Some of my favorite threads on this forum have been of guys bear hunts. It's actually one of the reasons I started putting in for bear last year. I hope this thread can be similar and give updates of my hunt as is progresses.
It has been a crazy few weeks! I got a call from the DWR a little over three weeks ago stating someone turned in a Fall bear bear tag and asked if I wanted it. I've heard of other people getting these calls, but up until now I thought they were just fairy tales. I told the nice lady of course I wanted the tag! As the excitement set in I immediately started to research bear hunting and looking at old threads on this forum. Excitement quicky turned to panic as realized I had a very steep learning curve as I had never hunted bear. I also realized this was going to be a ton of work.
The hunt started in three weeks and I needed to find a couple of good spots for bait sites, obtain bait, get paper work filled out, and get bait set out. All this and I had a week long family vacation already scheduled in all of that as well. Yikes!!
Fast forward to today. It's the first day of the hunt. I have one bait site already set-up and have bears hitting it almost daily. No sightings today, but I feel like it's just a matter of time. I don't know if I'll even be able to get the other bait site set-up as there are 4-5 different bears hitting the site I already have going. I don't know if I can pack 50lbs of bait up or down another hill to feed more bears. We'll see how the next couple of weeks go to see if I even get it set-up.
I couldn't have done all this without some big help from family, friends, and a lot of you on this forum. Thank you so much for all of you that have offered help!!! A big thank you to AFCYN! He has provided a ton of help!
As soon as I get my trail cam pics downloaded I'll post some of those. I need some help judging bears. I think a couple of them are pretty good. I didn't get many other pics today, but I'll start getting some more pics to hopefully make this a fun thread to follow.
I have a Wasatch West bear tag. Here are a few pics from my trail cam. I have had one sow with 2 cubs hit the bait, but the rest have come in alone. Do they look like boars to you? Shooters? There are at least two bears I would be more than happy to get. Any feedback is much appreciated!
Friday and Saturday I took my oldest boy hunting with me. Friday night we hiked in and dropped off more grain/molasses, syrup, and did a honey burn at the bait site. We were both a little nervous dropping the stuff off as we new there had bears there just a few hours earlier. The trail cam caught a few pics of us restocking the bait (see pic 1&2).
Friday night we slept under the stars. I think it was the first time my 8 year old had ever done that. It was great to spend time with him and point out some of the constellations I knew. I was excited for the hunt to start the next day.
We made it to our look-out spot about 8 a.m. And then we sat and sat and sat and sat. Bear hunting takes a lot of patience. We made it until just after 2 pm. I had pushed my boy about as far as I could, and the sun was beating down on us. We didn't see any bears, but when I checked my camera on Tuesday I saw a nice sow and cub that would have given us a nice show if we could have made it until evening (see pic 3&4).
The next time I was able to make it up was Tuesday for an evening hunt. My Dad was able rearrange his schedule so he could join me for the evening. We started by hiking down to the bait site and restocking it with dog food, syrup, bacon grease, donuts, cantaloupe, and anything else I could scrounge from the pantry/freezer that needed to be cleaned out. We jumped a bear that was bedded down right at the bait site. It was a smaller bear, but it definitely got the blood pumping and was a good sign. After we restocked the bait we hiked to our look-out spot and waited.
A little after 8 pm we were both starting to pack up to leave. My Dad looks down one more time to check the bait site and I hear him say there's a bear! We didn't have as much time as we would have hoped to look the bear over as we were quickly running out of shooting light. It had come in alone and appeared to be a boar as best we could tell. It looked like it had a chocolate coat and I thought it was the big boar that I had pictures of. I took the first shot and he went down hard, but looked like he was going to try and get up again. I was probably a little excited and also scared to chase a wounded bear into the bush at night, so I sent two more insurance rounds his way.
I couldn't believe it! Did I really just get my first bear? Did this really all just come together in less than a month?
After a few high fives we made our way down to the bear and approached with caution. He was down for good. My first shot hammered him through the front shoulder. I really didn't need the insurance shots, but I guess that's what happens when you're excited/scared. I also realized he wasn't the big boar I had pictures of, but he was a good boar none the less. I am so glad I was able to share this memory with my Dad. He's 60 years old and still helping me pack critters off the mountain! I hope I can do the same for my kids when I'm that old.
I couldn't have done it without friends, family, and help from many of you on the forum. Thank you so much!!! I thought this would be another bear thread that went on for weeks and kept people on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens. Oh well, I can't complain. It was a great hunt!!
I was using my 30-06. We were on a hill above the bait site about 150 yards away. If/when I get to hunt bears again I would want to use a tree stand or blind and get closer to the bears. I had a friend that was going to let me borrow his tree stands, but I didn't get the chance to get them out.
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