Spot and stalk bear
I am really new to hunting bears in the spring. I have not given it much time in the past but I am really jacked up about the opportunity this year. What sort of areas do I need to concentrate on? I have read that south facing clear cuts with grass seem to be productive areas, but I am really not sure how to best identify good bear habitat. I elk and deer hunt somewere around 40-50 days a fall, all on foot so I understand how to put hard work and time into this. Any information is much appreciated.
I live in the north central part of the state. Thanks for any info.
The reason you are reading about south facing grazing lands is for two reasons. Most north facing slopes are covered in snow well up until the spring season is closing. And the north slopes have less grasses.
Both have good hunting options though.
Bears need grasses, onion shoots, and dandelions to eat when they first come out of hibernation to help settle the acids in their digestive tracks from their long sleep. Once they get enough of this, they can handle just about any food they find. That being said, a bear will eat what it finds first though in most cases. South facing slopes will have less winter kill on them by the time bears get up, because of the sun exposing the kills, other scavengers have more than likely cleaned up the carcass.
North facing slopes are typically more timbered, and hold the snow packs and winter kills longer. Bears have amazing noses, and can root about finding even the slightest wiffs of a dead animal to eat. They can be found digging about in snow drifts sometimes trying to dig out something they have found.
Your best bet is to get up on a hill that looks over some larger areas where water is keeping a good growth of grazing grass going, as well as some shaded timber and glass for them. Its not going to be easy, but when you do find one, you need to watch it for a while before you can safely make an approach. Get to study its movements and what its doing before you plan where your going to intercept it.
Keep the wind in your favor at all times, or you will never see the bear when you get anywhere close.
have fun, and good luck.
I don't know if it is open once the fawns and calves start hitting the ground, but if it is, go where the does and cows are hanging out. The bears RUN from brush patch to brush patch looking for these easy fawn and calf meals. They are the number one killer of fawns and calves here in northern Idaho. www.BestforHunting.com
I don't know how your snow situation is? That can have an effect on bears. I primarily focus on wherever there is an abundance of grass. Does your area have creek or river bottom? I would focus on that because of the cooling effect and the vegetation is usually lush. I shot a bear last year on creek bottom in late may. Try hunting during the evening or early morning. If you can't find anything on the creek or river bottom, glass openings in the south facing slopes during the evenings or morning. Also if you have bad ticks up there, make sure you have a spray or something to deter ticks. I have been on spring bear hunts and pulled off 30 ticks in one day.