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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought I would share my experience with my recent spot and stalk hunt for Black Bear on the La Sal Unit.

Turned out being tougher than I had hoped for even knowing the low success rate. I am somewhat familiar with the unit and was hopeful to have 3-4 bears to choose from. Not so! Turned out to being a very frustrating, but rewarding hunt. Saw a ton of wildlife, just not bears.

We scouted for a couple days toward the end of August and saw three bears in a 24 hour span. Had been in contact with a few hunters that were hunting limited entry hunts there who were seeing bears frequently there. Then, everything changed and the bears simply just disappeared! Spent a week there for the muzzle load deer hunt with the main objective to find bears. Couldn't find any bears at all, and very little sign. As we got closer to the spot and stalk hunt, the sightings of bear continued to decrease as did bear sign. This is very unusual for this area for those who are not familiar with it. Finally made it down there this last Tuesday and began my hunt.

There was definitely evidence of bears in a few areas, but for some reason, they were not coming out of cover. And not as much sign or evidence as what we normally see this time of year.

After several hikes, and a lot of miles, glassing countless lonely cows at hundreds of yards, frustration began to set in. Still, kept our hopes high. Decided we'd try some other areas that we'd been told of that may have a bear in the area. After spending time in these areas, and seeing a ton of deer, and more cows, we decided to make our way back towards camp so we could drive through an area we'd seen bears earlier in the year. As luck would have it, finally found one and was able to get within 50 yards before putting it down. Ended up being one tough bear! It had been in the pinion pines eating up the pine nuts that were all over the ground. Pulled a few out of its paws.

What an adrenaline rush this was. After putting a couple 7mm 175 grain rounds in it, it still found enough strength to make its way down into some thick cover. Talk about gut wrenching following it in as it began to get dark. Fortunately, it didn't go far and died shortly after.

When the scope was initially on it, I thought it appeared to be a bore. Smaller ears, and spread further apart. Was surprised to find it was a sow. She was huge, and very heavy. Was my first time caping a bear so that was a real treat. Couldn't believe the amount of fat on her. One heavy cape.....

Some interesting things when caping. First, as mentioned, the amount of fat was amazing! Second, my first two shots were placed right behind the front shoulder with devastating results. I can't believe she still fought through that. One tough bear! Second, I found both of those shots embedded into the fat caught by the cape on the other side. What a tough hide!

Amazing experience. Don't think I'll do it again for a long time! Major adrenaline dump following! The pics aren't the best, but enjoy! And in case you are wondering looking at the pics, yes, we hauled her heavy butt up the hill, muscled her into my truck and took her back to camp where we could put her on a tarp I forgot to throw into the truck and caped her where it was flat, I had better light, etc! Glad I did!
 

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Nice bear, what caliber was the gun if you dont mind me asking? I find it amazing 175gr bullets wouldn't completely pass through.


-DallanC
 

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Congrats. I have the points to draw the spot and stalk and have been considering it because we also elk hunt down there. But not sure yet if I want to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am shooting a 7MM. Truthfully, this bears hide was crazy thick. The fat amount was incredible. The cape after done with head and everything I believed weighed more than 100 pounds. I think it was a pretty old sow. Her teeth are worn down pretty good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice bear, what caliber was the gun if you dont mind me asking? I find it amazing 175gr bullets wouldn't completely pass through.

-DallanC
Here's the two I pulled out of the cape. I thought the same thing as you, and was very surprised to find the mushroomed bullets.
 

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Great job on a great bear. Glad to see the kids there too!
 

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Good work! Spot and stalk bear is quite an accomplishment.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Very cool, congrats on the hunt! Maybe my eyes are bad, but is it a brownish-phase bear?
Yeah she's a dark brown. I've seen far more brown (black bears) down there than anything else.

I had her checked out today. They thought off first hand look that she's about 15 years old. This kind of floored me but I knew she was old because her teeth are worn down and missing a few.

Cool experience!
 

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Yeah she's a dark brown. I've seen far more brown (black bears) down there than anything else.

I had her checked out today. They thought off first hand look that she's about 15 years old. This kind of floored me but I knew she was old because her teeth are worn down and missing a few.

Cool experience!
Thanks for the update!
 

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That was a great story. Ive been on a couple of bear hunts down there and I was surprised to read about how they became harder to find. But none the less, you got it done. That is a good bear. I love the color phase. Congratulations. Thanks for sharing...
 

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Great stuff! How much would you guess she would have weighed? I plan on doing the La Sal spot and stalk hunt myself sometime in the next few years and if you don't mind I will probably hit you up for some information. I was looking at using the ol' .30-30 for this hunt, but after reading your account I might have to step it up a notch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have a hard time estimating weight.... Dead weight just seems so much heavier! Then there are no antlers to help move the animal.

I know her cape was over 100 pounds. Pulled probably 50 pounds of guts out. (I missed the part in the proc that said I could leave the carcass)! Oh well! There was a ton of fat that fell out with all the guts too. I would say the carcass weighed between 150 and 200 pounds. So maybe somewhere between 300-350..... I know what the normal sow weighs, but believe me, the girth on this bear was incredible. Was shaped that the old Penguin man on Batman.

Then again, I could be off.... Like I said, I have a hard time estimating weight. She was one greasy animal though!

I'd love to give you some info when you draw this permit. Fun hunt! Did the spike elk hunt ta boot which was also a lot of fun. Saw a ton of cows and calfs.... Unfortunately no spikes, but my hunt ended about 6 days before I had planned. Didn't want to risk the bear cape....
 
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