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Location: QC, AZ
Joined: 08/17/2008
Posts: 4
Bears in the Pears?

Anybody have any experience with this phenomenon? I've been all over AZ unit 23, glassing every prickly pear covered slope with no sign of bear. I'm afraid my timing may be off and the bears are still in the higher parts of the unit.

I am seeing more ripe pricly pear now than the Aug 1 opener but saw nothing but whitetails and mule deer.

Anybody having any luck?

Thanks,

BB

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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 07/05/2003
Posts: 17
Bears in AZ

I called in a reddish-colored monster bruin opening day with a predator call in unit 22, as the pears were ripening non-uniformly. He came in so fast, he caught me by surpise and ended up escaping. In addition, the acorn, manzanita, and chokecherry berries have been so abundant over the past few weeks, most bears won't likely come down into the pears. I was out last weekend in the same area and called in a mountain lion, which I took. I was slightly bummed, as I wanted to find the same bear, but a lion is better than nothing! I suggest going into the thick canyon brush with a predator call and try your luck. Units 22 and 23 are good for that kind of hunting.

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Offline
Joined: 07/23/2008
Posts: 23
Bears in the Pears?

Hey Keith...nice mtn lion. I've always wanted to hunt a mtn lion but just never had the chance or wasn't sure where to start. What is a good unit for a beginner and what type of calls are best to get them in?

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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 07/05/2003
Posts: 17
Bears in the Pears?

I'm not an expert by any means, but I have always been lucky with lions, especially while calling for bear. I was once calling in unit 22 with a guy from Zimbabwe who was in graduate school with me. I sat him on one side of a small knoll watching a ravine, while I watched the adjacent ravine. The call carried down both narrow canyons and I had informed him not to shoot any of the foxes that would likely show up within a few minutes. I further coached him that any shots would send all the bears in the canyon running for the hills and would ruin our day...so I told him, don't shoot unless its a bear. After nearly an hour calling off of that knoll, I called it quits on that stand. I walked over to where he was, not 20 yards away from me and asked him if he had seen anything. He told me he watched a lion come up his side of the ravine and move around through the manzanita for about 20 minutes before heading back down towards the bottom of the ravine. I freaked out and asked him why he didn't take it! His reply, "You told me not to shoot unless it was a bear!"...Anyways, that was one that got away.

I would suggest calling for lion into steep and rugged canyons with lots of brush and cover on its sides. Hopefully, the canyon will have a riparian area deep down in its bottom to supply water for the wildlife. Get some topo maps of unit 22 and 23 as there are many such canyons in those areas. I prefer hunting those central Arizona units simply because they are close to the valley and short quick trips can be made. But southern Arizona and areas under the rim are great places for lion as well.

I have an electronic call, but have never called anything in with it. I have called at least 5 lions and about 10 bears using various hand held calls that were both open-reed and closed reed. I have called both species using the Critter Call, the Tally-ho, the Crit-r-Get-r, and the T-Rex.

Good luck and get a big one!

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Joined: 07/23/2008
Posts: 23
Bears in the Pears?

Hey Keith....Thanks for the help!

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Location: QC, AZ
Joined: 08/17/2008
Posts: 4
Thanks Keith

Thanks for the headsup. I'll be heading back out to Unit 23 this saturday. I may glass some of the prickly pear patches first thing in the morning jut to make sure the bears haven't moved down on them. Then head up the hill.

I'll have a report of what I find on Sunday.

I always like reading posts that have pictures.....so this what I hope to see saturday. One of the bears I called in for a friend this year.

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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 07/05/2003
Posts: 17
Bears in the Pears?

Yes, please give a nice report on Sunday.

Also, the called bear looks sweet. What was the estimated weight? Was the bear male or female? How long into the call did it take for the bear to arrive? Did it drop with one shot, or did you have to track it to finish taking it down?

Here's a bear I called up in unit 22 last fall in the bottom of a canyon. It came within 20 yards. I only like the big bears, so I passed this one up. I just played with it for a few minutes before shoeing her off.

Give us the Sunday report!

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Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Joined: 09/05/2007
Posts: 98
Bears in the Pears?

I had a conversation with a friend at AZG&F this week about possibly going after bears in 23. This is the first year in recent memory that the hunt was not closed after the first weekend in 23. He ran a report and said that only 4 bears had been taken in the first part of the season in 23 with one sow. The acorn crop is so good this year the bears have seen no need to come down to the pears. That along with the really hot weather is resulting in no bears. If you intend to find them, go high and call. I was up around Stoneman lake on Wednesday and saw plentiful bear sign around water holes close to the thick oak growth. I might suggest finding water close to the thick oak growth and see what you can find.

I might see you up there later this week if I can get work out of the way early.

Good luck!

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Location: QC, AZ
Joined: 08/17/2008
Posts: 4
Dismal Update

Well, I wish I had more to report for my hunt on Saturday. I hate to admit it but the heat got to me. I hiked all over the northern part of the Salome Wilderness with no success. My camera died at 5:30 am so I can't show you any pictures of the areas I hunted. Saw little bear sign and no bears.

The highlight of the journey was glassing a nice coues buck first thing in the morning. The pictures aren't that great because I took them through my binos.

Might try to get this buck next weekend.

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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Joined: 07/05/2003
Posts: 17
Memorial Weekend

I hit unit 23 all hours Saturday and Sunday without any rest, especially since it was overcast and relatively cool. We were out in the Sierra Anchas on the east side. I called 10 to 12 canyons each day that were thick with oak and juniper and still no sign of bear anywhere. I called in a couple of foxes and believe it or not several coyotes, even up in the high rolling hills. But again, no bears or bear sign. Ran into two sets of deer hunters and neither group had seen deer nor bear. We did run into a total of seven rattlesnakes, and because this one almost bit me, I stoned it and skinned it. This is my buddy with the snake. Unit 23 burned me out, so I'll be heading back to unit 22 for my next bear hunt.

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Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Joined: 09/05/2007
Posts: 98
Bears in the Pears?

I made the same trip to 23 this weekend. East side of the Sierra Anchas. No snakes, but I managed to call in one cat and saw one small bear, but it was across the creek and above a cliff. Wasn't sure if I could get close or even get it out if I bagged it. One canyon had fresh smelly bear sign in the deep dark off of trail 135. Never found him. I saw several white tails and this little buck. Too bad I (and he) was on the road and my bow was cased. I'm with you, ground up and spit out. Those canyons are rugged going.

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