Montana Spring Bear

dmerricks

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Oct 6, 2014
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New member from Virginia here...

I'll be making my first trip to NW Montana in May. I am interested in hearing much more experienced guys' take on the warmer weather's effect on bears this spring. I've got a lot of research to do before my trip and I would appreciate any advice or direction yall might have.
 

drahthaar

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We have had these warm ups in NW MT every year for as long as I can remember. A few bears that den in lower elevations get flooded out and have to get up and get going. We always have these thaws, it doesnt or hasn't changed the fact that nothing good really starts happening until after May 10 here in the swan, north to the whitefish range, to the Canadian border.

Areas west of Kalispell seem to get bears up and going a couple weeks earlier. I don't really get to excited until May 10 regardless.

My two cents. Probably about all it's worth.
 

drahthaar

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Ha! LOL, to much credit Bart!

I sure wish I have kept a journal over the last 15 years. Huge mistake.

I always head out when spring bear opens. Mostly just seems to be shed hunting walks than anything else until May. Still my favorite time of year. I will post up pics if/when I see some bears!
 

dmerricks

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Well I will be there May 16-23, so hopefully they will be on the move by then. Are the national forest maps the best resource for finding out which roads will be accessible that time of year?
 

drahthaar

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Yeah, I would call the Flathead NF or Kootenai NF supervisors office and have the big color maps sent to you. Make sure they are the big two sided color forest maps. You don't want the little giveaway district maps. The color ones have the different ownership sections in different colors and show which roads are open, and which are gated, etc.

Or Lolo NF, depending on how far NW you are planning to go.
 

Dan O

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Oct 28, 2014
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Seeley Lake, Mt
I spoke to a guy that works with my wife yesterday. He had a good sized sow in his yard on the 19th. His dog treed it and after that it left the area without further incident. He said last year it showed up and had 2 cubs with it. This year it was alone as far as he knows. He is located near Seeley Lake. That's the first bear I have heard of this spring so far. Oh it was a black not a grizzly :)
Dan
 

Mthuntinfool

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Oct 7, 2014
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Noxon Mt
Depending on where you are headed, I might be able to help you out on places to check out, if you would like
 

MT.PERCHMAN

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Jan 3, 2015
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Kalispell , Montana
Looks like 60s are on the way for us . Wife is ready to do some bear hunting . She would give up the deer and elk tags to hunt for Bears !!!
Sure hope we can find some good bears this spring !!

MT.PERCHMAN
 

sra61

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Mar 30, 2003
Messages
426
Location
Kalispell, MT
We have had these warm ups in NW MT every year for as long as I can remember. A few bears that den in lower elevations get flooded out and have to get up and get going. We always have these thaws, it doesnt or hasn't changed the fact that nothing good really starts happening until after May 10 here in the swan, north to the whitefish range, to the Canadian border.

Areas west of Kalispell seem to get bears up and going a couple weeks earlier. I don't really get to excited until May 10 regardless.

My two cents. Probably about all it's worth.

Absolutely 100% my findings too, over the years. I sometimes will start looking around 5/1, but historically most of the bears seem like they move after 5/10. I always thought it was so weird, you would think warmer weather would mean bears out earlier, and heavy snow years would mean bears out later, but that was never my experience. I think Mother Nature's clock is wound pretty tight in this regard.
 
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