In Alaska some years ago with two of my brothers, we spotted a good one on a hill across the river. I oared my brother Steve across and he took off up the hill while I tied down the raft. Steve got a little disoriented and surprised the bear and himself by bouncing it at about 15 yards in some thick cover. The wind swirled and the bear snapped and snarled as he tried to make out the source of his surprise. The bear was facing Steve so he couldn't shoot for a time and was a little concerned he had left without me. The bear finally turned but the arrow missed! Later that same trip we spotted a nice bear walking into a willow patch. We surrounded the patch and Steve again was in the shooters seat - but this time a willow branch deflected the shaft. The bear ran by me at close range and I too missed . . .although I have no excuse. The bear ran out of luck when it stopped in front of our other brother Butch who shot it at about 12 yards. The shaft went through the lungs but the bear simply stood there which allowed Butch to put another arrow through his chest. He died on the spot!
Posts: 69 | From: lincoln, Ne | Registered: Feb 2007
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Many here hit it on the nail on the head. Wind, wind, wind and wind.............
The other thing that works well "sometimes" is calling. I have not had much luck with rabbit calls or fawn bleeds but late May/early June the boars will come to a bear cub call quite willingly. The only thing is, that usually you need a caller and the shooter has to set up off to the side a bid. Some bears come in straight and on a mission to kill and others slower and more sneaky down wind. I only call when I see the bear I am trying to get to come and I will change position after having called so that I and the shooter will be out of the wind as good as possible.
Shot placement: If you get both lungs, they go nowhere. I had them die on the spot and up to 40 yards with a good shot. With a bad shot they can go for a loooong way. They usually leave little to no blood. I use specially trained tracking dogs on the leash to try to find these. Last year I had two that still lived and one was a next day search.
I use a 60# Algoma Packbow and have used carbon express with Silver Flame Broad Heads. But my clients use anything from about 50#'s with wood and a whole assortment of broadheads. Ryan and Bret showed me what snuffers do to a moose and they leave a lot of blood to follow. Defiantly not a bad thing.
Good luck! Michael
-------------------- Smile when hunting ! Posts: 159 | From: Prince George, British Columbia | Registered: Mar 2003
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The 2 times I have tried predator calls it called in the wrong kind of bear>The ones with the big hump on there back and chip on there shoulder.But one thing they both came in like they were on a leash.
Matty, I bet calling in those grizzlies left you with some new grey hair! Hopefully sometime soon I will be able to stalk black bears with you while I'm up visiting Terrace. T
-------------------- Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Psalm 127 4-5 Posts: 337 | From: Colorado | Registered: Jan 2004
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Just posted this on the PowWow.....figured I might as well post it here also.
Tuff hunting, but very rewarding just sighting the critters.
He's what little I know about hunting the N GA Mts.
Hunt white oaks....big ones. Try and find some on a Mt. top, knoll, ridge or long slopping lead. Personally, I haven't had as much luck hunting IN the bottoms. I think they must work their way down, and get in the bottoms after dark. I have had luck with major leads that end up in the bottoms.
The bears will most likely be climbing the white oaks the 1st two weeks of the season, then gathering underneath the rest of the season.
Try your best to find white oaks with claw marks and white oak groves with lots of scat and other bear sign. If more than one bear is using the area, then your odds of a sighting are increased dramatically.
Travel funnels between two oak groves is also a great place to set up if you can't decide which tree they are bound to hit. Look for trails twice as wide as deer trails, and a bear trail will have a 'packed down' texture vs the crunched up of a deer trail.
Pre scouting a week or days before the season opens is much more productive than 2 weeks before.
The best tip I can give you is to hunt a single tree with lots of scat near it....BUT!!!, you must find at least one fresh pile....how fresh? With flies on it!!!...if a pile aint got flies on it, I keep a walking.
Sparse acorn crop?...gotta wear out some boot leather to find the few trees that are producing. Can be tuff to find, but once you do, the bears will be there.
Normal acorn crop?....sign will be easier to find since the bears are moving a lot from tree to tree, and scattered about a bit more.
If we have a drought?...and all the acorns fall just before the season?....then I don't commit to any trees or groves, I walk and walk and walk, cause the bears will not have to move for food, you will have to find them. Walk travel routes like mentioned before, but try to walk those with known running water near by, since water will be scarce during a drought as well.
Afternoons are better than mornings, but that don't keep me from hunting mornings. I've seen them as late as 10 am.
While walking in, pay attention to 'loud squirrels' in the trees...they may be a bear. If so, stalk the tree from down wind, and wait for the bear to climb down. Now, pay attention to the tree, you may need to get cross wind. If the tree is straight with no obstructions, there's no telling where he'll climb down. But, if the tree is leaning, or on the side of a steep ridge, or has some obstruction to one side, the bear will take the easy route down at the base.....clear from obstruction, up hill side, or least steep side if the tree is leaning. So, set up accordingly the best you can with the wind still in your favor.
The early season seems to congregate bears in higher elevations, and they work there way down in elevation, since the acorns will mature earlier up hi. Now bear in mind, that some times there is a late freeze in the spring, so those higher elevations will be void of sign due to the buds getting nipped. If that is the case, then move down the mountain a 1/3 of the way, and scout your way down. However, I have seen bears low the 1st part of the season, so the higher elevation is a guideline, not written in stone.
Two weeks before the season will be the tailing end of the last 'patten' before the acorn feed, and might be tempting, but don't fall for it. If you scout early, you will possibly find sign in berry patches, around wild cherry trees, and in dead pine groves the pine beetles devoured because of the grubs in the rotting pines. Unless you are in the highest elevations in GA, this should be what you will find. If you are in the highest elevations, then you should find them already on the acorns unless of course there was a late freeze in that area.
Another thing to look for is saddle ridges between two tops....or connecting leads. The right ones will have a trail suddenly appear as the knoll narrows through the saddle, and then it will disappear just as quick as it nears the next knoll or lead.
Seems the bears pilfer around these ridge tops, and use the 'spines' to travel to the next 'pilfering' area.
These trails can be 100 yards long, or 1000, but the trails will be packed down, not 'crunched' up like deer trails, and wide....and, most likely, it will meander by every mature white oak along the way.
One more thing.....
If you do decide to hunt in the Morning....and you have a REALLY hot spot....don't go 'into' it while its still dark. Lay back a little distance till dawn, and ease in there.....that way you wont blow em out...and you will have the added thrill of an early morning stalk.
-------------------- "An anchor point is not a destination, it's an evolution to execution" - Me
"It's important, when going after a goal, to never lose sight of the integrity of the journey" - Andy Garcia
Hello Gray Rhino, you may look no further than Whale Pass on Prince of Wales island has some gagger bears. I shot an almost B &C boar (20 5/16) back in 1999 on a do it yourself spring hunt. 4 of us rented a cabin from the Vassers family that live in Whale Pass. They supplied us with a boat and we cruised the shorelines in the evening looking for bears feeding on seaweed. I basically ditched the boat on the third evening and got them to let me out. I still hunted the shores bymyself and was able to slip up on an approaching boar before he went back into the woods. TBM published a story I wrote about this hunt in 2000. You find it through archives were I go more in detail on how we hunted and the Vassers address. Connie Renfro, a known female traditional bowhunter, contacted me after reading that article and she and her husband went the following year and had great success. good luck
-------------------- Aim down your arrow because thats where it's going. Posts: 2148 | From: Oxford Ms 38655 | Registered: Aug 2003
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Just got back from Vancouver Island, BC two weeks ago. Awesome place for spot and stalk blackies. Killed a bruiser P&Y/B&C boar at 12 yds with 65 lb recurve and 2219's with Zwickey Eskimo heads. Complete pass through on a bear in the 450-500 lb range. He only went 43 yards after the shot. I saw bears shot by rifle hunters in camp that went a lot farther and one that just kept on going after taking a hit from a 300 mag. Must get both lungs or your chances of recovery are slim. Saw an average of 12-20 bears a day. Saw at least one bear each day that I would say was close to P&Y size. Had quality stalks every day. You'll spend a lot of time in a vehicle each day though riding around and glassing clearcuts, but that is the only downside of the hunt.
Posts: 109 | From: PA | Registered: Mar 2007
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Skitch, Thanks for bringing this back up! I'm headed to SE Oklahoma in Oct. for another try at public ground bear huntin'. Any more tips for fall ground hunters?
Posts: 1279 | From: Muskogee, OK | Registered: Dec 2012
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