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Thread: When do the bears wake up?

  1. #1
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    Default When do the bears wake up?

    hello all. i am new to alaska. work kept me from tracking down a black bear in GMU7 this year, so i am gearing up for next year. when do the bears generally start movin around again? thanks for the help!

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    My bait didn't get hit until the second week of May last year.

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    When it warms up enough to make the roof of my house drip, Bears will be comming out near anyday, 'round here........seems to be right so far, Ive found many a Brown Bear just poking outta their den on those days in early mid April......
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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    thank you very much. i realize its a pretty dumb question. i cant wait to get out there next year!!!

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    No dumb questions, and vital to planning, as well as good knowlage for the Hunter.

    Its all good.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  6. #6

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    My guess is it varies depending on the area, but I have seen brownies coming out of their den around tax day (april 15), and the blacks usually come a few weeks later. Although I have heard of guys shooting and seeing them out earlier than that.

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    Member Blue Mist's Avatar
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    I always figured April 20 with a week or so in either direction. seems to work

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    My experience in GMU 7 is last two weeks of May.
    Finally, Brad Childress is GONE!

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    Member DucksAndDogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MNViking View Post
    My experience in GMU 7 is last two weeks of May.


    Agreed. It does seem to be a lot later in GMU 7. When I first got here, we ran a bait station down there. The locals told us we were wasting our time putting anything out before the middle of May. We were too hard headed to listen and definitely learned our lesson. We spent a ton of money and time feeding what I presume to be every animal in that area that wasn't a bear. Hindsight is 20/20, but I'd really suggest finding someone in that area that you trust and ask them. Usually the ones with gray hair are the best source of knowledge when it comes to things like this...

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    I went flying around unit 16b last year on April 17th with a friend. We saw 5 browns (an average of about one bear per hour of flying). Only one of the 5 had made it any real distance from it's den, the rest were laying around close the the den holes.

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    once again thank you all for the advice. looks like i got a little time to sit and think about all the critters next year. i had a dream about caribou last night.... wonder if thats a sign!!!

  12. #12
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    They wake up in the spring.
    BHA Member
    Bowyer to the forces of light in the land of the midnight sun.
    The 3 fold way: Every step we take as we walk through life effects, our family, our comunity and ourselves. One should walk thoughtfuly.

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    Rite afta ya poke mu wit a stick.....

  14. #14
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    Alot depends on how many times they hit the snooze button.

  15. #15
    WhiskeyJack
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    In GMU 7 black bears leave their dens in early May depending on weather, den location, and each individual bear.

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    Member Bearclaw67's Avatar
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    I dont know when they wake but our baits were'nt touched till mid June last year in 14A
    Paul

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    BeeKeeper,
    Although you started this thread two weeks ago, as an infrequent forum visiter, I'll add the following "late entry" observations.

    Black bear boars should emerge in late April and early May, based on my 22 yearss of GMU 7 Kenai Peninsula observations. "Early springs", or "late springs" means nothing, again in my observations. No snow on the ground for three weeks, or 30 feet on top of the den, those Kenai mountain black bear boars emerge in late, late April or very early May. (Of course, a poorly choosen den sight could result in any bear getting flooded out of hibernation a bit early.) But these bears absolutely have to emerge from their winter dens (or die), and it will always be timed with the early beginning growth of new grass and birch tree buds. Sea level bears may emerge a week or so prior to mountain bears. Sows with cubs generally come out of their dens in the second or third weeks of May.
    So get out your spotting scope and start inspecting the south facing slopes in that first week of May. While common wisdon says early morning or late evenings are best for sighting black bears, I have saw most during mid-day. Besides, it is nearly impossible to be awake at both 11:00PM as the sun goes down and at 4:00AM as the sun comes up.

    Everybody I know who glasses south facing Kenai mountain slopes during the first two weeks in May shoots black bears. Others may disagree to some extent, but whatever.....................AlaskaTrueAdventure

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    This might be a noob question but why glass the south facing slopes?

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    SocalSnipe.....because any slope NOT facing south is snow covered through May and often into June. South facing slopes are snow-free earliest. Which means the grass starts growing there first, earliest. And those new, fresh blades of grass are the bait for us spot-and-stalk bear hunters.
    If it is a late-ish spring, and the snow lingers later than usual on the south facing slopes then the bears will be climbing birch trees to eat the new, fresh birch leaf buds.
    So the south facing slopes catch more of the spring sun thus warming the ground, snow usually melts there first, spring bear foods start growing there first, black bears start eating there first.
    BANG!

    (....and oh, yes- the archives are full of information related to this very common topic...)

  20. #20
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    In unit 13, the earliest we have seen activity is early April, but they went back in to sleep quickly if it gets colder. Mid-April on, you need to be on the look out, with peak to catching them from April 20th to the end of May. Seems that south facing denners come out about two weeks before north facing denners. Of course, this varies greatly on how spring goes, and could be weeks, to even a month either way. This year, up here, there is a ton of snow, so not sure how that might affect things, but I expect they will get flooded out of thier dens earlier then normal. We'll just wait and see.... Good luck!
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

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