Home Forums Campfire Forum Spot and stalk black bear?

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    • peter
      Post count: 3

      Dear fellow bowhunters
      Have considered a bowhunt for black bear. Spot and stalk would be my preferred way when that is what I´m used to here in Sweden (not for black bear of course but other spieces). Have browsed the internet and found Opatcho Lake Outfitters whitch seem pretty good.
      Has anyone hunted with them or any other outfitter on a spot and stalk hunt for black bear?
      I´m also very greatfull for any other tips on the topic!

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      Peter,

      I’ve only hunted black bears a little bit, and that was with a rifle. There’s an article in the new TBM about spot and stalk black bears up in British Columbia, Canada. The article is titled “Chasing Chocolate”. It’s on page 21. A good article.

    • peter
      Post count: 3

      Montana Ford
      Thank´s for you answer!
      I´ve read the article and Sugarvalley Outfitters seems like a good way to go. Can´t get their website to work though so I can´t wiew any of the details for their hunts.
      Coming a long way from Sweden which would make this a fairly expensive hunt for me so it would be nice with a couple of alternatives before making up my mind.

    • Clay Hayes
      Member
      Post count: 418

      There’s always public land!

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      You’re welcome, Peter.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      People pay no attention when I tell them that in the arid West, you can rely on bears to have a midday swim in isolated water, like this spring pool. Photos taken yesterday and I’ve seen it many many times. If it’s cold it doesn’t work nearly so well of course. Heat of the day is the time. Food patches — berries, acorns, osha, osmorhiza, clover, grass, carrion and gut piles during hunting season, a saddle pass with good habitat on both sides, screaming rabbit predator calls … endless wasy to ethically and successfully hunt bears using woodsmanship rather than bait.

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    • Jesse Minish
      Post count: 115

      Toot! Toot!

    • MontanaFord
      Post count: 450

      Really enjoyed the article in the new TBM titled “That’s Close Enough!” by John Pietropaoli…That is WAY TOO CLOSE!!! But, it would definitely get the blood pumping. I’d either be headed out of county, or end up cleaning out my drawers after something like that. But a very good story none-the-less.

      Michael

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Hi Dave

      Nice bear, for the uninitiated is that a brown phase black bear and can you give an indication to size.

      You are so right about finding quarry animals fieldcraft and an understanding of their habits is so important and very important to try and teach youngsters.

      Mark.

    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Mark — Down here in the southern Rockies most of our black bears are some other color than black, which is a rarity in fact. Most common is some shade of brown, often so far they almost appear black, like this little sow. Cinnamon and blonde are also fairly common. On top of that confusion, the long winter hair often bleaches to almost white in den, so that when they emerge in spring they appear blond, but as time goes on and the old hair rubs off they “turn” another color, that is, their true underfur color is revealed. Thus the term “color phase” for black bears. On this one you can see the fringe or remaining long bleached winter hair on her back. She small, under 200 pounds and not fat. Nursing two yearling cubs. Here are some more pics …

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    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Cubs are 340-40 pounds probly …

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    • David Petersen
      Member
      Post count: 2749

      Here’s a spring bear, a 2-year old I know from last year, not long out of den and still with winter fur, looking much bigger than it’s 100 pounds max. A few weeks later it was sleek brown and had really shrunk!

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    • Don Thomas
      Member
      Post count: 334

      There’s actually a biological principle to describe the phenomenon Dave is reporting–Bergman’s Rule, as I recall. The higher the latitude, the darker the coat will be on most animals, because that means less reflective heat loss. (This doesn’t override the need for camouflage, which is why polar bears and Dall sheep are white.) The rule explains the high incidence of “color phase” black bears in our Southwest. And although I’m sure I’ve glassed over a thousand Alaska black bears, I’ve only seen one that was anything other than black. Don

    • Mark Turton
      Post count: 759

      Dave / Don

      Thanks for the information and photographs, from looking again at your first picture I can see that she is not carrying any weight two cubs must take a lot out of her when they have to put on enough weight to take them through the winter.

      In your area when do they den up and do they hibernate right through the winter. How much weight must she put on before the winter, and when does your hunting season start and end.

      I had not considered colouration and altitude being related and thought that it might be either dietary or local variations such as you might see in deer.

      Sorry about all the questions, just curious, best regards, Mark.

    • Bloodless
      Post count: 103

      Don has it close and I’m sure there is a rule for coloration and latitude, but Bergmann’s rule has to do with body size: The farther north, the larger a species tends to be because that provides more internal mass which helps preserve heat. When you hit the Actcic Circle, where nutrition becomes a problem for most species, the rule reverses to favor smaller critters, in general. Bergmann’s works real well with canids, not so well with bears, who tend to get the biggest where nutrition is richest, regardless of latitude. I am not smart. I just recently read all that somewhere! 8) BB

    • Don Thomas
      Member
      Post count: 334

      Bullyboy is entirely right… I thought I might have had the wrong eponym in mind when I posted, which is why I waffled a bit. There is a rule to describe the phenomenon I mentioned and it has somebody’s name attached, but it isn’t Bergman! I’ll get back to you if I remember it. meanwhile, thanks to Bullboy for the correction. Don

    • muddy
      Post count: 11

      Not sure but could it me Gloger’s rule ???

      sorry that is pigmented in humid climates and lightly coloured in dry ones

      I’ll keep thinking about this one.

    • rayborbon
      Post count: 298

      I have not used a guide or outfitter.

      I have used spot and stalk for all my black bear hunts. To date have shot one with a bow at 17 yards, one with a rifle at 60 yards and one this year with a rifle at 125 yards. Next year going back to the bow.

      Spot and stalk is a great way to take the bears. In fact the terrain around where I live I think it makes it the best way to do it. I can see bears almost a mile and one half away when glassing in the mountains on ridge tops. They often times like to stay in the berry patches near the tree line. Bears do not seem to pattern and do not seem to follow any specific trends on times of day.

      Good luck on your hunt. If you come out to Washington I can give advice for DIY on the western part of the state.

      Here’s the jughead on a black bear I shot a few weeks back.
      Bear

    • Ed Ashby
      Member
      Post count: 816

      Peter,

      Pick you location well. Western states, Alaska and western Canada are good for spot and stalk. Flat, forrested areas of Eastern states are harder for S&S; better over baits. S&S is a lot more fun!

      Ed

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