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Offline
Joined: 08/22/2007
Posts: 10
1st Time bear Hunter - Not baiting

Hello, I am going to go bear hunting for the first time this coming weekend. I have spent alot of time reading about the sport, mainly on this site, but it seems like everyone addresses baiting.

I'm hunting on Fort Lewis in Western Washington along the Nisqually River just south of the Indian Reservation. Some information about the area, the Indians just took down the fishing nets and the river is being flooded with salmon. Several bear have been taken out of the area the past couple of days. The area is supposed to be very plentiful with healthy, large bears.

I have a tree climber stand and a cub and injured rabbit call. I'll be using a 30-06 with .180 grain bullets.

I've hunted white-tail my entire life, so I'm mainly I'm looking for the basic stuff every bear hunter should know:

1.) What time should I enter my area and what time are bears most active?

2.) What is the best method to use the callers and what will each call provide?

3.) Is cleaning a bear comprable to cleaning a deer or is there something I should be aware of.

4.) Is using a drag rope practical for a bear?

Any other advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
1st Time bear Hunter - Not baiting

I gather we're talking about black bears here, and not griz?
If they are actively feeding on salmon or fish runs I can only relate that to the fish runs we have here, specifically suckers in the spring. Black bears will readily go after them and will be there at all hours of the day until the run is over.
Can't help you with the calls as we bait here. But if you're setting up over a fish run, will the calls of any use?
Cleaning a bear is same as deer unless you have something specific you wish to do with the cape. Normally its ream out the bung hole, cut the diaphram loose and windpipe as high up as you can and pull. Only difference will be with a bear shot the night before and not found til next day. If its a male, forget the meat and bring an oxygen mask. I'd not open him up, just peel the hide off.
Any animal over 200 lbs is gonna be a bear to pull. Tougher than deer. The bulk of his weight is in the hind end,theres little place to tie off, ropes often slide off the legs and neck and if you want to save the hide you have to be extra careful about pulling hair out.
BTW, your caliber and bullet choice is fine.

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Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
1st Time bear Hunter - Not baiting

Man am I mad.. I had over thirty minutes in a reply to this thread and I closed the browser on accident.....

Any way. I have been calling bears for over a dozen years and even managed to kill one or two. Here is an article that I wrote awhile back on calling bears.
http://hunting-washington.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=22&Itemid=45

If they are eating fish they might be hard to call. The nets are in the river for half the week, then out again but fish are all over the river right now. I would look at the area the other guys are hunting and look for sign. Front tracks that are 5 inches wide or more are good.

I wouldn't use the tree stand, it will just hinder you in the long run. The rabbit call may work, but the cub distress may be better. Remember that sows will also come to a cub call. They will run their cubs up a tree before coming in so remember that not all single bears are boars.

.06 is just fine. Try for a double lung and listen for the death moan.

Most of my bears have been killed in the first few hours of the day. At this time of year they could be active at anytime and pretty soon they will be feeding almost 20 hours of the day.

Clean a bear just like a deer.

There are many ways that we take bears out of the woods. There is usually no dragging a bear, esp. by yourself. If the bear is average 150-175 lbs live weight you can try to pack him out on a good packboard.
Here is my son packing a 120lb field dressed bear last year.
Predator call.

My nephew with a 130lb dressed bear that my brother and I packed out whole on a packboard.
Spot and stalk.

This one was 150 gutted and we rolled it in a tarp.
Predator call

Sometimes we use a cart, like with this 250lber.
Cow elk call

This one was dragged about 40 yards by 3 guys, then put into a cart for a 2 mile hike out. 270 field dressed.
Spot and stalk

This one we cut up into about 6 pieces. 380 field dressed. Just the front shoulder to claws weighed 45 lbs.
Predator call

I would try to stay as close to the indian rez, but away from any residential areas or fish camps on the river. If you find lots of sign, stay put. Put in the time and the bears will come.

Offline
Joined: 08/22/2007
Posts: 10
1st Time bear Hunter - Not baiting

Thank you very much for your replies. Is there any website I can goto to listen to how cub calls should be imitated as well as any other pertinent sounds?

Offline
Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
1st Time bear Hunter - Not baiting

Here is a link to some bear info including sounds.
http://www.bear.org./Black/BB_Home.html

Offline
Joined: 08/27/2004
Posts: 1964
1st Time bear Hunter - Not baiting

Man those are some nice bears and great pics. I like the tarp method thats the only way I do it usually is rap em and haul after they are dressed it always seem to work quite good but I heard those carts are amazing just never needed one I used one of those two wheeled wheel barrows too once but it was a b&*ch of a time getting it in and out so I wont do that again. If they are too big bring some game bags and quarter it out. I always bring a call, Give it a good go and you should be able to russel something up.

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