DIY spring bear hunt recommendations ?

troybackman

Active Member
Apr 17, 2015
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Mn
I am kicking around the idea of a spot n stalk bear hunt this spring? All my research so far has me looking at NW Montana but I am very open to suggestions. Do any of you greats out there have any first hand knowledge or other thoughts on western spring bear? Thanks
 

mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
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A buddy of mine went to Idaho a few years ago and had a real good hunt. They didn't kill any bears but they should have killed several. His hunting partners were less than adequate from the sounds of things.

If I recall the tags were OTC and they went pretty early and the only bears that were out were very low in elevation. There was still a lot of snow up high.

I dont have any more info than that but it should get you started.
 

kidoggy

Veteran member
Apr 23, 2016
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idaho
lots of choices on where to go. if you watch the two bear in five minutes video below ,I would say that is a pretty good place to go.

maybe check out tag hub, for some ideas .

bears around here (sw idaho) are generally low . I don't for the most part much bother going above the snow line. not saying they won't be there ,just more likely to be where their food sources are more plentiful.

I generally like to focus my glassing MOSTLY (not always) on south facing, fairly open slopes with green grass . bears like that grass to get their stomachs working again after the big sleep.
 
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LCH

Very Active Member
Jun 28, 2015
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Southern Indiana
I've been to NW MT twice for spring bear. Never really timed it right for the areas I hunted though. Saw lots of sign each time, there were bears around for certain. Saw one nice blackie the first trip but no shot, 3 griz the second trip and no blacks.

I hunted CA back in 2016, during the fall. Same deal, lots of sign but no sightings.

I had a CO tag in my pocket a couple years ago, and did see a nice bear the night before my season opened. I was primarily deer hunting though, and killed a deer fairly quickly then left to try and fill another deer tag in Kansas.

I hunted SE AK a little while back, and there really is no comparison between there and anywhere in the lower 48 I've been. I got a bear fairly easily there and have eaten every other bear tag I've held. The downside with SE AK is that most DIY friendly areas are on a draw, and you've got to plan the trip at least a couple years out.

I would certainly go back to NW MT for a spur of the moment spring hunt. I'm also interested in Idaho and Oregon, but I don't think it makes a lot of sense to drive through MT to get there.

One of these years when the draws aren't good to me, I'm definitely going to hit Colorado in early September with a couple bear tags.
 
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Bonecollector

Veteran member
Mar 9, 2014
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Dont rule out hunting black bear in the Carolinas. Based on the sheer numbers this is where the majority of the bears are in the continental US
 

gonhunting247

Very Active Member
Jan 21, 2014
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If you decide OR is on the list, just get ahold of me. Spring Bear is a nice time to get out, I bet you'll enjoy it!
 
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tim

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Jun 4, 2011
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north idaho
What is your definition of spring?
The reason i ask is that, mountains around here gain snowpack until mid april. If you think you can drive around in may, you are mistaken. June is iffy in the mountains for getting over passes. Typically most folks consider mountain passes to be open by the 4th of july.
I got one bear that squared 6'4 in mid june, in the bottom of a creek drainage in the st joe country of idaho. You could not go over the top at that time.
 

meathunter

Active Member
Jun 6, 2012
181
8
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Idaho spring bear can be good, across the border from NW Montana. Best to have a week or so. I've gotten 4 bears in last 4 years. Bait works best for me. All the areas which allow 2 bears are places to start. Fresh snow helps to locate bears with tracks. Late May and June are the best months, hunt below the snow line. Trail cameras are handy to see when they come in, have cubs...
 

troybackman

Active Member
Apr 17, 2015
213
131
Mn
Idaho spring bear can be good, across the border from NW Montana. Best to have a week or so. I've gotten 4 bears in last 4 years. Bait works best for me. All the areas which allow 2 bears are places to start. Fresh snow helps to locate bears with tracks. Late May and June are the best months, hunt below the snow line. Trail cameras are handy to see when they come in, have cubs...
Thank you. I appreciate the advice alot. I have pretty much settled on Montana for this year . Now just trying to hone in on a area for a starting point. Ive narrowed it down to a few areas mostly from missoula to libby and everything between. Still taking any advice though, and open for any more intel. How well will baiting work on a 5 day hunt if I would happen to try Idaho?
 

meathunter

Active Member
Jun 6, 2012
181
8
Idaho Falls, Idaho
5 day hunt would work, it takes a day to get baits set up, so that leaves 4 to sit on them, providing they are in a good location. One hunter is allowed 3 baits. You can still spot and stalk until you have an active bait, baiting gives you another option. If you're in a good area, a bait will get hit in 1 or 2 days. Evenings are best, although I've had bears come in throughout the day. Some bears only come in at night though, can be challenge to have them come in during shooting hours. A strong sweet commercial scent, bear attractant aids in getting the bears in sooner, along with a good filler to keep them staying around.
 

troybackman

Active Member
Apr 17, 2015
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131
Mn
Thanks again. A little trick I learned from an old bear guide in northern MN to get nocturnal bears coming in sooner. Find some other bear scat and place around your bait and short the bait that evening. Target bear thinks another bear beat him to the bait and will try to get there sooner next time. Ive seen it work first hand on a 400 lb MN bear that was hitting the bait right after dark. He dead now;)
 

Slugz

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Oct 12, 2014
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Woodland Park, Colorado
Ooooh......Im liking that Troy. Got me thinking already about employing that around a fresh kill carcass or down a path here in Colorado where a bear frequents. Im always looking for techniques like this for our fall season here.
 
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BKC

Very Active Member
Feb 15, 2012
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The high plains of Colorado
Thanks again. A little trick I learned from an old bear guide in northern MN to get nocturnal bears coming in sooner. Find some other bear scat and place around your bait and short the bait that evening. Target bear thinks another bear beat him to the bait and will try to get there sooner next time. Ive seen it work first hand on a 400 lb MN bear that was hitting the bait right after dark. He dead now;)
That is one hell of a good idea!
 
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