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Author Topic: A question on backcountry bears  (Read 2523 times)

Offline thearcherykid

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A question on backcountry bears
« on: December 08, 2017, 02:08:55 AM »
Seems the more I look at maps and look into bear diet and locating them in the early on in the season trying to get serious about getting my first bear, it seems the most logical option to reach these high south facing berry patches is to take well established hiking trails up to the meadows and then set up a base camp and hunt out of that for Berry fatted Blackbear. My question to those of you who hunt bear in alpine areas, how do you get into the back country and do you have any run ins with hikers? Please share your experiences both good and bad to get perspective on access and egress.
Born to hunt, forced to work

Offline Skyvalhunter

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 05:26:29 AM »
Not necessarily will the bears be high during that time frame(early in the season). Most of the time when the season opens we are in a long dry spell. A lot of times the bears are down low feeding along the creeks and rivers where it is cool and the greens are lush. Remember berries that is huckleberries don't ripen until after first part of Sept. The blackberries ripen in July and most times those are lower elevation also. In wa with the high density of people the hikers are going to be out there. Just be cordial and you shouldn't have any issues with them

Offline saylean

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2017, 09:44:26 AM »
I've had plenty of run ins with hikers (most have been good). I always step to the side (cause there is usually a group or two or more), smile, let them pass and maybe discuss what I am after out there. Lots of people have no idea there "are bears in the area"! Ive even been glassing bear on the trail, people ask what I am looking at and I show them through the scope, they love it. I've shared some of my bear summer sausage with people while on the trail, they enjoyed it.

Try to be an ambassador for hunting, after all, I think hikers (who don't hunt) and hunters have a lot in common.
Author of "No Bait Just Bears" and "The Ultimate Guide To Black Bear Hunting". Follow on Instagram: bozeandbears.

Offline Machias

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 04:10:28 PM »
Try to be an ambassador for hunting, after all, I think hikers (who don't hunt) and hunters have a lot in common.

 :yeah:
Fred Moyer


History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid.

Offline jamesfromseattle

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 04:52:23 PM »
Wholeheartedly agree.  Every run in with a hiker is an opportunity to give hunting some good PR.

Offline GBoyd

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 09:40:14 PM »
Lately I've started going pretty far out of my way to avoid the hikers. I get what the guys above are saying and I think they're right, but for whatever reason hikers seem to hate me when I'm hunting.

I've had people call the police to report poaching twice in the past two years, just because they didn't know the game laws and didn't know it was legal to hunt. More times than I can count I've had people stop me and aggressively inform me that 1) you need a license to hunt 2)you can only hunt during special seasons, 3)this is a National Forest and you can't hunt here anyway.
And I'm not doing anything weird. This is mostly at the trailheads getting ready to hike into the alpine, places that are mentioned on this site frequently.

I don't know what it is, I must just look really ignorant.

Offline Calvin Rayborn

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2017, 09:41:13 PM »
Hikers, good Lord! Most are chill, but get ready to respond to "what are you doing up here" or  "what do you need a gun for, are you hunting?" (as if you are required to give them a reason). I usually screw with 'em "just my insurance policy, you didn't hear about the cougar that dismembered a hiker on this very trail last week?" or something to that nature. If you want, you can attempt to make them feel better in their little comfort zone bubble, try to bring up the importance of hunting, conservation, tradition, frontier spirit, etc, but that usually just digs you deeper into their pit of social justice righteousness. Best to keep moving.  ;)

Offline chiwawadan

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2017, 08:28:38 AM »
Hikers, good Lord! Most are chill, but get ready to respond to "what are you doing up here" or  "what do you need a gun for, are you hunting?" (as if you are required to give them a reason). I usually screw with 'em "just my insurance policy, you didn't hear about the cougar that dismembered a hiker on this very trail last week?" or something to that nature. If you want, you can attempt to make them feel better in their little comfort zone bubble, try to bring up the importance of hunting, conservation, tradition, frontier spirit, etc, but that usually just digs you deeper into their pit of social justice righteousness. Best to keep moving.  ;)

This just encourages me to get out and hunt more... for the chance encounter with a crunchy sjw.

Offline Eric M

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2017, 08:45:59 AM »
Honestly the older I get the less patience I have for questions about what I'm doing. One thing I try to do is beat them to the trailhead. I've been the only rig when I pull in at 3am with a headlamp and the lot is full when I leave. Most people are just curious. There are dingbat in every crowd. I have had people literally boo and hiss. I've traded snacks with people I thought would have hated hunting. You never know. I avoid as many as I can but try to be pleasant when I cant.

Offline Calvin Rayborn

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 08:10:33 PM »
Hikers, good Lord! Most are chill, but get ready to respond to "what are you doing up here" or  "what do you need a gun for, are you hunting?" (as if you are required to give them a reason). I usually screw with 'em "just my insurance policy, you didn't hear about the cougar that dismembered a hiker on this very trail last week?" or something to that nature. If you want, you can attempt to make them feel better in their little comfort zone bubble, try to bring up the importance of hunting, conservation, tradition, frontier spirit, etc, but that usually just digs you deeper into their pit of social justice righteousness. Best to keep moving.  ;)

This just encourages me to get out and hunt more... for the chance encounter with a crunchy sjw.

 :chuckle: :chuckle:

Offline jackelope

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2017, 08:48:03 PM »
Hikers, good Lord! Most are chill, but get ready to respond to "what are you doing up here" or  "what do you need a gun for, are you hunting?" (as if you are required to give them a reason). I usually screw with 'em "just my insurance policy, you didn't hear about the cougar that dismembered a hiker on this very trail last week?" or something to that nature. If you want, you can attempt to make them feel better in their little comfort zone bubble, try to bring up the importance of hunting, conservation, tradition, frontier spirit, etc, but that usually just digs you deeper into their pit of social justice righteousness. Best to keep moving.  ;)

Not sure why you’d feel the need to worsen their image of hunters by doing stuff like this but whatever.
I spent a lot of time last summer in hiker central with either a rifle and/or a spotting scope on my back with zero issue. Everyone was friendly as was I in return. I didn’t talk in much detail about what I was doing but 1 time when FTF and I(with rifle) ran into a couple dudes hiking who told us where to find some mountain goats. We found them right where they told us they’d be.
: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

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Offline Timberstalker

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2017, 09:26:28 PM »
Hikers, good Lord! Most are chill, but get ready to respond to "what are you doing up here" or  "what do you need a gun for, are you hunting?" (as if you are required to give them a reason). I usually screw with 'em "just my insurance policy, you didn't hear about the cougar that dismembered a hiker on this very trail last week?" or something to that nature. If you want, you can attempt to make them feel better in their little comfort zone bubble, try to bring up the importance of hunting, conservation, tradition, frontier spirit, etc, but that usually just digs you deeper into their pit of social justice righteousness. Best to keep moving.  ;)

Not sure why you’d feel the need to worsen their image of hunters by doing stuff like this but whatever.
I spent a lot of time last summer in hiker central with either a rifle and/or a spotting scope on my back with zero issue. Everyone was friendly as was I in return. I didn’t talk in much detail about what I was doing but 1 time when FTF and I(with rifle) ran into a couple dudes hiking who told us where to find some mountain goats. We found them right where they told us they’d be.

Well said, Jack.
If you aint hunting, you aint livin'

Offline follow maggie

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2017, 11:06:27 PM »
I’m doing my late season hunting in Kitsap & come across hikers often with my bow & pistol. Don’t have any problems.  I’ve also come across hikers many times In the cascades with a rifle or bow & a pistol and have never had a problem. Usually a set of hellos & small chat while one waits for the other to pass.  Sometimes a conversation about what I’m hunting f maybe some directions to a lake or viewpoint.

Offline Calvin Rayborn

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2017, 09:12:51 AM »
Hikers, good Lord! Most are chill, but get ready to respond to "what are you doing up here" or  "what do you need a gun for, are you hunting?" (as if you are required to give them a reason). I usually screw with 'em "just my insurance policy, you didn't hear about the cougar that dismembered a hiker on this very trail last week?" or something to that nature. If you want, you can attempt to make them feel better in their little comfort zone bubble, try to bring up the importance of hunting, conservation, tradition, frontier spirit, etc, but that usually just digs you deeper into their pit of social justice righteousness. Best to keep moving.  ;)

Not sure why you’d feel the need to worsen their image of hunters by doing stuff like this but whatever.
I spent a lot of time last summer in hiker central with either a rifle and/or a spotting scope on my back with zero issue. Everyone was friendly as was I in return. I didn’t talk in much detail about what I was doing but 1 time when FTF and I(with rifle) ran into a couple dudes hiking who told us where to find some mountain goats. We found them right where they told us they’d be.

Don’t get me wrong I am more than cordial with hikers that are polite and will go the extra mile to return that politeness. I just don’t deal with the ones that obviously have some illogical ingrained eternal hatred for a hunter that's just minding his/her own business. If you continue the conversation with these people it will turn into an argument you can’t win. Throw em a zinger to shut it down and move on!

Offline fillthefreezer

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Re: A question on backcountry bears
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2017, 11:26:33 AM »
in my limited experience, i dont know that one exposure, south facing included has been more productive than the other, enough so to focus on it. find the berries, find the bears. certain exposures may ripen at different points in the season, thats for sure. and certain exposures across the same mountain range may be loaded with berries, where just a few miles away it is barren or already burnt.  :twocents:

 

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