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Thread: Eagle River Black Bear

  1. #1

    Default Eagle River Black Bear

    Anyone ever hunt Black Bear up Eagle River valley? I've hunted there in the past, I startled one on the trail as i was walking back to my camp around midnight, I saw two others, one of which was a sow with cubs eating the buds out of a cottonwood tree. Anyone ever connect up there? Did you back pack in every day or set up a little camp once you were past the rifle use line? Just curious...oh and what time of year was it?

  2. #2
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    Default ER Black Bear

    Bobblehead,
    I live near the nature center and hike and climb and run up ER valley all the time. Run into LOTS of bears. One thing to remeber is that the conditions of the hunt are that you must be 1/4 mile from the trail. If you look at your topo map or Google Earth for that matter, and plot 1/4 mile you see real quick that that puts you about 2,000 feet above the valley floor up the first set of cliffs after you get 5.5 miles in, which is where the hunt starts! Here is how I am going to hunt it on the weekends: Hike in 8-10 miles on Friday night. Get up early with spike camp, or just day gear with emergency bivy. Bushwack and climb like heck and get into one of the hanging basins that are more than 1/4 mile from the trail. Hunt the hillsides and glass in the basin all day. Hike back down at night to camp on the river. Hunt early Sunday morning, and start hiking back by noon.

    One September several years ago I counted 6 black bears while glassing for sheep from one spot. 6 visible black bears at once! This was up above Eagle Glacier. I did run after a black bear near Icicle creek trying to follow it until it was 1/4 mile off the trail. Spotted it swimming Eagle River from camp. Followed it through the woods for about 1/8 mile when the alders got too thick to track it, and the wet tracks dried out. Had a goat tag and a bear tag.

    Seeing bears ON the trail and on the hillside is easy. Getting to a bear that is 1/4 mile from the trail is alot easier said than done. The topo map and your GPS are your friend for this hunt.

    Good luck. Maybe we will see you out there.

    Chris

  3. #3

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    Thanks Sheepshape,
    What side of the river have you hunted more? I crossed it once, but as soon as I did I spotted a nice bear on the hillside so I crossed back...never found it though.

    This is definitely a pack light hunt. I wonder if you could spike in those hanging valleys and hunt out of there for a few days? Or if necessary, climb the ridge and be able to have a view of two valleys at once?

    How early have you seen bears back there?

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    Default ER bear

    Bobblehead,
    I am mostly refering to the North side of the river. I took a picture of a bruiser in my yard in early May last year. I'll have to check the date/time stamp on my photo when I get home. I saw about 6 bears that week, one about 3 miles up the trail, one ON the trail, and 3 on the road driving back and forth to town. Spiking up in one of those valleys would be a good choice. I like camping on the river only because I like the timber and the fact that you can cook over an open fire and leave your stove at home. Spiking out in one of those side basins might be more effective, though.

    I think a lot of people don't realize how far UP the valley you have to be to be in the open rifle area, and how far up the side of the mountain 1/4 mile is because the trail is pretty much right at the base of the mountains. This is not an easy hunt. Sounds like you have it figured out as well as I have.

    One of us had better get one of those Jumbo's this year! Good luck to ya!

    Later

  5. #5

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    I wonder if you could get back there quicker on a mountain bike and then lock it to a tree before you went up into the valleys?

    You are right, it is quite a hike back in there before you can start shooting, it's like 6 miles isn't it? I climbed up into a valley, that was a good hike, only saw a big fat marmot.

  6. #6
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobblehead View Post
    I wonder if you could get back there quicker on a mountain bike and then lock it to a tree before you went up into the valleys?
    Mt. bikes are prohibited on the Eagle River Nature Center trail system.

    I'm thinking of this hunt, and my plan is to hike in farther than most and then use my Alpacka raft to float out to Echo Bend. After that, it's only a 3-mile pack back to the parking lot.

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    Default Foot traffic only, I think

    I am pretty sure that the trail is foot traffic only, but it sure would be nice if you could kill those first 6 miles on a bike.

  8. #8

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    Thanks for the heads up Brian M.

    Alpacka raft, sounds fun. Are you not allowed to float the river past Echo Bend?

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    Default Brian beat me to it

    Brian beat me to it! AND was thinking the same thing with the Alpacka...

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    bobblehead - Oh, you're allowed to float the river beyond that, but it quickly decends into Class IV/V whitewater. In a raft the size of an Alpacka, well... Some folks have those paddling skills, but I am not one of them (particularly with a loaded raft).

    If you guys are interested, we're putting the finishing touches on a group buy of Alpackas at 15% off. We're hoping to place the order within a week. All details can be found in the General Discussion forum.

  11. #11

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    Brian M,
    Sounds like a good enough reason to me. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Am I allowed to hijack a thread I started? :-) Do you have any experience with the DC001 caribou hunt? I didn't get drawn or anything, but I thought about hiking the area this June just to get a feel for how hard the hunt would be if I was to get drawn for it. I'd like to see caribou, maybe take some pictures, and it's always cool to see a nice black bear. Any suggestions?

  12. #12
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'll send you a PM, bobblehead. Short answer: access is tough, kill rates are low, success is possible.

  13. #13

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    Cool thanks. I'll look for it.

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    Default bow?

    What about staying inside the the Bow only area?? does that increase the potential of seeing/connecting on a blackie?? Or are you going to need to get that 5 miles back just to get into bears at all??

    Greg

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    Quote Originally Posted by AkGreg View Post
    What about staying inside the the Bow only area?? does that increase the potential of seeing/connecting on a blackie?? Or are you going to need to get that 5 miles back just to get into bears at all??

    Greg
    Lots of brown bear in the area, also there is a family that lives back there with little kids running around.

    Long story short you may want to talk to the landowners in that area (most of the hunt area is not CSP but is a mix of BLM and private land) before hunting it, they won't take kindly to slob hunters, or people who endanger the little kids with a wounded bear. Also there are a lot of grizzlies who push the blackies out of most of the better accessed areas. I don't think a bear has been taken from the area in quite a while.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  16. #16
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Can you hunt the Griz lower with a bow?

    I haven't checked any regs yet - but will soon if I move up.

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    please do check the regs before you consider a move up - you might find that you like CO more.

    There is not a bear behind every bush and there sure aint no moose behind every tree.

  18. #18
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    Can you hunt the Griz lower with a bow?
    Nope. There is no grizzly hunting allowed in Eagle River valley.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ak_powder_monkey View Post
    Long story short you may want to talk to the landowners in that area (most of the hunt area is not CSP but is a mix of BLM and private land) before hunting it, they won't take kindly to slob hunters, or people who endanger the little kids with a wounded bear.
    But they'll (the parents, or whatever they are) let their kids run around in bear country? I wonder who's really putting who in danger? That's hilarious.

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    Default

    The kids out there probably know better how to deal with those bear than the people out hiking the trails trying to hunt them.

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