Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Bear Hunting => Topic started by: yakimanoob on August 30, 2017, 01:19:49 PM

Title: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: yakimanoob on August 30, 2017, 01:19:49 PM
Hey folks!  This is my first time holding a bear permit, and also my first time capturing bears on a cam.  These are from a well-worn elk crossroads in unit 360 that I hadn't considered as a bear-hunting area until I picked up my cam yesterday. 

What should my take-aways from these photos be?  I count one young chocolate, one young jet black, and one (medium? small?) adult chocolate.  Is this a mom and two cubs?  Can cubs from the same litter be different color phases?  Can you tell from these photos what the sex of any of these bears are?  How about shootability of the larger chocolate?  (I'm hunting for meat more than the hide, just FYI).  How do I translate the info here into a hunting strategy?  The camera was out for about 3.5 weeks, and I got 1 bobcat, 2 bulls (I included one of them for a size/scale reference), and 3 bears.  No deer and (magically) no people. 

What do you think?
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: Elkcollector82 on August 30, 2017, 01:33:55 PM
Find the nearest food source and wait.
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: Skunk Trapper on August 30, 2017, 09:50:26 PM



What should my take-aways from these photos be?

Take-away...u got bears there and u should hunt them hard if u wanna kill one...

Is this a mom and two cubs? 

 :dunno:


Can cubs from the same litter be different color phases?

Yes

Can you tell from these photos what the sex of any of these bears are? 

No, it can be hard to tell even when they're right in front of you.

How about shootability of the larger chocolate?

 :chuckle: First bear?  :bfg:

How do I translate the info here into a hunting strategy? 

Get out there and get it done!

What do you think?

Nice lookin' bears. Kill one




Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: tchoutacabouffa on August 30, 2017, 11:46:30 PM
Trail cams have been a double edged sword. Three WEEKS in the woods are boiled down to a few pictures. Makes a person think if they sit there for three weeks the same amount of animals will come by. But that reality is near impossible. You are not going to sit there for three WEEKS without moving.

Don't tie yourself to that tree. You found great habitat and you found animals. The pics are the proof of that.

Keep practicing those skills as a hunting strategy. That is what worked. Don't let your pics dictate a strategy of just sitting in that spot.




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Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: luckyman on August 31, 2017, 05:27:00 AM
If that's on private land then that's the kind of spot I set up at. If I get several animals come threw now and again. That bush behind the two trees I would my a trail into the back side to keep from walking down the game trail. then make a couple shooting lanes, add a comfortable chair to sit on. You can still hunt or go sit in the blind to rest.
I never see anything but chipmunk early morning it seems. Most animals I see while sitting in a blind is mid day or right at dark.
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: yakimanoob on August 31, 2017, 08:19:52 AM
A) I am FAR to impatient for still hunting, so you have no reason to worry about me wasting my days watching one spot because of this cam  :chuckle:

B) Thanks for the feedback -- this is what I'm wondering: how far will these bears range?  I'll check the camera again mid/late september but I may combine that trip with a more intentional bear hunt.  I guess I'm wondering whether or not to assume these bears live within a few miles of this spot, or if they wander widely and the fact that I got them on this camera doesn't tell me much about where they'll be. 

This is a pocket of forest in a saddle in a mostly open/mix area, FYI.  I have a couple vantage points where I could watch at least one of the draws leading up to this spot, and plenty of glassing spots to watch surrounding area.  My plan for elk is to watch those spots and try to locate the herd once season hits.  Maybe a similar plan for bears? 
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: Machias on August 31, 2017, 10:02:24 AM
I would try predator calling for them.  It all depends on the food.  Plenty of food in the area and they can be concentrated in a small area.  But you could have several bears in an area and the food sources dries up and they can all be miles away the next day.  Find the food source and you'll most likely be into the bears.  Good luck!!
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: yakimanoob on August 31, 2017, 11:58:12 AM
I would try predator calling for them.  It all depends on the food.  Plenty of food in the area and they can be concentrated in a small area.  But you could have several bears in an area and the food sources dries up and they can all be miles away the next day.  Find the food source and you'll most likely be into the bears.  Good luck!!
Thanks!  What do bears eat in this kind of area?  There are no huckleberries around, and I'm not well acquainted with what else they eat.  I mean they obviously prey on elk calves and the like, but they don't follow a herd around, do they?
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: Machias on August 31, 2017, 12:50:59 PM
They do in the spring, they will go to known calving areas.  I have killed a couple in the Manastash Unit, not sure how close to there you are, but the two I killed over there were full of blueberries when I gutted them.  In this hot weather I would also concentrate on creek areas, they tend to be a little cooler.  Find scat and see if there are seeds in the scat, that can give you an idea on what they are eating as well.  If you find lots of fresh scat, try calling in those areas, I have had better luck calling in areas I have found a lot of fresh sign.  Good luck!! 
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: yakimanoob on August 31, 2017, 12:53:04 PM
They do in the spring, they will go to known calving areas.  I have killed a couple in the Manastash Unit, not sure how close to there you are, but the two I killed over there were full of blueberries when I gutted them.  In this hot weather I would also concentrate on creek areas, they tend to be a little cooler.  Find scat and see if there are seeds in the scat, that can give you an idea on what they are eating as well.  If you find lots of fresh scat, try calling in those areas, I have had better luck calling in areas I have found a lot of fresh sign.  Good luck!!

Thanks!  Hopefully I can find time to get out there and do some proper bear-focused scouting.  I'm pretty distracted by my first attempt at the High Buck hunt though :).
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: Machias on August 31, 2017, 01:24:29 PM
 :tup:
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: fillthefreezer on August 31, 2017, 02:00:07 PM
bears move, and fast. we just killed one almost 30 miles from where it was collared in june the year before. at the same time, once theyve found abundant feed, they might not move more than a few hundred yards for weeks.
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: OutHouse on September 21, 2017, 02:33:05 PM
They do in the spring, they will go to known calving areas.  I have killed a couple in the Manastash Unit, not sure how close to there you are, but the two I killed over there were full of blueberries when I gutted them.  In this hot weather I would also concentrate on creek areas, they tend to be a little cooler.  Find scat and see if there are seeds in the scat, that can give you an idea on what they are eating as well.  If you find lots of fresh scat, try calling in those areas, I have had better luck calling in areas I have found a lot of fresh sign.  Good luck!!

Machias do you always cut open the stomach to see what's inside? Last time that happened to me I about upchucked   :chuckle:
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: Machias on September 21, 2017, 02:53:07 PM
I do, I like to check and see what they are munching on, I have not had the misfortune of opening one that has been eating carrion....yet!  :)
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: OutHouse on September 21, 2017, 03:50:34 PM
I do, I like to check and see what they are munching on, I have not had the misfortune of opening one that has been eating carrion....yet!  :)

Right on. I remember the first deer I killed and how I poked the stomach right after it had a large meal and man oh man the smell made me light headed. I was with some people and I remember trying to act like it didn't bother me but it did. I suppose berries may not be too bad
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: n_mathews13 on September 29, 2017, 02:50:49 PM
Patience is a big part of bear hunting
Always cut open the gut, learn a lot doing that
Title: Re: Trail cam to hunting strategy. Tell me what I can learn.
Post by: yakimanoob on October 30, 2017, 10:27:20 AM
OK so here's an update.  I've been hunting this spot pretty hard for the weekend-warrior that I am; although I have made it out on a few weekday evenings. 

I've seen what I'm pretty sure is this same bear twice now, but both times moving way too fast for me to get a 400-ish yd shot off.

I've tried some calling with a primos fawn in distress call to no avail.  I have NO idea what I'm doing when it comes to calling though, besides what I read on the call package.  I will gladly welcome any tips on this front.  What's the best call (fawn, or something else?) this time of year? 

Here's a pick from the weekend just to whet the whistle.  Me for scale.  I'm 6'2" 215lb. 

It's a popular elk area so I'm a little concerned he's 100% nocturnal for the remainder of general elk season...