Ways to hunt Bear

1_pointer

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I am not trying to start a fight with this, but I am not sure that I would like hunting over a bait. I am not adamant on this because I have never hunted over one and I WILL do it before I condemn anyone for doing so. But I was wondering if there are other ways to hunt bears? I know that people use hounds. Do many people have success spot and stalking bears or calling them in?? Thanks for any information.
 

ROCKYMTNELKSTALKER

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I've never hunted with hounds or over bait either. For one reason it's illegal to do so in the state of Montana. Every bear hunter in the state uses the call/spot and stock method and with a great deal of success. I have been hunting bears for quite a few years and have only gone 4 times in 18 years of bear hunting without filling the tag. Spot and stock is a very good method and works well, especially when combined with a call. If you've never hunted that way I recommend you give it a try. Good luck.

P.S. I don't like to bad mouth any means of legally harvesting a game animal, but I don't see where anyone can call taking an animal over bait hunting. I don't mean to offend, just don't agree with this method of harvesting any animal.
 
B

bcat

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RMES-I agree with you totally. I dont see how Wyoming can tell you on one hand "DONT FEED THE BEARS" and on the other hand have it legal to bait them. We do not have a large population of bears here and spot and stalking just isnt an option. I dont know of ANYONE here that has ever successfully spot and stalked a bear and killed it. Areas with large bear popul;ations I could see where it would work real good but you would spend all season here and never see a bear. It is not real sporting feeding the bear, and then killing it but they wont let us hunt them with dogs, and spot and stalk is just not a good option here. I would like to get into the calling part of it and next year we are gonna try it. When I lived in Montanna there were bears everywhere. Lots more berries and that type of habitat for them there. We are getting a few more bears here than we used to have but it just isnt enuff for them to eat I dont think. bcat
 

Muledeer4me

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Not a bear hunter (just a wanabe).
I do know people that bait and the thought I have is that,it may sound easy but then if you look at all that is envolved.
You have to first have an idea of where to put your bait site or sites.
You then have to make the effort to keep them up,then you have to have the dedacation to sit it out under all kinds of weather.
To be honest I like the spot and stalk,but thats because I dont have what it takes to be patience or dedacation enough to sit it out through all the different weather.I am working on that :D :D :D
Because I would love to be able to hunt that way,at least once .Thats what hunting is about,if one way isnt working try something else,the goal is to beat it at is own game,and if it was so easy there would be alot more bears being taged in a shorter amount of time.
I would love to be able to try all the differend approches to hunting them.
 

DKO

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just like every bull doesnt come crashing in to every bugle he hears not every bear will come to every bait site being stupid and clueless and ready to eat!!! fooling a big bear into using a bait site is game not often won by the hunter,a bears nose is his best defense and they use it !! you may sit on a bait sight and think you havent had anything close when in actuallity, your were busted numerous times and not even know it!!! i would like to see anyone spot & stalk them in the maine woods! everywhere ive ever hunted up there would be damn near impossible, the vegetation is way to dense! some big bears get killed at bait sites but i would bet that most big bears are the result of dogs or spot & stalk just my .02!!!
 

sheCat

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I want to try DOGS! Although baiting may not seem to be sporting. I kinda liked it! :D I am by no means an experienced bear hunter but I will say, no matter how you hunt them, there is an adrenaline rush when you first see them, that will take away all your doubt of how you are doing it. JMO and it isn't like you have them tied up so they will just let you drop them. :D They are pretty quick to run if they feel threatened!. Besides that I am way too noisy to do spot and stalk. LOL
 

Tobey

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DKO your .02 worth is more like a $1.00 LOL.
Could someone tell me the difrench, between Baiting a bear and sitting in a tree stand over looking a clover field or apple orchard, and waiting for a deer to come to eat.
There both the most Boring way there is to hunt in my opinion.But there both waiting for a animal to come to feed.And the deer is just as chalenging to shoot as the bear at a bait.
 

lilbiggun

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AK
I dont bait but next year I think I'm gonna try it. I always spot and stalk.
Baiting doesnt guarentee a bear and it can be very boring but you get a chance for a good look and study the bear so you know its a nice mature single bear (no cubs).
Besides watching my buddies video he got of a brown bear coming in and acting like he owned the place makes a tree sound real safe :D
 

AzKiote

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I'm surprixed that more of you haven't tried calling bears with a predator call. Here in Arizona we can't hunt over baits in most areas and where we can the bait is very limited in size. Spot and stalk is possible but the bears are scarce in many areas and very hard to locate. That makes the best option either hunting with dogs or calling. Since I don't keep dogs, you know what I do!

Does it work every time? No, it doesn't. But if you do your homework and scout the area, approach the calling locations with care and do everything just right, it pays off in a big way.

Let me tell you, when you call in a bear and see him coming in and you know that he is looking for an easy meal (that's YOU in this case!!!) it can give you a rush that you will never forget!!!
 

Moosie

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Boise, Idaho
DKO and Tobey.... Like the response.... !!!

1999........

Our tree stands I mentioned earlier gave us excellent vantage to see bear. My hunting library now has bear footage of a huge sow and her two cubs playing. 38 days of bear season… 14 days of hunting… Seeing 6-7 bear… May 22nd & 2 ½ hours and counting on the last day… IT WAS TIME!! The bear that came in I call "our bear" because Wylee put in as much time as I did & it was actually his turn. But location & timing didn't work out for Wylee & the bear and I now have added a 6' full body mount to my collection .





THat is a bear we took in '99.... BAiting was the method.. ANd it worked!!! BUT .. ONly after 14 days of hunting..... Bear are smart.... Takes ALOT to get one over bait in an area that many people do it.

THIS YEAR.. Wylee wacked one Spot and Stalk.... After about 15 days in the field, Some just dumping bait though... click*HERE*for the story.

I haven't ever tried "CALLING" them in but that is Another way....

so, I see 4 ways,
1. BAiting
2. SPot and Stalk
3. CALLING
4. DUMB LUCK

Either first 3 ways it isn't a sure way and usually takes a bunch of effort on the hunter.... unless #4 come into play :D :D

1-pointer.. Do ya fish..... THATS what I always Ask people that opose "BAITING".... Same thing, Different critter, But it is World round Accepted.. I've often wondered why ?~?~~?
 

JJHACK

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I have made a living hunting bears for a long time. For many years bait and hounds were legal. I ran hounds and killed lots of bears. We ran them constantly and had a ball. I started to feel guilty we were killing so many believe it or not. It is without question the highest success rate when you have good dogs.

I found that after many years and hundreds of bears that I did not really know about bears but I knew alot about dogs. Running bears with dogs was big fun but the "hunt" was done by the dogs the endurance race by the humans was a target shoot on a captive animal in a tree. I don't regret hunting bears this way it was my job. I just don't see that there was any actual hunting with humans looking for bears. It was dogs hunting bears and humans shooting them. I think it is a huge success and a lot of pride to own the dogs and hunt this way with your own dogs and the challange of training them to do the job. However my paying clients who sat for photo's with their trophy bear did nothing more then walk up and shoot a captive animal 99% of the time.

I switched to hunting over bait becuase I could hunt areas with lots of big untouched bears no houndman would ever run because of the proximity to highways or huge wilderness. We took several hundred bears this way as well. The amount of physical effort was so much greater for each bear it was amazing. Hauling in bait and building comfortable stands with all the education needed to construct them properly for prevailing winds, early greenup, setting sun, etc. etc. the learning curve of needing to know how bears live and migrate to different areas during the seasons was a huge education. After about two years my partners and I realized we were actually hunting again and needed to know about the bears not just following the dogs!

As far as the clients were concerned they had to be left to judge bears for themselves and had to hold still draw a bow or raise a rifle without the bear seeing them or shuffling their feet or making a sound. The element of the hunt was present with this hunting method for the client. He had all the responsibility of not screwing up and full attention needed on his or her part. Fighting the bugs and the rain, wind and cold is not easy. Making absolutely certain that you saw the bear before the warry bear who was deathly afraid there would already be another bigger bear on the bait detected you there. Most of which takes place in the final moments of fading light.

The difference between having a nice laugh and taking photo's of a bear in a tree before you shoot it and not being able to make the platform of your treestand creak while preparing for the shot is a huge difference in the "hunt"

They have since taken away our bait and our hounds in Wa. State with rare exceptions. this has moved everyone into the mountains looking for the bears. This is without question the ultimate bear hunting experience. Sitting and glassing for bears and making the stalk is the most satisfying hunting I have ever done in America. I will not likely ever hunt bears another way in my life. I don't care if I shoot one or two more bears my whole life, seeing them in the high alpine berries is the best all around hunting experience you will ever have.

I have done all three professionaly and am open minded about the differences. But Having done all three, the spot and stalk is the best and most "hunting" style you will ever do.

I'm not going to argue these comments or even debate them with anyone. They are strictly my feelings on this. Those who have done all three and taken lots of bears with each method may have different feelings then I do.jj

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 29 June 2001 19:43: Message edited by: JJHACK ]</font>
 

Aspen Hill Farm

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Michigan
I have only been on one bear hunt, so I am by no means an expert. My hunt was a baited, tree stand hunt in Manitoba. What I liked about it was I got to watch a lot of bears over several days before deciding on my target. I very much enjoyed the opportunity to observe bear behavior from my lofty position. I shot my bear on the fourth day.

It was an very interesting hunt as the boar I was hunting ended up fighting with a sow that had three yearling cubs. I had a VERY exciting 45 minute hunt. Hair raising to put it in a nut shell. I'll never forget the sound of popping teeth and roaring, pissed off bears!

Who knows how my next hunt for bear will be. I used to fox hunt on horseback behind hounds and loved it. I miss it too! I may do a black bear behind hounds if I ever get drawn for bear in my home state of Michigan.

Spot and stalk sounds cool too.

My next hunt, which may be this spring, may be a bow bear and I hope somewhere with a good opportunity for a color phase!

So far I am looking at Idaho and Western Manitoba.
 

George P

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Well JJHack I will tell you another difference between a bait hunt and a hound hunt. Most bait hunts are a couple hundred yards into the woods,sit down and wait. A treed bear is ussually a long hard hike through the roughest terrain you can imagine.You are now playing in the bears territory and they know the roughest hardest areas for losing the dogs and hunters.
I have to turn down clients every year that are not physicaly or mentally tough enough for this type of hunt. When i say mentally I mean the ones that think they will just sit on their butts till the dogs chase the bear to them.
I have nothing against bait hunting.I have taken many hunters on hound hunts that have also taken bears over baits. EVERYONE of them will tell you there is no comparison to the excitement of a hound hunt compared to the bait hunt. I dont know of anyone that has taken a bear with both methods that will say the bait hunt is more exciting.
As far as a laugh and and pictures before shooting a treed bear. I dont know where it is where you suposedly hound hunted but I can assure you it wasnt in New England.Most of the time we are sneaking into the trees to not spook the bear out before we can take a shot. Coming in and the wind shifts and the bear is usally gone. Many times we have had to run trees and shot as the bear was bailing out. I have never taken a picture of a bayed bear,which a lot of ours are,before they were dead.
Hey Tobey, You tell many jokes and take many pictures on them big bayed up bears before you pull the trigger????? LOL
 

Moosie

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Well, I haven't been around in awhile... Uhhh and re-read my post. I see JJ and George talking about DOGS. Iagree, I have been out with dogs, And If I can get my wife to agree, I will be out again ... *SMILE*

I didn't mension Hounds in my options because for the Average "JOE" It's not. I know that dogs take TIME, Money, Training, Practice, Pacients, HArd work, And it has to be in your blood... Well, Thats to OWN them. I hunt with friends that have them but they are MORE dedicated hunters then me.

So for someone that doesn't HAVE hounds, My list stands :D :D .02
 

JJHACK

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George, Noplace did I say it was not physical. But Physical did not make it hunting It was still following those trained hunters, (your dogs). There is probably no more excitement then hunting behind dogs, but a roller coaster is exciting too. It is not called hunting though.

This was my living for many years. I know a bit about it. We have taken 100's of bears and countless bears that were treed and left to run again. However the one thing I still see in my mind when talking about "hunting" is the client sitting with a bear and he really knows nothing about the bear, just that if he could make it to the tree and could shoot it, then he collected a trophy. That part of the deal started to wear on me. Maybe I'm just interested in an actual hunting adventure more the a dead animal. Hey that's just me. I would much prefer to have a hunting "experience" then to claim a pile of meat. I can buy meat cheaper then I can hunt it.

My self satisfaction of owning and training dogs was good, I just did not consider shooting treed animals anything more then damage control in my job. It did however pay the bills so I did it for a long time. My dogs worked hard for me and I had 1000's of days afield where I could not have been a happier hunter...............Maybe I just got burned out, hound hunting is by far the most successful way to harvest bears. More are killed over bait but that is due to the large number of people baiting. As far a hunting days to bears killed, good hounds will thin them down in a hurry they work soooooo good.

Your comment"I dont know where it is
where you suposedly hound hunted"

Is that kind of statement really needed here? Is this something you doubt of me? If you were not aware then I will tell you: I was the bear damage control manager for the Weyerhaeuser tree farm in Washington state for ten years, I was the western editor of North Country Bear huning magazine, Editor of North American bear hunting magazine, and currently the western editor of Bear hunting magazine. I have worked as a professional guide for over 20 years now in the Pacific North west, Alaska, and for the last ten years seasonally in South Africa.

There is no "suposedly" about it! jj
 

George P

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JJ, I didnt mean to infer that you didnt know about bear hunting. It is just the picture you painted" having a nice laugh and taking photos of a bear in a tree", to me, does not describe the hound adventure accurately.It is the same thing that I have heard from many hunters that have never hunted with hounds. You are talking about pulling the trigger only ,I believe. Yes, I do believe that my clients want to kill bears. I also believe that ,as far as the hunter is concerned, that bait hunting would be alot easier than a hound hunt.
I dont see any difference in the "hunt" as far as pulling the trigger goes. I dont believe it takes any more of a hunter to sit on his butt in a treestand than it does to sneak into a treed bear. On a guided hunt the bait site was selected ,pre baited, and the stand erected without any help from the hunter. If the skill involved is keeping the stand from creaking I would even that up with the pressure of a pack of dogs barking in your ear while making a shot.
I think that most clients just want their bear and dont have the time or money to do it on their own. that is where a guide comes in. I know I really want to take a mountain lion this winter. I also know that I will have to go with someone that cat hunts out west. I dont know how I could go out west blind and take one with my own dogs and equipment. I will still feel very happy if I take a lion even if I have to have some help to do it. I think that is the way most clients of mine feel with their bears.JJ,being a former houndsman, you know I will have to have at least one of my dogs at the tree though.LOL
As far as being the most successful way to take a bear is with hounds.You may be right on a one to one basis. Many of the bait guides here take 20 hunters a week. They will probably average 15 bears. The ratio is probably higher with hounds but you are limited to one or 2 hunters per week. I think if you figured out man days hunting to game killed it would still favor dogs but not by much. In the state of N.H. last year we had a total of 449 bears killed. Of those 37 were with dogs !!!
I guess I have kind of rambled here. The point I was trying to make is I dont think ,in the overall picture, a bear with dogs is any easier a hunt than a baited one.
JJ, do you know a guide from Washington ,near Spokane, named Ron Warren ???
 

hntrjohn

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Dec 10, 2000
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Well, I might as well get a word in here. I am very new to hound hunting. How new? I do not even have a dog yet. Right now I have been just helping a guy train his dogs. Why did I get intested in it? I love watching good dogs work. Be it a hound after a coon or a britney goung after a pheasant. To me it is about the dogs.
JJ, at least one thing about yopu you do have alot of experience running after bear with dogs. You are NOT someone making generalized statements about something you know nothing about.

John
 
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