Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Bear Hunting => Topic started by: O. hemionus on September 01, 2017, 09:12:45 PM

Title: Attempt at a Labor Day weekend bear
Post by: O. hemionus on September 01, 2017, 09:12:45 PM
Heading out to the Gifford Pinchot for bear on Monday and Tuesday this week (skipping out on my wedding anniversary :chuckle:). My old hunting buddy is flying out from Montana to join me for our new tradition of an annual hunt together, now that we both live back in the PNW. I've yet to shoot a bear or even see one during bear season, so hopefully I'll have something to post up on here when I get back. This is the first season that I have taken bear hunting semi-seriously. Maybe I'll see one of yall out there! I'm sure it will be a chore trying to dodge the berry pickers out there. Good luck to everyone this weekend!
Title: Re: Attempt at a Labor Day weekend bear
Post by: Elkcollector82 on September 02, 2017, 02:08:04 AM
Good luck and keep us posted on the trip.  :tup:
Title: Re: Attempt at a Labor Day weekend bear
Post by: O. hemionus on September 05, 2017, 03:29:54 PM
Thanks Elkcollector. Just got back to town. Hunting partner needed to get back to Portland tonight so we decided to cut the day a bit short - good thing, too, because he will have a heck of a time going west on Hwy 14 with I-84 now closed due to the Eagle Creek fire.

We hunted hard yesterday and today, but saw zero bears and actually zero bear sign. Since I am new to hunting the GP and my hunting partner lives in Montana, we viewed this as somewhat of a scouting trip and weren't expecting to come across a goldmine of bears. We were a little surprised at not seeing ANY sign, though. On Monday morning, we hunted a lower-elevation grassy wetland/meadow and saw a nice herd of elk, but no bear. We then attempted to get a bit higher in elevation and had the goal of getting into the huckleberries. We had planned to try our hand at the Indian Heaven Wilderness and explore the area some, but as I posted in the fire thread, a USFS employee turned us back around just as we were about to park and hike up into the Wilderness Area.  :bash:

We ended up driving around quite a bit to find an area not affected by the fire closure but that also looked promising for berries/bears, and we eventually came across a place further north in the GP. Spent the evening hiking trails, predator calling, and glassing small berry patches, but still no bears. We traversed some of these berry patches and did not find any bear sign in them (at this point I'm starting to wonder if I really know what bear poop looks like - maybe bear poop is actually small, light brown, and scaly like a spruce cone, or maybe bears just pick up all of their poop and hide it in underground caverns?). This morning we hiked up into the Mt. Adams Wilderness and tried glassing for bears, but visibility was poor due to all of the smoke. Hiked several miles in and back out, but still no bear sign despite again getting into the berries. Beautiful scenery, just didn't come across any bears.

Throughout the trip, I continued debating in my mind - should I continue to hunt an area despite not finding any bear sign and explore the surrounding terrain in hopes of finding some and to get extremely familiar with the area, or should I assume I am not in great bear habitat and try somewhere new where there might be better chance of finding better bear habitat and bear sign? Still haven't come to any conclusions yet on this one. Thoughts, anyone?

Still have two months of bear season left to find one of these furry critters. Hopefully I'll have better luck next time! I'd love to post up a picture or two like Hirshey just did!
Title: Re: Attempt at a Labor Day weekend bear
Post by: hirshey on September 05, 2017, 05:20:17 PM
Best of luck... we just need some cooler weather to keep them active and in the open a little longer. fingers crossed for cooler temps for meat safety and hungry, wandering bears!
Title: Re: Attempt at a Labor Day weekend bear
Post by: Elkcollector82 on September 05, 2017, 05:33:29 PM
Sounds like a good trip even though no bear tipped over. Learn some country and reunite with a hunting buddy  :tup: cooler temps would definitely help out. I'll get serious bout a bear after bow season. Unless I see one during. I've got some cams up there and have a good area. on camera it looks good.  :chuckle:  :dunno: so we shall see after bow season.