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Location: Liberty Hill, Texas
Joined: 07/05/2002
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Any Colorado Bear Hunters?

Planning a first time Colorado hunting trip for 2003 and first time bear hunt. Not new to hunting, just to hunting bears. My hunting partner is from Colorado, but has never hunted bears either. We intend to hunt public land on our own with rifles west of Devil's Thumb and south of Rocky Mnt. Nat. Park. The web is helpful and then again it isn't when it comes to hunting black bears in Colorado. All I can find about hunting blacks deals with baiting from other states which is illegal in Colorado. The DOW is very helpful with hunting the state in general and the laws, regulations and license issues, but finding actual hunting experience information is almost impossible.
Let this Texas hill country deer hunter know what blacks are all about and the rush you get before and after squeezing the trigger.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
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Any Colorado Bear Hunters?

kyotee,

I have not been black bear hunting. However I have been around black bear because of nuissance trapping over the years and can give you a bit of info that may be useful.

CO's black bear population is growing rapidly since the ban on trapping in the mid 90's. So the state has quite a few bear. The DOW even lists "ranching for wildlife" hunts in units 85 and 140 (southern portion of the state near Vela Pass to Trindad).

Units 61 and 70 (San Miguel south of Montrose) have quite a few black bear and their populations have only grown over the last few years. May want to check out these units too.

Now about baiting, black bear will be tough to hunt without bait. Indeed they are hard to trap without bait, so hunting them will be even more challenging. Their sense of smell is wicked good, so really better stay upwind or you won't even get a chance at a shot. Since they are nocturnal, you will hunting dawn and dusk, since this is your best chance of seeing them when they are active.

There is one thing working to your advantage; the colorado drought. Last few years have been dry and this year very dry. This brings the bears out more in the day light and you can probably use watering holes as a concentration point to nail one.

Hope this info is useful. Maybe some hunters with first hand hunting experience will post their thoughts.

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Any Colorado Bear Hunters?

Well this isn't Colorado, but if you can make it up to Minnesota, looks like the DNR has an excellent black bear hunting clinic for just $5.

http://www.biggamehunt.net/sections/Minnesota/Black_Bear_Hunting_Clinics...

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Location: Liberty Hill, Texas
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Any Colorado Bear Hunters?

[ This Message was edited by: kyotee on 2002-07-10 09:42 ]

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Location: Colorado
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Any Colorado Bear Hunters?

Kyotee,

What happened to your post about the flood waters?

I hope the flood waters stopped at your gate and didn't rise any further!

I didn't realize the flooding had gone as far as near Austin....

[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2002-07-10 20:20 ]

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Location: Liberty Hill, Texas
Joined: 07/05/2002
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Any Colorado Bear Hunters?

Well,I deleted it because I thought I had posted it on another topic when I was asked where Jonestown was. Whenever it floods in the hill country, all the water ends up in Lake Travis. All the other lakes on the Highland Lakes chain are constant level lakes and Travis is flood control.
Alot of flooding did happen South of Austin along other rivers watersheds, but anytime it floods along the Colorado river watersheds here in Texas,it always ends up in Lake Travis which then has to open flood gates flooding Lake Austin and then Town Lake throught Austin.
The water level is going down right now, but Lake Brownwood is flooded above Lake Buccanan and is now filling Travis up again. The LCRA doesn't want Travis to get above 700 ft (full is 681 and normal is around 663)and it has been around there for over a week now. A whole lot of water going to the gulf, isn't it a shame we can't send it Fed Ex it Colorado and Arizona?

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Any Colorado Bear Hunters?

Well it is good to hear that you did not get caught in the flood waters, Kyotee.

Yes it is a shame that you can't fedex some of that water up here. Although it has been raining a bit more over the last week, so perhaps it will not be a terribly dry fall if the rain holds up...

So are you going to head up to Minnesota for that Black Bear Hunting Clinic? Sounds interesting...

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Location: Liberty Hill, Texas
Joined: 07/05/2002
Posts: 10
Any Colorado Bear Hunters?

Well, I don't figure to make a trip to Minnesota anytime soon. I am gong to be going to Colorado next month on a scouting trip though. Our planned bear hunt isn't until 2003.
I have read quite a bit lately about bears, one thing I read didn't make a whole lot of sense. A guy from New Hampshire said that baiting isn't allowed in NH either, so he uses vanilla extract as a cover scent. Does that sound very smart, I wouldn't think so. I've also heard to use predator calls, would that be legal in Colorado?
I do have another question, Conservation Certificate, I read they are free, but where or who do I contact to get one? I plan on fishing next month on a scouting trip and would assume I would need a CC to get a fishing license as well, right?

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Any Colorado Bear Hunters?

Good luck on your scouting trip.

I can see the logic in using something to cover your scent since black bear have a very powerful sense of smell. However I don't see why "vanilla" would be any better than any other scent covering. Seems that vanilla would attract bears (sweet smell) or repel them (unatural scent).

No a predator call is not baiting and can be used.

Now about Conservation Certificates (CC). When I got mine it was done over the counter at the time I purchased a deer tag back in the early 90's. If this is the first time you will hunt/fish in CO then you can get a CC over the counter when you purchase your fishing tag. Yes the CC is needed for fishing too.

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Location: Liberty Hill, Texas
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Any Colorado Bear Hunters?

Here in Texas, hunting whitetails, I use coon scent and it works great. I was questioning the use of vanilla as a cover scent because it would work as an attractant and I don't think I want to attract bears to my back pocket.
I'll probably stick t coon scent and hopefully it won't spook the bears. I learned the hard way several years ago. I went from one part of the hill counrty where I used red fox scent as a cover where red foxes were abundant. I got on another deer lease farther out toward west Texas and learned real fast that red foxes weren't as abundant because the scent spooked the deer. I changed to coon scent overnight and it worked perfectly. I've had coons follow me while walking to my stand and have had coons climb up trees I was sitting in. I've had mature bucks within 10 feet downwind and not have a clue I was there. Of course my wife doesn't like me smelling like a coon den, but she loves venision.

[ This Message was edited by: kyotee on 2002-07-23 12:25 ]

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Any Colorado Bear Hunters?

Chuckle :smile:

I imagine the wife doesn't like the coon scent. But that is interesting that you saw such a dramatic difference between fox/coon scent in west Texas. Do you use a commerical coon scent or a "home brew"?

Yes I imagine the vanilla would be attractive, since it smells like feed (sweet) and there will probably be a lot of hungry black bears (assuming the drought in CO extends to next year, which I hope it doesn't).

There are a lot of coons in CO, although I doubt as many as in part of Texas.

I assume you are a bow hunter mostly?

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