Bear hunt question

hunttrap

Active Member
Jan 22, 2016
219
85
Eastern Nebraska
Heading to Idaho for a spring bear hunt the first week of June. I have never bear hunted in the past and I am going with my dad. We have a pretty good game plan currently.... I think. We are going to hike ridges and glass clearings. I have been google earthing the area and finding trails with clearing through them using idahos interactive map and comparing those results to my forest service map. (great resource) While talking to a biologist from that area he told me there was fire through parts of the area in the last couple of years. My question is how would that affect the bears in the area. Would the be more abundant in those areas due to fresh greens or totally leave the area?
 

CrossCreeks

Veteran member
Mar 6, 2014
1,023
0
Dover, Tennessee
If it has been two full years and the area has had any moisture I would think you would have bear activity there. I am not a bear hunter though. I am sure others can give you better info !
 

gonhunting247

Veteran member
Jan 21, 2014
1,027
462
I think you'll find they will use it, especially if it has had time to get some good forage coming back. Last year we killed two bears on the edge of a burned area here in OR. Good luck.
 

7shot

Active Member
Mar 26, 2015
177
0
Idaho
I think you need to see if there are patches of unburned trees still in the area. If it was wiped clean my a burn, then I would assume less bears would be in the area. I love to hunt open areas that are loggged or just open grass hillsides, but there needs to be some draws that are timbered which serve as cover for bears. Bears will move to cover to sleep most of the time, then come out in the open to eat onions and grasses. If all the trees in an area are burned, this limits the cover they really like to have. Also one thing to think about when looking for black bears, is that every burnt stump looks like a bear, and will drive you crazy when glassing. One thing to remember if it does not move in 5 seconds, it is most likely not a bear. They move around alot when grazing. If I have my choice, I don't hunt a burn. I find a clean area with open grass and cover tons of area with the glasses. Also if you are in a good area and have seen bear sign or feel there are bears there, be patient behind the glass - take a ton of time to glass an area. Be patient and check several areas. You can see a bear any time of the day, but my favorite is 2pm to 6 pm in the spring. You will see bears out in the mid morning also, but if it is cold, they sometimes are not in a hurry to get out of bed. If in Idaho - you might think about getting a Turkey tag for the first 2 hours of light. Call a few birds and then switch to bears. Good luck!

A couple photos of bear holding areas and also of my son being patient during a long afternoon glassing session.

20150404_135102.jpg20150407_121018.jpg20150421_132504.jpg
 

mntnguide

Very Active Member
I agree above...If i dont have to hunt the "burn" for bears I would try not to...Every DAMN stump catches your attention all day long. . The other thing to remember, just because it looks like a clearing on Google earth...doesnt mean it is clear.. You will only find this out with boots on the ground, but it would be a good idea to have multiple plans and areas to look at. Bear hunting spot and stalk, is all about patience. Get High and have great optics, because thats basically the name of the game. And be patient, if you are seeing fresh spring sign..overturned rocks and logs, torn up grass mounds, tracks etc...they are there, you just have to wait to see one. Good Luck
 

hunttrap

Active Member
Jan 22, 2016
219
85
Eastern Nebraska
We are headed to area 12. It sounds like it is really thick and I have never been there to see it first hand. I look liked the south east side of the area had some fire activity according to google earth but im not sure. Anyone know if there is a lot of logging activity in that area or old logging roads. Been looking at the forest service map and they don't have logging roads marked to my knowledge. Is there any other maps that would show logging roads that you all know of? Thanks for the help
 

hoshour

Veteran member
Your best strategy is probably to walk old, closed logging roads, looking for bear droppings and bunches of grass. Bears like to walk those roads, especially if there is sweet grass like bunch grass.

Talk to the forest rangers. They know the roads. Give a call to the local biologist and you'll be surprised at how much they'll help you. Talk to the local taxidermist too as well as the wardens.
 

ivorytip

Veteran member
Mar 24, 2012
3,759
29
an old logging rd up in that part of the country sounds pretty darn good! wish I could offer more, let us know! good luck!
 

az.mountain runner

Active Member
May 22, 2012
285
0
Mesa Az.
If you have a mountain bikes take them or find somewhere close to rent them, you will be able to cover a lot more decommissioned roads that way and improve your odds.
 

gonhunting247

Veteran member
Jan 21, 2014
1,027
462
I've had some luck late in the spring using a distress call. I did know the bears were in the area though. They were bears I had spotted and was having trouble re-locating. It is cool when they come in fast and aggressive. That said, the majority have been spot and stalk or still hunting in the fall.
 

meathunter

Active Member
Jun 6, 2012
181
8
Idaho Falls, Idaho
hunttrap Unit 12 is really good for bears, thick & rugged. We found spot & stalk to be difficult because the area is so thick. The area got hit with a lot of fires, but still good places to hunt. We saw mostly smaller bears. Put out baits as soon as you can and the bears will come! We were there last fall, although an outfitter in the area said first 2 weeks of June are best. We didn't see much logging at all. Lots of turkeys too!
 

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
3,351
1,520
52
Woodland Park, Colorado
1. Call the biologist if you haven't already and figure out what they are eating and digging at in June....heck might even be on the internet. This is key as that will narrow down the altitude/location to focus your glassing.
2. Mountain bikes...borrow some if you don't have any....the amount of turf covered with them is insane. You can be really quiet on them also with minimal practice.
3. Have a distress call with you. Some will come to it. It can also be used to stop them for a shot.

That's my technique......I cant stress #1 enough.....regardless...spring or fall.....years I didn't have that sorted out...= no bears even seen. Moisture in the spring, snow pack, fire...all determines it.
 

hunttrap

Active Member
Jan 22, 2016
219
85
Eastern Nebraska
Ive never thought of using a mountain bike, a man could cover a lot of terrain that way. What would be a good recommendation if I am only going to be there for about 7 days for bait? Would I use a bunch of donuts and breads, grease, honey burns? Since its a short trip need to find something that will bring them in running quickly!!!
 

Slugz

Veteran member
Oct 12, 2014
3,351
1,520
52
Woodland Park, Colorado
Ive never thought of using a mountain bike, a man could cover a lot of terrain that way. What would be a good recommendation if I am only going to be there for about 7 days for bait? Would I use a bunch of donuts and breads, grease, honey burns? Since its a short trip need to find something that will bring them in running quickly!!!
I can't help on that one. Only seen baiting on tv.
 

7mag

Active Member
Sep 1, 2014
155
0
Wyoming
Air popped popcorn and dump anice oil on top of it. The kernals are cheap at sams club and get the oil from a trapping supply company plus it weighs almost nothing
 

hunttrap

Active Member
Jan 22, 2016
219
85
Eastern Nebraska
So I got myself a bunch of popcorn. Seen a youtube video were some guy took 4 cups of water, 4cups of sugar, koolaid pack, and heated it up to 250 degrees. Made a slurry of some sort he combined with the popcorn. I think that is the bait route I am going to go. Low cost and low weight. I also got access to deep fat fry oil. I am getting really excited. Anyone seeing any bears out and about in idaho yet?