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Author Topic: Calling bears  (Read 9901 times)

Offline billythekidrock

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Calling bears
« on: May 09, 2007, 07:21:39 PM »
I got a couple messages about how to call for bears so I thought I would dig up some of my old posts from around the net.

Calling works (see pics and story links below). If you are familiar with predator calling then this will be a piece of cake for you......if the bears cooperate! Use your basic hunting techniques, know your area, watch the wind, try to make it easy for the bear to come in or show itself, etc.

You need not worry too much about camo or concealment if you are hunting with a rifle. If you hunt with archery equipment you will want to be scent free, camoed up and concealed a bit.

I usually hunt by myself, in jeans and t-shirts, skylined on a stump with a rifle. Sometimes I have a partner sitting 50-200 yards away depending on terrain and area. I also like to "camp" on a spot. I figure if I am here today and the bears aren't, then I am one day closer to the day that they will be there......if I am I could connect. Some guys do good by hitting different spots everyday, but I often wonder, "what is going on at that spot".

My main hunting area is so thick that you are lucky if you see 1/10 of the critters you hear. Normally I cow call (to cover noise) my way into an area and then sit and listen for a couple hours. If I hear a bear feeding then depending how close or fast a bear is moving I will start cow calling or fawn in distress. If the bear is leaving or far away I will call soft moving to hard very fast.

I used a Burnham Bros C-3 Long Range call for many years and more than half the bears I have called have come to that call. But I found that I could buy 3 of the same calls and each would sound different. If the sound is not right then I am not confident. Now I am making my own calls with the sound that I want. Don't get me wrong, I think that bears will come in to any distress sound, but I have a sound or style that has worked for me and I am afraid of change. lol

Here are some of the calls I have made.


Sometimes I camo up, but I almost always put on a cow elk urine coverscent wafer. I feel that if I smell and sound like an elk I get an extra second or two when the bear has to figure out what it is looking at if it spots me before I can shoot. I have actually had bear come to me slobbering and stop and stare while trying to figure what I was. It died on the spot.

I usually hunt from light to about 10 am and from about 6 pm until dark and nap in between, but I have killed bears in the middle of the day. Bears will be feeding most of the day and by fall they may spend up to 20 hours a day in search of food. Last year we had one walk in camp around noon. Story is linked below.
http://bearseast.proboards34.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=bruin&thread=1123644062&page=1

If cold calling, call for a minimum of one hour, two are better. If you can see the bear and it does not respond to the call, try to get closer and try again only harder and louder. Most of my bears have come in hard, some just like they were on a string. Straight to me. Some will come in quiet, on the sneak, especially with a cow call. Some have hung up and I have had to get creative to get them to come in.

Not all bears will respond to calling, and some will  flat out run away. Some will come in, spook away and come back for another look. If you run a bear off with your calling do not get too dissapointed. We have had bears spooked a few times that have come back to the call that evening or the next day.

Thick is not even the word to describe this area. Like I said, we primarily listen for bear. This clear cut is the newest (best) cut for visibility. Most of the cuts I hunt are older and thicker. These stumps and rootwads are 7-15 feet tall and the brush and trees are from 3 ft to 20 ft tall. In spots like this I am listening for bears feeding in the cuts on stumps/logs, berries and calling to bears that may be in the Cedar swamp as well as the cut.

Thick


Thicker


Called with a cow elk call.

Story linked below.
http://bearseast.proboards34.com/index.cgi?board=bruin&action=display&thread=1154271546

Called with Burnham Bros. predator call. This bear came in around 1 pm after 1 hour of calling. It scored 20 inches.


Another called with Burnham Bros. predator call.

Story linked below.
http://bearseast.proboards34.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=tales&thread=1138589415&page=1


And more.
My calling style is a bit eratic with a little variation due to location, circumstance and my cardio conditioning. Before I start calling I make sure that myself and my equipment are ready and I listen and glass for about an hour. I usually start out with a low cottontail distress tone and cadence. I will call for 30-60 seconds and pause for 10-20 seconds to listen. I hear most bears before I see them. I will repeat this sequence for about a half hour, rapidly bringing the volume up to a loud squall.

Depending on the situation I will use a cow call, trying to sound lost and lonely. I will also use this call to cover my own noise as I move through an area.

I work into a calf/fawn in distress and then into all out chaos. I blow as hard as my call will allow. Sometimes I will cup my hands around the call as if I am doing a cub distress and other times I will try to imitate coyotes attacking the calf/fawn. I feel the key is to sound as lost/scared/hurt as possible and then sound like an animal is being torn apart. My calling stands usually last one hour minimum and onetime as long as 4 hours.

Like I said, I think all predators will come to most sounds and while we can discuss different tone and cadence, I wonder how it really sounds to an animal mixed in with the rustling of brush, wind, water, birds and other outdoor sounds. My fawn in distress may sound completely different from yours, but once that sound has traveled to the predator what does it actually sound like once you factor in all the above sounds?

There are alot of different predator calls that will work as well as a couple real good videos. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Good luck




Offline boneaddict

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2007, 07:37:53 PM »
EXCELLENT POST :tup:

Offline Ray

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2007, 08:01:34 PM »
Great write up. Well done.

Offline bearmanric

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2007, 08:02:14 PM »
Familar country. going to have several tree stand's this year.allready told Jay webster so i dont have problem's he uses them alot on Elk. cant wait. made two bear call's today. Fos is real pumped but they wont be here till sept 2. nice bear's. man i wish i could go out. Rick
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Offline Machias

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2007, 10:27:53 PM »
I couldn't agree more with everything you wrote, nice post!!
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Offline billythekidrock

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2007, 06:39:24 AM »
Thanks guys...

Rick - Thought you would recognize some of that. Is Fos bringing someone with him? I know he wants a NW bobcat as well as a bear. Hey, did you check your pm's? My buddy sent you a pm and his phone number, he wants to buy some calls.




Offline bearmanric

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2007, 09:27:18 AM »
thought by the name it was some one else. Fos is bringing Trey the guide that run's the big ranch. were i get my axis horn. cant wait it will be fun.Wife just left for pullman with the Daughter's for FFA convention just me and the dog's building up call inventory for ebay store. goingto turn a honey pot out of antler see if i can any way. take care. Rick
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Offline saylean

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2007, 11:15:03 PM »
Great post man. I am just now (over the last few years) getting into bear hunting. I got my first one last year. I am going to give calling a shot and I think your post helped out. We should try to get this post as a "sticky" on here for those who come to check it out later on. Thanks again.

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

Offline billythekidrock

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2007, 06:29:52 AM »
Great post man. I am just now (over the last few years) getting into bear hunting. I got my first one last year. I am going to give calling a shot and I think your post helped out. We should try to get this post as a "sticky" on here for those who come to check it out later on. Thanks again.

Saylean ;)

Thanks. I hope it helps. Feel free to ask any questions. The best way to learn it to do it, and do it..and do it. LOL




Offline ICEMAN

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2007, 07:42:11 AM »
Excellent read and info. Thanks. I got my first bear last year, and found that I need better skills at judging their size from large distance. In my case, I spotted him at 407 yards (range finder), I moved in to 254 yard and dumped him. Looked big from afar....not so big up close.

My taxidermist asked if I wanted a "snarl" put on his face.... ha ha ha......

Wife and kids named him Boo Boo bear.  Oh well, always room for improvement.
molṑn labé

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Kill your television....do it now.....

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Offline saylean

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2007, 09:39:59 AM »
Iceman...I had the same problem last year...thought it was a good sized bear...I get up to her..sigh...brought it back to camp..my nick name was "Cub Scout" ;) LOL...I have been reading up on how to judge size from a distance...think I will do better next time. Still...will make a nice rug..had a great coat on her.
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Offline Jerome

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2007, 09:48:12 AM »
They are hard to field judge.  Especially with that heart pounding.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2007, 09:50:01 AM »
did anybody see the news this morning about the lady that hit the bear with her car in issaquah-fall city road?? there was a guy witness they interviewed who said the bear was a pretty big one, about 400lbs.
 :chuckle:


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Offline boneaddict

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2007, 12:30:04 PM »
I usually knock at least 150 and sometimes 200 pounds off what everyone thinks.  It amazes me what people think bears weigh.  Then when a giant is shot, it doesn't get any credit.  There are very and I mean VERY few 400 bears running around washington and not many 300 pounders compared to what people think.

Offline jackelope

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2007, 12:42:09 PM »
I think that it happens to everyone when they start looking at bears...they look bigger than they actually are. i have a buddy back in new york who shot a real small bear last year thinking it was mature.
:fire.:

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Offline Machias

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2007, 02:08:21 PM »
I had taken 7 bears, before my last one.  Seen up close probably 40 bears over the past 11 years.  The last bear I took I was sitting on a fallen tree watching an elk wallow, when I heard a faint noise to my right.  Sloooowly turned my head and was nearly face to face with a huge bear.  It walked up and stood on the log I was sitting on, roughly 9-10 feet away.  Real nice chocolate bear.  It stepped down off the log I was sitting on and then put it's front feet on another log, just off to my left, perfectly broadside at 12ish feet.  I drew and released, arrow blew right through.  Bear roared and rolled on it's side and came up running right at me.  I'm not exaggerating I could have slapped it on it's butt when it ran past me.  It went 35 yards and piled up.  I walked over and admired my 110 pound little sow...I would have bet a paycheck when it was on the log with me it was a 200-225 pound bear.  Still had the hide tanned and it looks nice...just a little small.  :dunno: :'(
« Last Edit: June 20, 2007, 07:45:39 PM by Machias »
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Offline billythekidrock

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2007, 05:02:42 PM »
Quote
I usually knock at least 150 and sometimes 200 pounds off what everyone thinks.  It amazes me what people think bears weigh.  Then when a giant is shot, it doesn't get any credit.  There are very and I mean VERY few 400 bears running around washington and not many 300 pounders compared to what people think.

I agree. The average male black bear in WA is only 195 lbs according to "Hunting Trophy Black Bear".




Offline ICEMAN

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #17 on: June 20, 2007, 08:08:09 PM »
I still can't wait to get my mini wall rug back from the taxidermist... a blonde bear out of eastern wa. Very cool colors...
molṑn labé

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Offline boneaddict

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2007, 06:11:23 AM »
Any pics Iceman.  We love them on here.

Offline ICEMAN

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Re: Calling bears
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2007, 07:46:22 AM »
I am an avid digital photo guy, except in this case, only pics are me packing out in the dark with a big ol' sheeit eating grin on my face as I arrived at the truck. (Camera forgotten at the truck  :'(  )  And yes, I am a big guy, over 300lbs on the hoof, and I can still sneak up on animals. Maybe they think i am a bear or something coming down the trial.  ;) When you are used to packing over 300 each day, adding on a 100lbs of meat isn't so bad...

I will get a photo of the wallmount when I get the rug back next month hopefully. Who thought taxidermists would be so darned booked up....near a year to get my stuff back...
« Last Edit: June 21, 2007, 07:52:42 AM by Iceman »
molṑn labé

A Knuckle Draggin Neanderthal Meat Head

Kill your television....do it now.....

Don't make me hurt you.

“I don't feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”  John Wayne