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bears and elk hunting

I have been hunting for 2 years now and i haven't seen a bear yet and getting less worried about running into one. I was wandering how many hunters have ever had an encounter that made think they were done for. I guess I'm wandering if i should be carrying a weapon all the time other then my bow. I have been hunting in gmu 521 is there alot of bear in that area? one more thing when i was hunting i did find one thing that kinda made me think a little bit i came across a backend of a deer carcass that had grass over the top of it would a mountain lion hide there food like that?

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I assume you are talking

I assume you are talking about Colorado and black bears.  If that's the case I wouldn't worry near as much as if I was up in grizzly territory because they normally won't bother you unless you get between a sow and her cubs.  If you found that carcass cover up like that you can bet your bippy it was a cougar as cats will cover what they don't eat and then come back later when they want to chop down on the rest of it.

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As far as worrying about a

As far as worrying about a bear I wouldn't.  I go into the woods every year knowing that they are there and that there might be a chance of a problem but I don't worry about it.  As far as packing a pistol to dispatch an angry bear coming at you there are a couple of things that you need to consider.  The first one is can you hit something the size of a tennis ball that is coming at you at 30mph while it is bobbing and weaving with at least a .41 mag and up caliber of a handgun?  I know that I can't and I have been shooting pistols for over 40 years in both hunting and competition.  Also if you miss the brain and just hit it in the head you just might make it madder.  The best defense against a bear that is coming at you would be a can of bear spray.  With that stuff you only need to get close and it is effective.  As far as the grass over the carcass yes that is one way that a lion will cover their kill.   

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Good comment critter!  I

Good comment critter!  I don't know why I didn't mention pepper spray as the right alternative to carrying a sidearm.  That's what the G&F departments are all recommending that people carry when they are out in bear country and it's probably a lot easier to stop a charge with that than trying to hit a small spot like you mentioned with a handgun!!!

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In the areas that I have been

In the areas that I have been hunting deer and elk for over 20 years I have actually never seen a bear while hunting. I have seen them at other times but in no way have ever felt threatened. The exact opposite really, once they figure out you are around they will usually be gone pretty quick. Although I have never hunted up on McClure I know there are quite a few up there and some friends sometimes see one driving over on the way to work every day.

I always carry a sidearm while hiking and of course my rifle when hunting but not sure what I would do if I was bowhunting again. I just don't like the extra weight with everything else I need.

And yes a lion wiil cover it's kill but are even more secretive than the bears. I have only seen one without the use of dogs my whole life.

But of course there's always that one out there that would like to prove me wrong.Whistling

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I agree with Topgun

The kill you found was covered by a lion. I have had many, many, many run-ins with bears and 90 percent of the time you would be ok. I go fishing in some places I wont even go into to elk hunt without anything but a fishing pole.

One time me and two of my buddies were taking care of the fish we had caught in the stream and one of my buddies was really nervous due to all of the bear sign (we find half eaten fish all the time). I told him it was ok, but when we stood up and turned around there was a young boar sitting 10 yards from us just watching. I picked up a rock in the stream and hit him in the side and he took off like lightning. My buddy would not leave my side the rest of the day.

If you play in the woods enough you will eventually have a run in with a critter or two. It is best to always be prepared for the worst. If you are more comfortable carrying a pistol or some bear spray definately do it. Yes

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I always worry a little

I always worry a little before I go hunting in the mountains every fall. I take my 357 every year but once I get there I never have carried it. We have a tendency to build these things up in our heads at home. I just never think bout it once I am hunting. I do carry bear spray though. I hunt by myself almost all the time so I need to be as safe as I can. Bear spray is by far the best. Now, mountain lions you dont need to worry bout cause you won't see it coming anyways. Odd as it sounds I always walk with my bow on my shoulder and cross the back of my neck. Good subject cause most people wonder bout thesevthings but don't want to ask. Thinking it just isn't manly to ask questions about that stuff

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Talking about manly, I'll be

Talking about manly, I'll be very honest with you.  I hunt the BigHorns in Wyoming and the grizzlies can have the west side of the state all to themselves and I'll stay where I'm at.  I've talked to too many guys that hunt over there that see so many in various drainages that it's scary.  I can't believe that there aren't a lot more encounters and deaths that there are.  They are now conditioned to coming when they hear shooting becuas ethey know it's a free meal waiting for them.  Without any hunting for them, they have lost most of their shyness when it comes to being around humans!!!

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thanks for the reply i will

thanks for the reply i will try the bear spray but hope i don't have to use it. I just really didn't want to have to pack around a pistol if i didn't need to.

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topgun I had a buddy that was

topgun I had a buddy that was in Wyoming last fall and someone in his camp got charged twice by two different grizzlies.  I think five different times that week someone had an encounter with a grizzly.  I enjoy hunting more than being hunted:)

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Yep!  It is getting so bad

Yep!  It is getting so bad that a lot of the outfitters are now taking dogs in to alert them at night if a bear comes into the camp area.  I also here that more and more of them are putting up electric fences around their camps.  The bears can have that whole ecosystem because I would not enjoy having to look over my shoulder all day and sleep with one eye open at night just to shoot a deer or elk when I have the same chance where I hunt without that hassle!

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