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Author Topic: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017  (Read 8491 times)

Offline Eric M

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  I have some spots along HWY 2 that look promising, or maybe over in the NE Mitchell Mountain area, and I have some definite maybes up around Mount Baker. The harvest reports around Mazama seem pretty good over the years too. I'm setting aside 2 weeks in August or September to get this done. That's my opening statement. Now I could use some advice. I'm in decent shape for a 50 year old but some of the Mt. Baker areas are a little remote. But I might be able to rent/borrow a couple of pack goats. Anyone have an opinion on using pack goats for bear hunts? There are some roads, one of them is HWY 2, where I was thinking of working my way slowly down, looking for scat and ripe berry elevation-kind of day hike stuff where my wife might even be able to come camp somewhere with me while she reads and I get bug bitten and sun burned.  How long should a guy glass/sit on an area that has ripe berries and scat before moving to try somewhere else? A day, 5 days? I actually thought about working from west to east in the northern part of Washington or vice versa depending on what people are saying about the berries. Anyway, I'd really like to make this day dream happen. Do you guys think it would be more effective to stay in one area, or would a fun trip seeing lots of different country limit my success? Do the more successful bear guys stay where the bears should be, or move on to where they might be? Probably difficult to give that a specific answer, but I'm just wondering generally. Look forward to any thoughts on this grand adventure.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 01:09:03 PM by Eric M »

Offline Eric M

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Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2016, 11:10:24 PM »
Just to be clear I don't want any advice on locations. I can do that for myself. Just curious about time at a location and if goats will work for a bear hunt.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 12:29:26 AM by Eric M »

Offline RB

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Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2016, 12:39:38 AM »
Look under Bear hunting on the main menu there is a ton of great information! Good luck with your hunt next year if you get one make most of into burger it is some of the best game burger you will ever have.  :twocents:
IAFF #3728

Bob Beam

Offline Eric M

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Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2016, 12:58:14 AM »
Look under Bear hunting on the main menu there is a ton of great information! Good luck with your hunt next year if you get one make most of into burger it is some of the best game burger you will ever have.  :twocents:
Thanks for the response. I have read quite a bit of the bear section and haven't seen anyone really talk about pack goats. Many posts talk about being closer to road system to pack out a large animal, but I thought the goats might work around this. I was just a little concerned about leaving goats at camp and coming back to dead goats. Or am I worrying about nothing? Regarding how long to sit on an area, I've seen guys say a few hours, all day, take a nap, come back the next day. So I was thinking try an area for 3 days and then move but I really don't know. I was kind of turned off to sitting in the same berry field for 2 weeks and seeing nothing. Maybe I'm overanalyzing this. Also I know August seems a long ways away but this is the kind of trip I need to budget into my budget. I thought it might be fun to talk about it.

And I'll definitely try the burger. I just got an electric grinder and I can't believe how much easier it is (and faster) than the old hand grinder I used.

Online Branden

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Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2016, 05:20:53 PM »
I would go first 2 weeks of September if strictly for bear. If you wanted to do a combo then you could go during the high hunt. Focus on bear but if you see a big buck you could whack it.

The main thing is find berry fields away from people. Doesn't matter if it's 1 mile or 10 miles as long as it's isolated. As for pack goats I wouldn't be scared to use them. And while I was hunting I'd bring them with me not leave them in camp.

I would find a spot you can glass multiple basins/hillsides from. If I didn't see a bear there in a morning and evening sit I would find another spot. One spot I glass from I've seen 14 bears in one evening.

Good luck on the bear hunt.

Offline Eric M

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Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2016, 05:35:53 PM »
I would go first 2 weeks of September if strictly for bear. If you wanted to do a combo then you could go during the high hunt. Focus on bear but if you see a big buck you could whack it.

The main thing is find berry fields away from people. Doesn't matter if it's 1 mile or 10 miles as long as it's isolated. As for pack goats I wouldn't be scared to use them. And while I was hunting I'd bring them with me not leave them in camp.

I would find a spot you can glass multiple basins/hillsides from. If I didn't see a bear there in a morning and evening sit I would find another spot. One spot I glass from I've seen 14 bears in one evening.

Good luck on the bear hunt.
Thanks Branden. I am only buying a bear tag this year for Washington. I may be going out of state for some other hunting but in Wa. it's a bear or nothing (probably will regret that. Last time I didn't buy a bear tag I had several opportunities including a 32 yard broadside shot with my bow that I had to pass on.) But bear is the focus. As far as te dates it's more about when I get off work. Probably the 1st couple of weeks in September will work but I'll figure it out when it's closer. IfI'm home earlier I may just hit the road a couple days here a couple days there. Also thanks for the goat advice. They seem to be pretty easy to work with and a lifesaver if it's hot and I'm off the roads a ways.

Offline TheSkyBuster

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Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2016, 06:23:44 PM »
Anyone have an opinion on using pack goats for bear hunts?


They should make great bait, Make sure you buy a cougar tag as well.   :chuckle:
biggest bear I ever killed was a Monroe springer...

Offline Eric M

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Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2016, 06:30:08 PM »
Anyone have an opinion on using pack goats for bear hunts?


They should make great bait, Make sure you buy a cougar tag as well.   :chuckle:
Thanks that's what I was stewing over haha.

Offline TheSkyBuster

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Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2016, 06:30:24 PM »
I'd really like to make this day dream happen. Do you guys think it would be more effective to stay in one area, or would a fun trip seeing lots of different country limit my success? Do the more successful bear guys stay where the bears should be, or move on to where they might be?


There are tons of ways to improve your chances at success, the single most important may be pre-season scouting.  Where do you live?  hunting close to home will allow more time for scouting/ hunting.  Also have you read Saylean's books?   Link here  simply owning one or both of these books will greatly improve your chances for success.   
biggest bear I ever killed was a Monroe springer...

Offline TheSkyBuster

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Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2016, 06:35:38 PM »
I'd really like to make this day dream happen.


Don't forget to stop and smell the roses.  The early fall bear hunting season is the most pleasant time to be in the woods in western washington.  Plus you can be scouting for deer and elk at the same time.   If your dead set on success you need to be scouting hard starting in the spring.  Speaking of which, are you putting in for spring bear permits as well? 
biggest bear I ever killed was a Monroe springer...

Offline Eric M

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Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2016, 06:42:51 PM »
I'd really like to make this day dream happen.


Don't forget to stop and smell the roses.  The early fall bear hunting season is the most pleasant time to be in the woods in western washington.  Plus you can be scouting for deer and elk at the same time.   If your dead set on success you need to be scouting hard starting in the spring.  Speaking of which, are you putting in for spring bear permits as well?
I won't be home enough to bother with the spring season. Thank you for the book suggestions. I have them and bought a call from Bearmanric last year. Had some great bear encounters with my bow the past couple years but couldn't ever get close enough. The 2017 season I'm putting the bow down and getting after one with a rifle. Also not sure east or west side or both depending on berries and when I'm actually home. I will scout when I am around, although I plan to hunt away from where I live. As you said, smelling the roses.

Offline saylean

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Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2016, 12:45:54 PM »
Thanks for the plug Skybuster, Eric M, thanks for the support. This day dream is well within your reach, even at the age of 50. I do know of people who use pack goats for bear hunting. There is a whole subculture of people who use pack goats, just google it as you'll find plenty of forum info. You really just need to concentrate on the food sources and see if they are being hit at that time. I would wait until Sept, mid to late, before you really start hitting it for bear. August is a great time, but it is hot, and the hides are thin.
I went camping this past 4th of july in Mazama, spotted two bears within hunting distance of camp as dusk approached. That should be your concentration, dusk and dawn. Don't be afraid to predator call too.

The most important thing, get out there with the wife and enjoy the scenery, the rest will fall into place, especially if you have read and paid attention to the info on this site and the books.

Best of luck.
Author of "No Bait Just Bears" and "The Ultimate Guide To Black Bear Hunting". Follow on Instagram: bozeandbears.

Offline Eric M

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Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2016, 08:25:10 PM »
Thanks for the plug Skybuster, Eric M, thanks for the support. This day dream is well within your reach, even at the age of 50. I do know of people who use pack goats for bear hunting. There is a whole subculture of people who use pack goats, just google it as you'll find plenty of forum info. You really just need to concentrate on the food sources and see if they are being hit at that time. I would wait until Sept, mid to late, before you really start hitting it for bear. August is a great time, but it is hot, and the hides are thin.
I went camping this past 4th of july in Mazama, spotted two bears within hunting distance of camp as dusk approached. That should be your concentration, dusk and dawn. Don't be afraid to predator call too.

The most important thing, get out there with the wife and enjoy the scenery, the rest will fall into place, especially if you have read and paid attention to the info on this site and the books.

Best of luck.
I appreciate your help. Your books are great. The time is going to depend on work. Out of my control. If the hide is too thin-less to pack out I guess. I'll just keep the skull. Worst case scenario is a freezer full of berries for my wife to make pie and jam!

Offline Eric M

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Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2017, 01:18:31 PM »
Besides size and possible scarring on males, is there any way to tell male from female?

My other question is about meat handling. Let's say the temperature is 80-90 degrees and I have a 1-2 hour drive to get home. I get a bear. Get it in coolers and on ice right away? Do you guys suggest putting meat bags inside plastic bags to keep the meat dry? Do I need to ice the hide as well? Right now I only have 2 of the cheap Coleman coolers for camping etc. How many for a bear? I was guessing 4. Thanks.

Offline HntnFsh

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Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2017, 05:53:35 PM »
I don't like using plastic bags. I think it holds the heat in.

Offline Eric M

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Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2017, 07:05:47 PM »
I don't like using plastic bags. I think it holds the heat in.
Si when I ice the meat maybe I'll use blocks and wrap those a couple times

Offline WSU

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Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #16 on: January 18, 2017, 07:11:06 PM »
My experience has been very straightforward. Find lots off berries with lots of poop. Hunt there, kill bears. It is easy to recognize when you are in the right spot. This applies whether you are at 300' hunting in black berries or 6000' in huckleberries.

Offline Ridge Hunter

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Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #17 on: January 18, 2017, 07:15:07 PM »
Typically most people that hunt with pack goats take the goats along with them on the hunt. The goats can actually increase your odds as they look and sound similar to other animals in the woods, at least more so than us humans:) If you are going to leave them in camp I would either leave them with someone close by or have a decent portable hot fence.

For the bear hunting, if you have found sign, are away from highly traveled areas, there is a good food source, and you have a good vantage point, I would not have a problem staying in the same location for a few days, if there are other good vantage points close by I would try a few over your trip.

Offline Eric M

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Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #18 on: January 18, 2017, 07:21:02 PM »
Typically most people that hunt with pack goats take the goats along with them on the hunt. The goats can actually increase your odds as they look and sound similar to other animals in the woods, at least more so than us humans:) If you are going to leave them in camp I would either leave them with someone close by or have a decent portable hot fence.

For the bear hunting, if you have found sign, are away from highly traveled areas, there is a good food source, and you have a good vantage point, I would not have a problem staying in the same location for a few days, if there are other good vantage points close by I would try a few over your trip.
Thanks for the tips. I'm still not 100% sure I will have the goats available, especially if I go in September, which is when my friends who own goats are all in the backcountry archery hunting. Do you have any thoughts on my posting about meat care on this thread?

Offline Eric M

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Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #19 on: January 18, 2017, 07:22:03 PM »
My experience has been very straightforward. Find lots off berries with lots of poop. Hunt there, kill bears. It is easy to recognize when you are in the right spot. This applies whether you are at 300' hunting in black berries or 6000' in huckleberries.
Thanks! Any thoughts on my posting about meat care on this thread?

Offline syoungs

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Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2017, 07:25:18 PM »
I don't like using plastic bags. I think it holds the heat in.
Si when I ice the meat maybe I'll use blocks and wrap those a couple times

Dry ice can be a lifesaver, as well as gallon jugs full of frozen water. During hot hunts I have 1 150qt cooler with frozen milk jugs, dry ice lined on the bottom, and regular bags of ice on top of it all. It doesn't get opened until I'm refiling my food cooler with ice or I'm putting an animal in it.
I run a 150qt, 120qt, and about a 30 at. The 150 is my ice only/animal hauler.in a pinch the 120 holds animals as well, and all food goes into the small one.

Offline WSU

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Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2017, 07:32:40 PM »
My experience has been very straightforward. Find lots off berries with lots of poop. Hunt there, kill bears. It is easy to recognize when you are in the right spot. This applies whether you are at 300' hunting in black berries or 6000' in huckleberries.
Thanks! Any thoughts on my posting about meat care on this thread?

Honestly, I have had the best luck getting the meat off, fat off, and bear meat frozen immediately. I haven't shot one in a situation I couldn't get that done by the next morning at the latest. Getting the fat off and meat frozen has provided better results for me.

Offline Eric M

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Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #22 on: January 18, 2017, 07:34:02 PM »
I don't like using plastic bags. I think it holds the heat in.
Si when I ice the meat maybe I'll use blocks and wrap those a couple times

Dry ice can be a lifesaver, as well as gallon jugs full of frozen water. During hot hunts I have 1 150qt cooler with frozen milk jugs, dry ice lined on the bottom, and regular bags of ice on top of it all. It doesn't get opened until I'm refiling my food cooler with ice or I'm putting an animal in it.
I run a 150qt, 120qt, and about a 30 at. The 150 is my ice only/animal hauler.in a pinch the 120 holds animals as well, and all food goes into the small one.
I was looking at some bigger coolers. I'd like to buy at least one nice one that will keep ice for awhile. (Maybe a Yeti if I can afford one?) Does dry ice keep the same amount of time as regular ice? I was thinking the gallon jug idea just not sure it'll keep. My tentative plan is two weeks off M-F hunting.

Offline Eric M

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Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #23 on: January 18, 2017, 07:37:28 PM »
My experience has been very straightforward. Find lots off berries with lots of poop. Hunt there, kill bears. It is easy to recognize when you are in the right spot. This applies whether you are at 300' hunting in black berries or 6000' in huckleberries.
Thanks! Any thoughts on my posting about meat care on this thread?

Honestly, I have had the best luck getting the meat off, fat off, and bear meat frozen immediately. I haven't shot one in a situation I couldn't get that done by the next morning at the latest. Getting the fat off and meat frozen has provided better results for me.
Do you debone it as well? If you freeze it right away do you age it in the fridge when you pull  some out? Do you let it go through Rigor Mortis before freezing?

Offline syoungs

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Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
« Reply #24 on: January 18, 2017, 07:43:03 PM »
Do some research on the rotomolded coolers, they are nice, but you can get the same or better performance out of a cooler that's 1/3 the cost.

igloo and Coleman make coolers that are higher end, but not rotomolded. Could pick up 2-4 of them for the price of a smaller yeti. They are easier to move when loaded, take up less space, and aren't such a target for theives

 

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