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Thread: Where did the bears go?

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    Default Where did the bears go?

    We've been black bear baiting for some years now up the Elliot Hwy, just north of Pump #7. We access the pipeline pad by the Tatalina River and go north a good ways, hang a left and go pretty far in. Have been having good hits on the bait stations and lots of trail cam pics. Funny thing is the bears seem to have suddenly disappeared.

    Does anyone else black bear hunt in that area? The girls at Hilltop say all the bear hunters coming in are saying the bears seemed to have packed and left. The last trail cam bear pic we have is from June 4 and we just got back from a 4 day weekend up there hunting...no bears. No hits on the bait and nothing but squirrels. Any ideas why this might happen? No fires in the area and I don't think the rain drove them off......

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    Did you shoot them all?

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    I'm up that way as well and haven't seen anything on my bait.


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    have the same thing happening over where i bait, had a good thunder-lightning storm. then bears gone. we did get a bear the night before the storm hit.

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    It has been a slow year so far.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wet eNuf View Post
    Did you shoot them all?
    LOL.... I wish! We had a couple of nice boars on the game cameras.

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    There's a thought FullFreezer... it's really wet out there. Lots of rain every day like that might knock the scent down so they lose interest?

    We did bait up quite heavily on Monday and are going back next weekend. If nothing has hit, we'll pack up the cameras and clean up for the season. Hard on the wallet to drive up there - then to not even see one. No tracks in all that mud, either. Have to settle for some nice ones in the pictures!
    Last edited by snowshoehair; 06-12-2012 at 16:45. Reason: more thoughts.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowshoehair View Post
    There's a thought FullFreezer... it's really wet out there. Lots of rain every day like that might knock the scent down so they lose interest?

    We did bait up quite heavily on Monday and are going back next weekend. If nothing has hit, we'll pack up the cameras and clean up for the season. Hard on the wallet to drive up there - then to not even see one. No tracks in all that mud, either. Have to settle for some nice ones in the pictures!
    I'm baiting a different area... so I don't know your circumstances.

    Last year, we shot the one bear that came into the station... so other bears weren't habituated to our stand location. I've seen bear tracks since last year so I know more bears are around. We couldn't check the stations last weekend due to other obligations ... so our barrels may be full ... but hopefully they will be cleaned out. I'm going to have to buy one of those game cameras that transmits photos back to the house for next season.

    As for bears, seems like hunter effort is down from last year.... at least, there seems to be fewer posts to the forum than last year... and I've seen fewer vehicles parked along the highway. Alot of the forum posts discuss the brown bears on the Kenai P... and it doesn't sound like the hunters that are abandoning the Kenai P don't plan to move north.

    We had more snow this year. and the melt seems to be two weeks later than last year. I assume this made things sloppy and tougher for others to get to their stations.

    So despite getting the barrel out earlier than last, the bears seem to be moving similar to last year. Yep, we'll be giving it another push this coming weekend and would be happy to get some bird/squirrel/porcupine photos at this point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wet eNuf View Post
    We had more snow this year. and the melt seems to be two weeks later than last year. I assume this made things sloppy and tougher for others to get to their stations.
    We were late getting out too. There is a guy that traps in the winter off the trail we use, so there was still a lot of snow late and lots of water everywhere. It usually dries up pretty fast.

    I did notice that scat in the area had a lot of last year's lowbush cranberries, so maybe they take off for different feeding areas. Hard to imagine that many bears had the same idea all at once, though. Everyone from the young, not-so-bright boars to the sows with their cubs seemed to have all got on the same bus.

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    maybe this is a fluke, but i've noticed that when there is wind the bear shy away.Hearing & sence of smell are screwed up?

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    That does make a lot of sense, Freezer. They are so dependent on hearing and smell because their sight isn't as good. And considering they aren't the biggest bears out there, they have to be careful. I suppose a grizz could have passed through there - there weren't any pics that one was on our bait, but all they have to do is smell him. We had one young boar that moved into the bait before we were done setting up - shot at him and everything short of bear spray, but he didn't budge. Hard to imagine him leaving like that.

    We're going back this weekend so I hope they are back!

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    I know it colder this year in S.C. and the bears would be feeding on greens. With fewer greens the bears may not be moving around as much. I know a guy that use to have a bear stand in 14B and he never saw bears until late in the season because it was always colder. Sense you can't change the weather you need to try other things to bring in bears.

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    In SC I don't believe it is so much the cold but rather the high moose kill over winter. I think the bears are busy eating winter moose kill this spring and not so interested in bait. Bud
    Wasilla

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    I'm sure your thoughts have some basis ... but when traveling in unit 16 winter spring, I found remnants of a few moose along the roadway. Many of the winter road kill are salvaged. Didn't see what I thought was bear activity around the remaining carcasses. I haven't seen bird or bear activity, and haven't found winter kill gut piles away from the roads. I'm sure others have ... so would think those gut piles would be gone pretty quick. At some point, winter becomes spring. So the "bears" have a limited window to get fed on those carcasses ...before the birds, maggots, and other critters finish the job.

    Every spring ... there is calving season. I've seen cows with twins with their tracks over fresh brown and black bear tracks. Not claiming those limited exposures exemplifies the moose herd to be healthy or unhealthy ... but I've heard of many successful bear hunters.

    Many people discuss that bear baiting often gets better closer to the end of the month. So I'm leaning towards business as usual. BTW, I'm not so certain that the deep snow has created a crisis in the moose population in Unit 16a. Perhaps their patterns have changed, predator control has helped, or I'm just getting better in finding them, but I've seen more moose in three weeks of 16A than the three previous years combined.

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    hey snowshoe,wet enuf hit on some good points and I totally agree. I hunt North of you a ways and have taken my four bears already(three blacks and a grizz). I was able to get my bait out till the night of May 26th and I let it soak like 15 hours and sat on it and had my first bear down three hours later. Now I have noticed over the years that the Bears up there dont move around in the rain and tend to wait it out and usually start moving in about an hour's time.
    With that said I scented HEAVILY with baitem907 products before and after the rain.The bears move ahead of the rain and right after so I scented heavily during slack time.This past weekend I had to haul &ss to get on stand because I noticed it may rain and that meant bears are moving.after an hour I had one bear patrolling and after two hours had three in the area.once it started to trickle I never saw them again until 48 minutes after it stopped and tagged one of them.after that one I shot a big one 3 hrs later just before the rains came again.
    All mine where Boars which I prefer to take.And I noticed this year that havent started to mating which by now they usually are so I assume maybe they where looking for sow's.And perhaps maybe thats why your bears left the area in search of sows.
    On a side note I told a guy at work who is baiting this year for his first time that even tho its raining he had to be out there waiting till it stopped and scent hard and heavy.He did and got his first bear this weekend also.This is just my observation dont hold me to it.And I wish you the best in harvesting your Bear.

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    Rut started

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    Deer hunting are you Vince?

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    No dan, the bears start their rut last week

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    Im with Dan both times I had bears come in to my stand while I was out was shortly after a rain I would try to get in while it was raining since it cut down on both scent and noise and wait it out until it stopped once stopped I did some honey/ berry burns and had bears in within an hour. I noticed the same on my camera via time/date/weather stamps within an hour or 2 of a decent rain stopping the bears were in feeding. They are defiantly out there I have a co worker baiting the elliot and has lots of bears on his camera but has had no luck connecting thus far.

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    We just got back - a short weekend out there this time - and think this guy might have something to do with the lack of blackies:



    WE did have some blackies on the bait though - there is a big sow with 2 cubs that's been there the whole time. I think she could kick this guy's butt. Barrels were licked clean when we got there Sat morning and we baited up. Went back to hunt that evening and found nothing had stopped by to sample. Hunted late, got rained and hailed on enough to make the ground white, it cleared up but they never even stopped for a snack. We took a quick trip out to the bait this morning to add a camera and more bait, and everything was just as we left it...still no bears. Going to maybe make a quick trip out to freshen the bait on Wed after work and then go to hunt next weekend.

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