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D11 Bear?

OPAH

Well-known member
The info is all good, under the circomstances assosiated with each. Bottom line is a bear deserves tons of respect and caution, and the lack of one or the other can get you seriously injured or dead. There should never be a I think its dead or I think I hit it Good, you need to know for sure.
Pumpa enjoy your hunts and be safe, be accurate and be in the I know crowd, not the I think Crowd
 
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Bankrunner

Well-known member
I think you hit the nail on the head, Bankrunner. I tend to hunt “small”. That is, I don’t hunt an entire drainage or hillside. I hunt areas that might be 50 square yards in size, literally. I never take optics with me. They aren’t important with how I hunt. The important part is finding areas that are well used. I know something will come my way if I wait. And inevitably, I hear bears ripping up logs, overturning stones, and breaking berry branches before I see them.
I really like hunting from a stand. Seeing animals up close in their natural state of activity is way cool for me. I am curious as to how much you put into sent control in regards to boots, gear and body odor? Some people don't mess with it all and simply use the wind but I've always tried to keep hunting boots and hunting clothes scent free. This season I've been putting more effort into sent control. It seems to be helping because I've had one bear cross my track and then come down wind of me at close range without smelling me, and both the bucks i saw cut across my tracks without showing any sign of being alarmed. The bear was close (6 yards) and should have smelled me, I don't think so but the wind was very light and may have changed in my favor.
 

dthome

Well-known member
I really like hunting from a stand. Seeing animals up close in their natural state of activity is way cool for me. I am curious as to how much you put into sent control in regards to boots, gear and body odor? Some people don't mess with it all and simply use the wind but I've always tried to keep hunting boots and hunting clothes scent free. This season I've been putting more effort into sent control. It seems to be helping because I've had one bear cross my track and then come down wind of me at close range without smelling me, and both the bucks i saw cut across my tracks without showing any sign of being alarmed. The bear was close (6 yards) and should have smelled me, I don't think so but the wind was very light and may have changed in my favor.
I couldn’t agree more with you, Bankrunner. It is fascinating to watch animals when they are up close and personal. It really adds a whole different dimension to the experience. Regarding scent control, I don’t pay as much attention as I should. It clearly pays off for you. Wind direction is incredibly unpredictable in the Sierras (where I know we both hunt), so I think scent control is a good idea.

I think bears can get distracted with food and forget their surroundings sometimes, which helps the hunter. During this past archery season, I could hear one particular bear feeding in a choke cherry thicket. I was twenty yards away, and couldn’t see him. But I could see branches being pulled down, and could hear him snorting as he was finding the ripe berries. You know the sound: like when a dog clears his nose to get a clean scent. Well, the wind was swirling, and that bear fed for an hour with me standing there. If he had focused on scents beyond the tip of his nose, he would have easily detected me. That’s my hypothesis, anyway. Deer are not nearly as driven by their stomachs, in my experience, which makes wind direction even more critical for them. I’ll likely use a blind this year when deer hunting, because I see no other way of keeping downwind with changing winds in certain areas.

Your 6-yard bear encounter sounds incredible. Why didn’t you stick him with an arrow?
 

OPAH

Well-known member
I have not found an place I felt I could use a stand effectively, so I ussually hunt from Half way up or on top of ridges out of a blind or just really good area matching camo and super scent control. The wind changes constantly or swirls ( i prefer to hunt Bowls)
And I will admit My bear hunting only Happens when I am Deer hunting, If a bear presents its self I tag it.
One of the Sad Truths about California, If you find a decent place for a tree stand and leave it, there is a high probalility that it will be gone when you come to use it OR! some A hole will be setting in it Eating twinkies and seeing how far he can piss from that hight. Really makes you wonder why California dosn't have a higher hunting accident percentage than it does.
 

Bankrunner

Well-known member
Iv'e never hunted bear and didn't have a tag but did draw back on him when he was at about 35 yards for practice. When he got to 7yds he turned and started to creep towards me with his eyes on the gear at my feet (backpack and water bottle). He backed up a step, turned broadside and stopped after i gave him a verbal "meh". It was very cool and I learned that with my bow you don't have to bother with sight pins when they are that close, anyone of the pins would have worked. The bear was probably 2 years old and 100lbs or so. Looking forward to seeing some of your recipes (if you post em), thinking about getting a tag, maybe next season.
Interesting observation on your feeding beer being preoccupied with the berries in his nose. The swirling winds and the thermals on calm days are tough so any advantage is helpful if the situation allows. Great comparison by the way, my lab is laying on the floor next to me.
Most of the deer this season were working into a cross wind (+/- 6mph). The wind was in my face and the deer crossed in front of me. They were also in a fair amount of cover that was thick in spots. Got to thinking about the deer's senses that we all try to beat. By heading into a cross wind their sense of smell is not working for anything in front of them and their vision is being blocked to some degree by the thick vegetation. The wind would also cover some noise, not a lot but some. So if a mountain lion is laying in wait what is the deer relying on to keep it safe? Do they rely on all their senses for anything that's close but also on their reflexes for a quick escape and their ability to bounce over obstacles in their escape route? They may rely on those string ducking reflexes combined with cover for more than just ducking a string, especially when the wind is not in their favor.
I am becoming a fan of scent control when bow hunting from a ground blind. If you want to see some of the scent we carry with us just grab a teaspoon or so of baking soda and a little water to wash the wrist band on your release. Do it in a light colored container so you can see all the crap that comes out. Rinse well.
 

Turas

Active member
I've never got one. But I've heard and not-heard them. The first time I tried to hunt a bear I was backpacking cross-country, alone, deep on public land. I set up ten minutes before dawn on the archery opener with a Mathews, five Slick Tricks, and a wounded rabbit mouth call.

I don't know why it took me so long to doubt the wisdom of that plan. He was like Grendel coming down the mountain. He was hungry, wasn't even trying to be quiet. I could finally hear him huffing the air as he did a half circle around me, behind a brushline. Then I assume he caught a whiff, because suddenly... gone. Not so much as a leaf crunched after that. Came in like a steamroller, left like a ghost. Probably the best bad luck I ever had. I laid there an hour listening, then hotfooted it the hell out of that place.

Lesson learned: bears can be silent. And inviting a bigger, more motivated, far more skilled, and potentially silent predator to tangle, alone, on his turf... no need to tell me now how unwise that was. At least for my skill level. Since then I've assumed the stealthy bear Wild1 describes. I'd only start in a safe(r) place, learn patterns, observe from a distance, mind the wind, and above all, not rush an encounter.

A noisy bruin obliviously passing through would be a gift, and I'd be grateful for a clean shot opportunity if it came up. But I cannot keep the bear who spots me first from slipping away from -- or up on -- me. So I figure that's the one to plan for.
 

Bankrunner

Well-known member
Well that will get the heart pumping. Maybe you'll never do it again but you got one hell of story to remember, I'll bet it'l stay clear in your minds eye forever.
Thanks you sharing!
 


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