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Joined: 09/07/2006
Posts: 2
New to bear hunting - have questions....

Hi all!

After 5 years of applying for a bear license, my husband got his first tag. He's currently sitting up in his stand waiting for the big one to come in (I think I'm just as excited about this as he is!) He saw a nice one yesterday, but wasn't able to get a good shot. The bear did leave some nice foot prints in the sand/grease mixture that's spread around the bait sight. So my questions are these:

We've heard that for every inch wide the print is, add 50 pounds. So if the print is 4 inches across, it would be a 200lb bear. Truth?

If you have a trail camera, what kind? What do you like/dislike about it? If you needed to buy one, would you buy the same thing you have now?

Also, how do you get the bear out of the woods? Do you use one of those big plastic sleds? We have a 4 wheeler with a winch.....

Thanks in advance to any help, advise, and suggestions!

Aimee

redrider's picture
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Location: NE Kansas
Joined: 03/20/2006
Posts: 2603
New to bear hunting - have questions....

Hey Aimee, Welcome to BGH Big smile Lots of bear "experts" here, I'll leave the questions up to them. Thumbs up Tell Hubby GOOD LUCK and be sure to Post Pics when he gets his bear Yes

ADKBEAR's picture
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Location: Central NY
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New to bear hunting - have questions....

Hmm never heard of a foot print formula? Not saying there isnt one. One thing is the Black Bears front feet tend to be smaller than there back feet. A 4 inch across front foot is no monster but could push 200 lbs. 4 inch across back foot is not a very big bear. But also remember we are talking "in general" here, bears like people can have smaller than or larger than "normal" feet nothing is a given.

Don't know anything about trail cam's but there are plenty of people here that do.

I have always (with help) draged my bears out of the woods with just a pce of rope or carried them out with a 4 wheeler. The sled is a good idea if one is handy. A bear is like a big plastic bag full of jello. They fill every little nook cranny and abiss you try to pull them over. A 4 wheeler is definetly handy esp if you can get the bear up on the racks and tie him/her down, even if they take up the back rack and seat and you have to sit on the bear or walk along side the machine while you drive.

Hope this helped and hope the hubby makes meat tonight!!! Welcome to the forum hope to see photos soon.

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Location: OHIO
Joined: 07/17/2006
Posts: 27
New to bear hunting - have questions....

Hi Aimee!!! Just read your post...I haven't heard of the foot formula either.. Think I got a bear this year that weighed 265lbs. and he had a 5" front pad. The bear I got last year weighed a little under 400lbs. and he had a 5 1/4" pad. So...in theory the formula would't always be right. But..for a 1st bear it should be a shooter. How long is your season in?? If you have enough grease out and you have a bear coming in now HE WILL attract more bears sooner or later.
As for trail cameras I bought mine at Cabela's. It's a Moultrie 4.1...it's their outfitter version. I am very pleased with it and I do intend to but another one...this month in fact. (Just because I have a coupon) My buddy has a Moultrie 3.1 he bought off of e-bay and has great success with it also. I have pictures posted on this forum under "trail cam pictures" from both of our cameras. Remember...everybody has their own preferences. Some swear by the Moultrie line and some swear "at" the Moultrie line.
On getting your husbands bear out of the woods?? If you can get a 4-wheeler back to it by all means. Just tie down on the rack and away you go. If the bear will ride on the sled tie him down good and pull it that way too. If you have any questions just ask...Good luck to you guys and don't forget to take pictures!!! Thumbs up

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
New to bear hunting - have questions....

Most of your questions have been answered but let me add a bit if you don't mind. I don't think theres any tried and true method of judging a bears weight by his print. Like ADKbear say, they come in all sizes and shapes, just like people. As far as cameras go, make sure you bear proof it. I have a great trail timer thats been chewed so often I'm afraid of using it anymore. Thats the one reason I won't put trail cams out. As for moving a bear, unfortunately they're one animal that doesn't come with handles and therefore gotta be the toughest thing to drag. If we have any distance to haul before we get to the 4-wheeler or pickup, we use a pole and tie them to that. And one last piece of advice for hubby, Tell him to WAIT til the bear comes right into the bait. Most bears know someones there, they're tentative, they come slowly, but they will eventually come in. Almost every wounded and lost bear this year and past years has been because the guys didn't wait for the bear to come in and took poor shots.

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Joined: 09/07/2006
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New to bear hunting - have questions....

Update: No bear in the freezer yet! But have a story to share.

Day 1 6am: DH (dear husband) and friend had the following plan. Both ride out on the 4 wheeler with a bucket of bait. The bait is a mixture of granola, butterscotch, and peanuts (smells heavenly!). DH is to climb up the tree stand while friend waits to put bait out. Friend is supposed to put bait in hole, spray surrounding branches with liquid smoke and anise, bang the 5 gal. bait bucket on a log a few times, get on 4 wheeler and leave. This isn't what happened, though.
Friend poured bait into hole while DH was beginning to climb his stand. Friend hopped on 4 wheeler and left before DH was in his stand. DH stopped climbing about half way up because he thought he heard something, turned around and the bear was about 10 feet from him! The bear did not see him or did not care. DH slowly climbed the rest of his stand and got his bow out. The whole time, the bear walked around sniffing the air. DH got everything ready and then spotted our camcorder sitting on a stump by the bait pile. Friend had forgotten it. The bear spotted the camcorder and went over to investigate. Just then, the bear whipped around, looking down the trail and was frozen in place. For a split second, DH thought he should take a shot but as soon as the thought entered his mind, the bear took off. Friend showed up a couple minutes later because he wanted to get the camcorder he had forgotten. Didn't see the bear any more that day. Left the bait in the hole. DH is thinking that the bear is of average size and he's more than happy with that after 5 years of waiting! DH is also kicking himself because he didn't take the shot when he had it. He could have gotten his bear at 6am opening morning! Good thing he's got another week and a half of vacation left!

Day 2 12:30pm: DH went by himself. Got to bait site, bait gone. Filled hole with bait. Waited rest of day and saw nothing. Before leaving, DH scooped most of the bait out of the hole.

Day 3 6am: Haven't heard anything yet today. Friend went with.

Thanks for the advice and tips! I'll keep you guys posted.....

redrider's picture
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Location: NE Kansas
Joined: 03/20/2006
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New to bear hunting - have questions....

I think I would find a new friend Laugh

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
New to bear hunting - have questions....

The best thing that happened that day was that hubby didn't shoot. He'd have kicked himself even more for losing an animal to an iffy shot. Its nothing to hit a bear, putting it down for good is another story.

MnKaMRaM's picture
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Location: Minnesota
Joined: 08/22/2006
Posts: 56
New to bear hunting - have questions....

You should tell the friend to bring back a marching band next time he goes to the site......as Sawbill said to me after my first day encounter last week......GREAT learning for DH that first day, sounds like the bear was sitting by the site just waiting for the dinner bell to ring.......

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