Bear Hunting in D14 tips/advice

MariotheBarber

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Hey guys. Was wondering if you guys had any tips or advice about bear hunting here in D14. Im not looking for anyones secret spots or anything, but I got some topographic maps of the San Bernadino National Forest and was wondering if you guys had any pointers on what would be some good general areas to check out? I'll mostly be hunting with a .308 Remington, unless I can pick up a cheap decent compound bow before archery season opens. I'll be hunting with a buddy who has taken bears up north before, but not down here. Im guessing the best method would be to find a nice ridge and start glassing, then see if I can sneak in close enough for a shot. Im also thinking scent control is very important, so I'll have to store my camo in sealed bags... Anyone know any spots worth checking out around like Big Bear? Thanks in advance for any tips and advice
 

OPAH

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I'm your huckleberry! I will PM you a sweet spot where I took a bear, not Hunting D-14 tis coming year, BUT If it pans out I get a chunk of meat right?
 

MariotheBarber

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Interesting article... OPAH, of course, Ive never had bear meat but Im itching to try it ;)
 

Bubblehide

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Try all the swimming pools you can find, they love hanging out in them. On a more serious note, Start with scouting, covering as much ground as you can, looking for tracks and scat. That will tell you how many bears are working an area. From there, you can follow the tracks best you can, and get a good idea on the areas they prefer, the food they are eating... But in short, you'll find the most bears in riparian areas; water is a key factor with bears.
 

Revo2811

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Look for the berries in that area d-14 is full of them around July -October . Like bubble said areas around water. Get out ther early and listen for trees being beat up those bears can be loud. If your not sure where exactly to look drive up a road very slowly and look for tracks good luck


Man of few words
 

MariotheBarber

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I've read somewhere on here to look for Manzania (I think) berries, that the bears like them? Also, when archery hunting for bear, no sidearms allowed right? I'd hate to hit a bear with a arrow and have to fight him off with a Ka-Bar hahaha..
 

OPAH

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Ka-Bar or Bowie That's all you have Brother, and Remember you can cut Its heart out and It has 5 minutes of blood In Its system to maul you before It dies!
 

MariotheBarber

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Ahhh okay, I didnt know those were called riparian areas but I've seen those before...
 

Wild1

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I'm no expert, but I have taken a bear, with a bow, in each of the last four years. My strategy(s) are similar to those above, with some exceptions:

1. I don't get hung up on "berries", sure they like them, but they NEED water (and they'll eat almost anything). Find a year-round water source far away from people (are you willing to hikes miles...?).

2. Glassing is a great idea, but pre-season scouting (and lots of it), is an even better idea.

3. Use trail cameras, the more the better. Not only do you have to find a bear, but you have to pattern it - especially if you're bow hunting.

4. Unless you've bow hunted before, you might want to think twice about that - it's a lot different that rifle hunting.

5. Know the kill zone, it's different than deer.

6. Have a plan for recovering and getting the bear out - they're big and heavy (and you don't want to waste the meat).

7. Familiarize yourself with the F/G rules and regulations, in regards to bears (they're unique).

Good luck and keep us posted!
 
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MariotheBarber

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Thanks Wild1, I've never bow hunted before and seeing as you've taken bears with a bow, any advice on that? Id imagine Im gonna need some heavy-duty broadheads and a LOT of practice..
 

Wild1

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You don't really need a heavy-duty broadhead, bears are soft skinned, and although they have a thick, hairy hide, if you hit 'em in the right place, they'll die. Lots of guys use mechanical heads, I use a fixed blade (stick trick), but either way, it should be sharp! More important is shot placement! Practice for sure, and just know where to put the arrow.
 

MariotheBarber

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Yeah I was leaning more toward a fixed blade broadhead, I've found a couple cheaper compound bows that look like they might do the job. How far away were your shots from?
 

Where's Bruce?

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best way to kill a bear is to be hunting for something else. Never see em when you're hunting em, can't stop seeing em when you're hunting something else.
 

Revo2811

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best way to kill a bear is to be hunting for something else. Never see em when you're hunting em, can't stop seeing em when you're hunting something else.
Tru dat^^^^^^^
 
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solus

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Lol ive always found bears in the higher elevations. Not saying they go down to the foothills but usually ive seen them on saddles or climbing up to saddles. They do like berries but they also love pinion pines. Your best bet is to hunt them like you would hunt deer.
 

Wild1

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Barber -

My shots have all been inside of 40 yards, that's why bowhunting is a lot different than rifle hunting. Like most guys hunting bears, I glass a lot, and I've have seen lots of bears from (rifle) distance and a few at questionable bow distances (60+ yards) and I always try to get closer - most of the time unsuccessfully....lol. Bears can go a long way wounded, and that whole scenario bothers me so I try to get within 40/50 yards (and I'd like to think I'm a good shot with a bow).

Are you saying you've never bow hunted....?
 

OPAH

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Mario: I would advise you to hook up with an experienced bear Hunting Bowman first, Bears can be vicious, put an arrow thru there heart and the still have plenty of time to maul you. No Firearms are allowed at all, Camo, scent control are vital and I will tell you every Bear Hunter, Warden or Ranger will scream DO NOT WOUND A BEAR!!!! YOU KILL IT!!!! Make sure your shot placement is great. Make sure You're great with your Bow to at least 50 yards, Apple Valley? you have a huge Back yard Yes? Get six or so Hay Bales, Build a wall you will be very much surprised at what arrows can do and go when you are starting out. Start at 10 or 20 yards and work your way back to 50 or 60
 


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