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Author Topic: Non-berry food sources to look for?  (Read 370 times)

Offline yakimanoob

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Non-berry food sources to look for?
« on: September 11, 2019, 08:58:25 PM »
Hey folks! 

I supposed my first official hunt of the year was this afternoon.  A half-hearted attempt to be sure (basically just picked a derelict forest road to patrol) and I didn't see any bears or sign.  Naturally, a rather hefty bear ran across the freaking road on the drive out, but I never got another look at it. 

Anyway, here's my question: do y'all have any tips for finding bears this time of year when there aren't berries?  I'll probably keep finding berries as my standard strategy, but I keep seeing bears (usually on camera or running in front of the truck like tonight) in areas that are very low on berry production, and the scats I see sometimes hardly have a berry in them.  In fact, it's hard for me to tell what they're eating a lot of time because the scats just look like pasty poo. 

So I know they're around -- but what are they eating?

The areas in question are mixed open/timber around the Yakima area, either too far east or too low for the berry loads bear hunting is famous for. 

Offline Naches Sportsman

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Re: Non-berry food sources to look for?
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 09:22:42 PM »
If you're still hunting the area you were a few years ago that I ran into you in, look for elderberries, choke cherries, and oak trees.

Find the water and locate tracks near there. They like hanging out near creeks.

Bears like ants and slugs this time of year so if you see a rock or a log ut of place, it was probably from a bear.

Also they're ripping stumps up like crazy this time of year like in the picture attached.

Offline KFhunter

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Re: Non-berry food sources to look for?
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 09:28:26 PM »
bears are moving higher chasing berries or hitting old homestead orchards now

Offline Pete112288

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Re: Non-berry food sources to look for?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2019, 03:13:11 AM »
What Naches Sportsman said. I am in an area with a pretty healthy amount of berries. But still, the main souce of sign I am finding is not berry seed filled scat or berries that have been eaten off. Most of it is torn open stumps and logs crawling with ants like crazy. Between that and torn open yellow jacket nests in the grounds and logs. I cant seem to go more than a couple hundred yards in my area without finding another one of those little nests of vermin flying in my face.

Offline lastmk8

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Re: Non-berry food sources to look for?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2019, 07:59:50 AM »
I think I got it,......

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Non-berry food sources to look for?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2019, 08:02:25 AM »
Thanks folks.  Trying to turn this into practical strategy advice -- seems like if I'm seeing sign in areas without berries, it might be a good bet to glass from a point where I can see a water source and a few hillsides where I've seen sign, and go from there?

@naches_sportsman the area I was in yesterday is very similar to where we ran into each other, just a little more open and less berries around.  I'll probably go back to that spot you're talking about this weekend, actually.  Wish me luck  :tup:

Offline Okanagan

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Re: Non-berry food sources to look for?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2019, 08:27:55 AM »
I've found bears in spring by listening quietly on a likely mountainside, and hearing a bear working rotten wood or flipping over rocks as he looked for ants and bugs.  The log tearing is not as violent as I expected.  Often the bear uses its claw tips to peel bark off of a rotten log or peel layers of rotten wood, going through the soft wood systematically rather than bashing it open in one big blow.  The rock flipping is also pretty quiet, with a clink of stone every minute or so, depending on how mossy or soft the ground is on a hillside littered with softball to football sized rocks. 

Re berries and bugs:  I was surprised last year when picking the little Cascade blackberries to find that a bear no more than an hour ahead of me had stopped eating berries to tear open a couple of logs and dig out an ant colony in the ground.  My guess is that ants have MUCH higher food value than berries... or maybe he was full of berries and just wanted to eat something else.

 

 


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