Home Forums Campfire Forum Turkey Hunting to Bear Scouting

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    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      Story to follow

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    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      Woke up at 2:15 and made the two hour drive to my favorite place in the Chattahoochee National Forest of N GA. An hour and fifteen minutes into the hike, I reached my listening spot and was greeted by silence. So I went trolling for birds, but soon came across some bear tracks. I was hunting in our bear area and they’ve just come out of dormancy (they don’t really hibernate down here) so before long, I was bear scouting.

      I did end up working a couple of birds, but all I could think about was bears and the September opener. I ended up cutting eight different sets of tracks and finding a lot of new white oak groves and previously climbed trees.

      It may be hard to see, but that big track in the second picture is actually over my boot track from walking in. Things are looking really good for the archery opener. I’ve never seen this much bear sign in there and they’re not even in the acorns yet.

      Also shown is a picture of a food plot that the dnr decided to maintain this year. The deer and bears have been hitting those wheat heads hard.

      I absolutely love the mountains! I’m going to do more and more hunting up there.

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      Oh, also got a good rush of adrenaline when a really dark colored raccoon came running by me right at daylight (thought it was a bear cub)

      and saw an indigo bunting on the drive out..

    • Brennan Herr
      Member
      Post count: 403

      Sounds and looks like a great day and a great spot for the bears!!!

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      Excellent. Gonna be a fine camp again this year, even considering the company.

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      tailfeather wrote: Excellent. Gonna be a fine camp again this year, even considering the company.

      If you want to stay in South Georgia, I’ll happily take over your spot…..

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      Nah, I like it there.:D

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      tailfeather wrote: Nah, I like it there.:D

      ๐Ÿ˜€

      I can’t wait. It’s by far the best hunting camp of the year. I’d trade most of my hunting season for five days in the backwoods with a recurve.

    • Goraidh
      Post count: 101

      Sounds like you should have great bear hunting this season. Good luck to you, Etter. I’ll be chasing them also this year for the first time in many years.

    • BuckyT
      Post count: 138

      tailfeather wrote: Excellent. Gonna be a fine camp again this year, even considering the company.

      ๐Ÿ˜†

    • Bunyan Morris
      Member
      Post count: 135

      I can’t wait to come up the and kill one 100 yds. off the FS Road. I’ll hike in and help you pack yours out though. :lol::lol: It is going to be a great camp. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      Broadhead wrote: I can’t wait to come up the and kill one 100 yds. off the FS Road. I’ll hike in and help you pack yours out though. :lol::lol: It is going to be a great camp. ๐Ÿ˜€

      I know how you like to turkey hunt, but it’ll be hard to shoot a recurve out of a truck window.

    • Bunyan Morris
      Member
      Post count: 135

      Etter1 wrote: [quote=Broadhead]I can’t wait to come up the and kill one 100 yds. off the FS Road. I’ll hike in and help you pack yours out though. :lol::lol: It is going to be a great camp. ๐Ÿ˜€

      I know how you like to turkey hunt, but it’ll be hard to shoot a recurve out of a truck window.hahaha…sometimes the least obvious hunting spots are in the most obvious places….:D

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Hey Guys,

      I’m curious about how you hunt bear with a bow. Up here in PA it’s mostly rifle and guys drive out swamps. Hard to imagine sitting on a stand and waiting. We have plenty around here, but I never see one while on a stand for deer. thanks, dwc

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      DWC,

      We hunt them from the ground. In early Sep, the bears start keying on the white oak acorns, which are still in the trees and not yet dropping. So we scout white oak draws, ridges, etc. until we find a tree or group of trees that are being climbed by the bears. It’s usually apparent from a distance….shredded bark, broken limbs all over the ground, droppings, etc. If there is a good acorn crop, you can still hunt along and catch them in the trees, much like squirrel hunting. Or, post up in a ground blind near a feed tree and stand hunt them.

      It’s really tons of fun….I didn’t know anything about bear hunting and didn’t have much interest in hunting them, but other than turkey season this is now probably my favorite hunts of the year.

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Sounds neat. I have not hunted bear at all. There are a couple of reasons for that. One is I didn’t grow up hunting them. My dad never wanted to bother them much. The other thing is, in PA you have to deliver the whole bear, field dressed, to a check point. That means, unless you kill a real small bear, you need a crew. That’s how most guys hunt them here. Consider putting a story together on your hunt, whether you get one or not. It would be interesting to read about a bear hunt not centered over a barrel of donuts. thanks, dwc

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      dwcphoto wrote: Sounds neat. I have not hunted bear at all. There are a couple of reasons for that. One is I didn’t grow up hunting them. My dad never wanted to bother them much. The other thing is, in PA you have to deliver the whole bear, field dressed, to a check point. That means, unless you kill a real small bear, you need a crew. That’s how most guys hunt them here. Consider putting a story together on your hunt, whether you get one or not. It would be interesting to read about a bear hunt not centered over a barrel of donuts. thanks, dwc

      I can promise you that baiting bears, YOURSELF, is much more work and is much more challenging that what we are doing here.

      I hunted bears for six hours in archery season last year and saw nine bears. I shot one and sadly made a poor shot that was far too quartered away, and should have killed another bruin that I had at six yards but my arrow fell off the string.

      I acted like a total amateur bear boy last year, but I’ve never ever ever had chances like that in the bear camps of canada. Work-wise, this is a joke by comparison.

      People should stop reading about bear baiting and actually try it for a few weeks. Then we’ll see what a turkey shoot it is. The same goes for hounding. Train a pack of bear dogs, then watch a few of your beloved get killed in the mix, then tell me how easy and unethical it all is.

    • James Harvey
      Member
      Post count: 1130

      Etter, I know its quite a different thing, but pig hunting with dogs is quite popular here. Obviously the dogs aren’t treeing pigs they’re running them down and pinning them for the hunter. Dogs often are wounded, occasionally killed. For the guys that stick them rather than shoot them, they assure me it’s quite a challenge. Shooting a bounding roo at 100m with a compound is a challenge too. Or chasing one half to death through tight scrub on an mx bike before jumping off and wringing it’s neck. I’ve seen both of those done.

      I don’t think just because something is violent it’s inherently bad, but I’m wildly unimpressed by the assertion that because something is physically hard it is inherently good. There are plenty of ways to be challenged without tormenting an animal.

      My little opinion and we are each entitled to our own.

      Jim.

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      Etter is one of my very best pals, and we disagree on this as well. And that’s ok, we don’t have to be in lockstep and it makes for good conversation.:D Whether its “easy” or not doesn’t much matter to me in this case. It’s just that personally, I have no desire to bear hunt over man made bait….it’s the artificiality that disinterests me. And we can rationalize on that all day, its just a personal feeling. But hunting them on foot in the hills with a longbow? Wow! Haven’t even drawn on one, but what a hoot it is!

      I’m certainly not an “if its legal, its ok” kinda feller, but I’ve seen the way Etter respects bears and the dedication with which he works at all aspects of his hunting. And I know the approach his ethics dictate, so I can respect his efforts to hunt them that way and cheers his success….even though its not something I’d choose to do.

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Etter,

      I really was more commenting on the fact that I’ve seen more stories over the years, in print or on tv that were centered on baited bears. Ease of hunting didn’t enter into it.

      There was an interesting, albeit a tragic one, where a few guys killed a huge bear here in the Poconos. The bear was a dumpster diver. He was also a regular at an elderly man’s home where the fellow fed him donuts, sometimes by hand. The size of the bear made him infamous and therefore a desirable trophy to some. The bear was ambushed on the way to the donuts and shot with about 17 arrows. In this case the only one doing anything illegal was the guy offering the donuts, but the whole thing posed a great scenario for an ethic discussion.

      This is why I’d love to read a good story on a totally natural bear hunt.

      Here’s the link to that story. I’m not trying to condemn these guys. I do think it’s a story worthy of discussion.

      http://www.poconorecord.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20101120/NEWS/11200303&cid=sitesearch

      Thanks, dwc

    • tailfeather
      Post count: 417

      I’ll do my best to write one up with some photos come September. It will be a good story, if I can do it justice.

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      My bad man. Sorry, I went off there. It’s been an extremely trying week and sometimes the mouth works quicker than the brain.

      Hopefully we can provide some bear pictures.

      If you dig through some older threads, I wrote up an account of our hunt last year. Included is a picture of a pig I killed and a video of a bear I shot running with the arrow past Tailfeather.

    • archer38
      Post count: 242

      Just a thought, but I’ve always dreamed of doing a coastal black bear hunt. I’ve hunted bears over bait for years and where I live, it really is the only practical way to hunt them. The thought of stalking bears in the tidal flats and salmon streams sends me daydreaming !! However,(and here comes the previously mentioned thought) this hunt would consist of scouting food sources along shore and estuaries in hopes of finding a decent bear to stalk and hopefully harvest. Much like scouting and hunting over an acorn heavy grove of white oak. once again, just a thought but if the bears are coming to eat then isn’t it all hunting over bait !?!?

    • David Coulter
      Member
      Post count: 2270

      Etter,

      No problem. If you remember the name of that thread I’d take a look at it. thanks. Looking forward to a good story this fall.

      Archer, sorry but I have to say no. Technically speaking you may be right, but you have to draw a line between acorns falling out of trees that you have scouted and bringing in a drum full of donuts. dwc

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      I agree with DWC. It’s different if you are actually putting the food source out. That doesn’t mean that it’s any more challenging or successful. In many areas, including basically all of Canada, baiting bears or hounding them is truly the only way to hunt them.

      Keep in mind. I’ve hunted them over bait 15 times and I’ve killed four bears.

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831
    • Etter1
      Post count: 831
    • archer38
      Post count: 242

      Ok, I can respect your opinion on this and the way you choose to hunt. Best of luck to you. And Tailfeather, it does sound like fun !

    • Etter1
      Post count: 831

      I wish GA would allow a limited draw for bait hunt. We truly do have too many bears up in the mountains.

      I absolutely love scouting the white oaks and finding the climbing sign. The exhiliration of stalking one up in a tree is not to be forgotten, but I would do it both ways if I could.

    • archer38
      Post count: 242

      We lost our spring hunt about 15 years ago and the population has exploded since. I used to hunt whitetails every year but I actually prefer bear meat to all others so I started bear hunting every fall to fill the freezer and help keep the numbers down.

    • archer38
      Post count: 242

      Of course, it helps that I married into a family of bear hunting outfitters !!

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