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Author Topic: Idaho spring bear advice  (Read 866 times)

Offline Tracker0721

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Idaho spring bear advice
« on: January 05, 2020, 09:27:57 PM »
So I wanna hunt a reduced fee unit and I decided to just have my girlfriend choose a number and weíd see how it goes. She chose 4 so Iím looking at spring bear unit 4-4a. Iím also thinking late may or the start of June? Iíll be doing some scouting trips myself but for now Is that a good unit to be considering? Anyone else hunt there and have any advice? Iíve never done a backcountry hunt but 3 buddies also wanna go and try the hike in and hunt idea. Or should I look to one of the other units? Could we get in to that area earlier? Any tips or advice would be appreciated!
May my presence go unnoticed, may my shot be true, may the blood trail be short.

Amen

Offline buglebuster

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Re: Idaho spring bear advice
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2020, 09:34:30 PM »
We did it a couple years ago. Donít think I will be doing it again. We were in some absolutly beautiful area with decent glassing spots. The problem is, most of it itís heavily timbered in those units and the bears donít like to use them due to hunting pressure. We saw countless trucks driving the roads everyday with hounds in the back, and lots of trucks driving around with their bait setups in the back. From what I gathered is the bears arenít in the open feeding due to all the baits everywhere, and the hound guys have them really skittish and away from any roads. We hiked into some really good looking country but it was void of bears I think due to my previous statements. If you are going to put in the effort, I suggest you run baits and put in a lot of time over there to be successful.

Offline jrebel

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Re: Idaho spring bear advice
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2020, 09:52:31 PM »
We did it a couple years ago. Donít think I will be doing it again. We were in some absolutly beautiful area with decent glassing spots. The problem is, most of it itís heavily timbered in those units and the bears donít like to use them due to hunting pressure. We saw countless trucks driving the roads everyday with hounds in the back, and lots of trucks driving around with their bait setups in the back. From what I gathered is the bears arenít in the open feeding due to all the baits everywhere, and the hound guys have them really skittish and away from any roads. We hiked into some really good looking country but it was void of bears I think due to my previous statements. If you are going to put in the effort, I suggest you run baits and put in a lot of time over there to be successful.

Very similar experience with us too.  There was a 4-5 mile portion of road with 8-10 baits on it.  Every spur road with a gate had a bait on it.  The local stop and shop said everyone was killing small bears off the baits and he hadn't seen any with any size.  I imagine getting away from people is the key.....find an area that does not have 10,000 baits and you will find a good spot and stalk area.  If I do it again, I will be setting up a bait.   :tup:

Offline huntnnw

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Re: Idaho spring bear advice
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2020, 11:45:49 PM »
that time of year is perfect earlier  its spotty at best. Id bait in those units like mentioned above.

Offline Jpmiller

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Re: Idaho spring bear advice
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2020, 06:43:21 AM »
I've got a trip planned with a buddy and our families to Stanley in mid May. We had talked about buying bear tags and spending a.day or two looking for one, is central Idaho the same way with hounds and bait being really prevalent?

Offline cbond3318

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Re: Idaho spring bear advice
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2020, 07:38:34 AM »
The bears get hammered in 3,4 and 4a. If you want to spot and stalk spring bears away from hounds and Bait, head north into unit 1. All of those units require strong legs and big lungs to get away from people.
Just tend your own and live.

Offline Tracker0721

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Re: Idaho spring bear advice
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2020, 07:55:59 AM »
Well I was looking at reduced fee areas and we want spot and stalk opportunities. I see some areas in 4 that pop up as roadless areas on OnX. Would just finding those roadless areas be good? Doubt baiters or houndsman get much over a mile from a road. Or are any of the other reduced fee units better for spot and stalk? My buddies would be flying in from around the US so we just wanted a cheap fun lunch busting spring hunt.
May my presence go unnoticed, may my shot be true, may the blood trail be short.

Amen

Offline cbond3318

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Re: Idaho spring bear advice
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2020, 08:47:56 AM »
Well I was looking at reduced fee areas and we want spot and stalk opportunities. I see some areas in 4 that pop up as roadless areas on OnX. Would just finding those roadless areas be good? Doubt baiters or houndsman get much over a mile from a road. Or are any of the other reduced fee units better for spot and stalk? My buddies would be flying in from around the US so we just wanted a cheap fun lunch busting spring hunt.

Thatís what I would I do if I were set on those units. I have spent the last 2 yrs off trail in the south end of 4 and all of 3. It is astonishing the lack of bear sign Iíve noted. As others have said what bears are there get swallowed up by the numerous bait sites and then the hounds run the rest. Iím sure you can find some success by working hard in the areas youíve looked at and youíre guaranteed to have fun doing it with a group of good buddies!  :tup:

In all honesty , I have one spot in south 4 that I will be checking in May, then Iím bailing on those units.
Just tend your own and live.

Offline buglebuster

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Re: Idaho spring bear advice
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2020, 10:28:34 AM »
Honestly, if theyíre already flying in and spending that kind of money they should just spend the extra $140 and hunt a regular priced area off the snake or salmon rivers, where the bear populations are much better and have awesome spot and stalk opportunities.

Offline idaho guy

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Re: Idaho spring bear advice
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2020, 12:31:19 PM »
I've got a trip planned with a buddy and our families to Stanley in mid May. We had talked about buying bear tags and spending a.day or two looking for one, is central Idaho the same way with hounds and bait being really prevalent?

no -get away from roads /trails and you will have few hounds down there

Offline idaho guy

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Re: Idaho spring bear advice
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2020, 12:39:56 PM »
If you want to hike in and do a backcountry hunt explore the central Idaho units they are reduced fee.You should run into no houndsmen and baits, if you go a ways, will be non existent. There is basically no backcountry in 4 even the roadless areas you can get dirt bikes in most places. Houndsmen do get waaay more than a mile from the road but its never by choice they are just following dogs  :chuckle: speaking from experience. I run hounds and quit hunting 4 for the most part because there was too many houndsmen. Its bad

Offline Huntin Hounds

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Re: Idaho spring bear advice
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2020, 11:20:03 AM »
I've been running bears and baiting for many years in unit 4. It's always been my favorite place to hunt but IDFG has ruined the bear hunting in the unit. Between the lengthened seasons, 2 bear limit and reduced tag prices the bear population has tanked. The last few years I have been lucky to have 2-3 bears hit a bait and last year only had 1 bear worthy of shooting and he was only there one night following a sow. Never touched the bait. The rest are 100-150 lbs tops with most closer to 100. The unit is so close to the freeway it just gets tons of pressure and everyone keeps shooting little bears to "do their part to save the elk".

That said if I was looking to have a good spot and stock hunt I would look toward unit 1. It has the highest bear density in the state, no bait and hounds are only used in part of the unit in the fall. Units 6 and 7 are not bad and have areas you can get away from roads. They also are far enough out of the way most people won't spend the time to bait them consistently. My son and I camped and did some alpine fishing in unit 9 last summer. I did not see any sign of bears or many other critters.

Early June is your best bet but really just depends on the snow melt. I've had years where I could get just about anywhere in the beginning of May. I had one year I camped up the CDA river and had over a foot of snow in my camp the first week of June and I was camped in the creek bottom.

Offline Jimmy33

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Re: Idaho spring bear advice
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2020, 10:30:45 PM »
I've been running bears and baiting for many years in unit 4. It's always been my favorite place to hunt but IDFG has ruined the bear hunting in the unit. Between the lengthened seasons, 2 bear limit and reduced tag prices the bear population has tanked. The last few years I have been lucky to have 2-3 bears hit a bait and last year only had 1 bear worthy of shooting and he was only there one night following a sow. Never touched the bait. The rest are 100-150 lbs tops with most closer to 100. The unit is so close to the freeway it just gets tons of pressure and everyone keeps shooting little bears to "do their part to save the elk".

That said if I was looking to have a good spot and stock hunt I would look toward unit 1. It has the highest bear density in the state, no bait and hounds are only used in part of the unit in the fall. Units 6 and 7 are not bad and have areas you can get away from roads. They also are far enough out of the way most people won't spend the time to bait them consistently. My son and I camped and did some alpine fishing in unit 9 last summer. I did not see any sign of bears or many other critters.

Early June is your best bet but really just depends on the snow melt. I've had years where I could get just about anywhere in the beginning of May. I had one year I camped up the CDA river and had over a foot of snow in my camp the first week of June and I was camped in the creek bottom.
No bears in unit 1


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