Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Bear Hunting => Topic started by: saylean on March 20, 2012, 08:35:55 AM

Title: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on March 20, 2012, 08:35:55 AM
I know for a lot of people, bear hunting is pretty new and often difficult. Spring bear especially. However, once you get to know what your prey is looking for, how they act, and where to look, it is often not too difficult. So I thought I would take the time and pass along some tips for those who drew a coveted spring bear tag. Oh and congrats, I am jealous as I was unselected this year!  :tup:

This is not an all inclusive, know all, thread. Rather, this is a thread of information I have learned the past 5 years chasing spring bear. I do not believe I know it all, but thanks to many hours on this forum, and time spent in field, I have gathered a pretty good knowledge of bears.

If you notice, the title refers to west side spring bears. I used that in the title, as east side spring bears, I have not hunted much and their habbits while similar, I am sure differ a bit in what they have to eat (IE wild onions).

Bears in the spring are hungry (arent they always!) and looking for anything that might help with that. Berries are not in season yet, so they need to find whatever food source is available to them. On the west side of the state, they generally search out fresh shoots of grass, skunk cabbage, grubs/ants (late spring) and (for the main reason you are hunting them) the cambium layer in younger trees.

When trees go dormant for the winter, their sap gathers in the roots. When spring comes, the sap begins to leave the roots and head back up into the trees. When this happens, the bears seek out the cambium layer to eat the starchy substrate.

Here are examples of tree damage that occured within hours. I know it happened within hours, as the trees were undamaged before I hiked in, and I counted 7 in a row that were stripped on the way out, along my same path. This is why logging companies want/need spring bear hunts. This was a group of 7 trees, that will more than likely die, which were destroyed under an hour. You can imagine how much damage several bears could do throughout one day!

NOTE: The size of the trees, they were not older trees, but rather about the size that would be just a bit bigger than what you could put your hands around. 10 years old or so. Also, take note of the teeth marks that go vertical, up and down the trunk of the trees. You will find this stripping behavior from ground level, up to about 5 ft or so, maybe higher.

A link to more examples of bear peels: http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php?topic=74471.msg911359#msg911359
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Possible Sticky Thread?)
Post by: saylean on March 20, 2012, 09:19:55 AM
On the pictures above, note how the bark is fresh looking, and how the exposed wood does not have lines of hardened sap covering the wounds.

On older spring bear damage, the trees are noticibly different looking. The sap is white and hardened and the inner wood layer looks like it has been exposed for some time. You would also note the lack of 'peeled' bark on the ground around the tree.

UPDATED: Below are the same trees about 1 year later. Notice the white sap marks, etc. In addition, I added a completely dead tree for referance.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Possible Sticky Thread?)
Post by: saylean on March 20, 2012, 09:32:59 AM
The scat of bear differs greatly through out the year. Below you will first find an example of bear scat where berries were the main diet (first pile of poo). This is an example of what you would find during the summer months. Also, note the example of the contents of a bears stomach during the summer months. Smells like berry pie!

In the spring, bear scat looks alot like clumps of wet grass, since grass is a main source of their food. Below are some more examples of this (spring bear scat are the final few pics below). You can tell fresh bear scat like you would any other scat. Fresh scat would be fairly moist, similar in color on the outside as it is in on the inside, etc. Older scat would be dry on the outside, different in color, etc. If you've hunted much, you know how to tell fresh from old.  :tup:
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Possible Sticky Thread?)
Post by: saylean on March 20, 2012, 10:12:46 AM
Now that we have discussed a bit about sign, lets talk about where to look for the bears! Spring bear hunts are a great time to try and hunt bear with a bow (if thats your pleasure). Spring time bear will often be found along old logging roads/trails, walking the edges, eating the fresh shoots of grass, allowing a great oppourtunity for bow hunters. (NOTE, the pic below was taking in the summer time, but I thought it was a good reference).

Places to look for:

Ask the logging company where are they having the most damage. They are usually more than happy to point you in the right direction.

You want to find swampy areas with skunk cabbage (another favorite of bears), grassy openings with fresh green shoots, younger reprods (10 years old or so) that contain the size of trees we previously discussed.
Also, while you are scouting, pay special attention to ridgelines or hillsides that have obvious dying or dead trees on them (NOTE THE PIC BELOW OF THE HILL SIDE, NOTE THE YELLOW TREES, BEAR RIDGE file especially. I went to get a better picture of it, so hopefully that gives a good idea what to look for). You will notice often times, yellow, orange or flat out bare trees along ridges and hillsides (or along roadsides). These are often indications of previous year spring bear damage and might be a good place to start looking for sign. Keep your eyes out for these types of areas.

Take a walk down old logging spurs, where the sun has been able to reach and allow spring shoots to come up. As you walk down the spurs/trails, peer off into the distant timber looking for previous bear tree damage or any fresh damage. You will be surprised how much you find, once you start looking for this type of sign.

Any sort of field like opening where the sun can hit and grass can grow early are great spots. If you are familiar with bear hunting in the summer/fall you know that you just have to find a food source and minimal people. Same in spring, find these food sources with minimal human interferance and you should be looking good.

Google earth is a great scouting tool as most of you know. When I was drawn for spring bear, I had finally found some sign. It was a great spot, surrounded by thick brush and reprod, but opened up to several grassy openings (40 yards across or so, that were actually caused from bears killing off the trees in the area), but I didnt know how many of these openings, or if there were any bigger ones. I would literally have to crawl through the brush and then suddenly, there would be an opening!

I went home that night, google earthed the spot and found two marvelous long openings that, unless you googled, would have a hell of a time finding. I later took a bear in that very opening.

If you can find areas that are semi secluded WITH A FOOD SOURCE, (ie fresh grass, skunk cabbage, carrion) and some bear scat, your on the road to success.  You might find that you need to hunt lower on the hills than expected. With the snow, etc... the higher you go up, the slower or less fresh plant life growth may of occured. If you are not finding much sign high up, head to the low lands.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Possible Sticky Thread?)
Post by: saylean on March 20, 2012, 10:36:47 AM
Predator calling!

If any of you follow any of my threads, you know I LOVE TO PREDATOR CALL! :tup: Bears especially. While I have not had a ton of luck calling bears in the spring, it is a viable way to get shot opps. I mainly have only called when I was drawn, so that is probably half the reason I have not had much luck.

In the spring, what else other then fresh shoots and plant life are available? Fawns  :tup: coyote pups :tup: and other baby animals...all very tasty for bears.

Setting up for spring bear calling is just about the same as when you would call later in the year. With the exception that you might want to concentrate on using fawn distress, coupled with a fawn decoy. I have had luck using coyote pup distress as well.

The basics are as follows:

1. Be prepared. It can happen real quick and you better be ready.
2. Try to get up on a stump pile or have a solid background (tree) to lean against.
3. Find brushy reprod to call into...6-10 years old or so
4. Watch your wind...often times they will come in and try to smell you first.
5. Call for an hour, stopping only briefly to listen. They are not like coyotes and may take some time to come to the call. Then wait for a bit after your set is stopped all the way. You never know what might come in to check it out.
6. Bears can come in loud and fierce, or sneaky like a cat....KEEP AWARE!
7. As with any hunt,...ALWAYS BE 100% sure of your target and whats beyond.

Below is a summer time call session...but it can happen just that fast. This bear was called in under 3-5 minutes.


Another great reference for bear calling is www.callingbears.com (Hope you dont mind Billy). 

Also, the coyote below was shot after calling for about 2 minutes, while spring bear hunting....its a great way to see whats out there...very similar to fishing! Cast out and see what bites! Hopefully it doesnt bite you!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Possible Sticky Thread?)
Post by: saylean on March 20, 2012, 10:49:34 AM
There are already other threads sticky on here for shot placement of bears and hide care, so I will not go into these (see top of bear forum). However, I would like to touch on bear rubbing of hide.

In the spring, bear have wonderful coats. They are left over from winter, but they are hot and itchy. Time to get them off! Bears like to rub off their coats by scratching, rubbing trees, etc. When you are selecting your bear to hunt, and IF it matters to you, keep a close eye on the hide. You wouldnt want to shoot a bear that looks great on one side, but rubbed out on the other. By glassing the bear or just observing it for a bit, you should be able to tell if it has any nasty rubs. Generally, they start first rubbing their face and paws, then work on the sides of the body (or so I have been told, I could be wrong). Basically, just observe the bear, try to ensure the hide is nice, and do what you came to do!

Below is a sequence from my area I like to call "bearadise" of a spring bear.
Notice how he scratches, getting that itchy fur off.





Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Possible Sticky Thread?)
Post by: saylean on March 20, 2012, 11:04:20 AM
Final Thoughts

The later in the season it gets, the easier it will be to find bears. DONT GET DISCOURAGED~!

There are tons of great stories and threads in the bear forum on spring bear. Read them and get to know them best you can, TONS of info!

You might want to bring a chain saw with you in your truck. Spring time wind storms often blow down trees across roads. Just a thought.

A pair of good leather gloves and gardening hand clippers work great for tracking bears. Black berry bushes and bears go together like peas and carrots and I have found gloves and clippers are a great remedy for this.

Keep in mind, sows with cubs are going to have very small little ones following them. Be patient when observing bears and make sure you are not shooting a sow with cubs. No one wants to orphan baby bears.

In addition, bears are tough (as many of you know). They live in the thickest, nasties places. Be prepared to give your absolute all if you shoot one and have to track it. The animal deserves it.

As you can tell, I am very excited about bear hunting and excited for all who were drawn.  :tup: I hope this thread has helped some of you and wish nothing but success in the field for you all, whether that is by taking a bear, or by enjoying time in the woods during the spring! I hope all of you can enjoy a view like I did on my spring hunt! Thanks for reading! I still might edit a thing or two, but feel free to post now if you like.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Possible Sticky Thread?)
Post by: Echomules on March 20, 2012, 11:14:51 AM
This is Awesome! I've done plenty of bear hunting but never in the spring. Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I hope to be telling a tale of how it helped.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Possible Sticky Thread?)
Post by: washingtonwillie88 on March 20, 2012, 11:16:16 AM
that was awesome lots of good info, great job
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Possible Sticky Thread?)
Post by: grundy53 on March 20, 2012, 11:22:55 AM
 :tup:
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Possible Sticky Thread?)
Post by: fillthefreezer on March 20, 2012, 11:41:25 AM
ive never had the opportunity to hunt bear in the spring til now so i hink its awesome you took the time to do this! :tup:
Title: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: Bob33 on March 20, 2012, 11:44:49 AM
Thanks Saylean. The thread is sticky now.  Great info.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: jamesjett on March 20, 2012, 11:47:57 AM
Great post!  Thank you for taking the time to post the information.  I drew for the first time so this will be my
first time hunting spring bear.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: Skyvalhunter on March 20, 2012, 11:51:40 AM
Nice write up should help some of the bear hunter out alot.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: rebal69972 on March 20, 2012, 01:26:31 PM
great write up  :tup:
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: saylean on March 20, 2012, 02:35:38 PM
Glad to see it got sticky'ed. It was my pleasure.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: Button Nubbs on March 20, 2012, 02:40:42 PM
Awesome! I'm sure ill read it a few more times before my monroe hunt! Should be some good draw karma for you next year! :tup: thanks!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: boneaddict on March 20, 2012, 04:09:37 PM
Nice write up Saylean.   Thanks for sharing some of your past harvest with Idabooner.  VERY COOL!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: SemperFidelis97 on March 20, 2012, 04:37:28 PM
Thanks for sharing there are some good pointers on there.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: Ripper on March 20, 2012, 05:37:09 PM
Thanks Saylean, I appreciate you taking the time to help us out. Karma points for you. I will be out there in Monroe with Button Nubbs and the others who drew Monroe. Maybe between us all we can help the Timber Co's by removing a few tree killers. I'm uber excited!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: saylean on March 20, 2012, 05:39:32 PM
Thanks Saylean, I appreciate you taking the time to help us out. Karma points for you. I will be out there in Monroe with Button Nubbs and the others who drew Monroe. Maybe between us all we can help the Timber Co's by removing a few tree killers. I'm uber excited!

I'll be out there too...just with my camera and on foot!  :tup:

Good luck you two.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: billythekidrock on March 20, 2012, 05:44:55 PM
Saylean,
Do you have all of this saved as a Word doc or PDF?
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: saylean on March 20, 2012, 05:52:07 PM
Saylean,
Do you have all of this saved as a Word doc or PDF?

Nope, but with the exception of the youtube clips, it wouldnt be too tough to do. Send me a PM if you want me to email it to you, or whatever.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: MuleDeerCrazy on March 20, 2012, 06:32:37 PM
Another thing to note is what elevation you're seeing bears at during your hunt... at least on the eastside, can't imagine the westside is all that different.  They will follow the green-up, up the mountain.  As the snow melts and the local vegetation/food of choice starts sprouting they will feed almost exclusively on it, and almost appear to track the "green-up" progression up in elevation.

For example, we saw five bears on my daughters hunt last year and all five were within a few hundred feet of the same elevation, located in the same type of vegetation, same aspect... identical in every respect.  Once we started to notice a pattern, we honed in on that exact habitat and had much better luck locating bears.  In our case, 4,000' was the magical elevation.  We never saw any sign at 3,000' and everything was just melted with no "green-up" at 5,000'... but every open ridge with their preferred forage sprouting was all dug up by bears feeding all over them.  Obviously that will vary with variatons in snow melt/green-up any given year, but just a reference.

Here are a couple example pics of what we started honing in on, again just to give you some ideas.

Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: reason2live on March 21, 2012, 08:43:24 AM
Thanks for the tips. I need all the help I can get. Thank you for taking the time to put it together...
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: ICEMAN on March 22, 2012, 05:49:06 AM
Great post. I learned a lot! Thanks for taking the time to write this up!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: billythekidrock on March 22, 2012, 06:21:28 PM
Saylean hit a lot of great points on what to look for so I will add something a little different.

Here are some "peels" that you should not spend much time near.

These were done by porcupine but the reason I found them was a site member called me and swore he found a ton of bear peels. It was easy to see that bears were not the culprits.

There are no claw marks or large teeth marks and the bark is torn off in little chunks. Besides, bears don't crap tiny balls or drop quills.

(http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/webIMG_5480.jpg)

(http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/webIMG_5478.jpg)

(http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/webIMG_5483.jpg)

(http://www.hunt101.com/data/500/medium/webIMG_5485.jpg)

I posted these pics in a Poll during the spring of 2009 and until just before I locked it the response was 2-1 bear. I should have locked it before I posted the answer.
Here is a link to that thread if you want to see some of the responses. http://hunting-washington.com/smf/index.php?topic=25542.msg293600#msg293600
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: saylean on March 22, 2012, 06:38:19 PM
Great examples Billy and Muledeercrazy. :tup:
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: billythekidrock on March 22, 2012, 08:26:18 PM
Thanks.

Here is a link to more peel info and pics.
http://www.callingbears.com/peels.html
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears
Post by: grundy53 on March 23, 2012, 05:30:25 AM
Saylean hit a lot of great points on what to look for so I will add something a little different.

Here are some "peels" that you should not spend much time near.

These were done by porcupine but the reason I found them was a site member called me and swore he found a ton of bear peels. It was easy to see that bears were not the culprits.

There are no claw marks or large teeth marks and the bark is torn off in little chunks. Besides, bears don't crap tiny balls or drop quills.



 :yeah: If you look closlely it should be pretty evident.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Sideswipe on March 27, 2012, 09:04:14 PM
Well well, both Billy & Sayleen are what I call "professessors of the University of the Woods".  I have read their posts over the last few years & w/my limited "field experience" have realized they know what they are talk'in about.

Anytime I can be a hunt'in podner of either one of these would really be a treat!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: BOWHUNTER45 on March 27, 2012, 09:13:50 PM
Where are some pictures of the bears ?  :dunno: need some photos  :yike:
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on March 28, 2012, 10:53:40 AM
Well well, both Billy & Sayleen are what I call "professessors of the University of the Woods".  I have read their posts over the last few years & w/my limited "field experience" have realized they know what they are talk'in about.

Anytime I can be a hunt'in podner of either one of these would really be a treat!

Thats nice of you to say Sideswipe. I can say, without hesitation, Hunt wa has helped my hunting knowledge greatly, as has Billythekidrock with his bear posts/calling experiences. I have scoured his posts and he has taught me a ton. My brothers also got me into hunting bear, so I have to give them credit too. Let me know if you draw sometime, I would be happy to tag along for a day or so in a skagit or monroe unit.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Cylvertip on March 31, 2012, 11:39:28 AM
Saylean,
     
         I see a major flaw in your info on "West Side" Spring Bear. :(

You repeatedly mention "sun" and "sunshine" :o :dunno:

 :dunno: What is this of which you speak? :dunno: :dunno: :chuckle: :chuckle: 

Any buddy looked outside this time of year over here - especially this year? :dunno:

Seriously though, thanks for sharing the great info guys. :tup:
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on March 31, 2012, 04:37:27 PM
Saylean,
     
         I see a major flaw in your info on "West Side" Spring Bear. :(

You repeatedly mention "sun" and "sunshine" :o :dunno:

 :dunno: What is this of which you speak? :dunno: :dunno: :chuckle: :chuckle: 

Any buddy looked outside this time of year over here - especially this year? :dunno:

Seriously though, thanks for sharing the great info guys. :tup:

Most of the seasons dont start over here till April 15th...by then, it should be partly sunny with rain shower, instead of rain showers that are partly sunny.  :tup: :chuckle:
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: cem3434 on March 31, 2012, 06:01:06 PM
I must say that Saylean has put together a great post. I was fortunate enough to draw a spring permit in Kapowsin, so I am going to try and use some of your great advice to harvest my first bear. Thanks for taking the time to help educate all of us.   :tup:
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on April 01, 2012, 01:18:03 PM
I must say that Saylean has put together a great post. I was fortunate enough to draw a spring permit in Kapowsin, so I am going to try and use some of your great advice to harvest my first bear. Thanks for taking the time to help educate all of us.   :tup:

My pleasure. I guess thats what happens when I dont draw... :'(

Good luck in Kapowsin!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: cem3434 on April 01, 2012, 08:15:42 PM
Thanks, I think I will need it based on the previous years harvest ratio. I only live 15 minutes from the gate though, so I will be putting in plenty of time over the next couple of months.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: NataSS on April 16, 2012, 11:36:31 AM
Great info in this thread.  I am hoping to bag my first bear after many, many years of attempting to bring one home. 
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: frogger on April 16, 2012, 02:47:58 PM
This is what this site is about. Great write up!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: rockfish on April 18, 2012, 03:21:59 PM
Good article bro!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: ShaneTyTrey on May 06, 2012, 08:15:42 PM
Awesome, hopefully I will have something to post in next 2 weeks
Title: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: TikkaT3-270Shortmag on May 06, 2012, 08:50:00 PM
I thought porcupines ate the tops out of trees??
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: bassquatch on June 29, 2012, 08:43:03 PM
 :tup: It's those that take the time to teach the next generation of hunter's that will save the future of our sport! I applaud you and this article!!

I spent 10 years hunting with a former "bear guide" and learned more reading this article than I ever did in the field with him....some people have a knack for passing on knowledge and some people....

I very much appreciate the time you put into sharing this knowledge! Good hunting to you :tup:
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on June 30, 2012, 08:29:57 AM
:tup: It's those that take the time to teach the next generation of hunter's that will save the future of our sport! I applaud you and this article!!

I spent 10 years hunting with a former "bear guide" and learned more reading this article than I ever did in the field with him....some people have a knack for passing on knowledge and some people....

I very much appreciate the time you put into sharing this knowledge! Good hunting to you :tup:

Thanks Bassquatch, thats a hellof a compliment and I appreciate it. I am glad you enjoyed it, and glad you learned something.  :tup: Best of luck to you too sir.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: CoyoteCowboy on July 09, 2012, 07:29:10 AM
great post. thank you!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Huntboy on July 09, 2012, 08:13:15 AM
Awesome post, great pics. Thanks, Gentlemen. :twocents:
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: martinc on July 18, 2012, 01:44:03 PM
Outstanding!!  Good seeing you!  Can't wait for camp.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: ORCA_SIX on July 19, 2012, 01:29:53 AM
Good stuff. Thanks for the information.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on July 23, 2012, 08:37:48 PM
Outstanding!!  Good seeing you!  Can't wait for camp.

glad you liked it man. Looking forward to camp too. Wont be long....Thanks for all the other 'thanks' from the other members....i appreciate it.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: bendotti on November 26, 2012, 07:16:36 PM
I enjoyed reading this got my first bear this year was really stoked only 30 mins into my hunt, Now I got my wife hooked after she got hers this year as well..
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on November 29, 2012, 10:08:18 AM
Glad you liked it Bendotti. Congrats on your first! Its very addicting isnt it?! Get ready for spring bear...it will happen before you know it!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: t6 on April 07, 2013, 03:36:18 PM
1st time spring bear hunter here.... thanks for the tips.  Looking forward to it.  We'll let you know how it works out. 

T
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Atroxus on April 07, 2013, 04:08:46 PM
Nice write up. I don't hunt spring bear now, but am tagging for if I decide to start.  :tup:
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on April 08, 2013, 08:11:49 PM
Thanks guys. Good luck to the both of you.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: h20hunter on June 06, 2013, 12:07:14 PM
Wanted to add another peel pic. I think this one shows the teeth marks very well.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on June 06, 2013, 12:33:16 PM
 :tup:

A fine example.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: 250savage on July 24, 2013, 11:36:13 AM
Thanks for the post.Good information.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Kc_Kracker on July 24, 2013, 01:45:15 PM
really great write up, thanks for taking the time to make that  :tup:
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: buckfvr29 on July 25, 2013, 06:02:41 PM
Great write up saylean. Do you chase yogi around Baker lake at all? I'm up in Bellingham and constantly hear how great it is there. My biggest problem, finding the high country meadows that aren't full of hikers. I know full well I have as much right being there hunting bear but packing one out past a family of 4 tree huggers doesn't paint the best picture of us hunters. I am to the point where I get sooooo tired of seeing hikers and mt. bikers when in the woods, and yes, I get off of
the trails, a lot, they just out number us out there. Always looking for input for potential spots (like everyone else right!?)

Good hunting, we're almost there!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on July 27, 2013, 10:25:27 AM
Great write up saylean. Do you chase yogi around Baker lake at all? I'm up in Bellingham and constantly hear how great it is there. My biggest problem, finding the high country meadows that aren't full of hikers. I know full well I have as much right being there hunting bear but packing one out past a family of 4 tree huggers doesn't paint the best picture of us hunters. I am to the point where I get sooooo tired of seeing hikers and mt. bikers when in the woods, and yes, I get off of
the trails, a lot, they just out number us out there. Always looking for input for potential spots (like everyone else right!?)

Good hunting, we're almost there!

Thanks guys.
Buckfvr29~ My brother hunts alot up by baker, so when we hunt together we go up around there, but its a BIG area. What makes me the most irritated, isnt really the hikers, but the guys on quads or motorbikes behind locked gates. I would like to kick them in the squirrel snacks. It can be disheartening to see hikers when hunting, but I have actually called in bears literally minutes after an area was walked by hikers.

Two years ago my older brother and I went up in the snow around baker and I was able to call in two bears, he bagged one of them. Along the way out we met several snow shoe parties, who were all very surprised that bear were even in the area! ;) One party actually called it a day when they heard that.
I think done politely (I usually always say hi and move over a bit off the trail so people can pass) packing out animals can help our cause. It might give them an idea of the work and effort it takes.

I ran into two people when I was out scouting two weeks ago who had to large black great danes. We get to talking about bear hunting (and how their dogs could be mistaken briefly for bears) and I explain a few misconceptions they had about bear hunting....hoping to let them better understand why I hunt bears. I even showed them some old spring bear damage they were right next too and had no idea about what bears did in the spring. They said they found it pretty interesting as they wanted to hike a bit more and look for damage.
I doubt they will be hunters anytime soon, but maybe a seed was planted that will grow into the idea that hunting isnt all evil, but rather natural.
Keep pluggin away looking for bear honey holes, there are plenty out there. And remember, you dont need to hit the high medows, find some ripe berries and some seclusion and you will find bearskies!
Below is a pic of the bear we got in the snow ;)!

Bear season in less than a week!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: buckfvr29 on August 01, 2013, 08:47:45 AM
Good points Saylean. I suppose I need to try a bit harder to be nice. We're just so over run with mt bikers in Bellingham and their attitude that they have all rights to anything their tires touch, I've developed a bit of an attitude towards them. I
(like most of you guys) am very much into processing and cooking all of my game, I've turned a hell of a lot of people that
had never even considered trying wild game. I tend to use that approach when dealing with greenies. Go buy your organic grass fed beef and feel like you're making a statement, hunters have them beat. I explain that I honestly have no purchased red meat in my freezer and haven't for years. I hunt it, I clean it, I pack it out, I butcher it, I grind the burger, I vacuum seal it, I cook it. I know where that meat has been since I first layed eyes on it while still on the hoof. They can't say the same and I also explain the amount of work involved vs going to the store. I also point out that I give the state over $200 every year for tags, licenses, draws, etc., more than your average greenie puts towards wildlife management and
habitat.

Anyway, thanks for the input and ideas. I'm about to head out and hit the roads. I've got a few spots I've been watching, lots of berries and water close by. I think with the dry weather I'm gonna focus more on the water than meadows. While they look good with lush grass often there isn't water in the area. Also, with the heat I think they'll be closer to dark timber where they can nap more comfortably.

Good luck out there.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: h20hunter on August 01, 2013, 08:49:42 AM
Buckfvr29......Pick up this months edition of Northwest Sportsmen......I think you will find a pretty solid article about bears right in your neck of the woods.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: buckfvr29 on August 05, 2013, 10:00:22 AM
H2ohunter, will do, thanks for the heads up. Spent most of the wknd in the woods. Found a good looking spot I'm going to focus on. 3 mi behind locked gate, about a 100 acre clear cut, 3 - 4 years old, good lush growth about 2 - 3 feet high so good visibility plus 2 good drainages on either side of it, good sign on the roads. We'll see how it goes.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Pete112288 on January 19, 2014, 09:49:24 PM
Wow, a lot of good info here. I would be very interested in reading a similar write up on hunting west side bear August-October. I am new to bear hunting and the one I got was a chance encounter while elk hunting. I would love to learn more about bear hunting west side but all the info I turn up in my searches is kinda blanket info of hunting bears in general not specific areas. As I read through your thread here and saw the pictures I figured out theres likely a lot more bears in my hunting area than I originally thought. The peelings opened my eyes a lot. I see that quite often in my area. I knew bears would do this but I saw so little other bear sign that i figured it was just other critters but some of your pics almost look like the exact trees I see in my area. Also it made a lot of sense when i was reading through it. Where I got my bear is an area with some marshyness to it, old beaver dam. Quite a bit of skunk cabbage and such. I have heard and read a lot about calling bears but have not done so since I am often hunting alone and would rather be elevated in a tree stand to do this while I am alone. The scat piles I also only know as much as what you find in general tracking books and such that only show one or two small pictures. After seeing the ones you posted I realize a lot of what I have wrote off as other critters is likely bear. I would like to learn more if anyone can ablige
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on January 22, 2014, 08:23:39 PM
Glad to hear it helped out.  :tup:I will try to answer your questions in a day or so.

PM Sent.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Sideswipe on March 05, 2014, 10:08:45 AM
Good read & tutorial Saylean! Where were you 10 years ago when I first moved to WA? Actually Billythekidrock was a great help.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: h20hunter on May 25, 2014, 10:57:22 AM
Was out for a little walk yesterday with a buddy. Saw these. A few more good examples of what I believe are pretty fresh peels.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on June 06, 2014, 10:34:12 AM
Good examples h2o :tup:
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: h20hunter on June 06, 2014, 10:56:28 AM
Those were crazy fresh!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Sprintcars_Dylan on December 26, 2014, 08:56:17 PM
Awesome thread lots of good info. Thanks for sharing
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on December 28, 2014, 07:55:02 PM
Awesome thread lots of good info. Thanks for sharing
Your welcome sir. Welcome to the forum.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: h20hunter on March 11, 2015, 09:39:12 AM
Bumpity bumpity to go along with all the spring bear chatter.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Smossy's Girl on March 11, 2015, 01:17:43 PM
Just read through this whole thread and probably will two or three more times. Great information, thanks saylean and others who took the time to write this up a few years ago. Much learned.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on March 11, 2015, 02:08:32 PM
My pleasure. Best of luck on your spring hunt.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Elkhunter0406 on March 18, 2015, 10:47:45 PM
Thank you for all the great information and Thank you for taking the time to share it with us all.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on March 18, 2015, 11:05:29 PM
Thank you for all the great information and Thank you for taking the time to share it with us all.

My pleasure. Best of luck on your hunt.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: kglacken on April 20, 2015, 03:57:55 PM
Great thread! Awesome information! We went out this weekend and found some decent spots for calling. Didnt find a ton of fresh sign. With this in mind, should we save our calling in these areas until later in the season? Or should we give them a go? also, have you had any luck in the rain calling? I know they are always out there, but hunting bears has always been better for us in the sun rather than the rain.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on April 21, 2015, 07:01:27 PM
Great thread! Awesome information! We went out this weekend and found some decent spots for calling. Didnt find a ton of fresh sign. With this in mind, should we save our calling in these areas until later in the season? Or should we give them a go? also, have you had any luck in the rain calling? I know they are always out there, but hunting bears has always been better for us in the sun rather than the rain.

Haven't had much luck calling anything in rain...I have called in bears in snow. If I think an area looks promising for bear, but I don't see any, I call anyway, regardless.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Stickerbush on February 24, 2016, 08:02:16 PM
Tag
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Eric M on March 25, 2016, 10:04:37 PM
lots of good information here-Thanks for the effort!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Sideswipe on January 25, 2017, 06:50:16 PM
Well done!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: h20hunter on January 25, 2017, 06:53:39 PM
Sideswipe....putt'n in for spring bear old timer?
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: saylean on January 25, 2017, 08:13:50 PM
Well done!
Thanks sideswipe.
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: Buckhunter28 on February 15, 2017, 09:41:16 PM
Awesome info, thank you very much for the write up!! It's a dream of mine to harvest a bear, and if you dont mind me asking, what are some of the better areas on the west side? And also, is hunting them in August much different than Spring? Thanks a ton!
Title: Re: A "How To" guide for west side spring bears (Updated w/pics 3.24.12)
Post by: h20hunter on February 25, 2017, 09:24:23 AM
ttt

Just a bump for those late risers having a second cup of coffee this morning. C'mon spring tags!