Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Bear Hunting => Topic started by: Eric M on December 10, 2016, 08:56:58 PM

Title: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on December 10, 2016, 08:56:58 PM
  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.
Title: Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M 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.
Title: Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: RB 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:
Title: Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M 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.
Title: Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Branden 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.
Title: Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M 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.
Title: Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: TheSkyBuster 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:
Title: Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M 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.
Title: Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: TheSkyBuster 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 (http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php/topic,199999.0.html)  simply owning one or both of these books will greatly improve your chances for success.   
Title: Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: TheSkyBuster 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? 
Title: Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M 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.
Title: Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: saylean 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.
Title: Re: The Great Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M 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!
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M 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.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: HntnFsh on January 18, 2017, 05:53:35 PM
I don't like using plastic bags. I think it holds the heat in.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M 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
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: WSU 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.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Ridge Hunter 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.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M 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?
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M 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?
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: syoungs 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.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: WSU 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.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M 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.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M 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?
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: syoungs 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
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on January 18, 2017, 07:48:52 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
The thieving part worried me. I'll check out the igloo/Coleman. Thanks. Do you ice the hide also?
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: syoungs on January 18, 2017, 07:50:44 PM
Haven't shot a bear yet, but I fully intend to, as my first bear will get some sort of mount. Gotta get it cooled asap to prevent hair slipping.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on January 18, 2017, 07:56:05 PM
Haven't shot a bear yet, but I fully intend to, as my first bear will get some sort of mount. Gotta get it cooled asap to prevent hair slipping.
Well I appreciate the advice. If I get one I'll probably get the hide tanned and get the skull done.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: syoungs on January 18, 2017, 07:59:14 PM
Yeah, I'll do a rug if it's the right bear, or a 1/2 mount if it won't be a good rug.
Best of luck!
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on January 18, 2017, 08:03:34 PM
Yeah, I'll do a rug if it's the right bear, or a 1/2 mount if it won't be a good rug.
Best of luck!
Thanks same to you. I'll post an update here and there.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Ridge Hunter on January 19, 2017, 06:13:30 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?

I would avoid using the plastic bags around the meat,you want that meet to breath, cool,  but stay dray at the same time. I think the comments by others about wrapping ice, using dry ice, or frozen jugs would be the way to go. Depending on what direction you go I would leave the drain plug open the entire time the meat is in the cooler if there is potential for liquid to build in the cooler from melting. Try to arrange the meat in the cooler so that you can get as much air around the meat as possible, even under it if possible.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on January 19, 2017, 06:22:47 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?

I would avoid using the plastic bags around the meat,you want that meet to breath, cool,  but stay dray at the same time. I think the comments by others about wrapping ice, using dry ice, or frozen jugs would be the way to go. Depending on what direction you go I would leave the drain plug open the entire time the meat is in the cooler if there is potential for liquid to build in the cooler from melting. Try to arrange the meat in the cooler so that you can get as much air around the meat as possible, even under it if possible.
Thanks for the help!
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: fish vacuum on January 19, 2017, 09:27:58 PM
Use gallon jugs for ice. I put some upside down Tupperware containers in the bottom of the cooler and leave the drain plug open. The Tupperware let's any water or blood drain down but keeps the meat off the bottom.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on January 19, 2017, 09:49:16 PM
Use gallon jugs for ice. I put some upside down Tupperware containers in the bottom of the cooler and leave the drain plug open. The Tupperware let's any water or blood drain down but keeps the meat off the bottom.
Thanks!
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: garrett89 on January 29, 2017, 06:47:12 PM
For a pack animal, your best bet is a mule. They handle their own.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on January 29, 2017, 06:52:43 PM
For a pack animal, your best bet is a mule. They handle their own.
Thanks. The goats belong to a friend and he said I could use them if he wasn't. I think our hunting times are going to conflict so where I've decided to hunt I'm probably not going to use or need any animals.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear September 2017 NE Wa.
Post by: Eric M on April 06, 2017, 04:34:59 PM
Narrowed down where I want to go if I'm home in September. 
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Turner89 on April 11, 2017, 09:40:31 PM
 I think hunting with goats would be kind of cool :chuckle:. They should be low matenace......they would have plenty of food.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on April 11, 2017, 11:15:39 PM
I think hunting with goats would be kind of cool :chuckle:. They should be low matenace......they would have plenty of food.
It was the original idea when I was thinking of hunting the high country. Now I don't have the goats as an option. Apparently the goats I was going to use weren't very nice to the other goats so they got sold.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on April 24, 2017, 02:07:34 PM
Started looking at some of the country recently. Pretty places even with all the burned stuff.
Title: Re: another question about bear hunting and etiquette
Post by: Eric M on April 27, 2017, 03:18:08 PM
So for a little more background, I'm sort of hosting this bear hunt. I prefer hunting alone, but a couple of guys with no hunting experience really wanted to go, and now it's turned into up to 3 other guys. Two of them have never hunted really and one of them hunted Kansas whitetails 20 years ago. They all have their hunter safety done, and have rifles that should be fine for black bear. They know I've never killed a bear either, but for some reason feel like I'm the guy who will get it done. We plan to spend 5 days on the hunt and I plan to spend 5 days prior scouting alone. Anyway, I've started looking at the country, and honestly even if none of us shoots anything my major focus/worry is that everyone gets to see bears. My question finally, is with a group this size targeting bears specifically, should I keep everyone close or pair up and separate? They are all decent shots. I believe I'm the only one of us who will have any idea what to do with a bear if it gets shot. Cell service is spotty in the areas I've looked at so far. So if I spot a bear there's one of them I really want to get first crack at it, but the other 2 aren't going to work as a pair. Anyway, any advice about this would be welcome. Thank you.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: hunter399 on April 27, 2017, 03:28:09 PM
 :tung:
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on April 27, 2017, 08:14:15 PM
If it was me I would spilt up a lot to cover ,and glass more ground.
Yeah it just won't work in pairs. Maybe I'll just put them all on the same ridge at different elevations. I guess I'll figure something out.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: high country on April 28, 2017, 06:33:38 PM
Your odds of seeing good bears in groups is slim. If you do see a pair of bears it'll likely be young bears traveling together or mom with offspring. Big boars don't tend to like company outside of mating.....and you're going to be late for that.

If I had to hunt with several guys and stay together,  I'd keep it to short range weapons and post up someone to video and a couple guys to cover a get away bear. Big bears are going to fit in a kitchen garbage bag once you're skinned and boned out (not advocating the use of plastic, just sharing the size). You don't need a 150 quart cooler, you will be money ahead to keep the hide in a cool breeze and flesh the he k out of it. Their hide is super thin when fleshed. If it looks or feels like fat....it is and it should go. I've killed bears in the back country and been hauled out via horse, they were ok with it as long as it was covered. I have no idea how goats will do with the sight/smell of bear.

I'd spend some time learning the typical size of eyes and ears, vegetation in your area and use that to help judge the size....all bears can look big, then suffer ground shrink.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on April 28, 2017, 07:03:03 PM
Your odds of seeing good bears in groups is slim. If you do see a pair of bears it'll likely be young bears traveling together or mom with offspring. Big boars don't tend to like company outside of mating.....and you're going to be late for that.

If I had to hunt with several guys and stay together,  I'd keep it to short range weapons and post up someone to video and a couple guys to cover a get away bear. Big bears are going to fit in a kitchen garbage bag once you're skinned and boned out (not advocating the use of plastic, just sharing the size). You don't need a 150 quart cooler, you will be money ahead to keep the hide in a cool breeze and flesh the he k out of it. Their hide is super thin when fleshed. If it looks or feels like fat....it is and it should go. I've killed bears in the back country and been hauled out via horse, they were ok with it as long as it was covered. I have no idea how goats will do with the sight/smell of bear.

I'd spend some time learning the typical size of eyes and ears, vegetation in your area and use that to help judge the size....all bears can look big, then suffer ground shrink.
Thanks for the help. The goats aren't a factor anymore. They got sold due to being mean tempered and they ran off unless you were feeding them, haha. I don't think we'll be in backcountry at this point. Two of the guys are partially disabled from military service so I have been looking for good country to glass from forest roads, but I did get a good deal on a decent 120 quart cooler. I also have game bags and at least one of the other guys will also. I like your idea of short range weapons but I'm the only guy that has anything meeting that criteria. I was thinking maybe 1 guy to shoot, one guy to spot, and I can sit there and laugh? I think we'd all be happy if we can just get one bear.

This might sound like a stupid question but do you bring your fleshing knife and board with you or just use a knife to cut off the larger chunks of fat?

Also if I find us a good berry patch and we actually kill a bear, would you take another look at the same area the next day?

I've been looking at bears from my old trail cam pics and youtube and I have everyone watching the Montana video as well as other identification videos.

Worst case scenario we see some nice country and these guys get to do their first Washington hunt. I know I'm looking forward to it being entertaining.

Thank you again for the help. It's appreciated.

Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: tgomez on April 28, 2017, 08:03:54 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.
[/quote

Bring two coolers at least 120-150 qts in size. If you don't have any and are on a budget then check Craigslist for some used ones. BEST OF LUCK!
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on April 28, 2017, 08:10:04 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.
[/quote

Bring two coolers at least 120-150 qts in size. If you don't have any and are on a budget then check Craigslist for some used ones. BEST OF LUCK!
Thanks! Found some!
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: high country on April 28, 2017, 08:19:33 PM
Wdfw has a decent video on boar identification....it's small stuff like neck lenght, his size that separates them.

I pack a pair of knives and a cammilus ceramic sharpener. You can flesh over a log, rock or your leg. Larry Bartlett of pristine ventures has a video series called "wilderness taxidermy" that will help you immensely.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on April 28, 2017, 08:59:27 PM
Wdfw has a decent video on boar identification....it's small stuff like neck lenght, his size that separates them.

I pack a pair of knives and a cammilus ceramic sharpener. You can flesh over a log, rock or your leg. Larry Bartlett of pristine ventures has a video series called "wilderness taxidermy" that will help you immensely.
Thanks. I've only ever fleshed coyote and fox. Appreciate the video recommendations.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on April 30, 2017, 10:41:15 PM
Took another trip this weekend saw some great country. Marked a couple spots and deleted a few because of the 2015 fires. Saw a lot of animals. My wife was hoping to see a moose but all we found was the poop.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on May 01, 2017, 09:05:04 AM
Crossed this area off my list.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on July 07, 2017, 09:02:03 PM
I decided I'd look a little closer to home. Most of my scouting was by truck just to get the lay of the land but I did a little hike to check out the berry situation. If you bear hunt the forest roads between Highway 2 and Lake Wenatchee I could use a little strategy advice. It looks like a good area. Here's a few pictures. The berries are already getting a little color at about 4500 feet in the Henry Jackson but I won't be hunting until September.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: MHWASH on July 09, 2017, 07:56:26 PM
Eric, looks like your having a lot of fun planning this hunt. I think the planning is just as exciting as the actual hunt. 

I really like the looks of the area closer to your home.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: Eric M on July 09, 2017, 11:32:46 PM
Eric, looks like your having a lot of fun planning this hunt. I think the planning is just as exciting as the actual hunt. 

I really like the looks of the area closer to your home.
I hope I have as much fun during the hunt as I've had getting ready for it. haha. Thanks. It looks promising. Just don't think I'll be off work in time to sit on any berry patches. But I really love the 2nd half of September in Washington.
Title: Re: A couple of bear questions for Bear Hunt of August-September 2017
Post by: JeffRaines on September 24, 2017, 09:00:48 PM
I put a week into this hunt so far. Thought I would pass along a few lessons learned if anyone's interested. #1 The frozen 1 gallon jugs worked great in my coolers! They are still partially frozen after 7 days. Since we don't drink a lot of milk, I bought gallons of water and froze them. I didn't drain some water out first to allow for expansion so they all split and leaked.  #2 My first day I shot a couple of grouse. Grouse can become a huge distraction. #3 I took one of my wife's blackberry pies with me.  If you eat 1/4 of a blackberry pie with coffee for lunch, be prepared for what's coming. Trust me on this, you can't get back to your rig fast enough for the required items. #4 My wife bought me a solar charger for my phone since I was using hers all the time. I should have brought hers also. Test and retest your gear! It wouldn't hold a large enough charge and I left the other one at home. I ended up going to the Midway Store near Lake Wenatchee and they let me charge my phone and the charger.(Thank you ladies). #5 If I try calling predators again it will be with an electronic call. I'm only good for about 20 minutes. I don't know how guys can call for 1/2 hour to an hour. Maybe more practice?

After some driving, a lot of walking and trying a few sets calling, I decided to climb up out of the valley and look up high. I had only seen old bear scat down low, grouse, and a decent number of does and fawns. In 4 days the only bear I had seen was up high, but too far away for me to get to before it died of old age. I went up the mountain at night, with the plan being to be there to glass at first light. I was unprepared for it to snow and got too cold so my #6 is knowing your gear limitations. In frustration, and with chattering teeth I decided the best and safest thing for me to do was to go back down before I got hypothermic. So I got back to the trailhead at 3 or 4 in the morning and went home for a night to dry all my gear and have a beer.

I decided to try a different area not known for bears but for its elk. A few bears get shot there every year and my thought was maybe the bears would be moving around eating the gut piles. Driving over 410 I narrowly avoided filling my roadkill tag. There was still quite a bit of smoke Thurs night-Fri morning. At first light I heard a lot of coyote activity. Between 7 and 9 I heard a few elk calls. I put quite a few miles on my boots. #7 Get some boots that don't squeak when walking downhill. I found one carcass from a harvested animal still pretty fresh. Lots of crows on it and some coyote sign but no bear sign. Glassed for a few hours up high and saw a couple of elk at a distance. Bumped a pretty decent buck on the way back down to my rig. I looked around down low where the acorns are (and some berries along the creek), but all I found was elk sign. I also drove the Bethel Ridge Road from 12 to Nile and was fooled a few times by black stumps.

I have a lot to do this week but I'm hoping to get after it again the week after. I'll post a few pictures later.

#3 HAHAHA. I was about a half mile from the truck a couple years ago when it hit, and it was one of those times that I left the stuff at the truck. However, it didn't matter - if I had been a hundred yards from the truck it would've ended the same way. Alder leaves(closest thing to me) ended up being the "required items".

Nothing wrong with grouse being a distraction either, I feel like they're a confidence boost... you can at least say you got something(if you don't miss like I did earlier today  :bash:).

I've struck out bear hunting so far myself, and I've put a decent amount of effort into this year. I did buy a Foxpro Friday and was able to take it for a walk this weekend... no bears seen still, but I did get a bobcat to come into my first set.

Sounds like a hell of a week though, keep us updated!