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Author Topic: Backcountry Bear/Cougar while Deer Scouting  (Read 1132 times)

Offline sumpnz

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Backcountry Bear/Cougar while Deer Scouting
« on: March 11, 2017, 09:14:11 PM »
I got the green-light from SWMBO to go deer scouting in a new area over Labor Day weekend.  The area I want to go to should be a decent place to find a bear around that time.  I'll be just 10-15 miles or so west of the PCT as the crow flies.  Main area I'll be scouting for deer will be 4200-5800' in elevation. 

Since I can't use bait (or dogs), for a hunt like this should I be looking at "No Bait, Just Bears" or "The Ultimate Guide to Black Bear Hunting" as far as reading material?

Any other tips or advice for a first time bear hunt?  I know enough to look for berries and glass active berry patches.  Beyond that, I'm not sure what to be focusing on.  My main focus will still be deer scouting, but I plan to put at least 25-33% of the effort into bear hunting.  Cougar will be a target of opportunity.  Short of finding, and watching, a deer carcass from a cougar kill I'm not sure that it's all that possible to really purposely go after them.

Offline tonymoe

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Re: Backcountry Bear/Cougar while Deer Scouting
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2017, 07:22:21 AM »
At that elevation and time frame, the berrys should be in full swing

Offline saylean

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Re: Backcountry Bear/Cougar while Deer Scouting
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2017, 08:00:54 AM »
Hey sumpnz,

Ultimate Guide will have all the info contained in No Bait and more.  Of course either one will help. Bear Hunting Magazine is a good reference too. Finally go through the bear forum on here and you'll find tons of tips and advice. Best of luck to you.
Author of "No Bait Just Bears" and "The Ultimate Guide To Black Bear Hunting". Follow on Instagram: bozeandbears.

Online The scout

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Re: Backcountry Bear/Cougar while Deer Scouting
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2017, 10:09:54 AM »
I'm kina of stating the obvious here but if you shoot a bear you won't get any scouting done, it is usually so warm that time of year that meat needs to get out fairly quickly. To me it would depend on the amount of scouting trips I had planned, or how important the actual deer scouting was. But that is a great time to be up hunting bear, unless it has been a extreme dry summer there should be lots of ripe berrys at that time, and elevation.

Offline sumpnz

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Re: Backcountry Bear/Cougar while Deer Scouting
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2017, 08:47:02 PM »
I'm kina of stating the obvious here but if you shoot a bear you won't get any scouting done, it is usually so warm that time of year that meat needs to get out fairly quickly. To me it would depend on the amount of scouting trips I had planned, or how important the actual deer scouting was. But that is a great time to be up hunting bear, unless it has been a extreme dry summer there should be lots of ripe berrys at that time, and elevation.

True dat.  Though I didn't really explain it, I'd pass on any bear I saw on Day 1 for sure, and probably Day 2.  Hence why I said 25-33% bear hunting, and the rest deer scouting.  Day 3 I'd pull the trigger if it otherwise looked good to do so.  Day 4 is make for home day, so I'd prefer not to shoot anything that day.

Offline sumpnz

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Re: Backcountry Bear/Cougar while Deer Scouting
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2017, 04:38:58 PM »
Which rifle would you all pick for a hunting/scouting trip like this?

I have a CZ-550 American in 6.5x55, a CZ-550 Medium in 9.3x62, and a JC Higgens Model 50 in .270Win to choose from right now.  Both CZ's are wearing Burris FF-II 3-9x40's.  The JC Higgens has an older scope on it, not sure of the specs, but I think it's a fixed 4-power.  However, no reason I can't steal the scope off the 6.5mm if I decide to take the .270.  There's also an older Vari-X II on a Remington 721 (.270Win) I could steal for the Higgens.  The 721 needs some work on the safety before I'd carry it hunting again, and it's a nice enough rifle that I don't want to risk damage to it on this bear hunt/deer scouting trip.

The 6.5mm is probably going to come along for the deer hunt in October, unless I steal the scope off it for the .270, in which case I'd take that rifle.

I wish I had something a whole lot lighter weight than any of those, but I don't foresee having the funds to get a new gun in the next 6 months for sure.  I might look into a lightweight replacement stock though if they're not toooo expensive. 

Offline jackelope

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Re: Backcountry Bear/Cougar while Deer Scouting
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2017, 04:56:52 PM »
Take the Swede. You'll be fine.
:fire.:

" In today's instant gratification society, more and more pressure revolves around success and the measurement of one's prowess as a hunter by inches on a score chart or field photos produced on social media. Don't fall into the trap. Hunting is-and always will be- about the hunt, the adventure, the views, and time spent with close friends and family. " Ryan Hatfield

My posts, opinions and statements do not represent those of this forum

Offline sumpnz

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Re: Backcountry Bear/Cougar while Deer Scouting
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2017, 05:06:32 PM »
I figured the 6.5 would be plenty for bear.  Just figured I'd ask.

I'm currently shooting 140gr Hornady Spire Points.  Been wanting for a while to work up a 120gr TTSX load for it.  Either should be more than enough for a black bear.

 

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