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Author Topic: 49 Degrees North Spring Bear  (Read 1140 times)

Offline Fast Rider

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49 Degrees North Spring Bear
« on: May 19, 2019, 08:50:41 AM »
Well this spring I got lucky a drew a tag for spring bear. So stoked as Iíve helped a few friends here on the west side bag bears. This was back a few years ago when I didnít have any interest in killing a bear. Funny how things change when you get a few on the ground in front of you and see how great the meat is and how awesome the rugs turn out! That, and my wife enjoys eating game as much as I do, maybe more. So now I have this burning desire to harvest a bear. And any reason to get out into the woods and put some top shelf, grade A, locally sourced protein in the freezer gets me fired up!

Anyway, I spent a ton of time researching in anticipation of the hunt. Between aerial scouting and reading online articles on here and other forums, I was pumped to get in the woods. I made the trip out to hunt May 7-12th. During those days the sun was burning bright and highs were well into the 80s. I hit it hard in the early morning and late evening hours, and then I would scout during the heat of the day. I covered a ton of ground both on foot and in my rig. I hit varying elevations looking to find bear sign in the fresh green-up. I really saw very little sign, to the point that it was discouraging. Luckily I was seeing deer, turkeys, elk, and moose to keep the spirits up.

I spoke with several people who were excited for me drawing the tag, saying there are a ton of bears in that unit. So Iím looking to see if anyone has any advice on hunting this unit? Maybe you hunted that same week, or in similar weather conditions and have seen little movement during those times as well? I plan on working in some calling on my next trip out. Looking to head out for the second half of this week, hoping that a little cooler weather may have them out in more open areas.

Feel free to pm if youíd prefer.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 09:52:37 AM by Fast Rider »

Offline Vmascorro89

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Re: 49 Degrees North Spring Bear
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2019, 09:22:47 PM »
I drew the same unit, was up there for this last weekend and didn't see anything but rain and ticks. Good luck on ur next trip out. Hopefully I get a chance to go back out B4 the season closes.

Offline HillHound

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Re: 49 Degrees North Spring Bear
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2019, 04:22:15 PM »
Just keep at it. You canít shoot em from the couch. If you canít find fresh sign at least get to the areas you have a good vantage point. Sit and watch those huge clearcuts and burns they will make a mistake sooner or later. In my experience I see less movement in the morning since they are laying up after being out all night. Late afternoon to early evening is when I have shot all of my bears.

Offline Rob

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Re: 49 Degrees North Spring Bear
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2019, 03:15:47 PM »
I hear you!  My buddy and I drew Sherman.  We made a mid-April scouting trip and an early May scouting trip (I bumped a sow with 3 cubs on that trip). 

Last week we hit the unit HARD.  7 back to back days of hunting.  up at dawn, back to camp at dark.  Every day I walked at least 6 miles and as many as 15 and picked up a minimum of 1500 feet in elevation gain daily (usually a lot more).  We tried calling at least 2 times a day at different locations (FoxPro call with fawn bleats mostly but also rabbit distress - 45 to 60 min per call set).  I put 625 miles on the truck that week alone - mostly on dirt roads covering good looking areas.  (That does not count the drive distance from home to Kettle falls - that puts me over 1,200 for last week!).  I estimate we had 90 hours in the field last week, and another 40 from the two prior trips.

My buddy did get a shot at a bear (huge thanks to @Tracker0721 for putting us in a spot to get a shot - and taking time out of his busy schedule to go out with us!) but buck fever overwhelmed him and he pulled the shot (clean miss thank goodness!).  Tracker0721 saw a second bear in the area but we left that one when we heard the shot my buddy made.

My buddy saw one bear on Friday last week 900 yards out that we put a stalk on and failed to find.

Saw lots of bear scat, a couple moose, tons of deer, many turkey and we were given heart attacks by more than one grouse.

Other than the sow with cubs on the prior trip I did not see any bear.  Not complaining - hunting is about more than making a shot.  But with 130 hours of field time I thought we would lay eyes on more bruin! 


Oh...  As for the ticks, neither of us returned to camp or home with a single tick!  That permethrin stuff really works!

_______________________________________
Sit tall in the saddle, hold you head up high.
Keep your eyes fixed on where the trail meets the sky.
Live like you ainít afraid to die.
Just sit back and enjoy your ride
  - Chris Ledoux

Offline CAMPMEAT

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Re: 49 Degrees North Spring Bear
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2019, 03:47:19 PM »
Hey Rob, my ranching friend saw 9 bears yesterday up Lone Ranch Rd on the Northfork out of Danville ..........
I couldn't care less about what anybody says..............

Offline Rob

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Re: 49 Degrees North Spring Bear
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2019, 09:41:18 PM »
I hate your rancher friend!!

Kidding of course.  Really appreciate the tip and will look into that area.  We will be back on Saturday!
_______________________________________
Sit tall in the saddle, hold you head up high.
Keep your eyes fixed on where the trail meets the sky.
Live like you ainít afraid to die.
Just sit back and enjoy your ride
  - Chris Ledoux

Offline Rob

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Re: 49 Degrees North Spring Bear
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2019, 10:34:43 PM »
Thanks!  I see his place on Onx!
_______________________________________
Sit tall in the saddle, hold you head up high.
Keep your eyes fixed on where the trail meets the sky.
Live like you ainít afraid to die.
Just sit back and enjoy your ride
  - Chris Ledoux

Offline Fast Rider

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Re: 49 Degrees North Spring Bear
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2019, 01:21:27 AM »
Ha..usually Iím the one telling people you canít shoot them from home! I appreciate the info guys.

Rob, your methods and time in the woods sounds very similar to mine. Iíve made some calling stands with no luck. I have seen lots of deer, moose, and elk. Iíve seen evidence that some have fawns/calves on the ground, but did see a pregnant cow moose on this last trip. With everyone commenting about how recruitment rates are so low and the bear population is so high, I certainly had higher expectations than what Iím seeing. Iíve literally seen more Mountain lions (2) than bear (0), heck even more cats than piles of bear scat (1).. Wish the quota hadnít been met..had a good shot opportunity at one of them.

I also understand how the forums tend to flow. This topic was my first post and I get how that looks. Im relatively new to WA and was directed here by a member on another forum. Iím not a newbie hunter nor a slouch who heater hunts with a silver bullet in my hand looking for a tip on bagging a bear with little effort. Iím young (30), hunting solo and hunting hard. Iím covering a lot of ground on foot and plan to continue to, but maybe now a little less since the next trip out will be my last, during the final week of the season. Less time walking, more time glassing. I was hoping to find a spot with a fair amount of sign before I started committing so much time to an area but thatís hunting.

Rob..those areas where you guys saw those bears..south facing slopes? What was your elevation? What was the vegetation like? Was it in a logging unit? If so, approximate how old?

Offline Rob

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Re: 49 Degrees North Spring Bear
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 08:08:49 AM »
If you see a White F350 super duty extended cab with a shell prowling around this weekend in Sherman flash your lights and we can chat in person (sounds like we are in different units though)!

Have had three bear sightings
1.  3 cubs and a sow were in trees/brush at 3400 feet on a SE slope
2.  1 larger boar was in very old clearcut or an old burn on an east slope at 2200 feet
3.  One my buddy shot at was on a western grassy slope at 2300 feet. 

We have seen a lot of sign - much of it quite fresh.  Just a matter of getting some good luck on our side!

Best of luck to you as well!
_______________________________________
Sit tall in the saddle, hold you head up high.
Keep your eyes fixed on where the trail meets the sky.
Live like you ainít afraid to die.
Just sit back and enjoy your ride
  - Chris Ledoux

 


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