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Author Topic: Hopefully not tag soup - and a question about poo  (Read 407 times)

Offline yakimanoob

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Hopefully not tag soup - and a question about poo
« on: October 01, 2017, 09:24:13 PM »
Welp, I just finished my last planned bear hunt and have struck out so far.  I may have a chance towards end of season but I'm not sure I'll be able to open up my schedule so it may be tag soup for me on bears at least. 

I spent this weekend in 360 hoping to connect with a bear after getting several on my game cam.  Considering I got no less than 4 individual bears in as many weeks on the camera, I saw surprisingly little sign overall and only laid my eyes on one bear.  The one I did spot was BIG though. I'm a noob but he looked fat and had the swagger, dark snout, and little ears.  I would have gladly taken him but I only saw him through an opening in the trees from about 700yds for a few seconds at about 7:15am then lost track of him and never figured out where he went.  I thought he might come up through the saddle where I had my camera so I waited to ambush him there but no luck (just a few cars driving near that probably sent him another way).  Dang other people, ruining my still hunting near roads  :chuckle:


The winds were crazy all weekend and the basin where I spotted him seemed to be sucking wind into it from every direction I tried.  I guess that's why the big ones live there. 

I saw a few tracks scattered around, a few torn up stumps, and really no other sign at all until I got down in the basin in a last-ditch attempt to connect.  I inadvertently walked right through his lair, so-to-speak, and it was rather hair-raising to be there right at dusk amidst at least two crushed skulls and various other parts, one of which was from a full-grown elk.  All old kills though so I assume he picks off the weak ones in the spring. 

Anyway, I had a blast, learned a lot about the terrain and bear behavior.  I had service so I was looking stuff up constantly on my phone as I thought of it.  Where do bears bed?  Do bears eat snowberries?  Can humans eat snowberries?  How do you judge bears by their prints?  Etc. 

Google's so handy. 

Anyway my only real question (in honor of a recent thread about berries) is about what this particular bear had been eating based on his scat. See photo below.  In another place, I would have glanced over it and assumed it was from a cow, but I'm about 99.9% certain that it's from the bear.  I found several of these in various stages of freshness all around the kill site and nearby berry patches.  It's way more uniform than I ever would have expected from a bear.  No seeds, not real texture of any kind.  Just uniform pastyness.  Maybe he's been eating grasses and has a great digestive system? 

I saw no other recent scat (just a couple bone-dry remains of meals from years past), and the oldest recent one I found was maybe a few weeks (hard and black on top but soft underneath).  The scat pictured was quite soft.  Very little smell, if any at all. 

What do you think?

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Hopefully not tag soup - and a question about poo
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 09:34:08 PM »
My boots are size 10/43.  I just measured the tread at the widest point at 4.25 inches. 

Online Elkcollector82

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Re: Hopefully not tag soup - and a question about poo
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2017, 10:40:23 PM »
That's a good size bear. I'd make burger out of it. Great write up and don't give up just yet. Still plenty of time to connect. Even in a day hunt. All it takes is one opportunity to present it self. Have you tried calling in that area? This time of year they are on the move. Food sources are far and few in between. Find a decent food source around there and he might present himself. Good luck.  :tup:

Offline PastorJoel

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Re: Hopefully not tag soup - and a question about poo
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2017, 11:19:30 AM »
Depending on how far away you live, consider short hunts.  Get there before sunrise, get in position, and hunt until 10:30-11.  Keep it up and you will tag one.

Offline Tiger1358

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Re: Hopefully not tag soup - and a question about poo
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2017, 11:40:07 AM »
Don't give up, u still got some time. Now it's the time when they're constantly trying to find something to eat. Don't know where you hunt, but black berries are still fine in some places. I got my bear a week ago about 15 mins before it was dark, eating black berries. Try calling too, it might work. Those suckers like moving at night, you find all the fresh signs and stuff, but not the bear.

Offline ghosthunter

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Re: Hopefully not tag soup - and a question about poo
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2017, 11:49:17 AM »
I will be in the area Wednesday tru the 13th. So if you see my camp stop in and we can swap lies.  :chuckle:

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Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Hopefully not tag soup - and a question about poo
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2017, 01:06:31 PM »
Thanks folks.  I'll be in that same area for elk general season, so I'll at least have a chance then too.  I have a theory that the pressure from all the other hunters pushes them into this particular basin, and I was really hoping to clear the way for them by taking the bear, but no luck.  Maybe I can get the bear opening weekend of elk and then a spike before closer.  A boy can dream! 

Any thoughts on what he's eating based on the scat?  I found plenty of pockets of rose hips and snowberries but no other obvious food sources, and no scats in the berry patches I did find. 

Offline DOUBLELUNG

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Re: Hopefully not tag soup - and a question about poo
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2017, 04:09:58 PM »
Thanks folks.  I'll be in that same area for elk general season, so I'll at least have a chance then too.  I have a theory that the pressure from all the other hunters pushes them into this particular basin, and I was really hoping to clear the way for them by taking the bear, but no luck.  Maybe I can get the bear opening weekend of elk and then a spike before closer.  A boy can dream! 

Any thoughts on what he's eating based on the scat?  I found plenty of pockets of rose hips and snowberries but no other obvious food sources, and no scats in the berry patches I did find. 
If it's bear scat, I would say it has been eating a milled grain and fat processed food - like someone's dry dogfood bear bait.  Many years ago I worked as a large carnivore keeper in a zoo, their primary food was a formulated pellet supplemented with meat, fruit and vegetables.  Out the other end, it looked very much like the pelleted diet, in a soft, massive pile, that also didn't have much odor - however, when they got meat it was extremely smelly.   

I've seen similar piles when a nuisance bear has gotten into pelleted grain-based livestock feed.
As long as we have the habitat, we can argue forever about who gets to kill what and when.  No habitat = no game.

 

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