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Joined: 03/13/2010
Posts: 329
Bear Dens

Are most bears in their dens for the winter at this point?

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4433
Nope, they are still out

Nope, they are still out there feeding and will be until the snow has just about covered everything up.  I have even seen bears out in the first couple of weeks of December. 

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
Heck, I know that most bears,

Heck, I know that most bears, here in California, and from what I was told about Colorado, are still waiting to be shot... :wink:  I asked about getting a bear tag next year during second season, and was told I'd prbably be more likely to see a bear to shoot than and elk or deer where I am going.

So yes, they are still out walking around, and are not close to denning up for the winter yet.

numbnutz's picture
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Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
The bears here are still out

The bears here are still out and about feeding getting fat for their winter break. I'm not sure about Colorado but here in Oregon the bears don't really hibinate. They will den up for a couple weeks at a time and then go looking for food. I have seen bears out walking around in Jan and Feb before. I thaught that was kinda weird so i asked a biologist and he said "the bears here dont hibinate like in other parts of the country". It's due to the fact our winters are pretty mild and there is food sources year round. However during the winter months they are less active and they will only den up and sleep for 2-3 weeks at a time. I'm hoping to get out in the morning to chase a nice bear. I've only seen it from a distance but it looks like one that i would like to harvest. Most the bears on the west side of Oregon have brown muzzles and I don't really want one like that. I want a solid jet black head to tail or i would want a nice color phase. In eastern Oregon you'll see more color phase bears and the black bears are usually solid black. So to see an all black bear over here is geting me excited. Do you have a bear tag for where your hunting? If so good luck on tagging out.

Bull Buster's picture
Location: Nebraska
Joined: 10/12/2007
Posts: 167
the bears should still be out

the bears should still be out and about.  Look for good food sorces such as berries and you'll find bears if there are any in the area.  I shot a bear while elk hunting in 06 and haven't bought a permit since then.  Last year I had more chances to shoot bears than elk and last year saw one that was in the feild of veiw through my binos with a cow elk and they looked like the same size. I normally see a few bears while elk hunting but last year was amazing.  I have a tag in my pocket this year but, some times I think tags work like pepper spray or repelant.

Location: western co.
Joined: 08/23/2009
Posts: 131
tags sure do act as a repellant

this year was a year full of the situation of wrong tag for an awesome animal.we hunted elk last week here in western colorado and my brother and i were holding cow tags and each had a 300 class bull 50 yds broadside from us.our buddy had a bull tag but wasnt with us when we each had our encounter.my brother was also holding a bear tag and wasnt with me when i had a monster bear feed to within 15 yards of me until i stood up and wave him off out of there.he was probably 350 to 400 pounds with a beautiful dark chocolate brown coat.when we were muzzy hunting for mulies we saw no bucks but had multiple encounters with bull elk close.It is a little frustrating as i know that this week of otc hunting will bring in many hunters,some which will be taking those animals and putting their buddies tag on it.

hawkeye270's picture
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Location: Fort Collins, CO
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 1862
The timing of bear denning

The timing of bear denning behavior depends on a lot of factors: lattitude, elevation, climate, food sources etc. Here in Colorado most bears are denning up by mid-November but it is important to note that bears are not true hibernators... rather they go into a state of "deep sleep" called torpor in which their heart rate and other body functions are slowed and lowered. Bears will wake and depending on weather and food sources, leave the den and forage for a time, before returning to thier den. Lots of the best black bear research since the 70's has actually come out of Colorado.

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