B Zone?

Zanglo

Member
.25 bears per square mile was a pretty bleak promise but after a few months of planning I was pretty excited for D14 bear. Went there the day before the opener and stayed until Sunday afternoon. Saw tons of deer tracks but no deer, and after all the walking and lots of help from you all I finally did find a week old pile of bear scat. You all were so helpful for this trip I’m hoping you guys can give me some pointers for this next one. I see the seasons already been open for a few weeks there, and the states Bear count is at 431 right now so hopefully you guys have some success stories and don’t mind giving me a shove in the right direction. Thanks in advance!
 

dthome

Well-known member
I’ve hunted bears in northern B zones, and you’ll find much more sign than where you’ve been hunting. Mendocino National Forest has many bears. Here’s my strategy wherever I go: drive the secondary roads until you find ripe berries (choke cherries, manzanita berries, black berries) or bear scat. If you find fresh bear scat, you should target that area in the morning and afternoon/evening. Position yourself at a vantage and wait. Or wait nearby an obvious gametrail that is an access point. Watch your wind. Fresh bear scat will not be crusted over, but even week old scat is a good indicator. In my experience, bears will drop scat after they’re done feeding, so that is where they exit an area. Exit areas are good for morning hunts, but sometimes they enter and exit at the same place.

If you find a good berry patch without obvious scat, investigate thoroughly. Inspect the berry patches for access areas. Look for prints and scat. If you don’t find any, move on to the next location, but recheck the area in a few days.

You’ll be encouraged with the sign you see in B zones, and spend as much time out there as you can. It usually takes me over a week to have an opportunity at a bear, and I know my areas well. Try to adopt a long view of success: your efforts this year will increase your knowledge for next year and the year after. Soon, you’ll have a number of spots where you know bears frequent, and you can set up camp and go straight to your honey holes.
Good luck, and report back!
 

Zanglo

Member
Thank you! That’s awesome advice and I appreciate you taking the time to get back to me. I plan on going a few weeks before thanksgiving and spending a week or so there before going home to Washington/Idaho for the holidays. I will definitely get back to you no matter what I see.
 

dthome

Well-known member
Well, the choke cherries are gone in my area, but the manzanita berries are a bear magnet right now. Not sure what will remain in a few weeks. You might need to target acorns. But here’s some pics of scat along the road and the berries I’m talking about. I also installed a trail camera near this area last night, and these are the pics.

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Bankrunner

Well-known member
Nice posts dthome, good insight into bear behavior.
I can give a second on the manzanita berries as of two days ago they were plentiful and ripe at around 5k. Not to be allusive but around 5k will depend on sun and moisture, I saw ripe and over ripe berries in a small area with varying sun/moisture.
Also bear sign ranges wildly, they have large paws that act like moccasins and leave a very light track in most cases. Most noticed sign is torn up logs, torn up stumps, scat, and tracks in soft ground. Off the beaten path you can find bear paths in cover with foot prints placed in the same spot that leave deep imprints in the duff and if your lucky a bed or two.
 

Zanglo

Member
Awesome thank you guys for your help! I’ll check it out. I plan on going for 5 days or so around mid November. I just spent a few more days in D14 east of big bear at about 8000. Didn’t see much bear sign but still the deer scat is plentiful and fresh. That’s pretty cool you got that cat on trail cam!
 

Deluded

Member
DTHOME thank you for sharing friend. While I don’t bear hunt, I kinda wish I did, it’s nice to live vicariously through others!
 


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