Spring Bears With Hounds Proposed

EYJONAS!

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Randy Hodges has said that there is a new bill proposed for spring bear hunting with hounds assistance in another thread. So I wanted to start a new one for this topic.


Thoughts on this?

Personally I do enjoy hunting with hounds especially a good houndsman. One can learn a lot from them, and the adventures are second to none. I think it would present a very unique experience out there but it'll definitely have it's draw backs.

While I would like to participate in a "hound" bear hunt I'm not sure I'm all about having a full blown spring season for this.

Spring spot and stalk black bear hunting is truly special in itself, it's something that I have absolutely grown to love and respect. I can't imagine sitting on ridges and hearing 15 hounds come crashing up the bottom with 6 guys in tow and blowing everything out of the water.....

The hounds idea sounds cool after a couple thoughts I'm not sure about it. So what does everyone think.
 

TheTone

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From my Idaho experience hounds can usually be avoided with terrain and lack of roads. That said if I had an area I was accustomed to bear hunting and it had not previously had hound hunting I probably wouldn’t be excited about them being allowed in the future
 

Ben Lamb

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There's going to be a lot of dead hounds if this passes. Between wolves with new litters & Grizzlies coming out of dens, plus running hounds on bears in the late spring & early summer is a recipe for conflict.

MT does just fine in harvesting black bears through spot & stalk. This is just a train wreck waiting to happen, and it will result in dead dogs & dead Grizzlies.
 

SnowyMountaineer

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Spot and stalk spring bear hunting is among the purest, most enjoyable outdoor experience that I have each year. The relatively low traffic in the hills (both hunting and recreational), first tracks up a drainage for the growing season, and just watching bears act like no other big game animal is something I appreciate beyond words. For that reason I don't think I could be on board with any additional opening of regulations regarding bear hunting with hounds in the Rocky Mtn West in the foreseeable future. It's about as hardline of a view as I have on a wildlife topic, it's somewhat emotion based, but I don't care haha.
I can absolutely see why it's fun and rewarding in it's own way. But I am so grateful for the experience without additional competing methods of pursuit that I would not support any potential change along these lines.

...Edited to strike baiting reference, too off-topic.
 
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nick87

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Spot and stalk spring bear hunting is among the purest, most enjoyable outdoor experience that I have each year. The relatively low traffic in the hills (both hunting and recreational), first tracks up a drainage for the growing season, and just watching bears act like no other big game animal is something I appreciate beyond words. For that reason I don't think I could be on board with any additional opening of regulations regarding bear hunting with hounds in the Rocky Mtn West in the foreseeable future. It's about as hardline of a view as I have on a wildlife topic, it's somewhat emotion based, but I don't care haha.
I can absolutely see why it's fun and rewarding in it's own way. But I am so grateful for the experience without additional competing methods of pursuit that I would not support any potential change along these lines.

...Edited to strike baiting reference, too off-topic.
You just sold me on a spring bear hunt.
 

EYJONAS!

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Spot and stalk spring bear hunting is among the purest, most enjoyable outdoor experience that I have each year. The relatively low traffic in the hills (both hunting and recreational), first tracks up a drainage for the growing season, and just watching bears act like no other big game animal is something I appreciate beyond words. For that reason I don't think I could be on board with any additional opening of regulations regarding bear hunting with hounds in the Rocky Mtn West in the foreseeable future. It's about as hardline of a view as I have on a wildlife topic, it's somewhat emotion based, but I don't care haha.
I can absolutely see why it's fun and rewarding in it's own way. But I am so grateful for the experience without additional competing methods of pursuit that I would not support any potential change along these lines.

...Edited to strike baiting reference, too off-topic.
That's about the exact way I feel as well, this is about the most relatable response I could ask for! Thanks buddy.
 

Dunning Kruger

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People talk about shed hunters stressing wintering deer and elk. What about all the does and cows getting ready to burst in late spring dealing with packs of hounds ripping through the woods? Also, running bears with dogs when all the young cubs are out? I just dont think its a good idea on any level.
 
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MTelkHuntress

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Spring black bear was the one hunt I was able to come back home to do while I was away for college. I have a lot of great memories finding bears with my dad. It was great to not run into so many people out in the woods (although the ticks always sucked). It is definitely a unique hunt and it's just kind of a breath of fresh spring air every year. I would also be against hunting black bears with hounds in the spring.
 

OntarioHunter

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I agree. This is just looking for trouble unnecessarily. I have worked hunting dogs most of my life ... but only bird dogs. I have NEVER felt running game with dogs was at all ethical. I acknowledge it is necessary in some situations, but I don't see that being the case in Montana. Sure, they still hunt cats there with dogs but that's generally done late in the year after grizzly bears are down. Not my thing but I know it's pretty much the only way to harvest cougars and they need to be kept in balance. Similarly, here it is legal to bait bears. I don't call it hunting and have zero interest but we have a ridiculous abundance of black bears. It would be a mess if baiting was banned. Spot and stalk in flat, swampy, forested country is not easy, especially when leaves are still on the trees/brush. On the other hand, a few years ago the govt here legalized baiting deer and, presumably, moose. That is bullshit. Pandering to the rich lazy fat slobs from Down East and US. It wasn't enough that these clowns could hunt from ATVs and snow machines, call bulls into their laps during the rut, and have fifteen guys hunting for one moose tag. Everyone wants to blame the wolves for adult tags in the local unit being cut from 800 to 75. Look in the mirror! I threw in the towel with big game hunting here more than twenty years ago. Decided I wouldn't be part of the problem. Sounds like a lot of problems are brewing in Montana. Another businessman's government.
 
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ChaosOneZero

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There's going to be a lot of dead hounds if this passes. Between wolves with new litters & Grizzlies coming out of dens, plus running hounds on bears in the late spring & early summer is a recipe for conflict.

MT does just fine in harvesting black bears through spot & stalk. This is just a train wreck waiting to happen, and it will result in dead dogs & dead Grizzlies.
Yeah, there is a reason hounds are prohibited in Idaho units with an established grizzly population.

Not a huge fan of hound hunting for bears in general, but in grizz country, I’m outright opposed... agree with @Ben Lamb, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
 
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Schaaf

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People talk about shed hunters stressing wintering deer and elk. What about all the does and cows getting ready to burst in late spring dealing with packs of hounds ripping through the woods? Also, running bears with dogs when all the young cubs are out? I just dont think its a good idea on any level.
Yeah, about that.. deer and elk are vermin and should be shot on sight per the MT Legislature
 

mtnkid85

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I think it would need to be applied in a unit to unit basis and I do think it would be worth considering the impact on spring newborns. If it increased bear take I could see it really benefiting spring recruitment as thats when bears can really have an effect on elk/deer.
Overall I don't know that I really have strong feelings either way.
 

JLS

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From my Idaho experience hounds can usually be avoided with terrain and lack of roads. That said if I had an area I was accustomed to bear hunting and it had not previously had hound hunting I probably wouldn’t be excited about them being allowed in the future
I think this is a really accurate take. A friend of mine runs bears in an Idaho unit, and they absolutely rely on roads. It's understandable. Anyone that has run a critter with dogs knows how valuable a road can be.

I also very much agree with @SnowyMountaineer's excellent assessment about the experience of spring bear hunting. It's hard to imagine the juice is worth the squeeze here.
 
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BuzzH

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Just in general, with regard to hunting in Montana:

alloversoon.jpg
 

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