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Thread: 1st Black Bear Hunt - Feedback

  1. #1
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    Default 1st Black Bear Hunt - Feedback

    Probably should have made my first post in the forum PRIOR to going out on my first black bear hunt since I had almost no clue what I was doing, but a little feedback will help me prepare for future hunts.

    A buddy and I hiked up to the treeline outside of Portage and set up camp this last weekend (Thursday September 29 - October 2nd.) We spent most of the time sitting up on knobs glassing the hillside and meadows just above the main treeline hoping a black bear would wander into the valley we were watching. Nothing ever showed up. We ended up cutting the trip a bit short due to heavy snow on Saturday killing our visability.

    Did we just have bad luck or should we have been using a different technique? Do black bears move to lower elevations as snow starts to fall on the peaks? When do blacks start to move to dens in the Chugach?

    Any good black bear overview websites, videos or posts that I should check out to be better prepared next time?

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Were there berries? Did you see piles of "blueberry jam" left behind? Find the berries and you will find black bears.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  3. #3
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    I like to find the bears then start hunting.

    Like spoiled one said look for hillsides with berries and look for bear scat with berries in it and you should be able to find bears.

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    Member TMCKEE's Avatar
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    I'm also a newbie to black bear hunting and I think this fits the thread (if not, just ignore me). Are black bears active all day? It seems that most of the time that I've seen them, it's been first or last light.

  5. #5
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Senator,
    You asked...."When do blacks (black bears) start to move to dens in the Chugach?
    It has been my observation that in SouthCentral Alaska, generally speaking, when a few inches of snow sticks to the ground and stays, I no longer see black bears, their "berry pies", or black bear footprints.
    But this is an inexact science. And the observations of equally or greater qualified experts may vary.

    And especially during this time of the fall, all bears are active much of the day. If there are berries to eat, the bears will be feeding. Two black bears were feeding last weekend all day long high above the trail to Williwaw Lakes on the mountains just east of Anchorage.

    Brown bears stay out longer, often into Novenber when snow in the nearby mountains may be quite deep.

    Welcome to the AOD Forums with your first Thread/Post contribution!

  6. #6

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    Also they will go in and out of denning for a while. Generally sows with this years cubs will den first, then sows with last years cubs next. If there is a beached dead whale the brown bears will stay out as long as the food lasts. As Dennis said there are a lot of variables. The consensus is they hibernate when they are burning more calories looking for food, than calories consumed. A 10' brown bear was shot in Port Alsworth on Lake Clark on January 1'st

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    Thanks everyone. After reading the responses here and checking out some of the other black bear related threads I've decided to give it another go. Heading out again this weekend for one more try. I'm going to head towards Hope this time - even if I don't see a bear I love that area an am excited about one more weekend of Fall camping.

    If anyone is willing to take us newbies out and show us the ropes that would of course be welcome! if not, I'll just keep glassing any hills with berries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SenatorShriv View Post
    If anyone is willing to take us newbies out and show us the ropes that would of course be welcome! if not, I'll just keep glassing any hills with berries.
    With that plan - Glassing - you should be fine. I'd cruise the Seward Highway, if you don't spot any bears in the Hope area. Lots of pull offs & open hillsides. I have seen many bears near the Stirling-Seward Hwys split (Tern Lake) is a great spot to glass from.

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