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Joined: 03/04/2005
Posts: 6
Idaho spring bear questions

I'm thinking about heading to the Selway-Bitterroot area for spring bear, probably during the second week of May. I'd like to do a self-supported wilderness hunt, backpacking in a few miles, then camping and hunting for 4-5 days.

Does anybody have tips on areas where I can drive my SUV close to a wilderness, then pack in and have a decent chance of finding a bear but not running into a bunch of other hunters? I'll be driving up from Utah. I've got snowshoes if needed, I'm in good physical condition, and I'm willing to work hard for my hunting. The one thing I don't have is a lot of money to spend on an outfitter. I've heard that the area east of Nez Perce Pass is good, but I don't know if I could access it. Any tips would be appreciated!

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Idaho spring bear questions

I don't know much about Nez Perce Pass, per se. I spent a summer up on the Selway and Lochsa drainages. (May have even been on NP Pass, but can't recall for sure.) Lots of bears back then and lots now. (I think it's a 2-bear area.) Steep, dense, dark, wet. You can drive E from Lewiston (ID) 100 miles or so to Lowell. At Lowell you can go NE up the Lochsa River or E up the Selway River. I believe the Wilderness per se will be across the riv on your right if you go up the Lochsa (there are one or several pack bridges) ... if you go up the Selway the road ends at the Wilderness, plus or minus ... 10 or so miles up the Selway. Big country ... both species of deer, elk, moose, bear, mtn goats up high ... depending on time of year you might see Salmon or Steelhead try and jump Selway Falls.

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 601
Idaho spring bear questions

we are having a pretty good snow year. I don't know if you will be able to drive over nez perse pass though at that time of year. In darby, mt there is a service that takes rafter into the selway river, because vehicle can't go over the pass. you might have to check them out. There are bridges over the lochsa river you can use, but you will definalty be hiking up hill from there.

tim

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Idaho spring bear questions

If you had to pick a good week to hunt bear in the mountains, when would you go? Keeping in mind the snow and the need to cross some rivers on horseback. My guide has recomended going about mid June to get further in. I am concerned that the coats would be rubbed by then. I either need to go in early may or late June. He said late June because we need to cross a couple rivers and we need to let the snow pack melt off and the rivers drop.

tim
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Location: north idaho
Joined: 06/11/2004
Posts: 601
Idaho spring bear questions

I do alot of whitewater and the guide is correct. If you have water crossing the end of may and beg of june are the biggest water. Beginng of may is still snowmobile season to give you an idea of how much snow is still in the backcountry at that time of year.

I actually get to do the selway river this year. A buddy got a permit for june 15.
When i kayaked the selway in 2004, I was talking to one of the hunting guides and they got like 38 bears in the selway that season. The reason i was talking to them is they put a truck and horse trailer off of the road and we had a long wait ahead of us. June would be a good time to bear hunt that area.

tim

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Idaho spring bear questions

Thanks, I figured he knew (or should know) what he was talking about. He told me they never had any trouble with the coats rubbing so.......we'll see! Just hunting in Idaho will be a success for me Thumbs up
A bear would be iceing on the cake.

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