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Location: western Montana
Joined: 04/02/2005
Posts: 33
Montana Spring Bear Hunt

I've decided to try for a black bear this spring (or fall if things don't work out), but am admittedly new to hunting. I grew up in western Montana and know a fair bit about bears, but mostly how to avoid them (obviously not the point when one is hunting them). I have 2 weeks in May in between my seasonal biology jobs that I can use to go hunting, probably near Thompson Falls, MT. Could anyone give me some advice as to what times work best for what areas/habitat (streambeds, meadows, slopes, etc.)? And is morning better than evening? I'll probably be using 'the drive around and then stalk' method as I don't have a tree stand. I have a 30-30 for closer shots and a 30-06 for longer range as well as a 357 for 'too close.' Any advice would be appreciated and feel free to lecture 'the newbie.'

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Location: Montana
Joined: 02/13/2005
Posts: 408
Montana Spring Bear Hunt

its gonna be tough ithink the out of control deer herds have run the bears out of that part of the country...

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Location: western Montana
Joined: 04/02/2005
Posts: 33
Montana Spring Bear Hunt

NONYA, did you miss the part about deer being out of control in Wisconsin?

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Location: Missouri
Joined: 02/14/2004
Posts: 62
Montana Spring Bear Hunt

I've hunted just north of there the past 4 years. My understanding is the snow pack is pretty thin this year and the bears are already stirring. The best way I've found is to hike behind the locked gates and find where the clover is greening up. Watch for fresh scatt and sit. They'll be back.
The farther you get behind the gates the better. The older bears know where the pressure is. Good luck and enjoy. Bear may be easy to hunt butt packing them out makes up for it. I think spring bear is one of the most rewarding hunts there is. There's no place like the northern rockies in the spring.

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Location: western Montana
Joined: 04/02/2005
Posts: 33
Montana Spring Bear Hunt

Thanks for the advice, Ferguson, I appreciate it. There's definitely some nice country over there, although I do wish I could just hunt on the res., the way gas prices are...

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Location: Sierra Nevadas
Joined: 04/11/2005
Posts: 14
Montana Spring Bear Hunt

MontanaHonky......I hunt north of TF also, from Trout Creek to Noxon. Both spring and fall. In the spring and summer the bears will only do 2 - 4 hrs. of active food foraging, and that will be primarily leaves and flowers of broad-leafed plants and any type of insect they can find....rotten stumps, colonies, etc.. Bear scat in May will not be plentiful like it is in the fall, so scout for it carefully. Scout from late morning onward (they should be through with their short morning feeding) for areas with abundant food and regular bear sign. Locate a higher elevation where you can cover this area and patiently wait for the 2-3 hr. feeding period right before dust. They will normally move up or around a hollow from water and love to use the old loffing roads that have been tunneled over (up-hill growth laying over theold road). Scouting and persistence mainly are the keys to success. Be sure to gut and skin immediately.

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Location: western Montana
Joined: 04/02/2005
Posts: 33
Montana Spring Bear Hunt

Thanks whitedeer, Trout Creek was one of the areas I was going check out. I definitely appreciate the advice. Good luck if you are going out this spring...

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