a tag will also be good. Have you figured out what you are going to do with the bear if you are successful?

You mentioned “We” are headed to the Libby area, how many of you are hunting?
 

Bascott1

Member
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
63
Bascott1,,,, You are headed to an area of Montana that has become famous for its bear population. You seem to have a very good plan figured out as well. Your “odds of seeing a bear, or multiple bears,” is very high if you hit it hard and cover as much country as possible. So realistically, your odds of filling a tag will also be good. Have you figured out what you are going to do with the bear if you are successful?

You mentioned “We” are headed to the Libby area, how many of you are hunting?
Feeling better about this. Lol. Yeah, we have a cabin rented and going to freeze the meat and the hide and check it on the plane with as extra baggage. Or get it processed and ship it back. Yeah, there will be 3 of us total.
 

Mtnhunter1

Active member
Joined
Mar 11, 2018
Messages
189
Location
Big Sky Country-The Last Best Place
Bascott1 and others,,,,, I have a few tips on hunting spring bears in thick forested mountain areas.

#1: Bears will be looking for “GREEN” ,new growth, grass, flowers or leaves of small saplings. This “Green” will be found where the sun has a chance to reach the ground and melt the snow. Bears key in on the “NEW GREEN” and will follow this progression as the spring warms and the snow melts. Bears will key in on the areas that have a lot of “NEW GREEN” that is close to thick timber for security cover and cool shade. HINT: When logging roads are built, the shoulders of the roads are planted with grasses and clover to provide erosion control. The newer the road, the better the “GREEN”, as knapweed, alders and moss will eventually take over and limit the grass growth.

#2: Once bears find a good “GREEN” area, they will feed there until that green starts to mature. Once the green starts to mature, they will leave that area to find newer growth. Bears will graze like cattle when they find a good area of grasses, clover, flowers, etc. Bears will also crap about every hour when flushing all the new green through their system. These bear piles contain a large amount of moisture and will be green in color when fresh but will dry out quickly and turn dark in color quickly.

#3: Bears are not early risers, they are not morning critters! They will feed all night and then go bed down in the thick timber. If the day is sunny and warm, the bears will be out feeding in the evening. If the day is a cooler overcast drizzly day, the bears will be out feeding from noon on. No matter what type of day it is, the last hour of the day will be the best for seeing a bear.

#4: Bears depend on their nose and can smell you from a LOOOONG distance. If you find an area that contains a lot of fresh bear crap, but you never see a bear there, it is because they have smelled you! Don’t give up on that area, the bear will be back.

#5: When a bear is spotted, DO NOT GET IN A HURRY TO SHOOT IT! Bears are not hard to get close to when they are feeding. Bears are hard to evaluate even for those that have experience hunting them. With that said, TAKE YOUR TIME AND WATCH THE BEAR! Make sure that the bear is the one that you want to put your tag on. Make sure that the bear does not have cubs! Several times I have watched a bear for a long time before a cub or cubs appear. Or, after watching a bear, I realize that the bear has a bad rub in its hide. Again, make sure that the bear you are looking at is the bear that you will be satisfied putting your tag on.

I have arrowed many NW MT bears over the years and have actually never taken one with a rifle. They are easy to get close to!! I have now limited myself to looking for that big bear of a different color. A 6’+ chocolate brown would fit that description!

Good Luck to all this spring. Bears are a hell-of-a lot more exciting to hunt than turkeys!

Mtnhunter1
 

Twolftg

Active member
Joined
Jul 16, 2018
Messages
117
Location
Twin cities, Minnesota
Bascott1 and others,,,,, I have a few tips on hunting spring bears in thick forested mountain areas.

#1: Bears will be looking for “GREEN” ,new growth, grass, flowers or leaves of small saplings. This “Green” will be found where the sun has a chance to reach the ground and melt the snow. Bears key in on the “NEW GREEN” and will follow this progression as the spring warms and the snow melts. Bears will key in on the areas that have a lot of “NEW GREEN” that is close to thick timber for security cover and cool shade. HINT: When logging roads are built, the shoulders of the roads are planted with grasses and clover to provide erosion control. The newer the road, the better the “GREEN”, as knapweed, alders and moss will eventually take over and limit the grass growth.

#2: Once bears find a good “GREEN” area, they will feed there until that green starts to mature. Once the green starts to mature, they will leave that area to find newer growth. Bears will graze like cattle when they find a good area of grasses, clover, flowers, etc. Bears will also crap about every hour when flushing all the new green through their system. These bear piles contain a large amount of moisture and will be green in color when fresh but will dry out quickly and turn dark in color quickly.

#3: Bears are not early risers, they are not morning critters! They will feed all night and then go bed down in the thick timber. If the day is sunny and warm, the bears will be out feeding in the evening. If the day is a cooler overcast drizzly day, the bears will be out feeding from noon on. No matter what type of day it is, the last hour of the day will be the best for seeing a bear.

#4: Bears depend on their nose and can smell you from a LOOOONG distance. If you find an area that contains a lot of fresh bear crap, but you never see a bear there, it is because they have smelled you! Don’t give up on that area, the bear will be back.

#5: When a bear is spotted, DO NOT GET IN A HURRY TO SHOOT IT! Bears are not hard to get close to when they are feeding. Bears are hard to evaluate even for those that have experience hunting them. With that said, TAKE YOUR TIME AND WATCH THE BEAR! Make sure that the bear is the one that you want to put your tag on. Make sure that the bear does not have cubs! Several times I have watched a bear for a long time before a cub or cubs appear. Or, after watching a bear, I realize that the bear has a bad rub in its hide. Again, make sure that the bear you are looking at is the bear that you will be satisfied putting your tag on.

I have arrowed many NW MT bears over the years and have actually never taken one with a rifle. They are easy to get close to!! I have now limited myself to looking for that big bear of a different color. A 6’+ chocolate brown would fit that description!

Good Luck to all this spring. Bears are a hell-of-a lot more exciting to hunt than turkeys!

Mtnhunter1
Thanks for the tips. I have been trying to keep an eye on the snow to decide when to come. That mothers day is such bad timing though. Lol
 

Bascott1

Member
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
63
That is a huge help. Thanks a ton. Can't wait to get out there and chase these things for a while.
 

Topoman

New member
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
16
In my experience they hit burns when the grass is greening up, but with less fidelity than a deer or elk might. I've made the mistake to hunt burns from the prior year that were too hot (scorched topsoil), and these burns didn't produce a good grass crop until a year or two after that first spring...so try to find out how severe the fire was.

When a burn does green up, I've had a lot more luck along the edges where there is bedding/shade cover nearby.
 

MT.PERCHMAN

Active member
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
566
Location
Kalispell , Montana
Well look at that ..fresh snow in the yard this morning. I'm not to excited to see that today . Guess I will hit the reloading bench today . The Bears can rest in Peace !!
Its headed back up in temp this coming week , 61 by Friday up here in the North Country .

MT.PERCHMAN
 

Oakley388

Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2018
Messages
38
Location
Missoula, MT
Waking up to snow was a heck of a surprise today. A good day to go through photos from the last week of looking for bears. I've been seeing lots of deer and a moose but no bear sign yet. The ticks are also out in full force!
 

MT.PERCHMAN

Active member
Joined
Jan 3, 2015
Messages
566
Location
Kalispell , Montana
Waking up to snow was a heck of a surprise today. A good day to go through photos from the last week of looking for bears. I've been seeing lots of deer and a moose but no bear sign yet. The ticks are also out in full force!
I'm glad there is some Moose left ! I agree on the ticks ..I have already loss count of them this year .

MT.PERCHMAN
 
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