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Author Topic: Calling bears  (Read 11132 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:
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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 ;)
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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.
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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.
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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.
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