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Thread: Calling Bears

  1. #1

    Default Calling Bears

    I don't have the time to maintain a bait station so I'm thinking about picking a spot on the river with bear sign, hang a tree stand, and call like a tortured rabbit. Anybody else ever give this a try or had any success?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by DWLong View Post
    I don't have the time to maintain a bait station so I'm thinking about picking a spot on the river with bear sign, hang a tree stand, and call like a tortured rabbit. Anybody else ever give this a try or had any success?
    There have been several lengthy discussions about this in the past. You might do a site search, and you'll pick up lots that might come up now.

    Me? Yeah, I've called them numerous times by accident. I don't recommend it.

  3. #3

    Thumbs up good choice!

    Quote Originally Posted by DWLong View Post
    I don't have the time to maintain a bait station so I'm thinking about picking a spot on the river with bear sign, hang a tree stand, and call like a tortured rabbit. Anybody else ever give this a try or had any success?
    I've had success doing this. I have called in 4 Grizzly (shot an 8'3") and two wolves (shot 1) with a mouth blown call. A tree stand offers a safety element. If you do this from the ground, make sure you have someone watching your back and have visibility to see and shoot . If they come in, it could be close and dangerous (they are already excited). Be very alert in all directions and be prepared for an adrenaline rush if one comes in. Good luck.
    If you like getting kicked by a mule...then you'll "love" shooting my .458.

  4. #4
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default Give It A Try

    I have not had any success with bears yet, but I did call a wolf in last spring with a wounded rabbit call. My buddy missed him at about 75 yards and I was even able to stop him, so that my buddy could miss him again at about 125 yards. It was pretty fun seeing that wolf loping in like a coyote

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    Default

    Jack Brittingham did it on one of his videos in SE for black bear and was bringing in a lot of bears with the same call. Give it a try. A lot easier than maintaining a bait station, that's for sure!


    Tim

  6. #6
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Unhappy caalling bears...

    I have tried it in late April and early May as black bears emerge from their winter dens...with terrible results. On three occasions I spotted bears around 600 yards up a slope. Rather than stalk up towards them, I attemped to call the bears down the slope with a dieing rabbit call. On each occasion it frightened them. Twice boars climbed high into a tree. One of the boars got shot out of the tree. A very dramatic bad day for the bear. Once a sow with two large cubs froze in the alder thicket. So I stalker up to them and did some soft calling..they visibilly huddled in fear. I then called louder and they burst out of the bushes in three different directions as if they had been set on fire.

    I have tried it only three times with brown bears. Each time I was just cold calling in good looking habitat for whatever showed up. I have called in red foxes, coyotes and a wolf, but no brown bears...so far. During my September brown bear hunts I'll try it again using targeted brown bears that I have already spotted. Perhaps that will get the desired, thrilling predatory responce, and then they will experience a bad day.

    Twice I have blown a dieing rabbit call on the Alaska Peninsula during spring brown bear hunts. On each occasion I was observing a wolvering at long range. On both occasins the wolverines came in to within 20 yards on a dead run directly to the call. Wolverine season was closed and, therefore they had a very good day.

    Dennis
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    Default works

    it works for blacks and interior grizzlys, just be mindful of the wind and as others have advised be on red alert, when they come most often they are very aggressive. a guide in bc almost got killed last year calling a grizzly.

  8. #8

    Default

    I tried to do a search on the topic but came up with zip.

    I figure they'll be coming to eat if they come at all so I still need to build up my nerve. I bowhunt but will carry a can of bear repellent for incidental sow with cubs and shorty shotgun. If I give this a try I would only do so in a taller tree that I can see 360 degrees around.

    Deer aren't found in the interior but what do ya'll think of setting out a fawn decoy anyway to give'em something to look at on the ground?

  9. #9
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Default

    so far it hasn't worked for me at all, actually seen bears leave the area...
    i have done like a bleat call and had one brown come into 3 yards, had to go kick at him to get him to leave, he was just about to crawl outa the river right into our laps. he was 50 yards when i made the call walking away and he turned right around and came right back, climbed into the river and swam right to me.
    Bears are all so different i think it'll work for some and not for others, and it can hurt to try if it drives bears off.
    Www.blackriverhunting.com
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  10. #10
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Cool Try a different call, Dennis

    In September I would put away the rabbit call and start sounding like a love sick cow.
    Sept., Alaska Peninsula. After a successful moose hunt we were weathered in for days. My partner was bemoaning the fact that he hadn't seen a brownie. I had seen at least 6, one less than 10 yards away. Anyway, God, in his infinite wisdom poked one in the butt. Less than 5 minutes after my buddy had spoken, I looked up on the mtn and said, "there's one now." "No way!" "Yeah, grab your camera and get low in these alders." (Not to be done at home)
    I let out the longest whiniest cow call I could. That bear was a half mile away. Talk about running to the dinner bell. We watched the alders shake all the way down the mtn. He came out about 600 yards away on a big cinder blow. I grunted a couple of times and he beelined straight at us. At 200 yards my buddy is getting scared. "That's close enough!"
    We stepped out and the bear kept coming. He wanted moose meat. At 100 yards we were waving and shouting, finally causing the bear to stand up and try to wind us. (Bear season closed)
    Moose hunt, West Cook. Hunting w/ a buddy that was more into taking pictures than packing meat. He wanted a brownie picture. I knew a creek full of fish close by. As we pulled the boat into the mouth I saw the alders shaking up the creek. My buddy missed that and did not believe there were bears there. We walked up the creek about 20 yards. I got into some willows at the edge of the creek and started splashing like there was no tomorrow, imitating spawning salmon on steroids. I could see the occasional bush move and KNEW the bear was coming. "Yeah, right." When that bear was across the creek from us he stuck his head out of the willows. No more than 40 yards away. I whispered "Take a picture." Nothing. The bear slipped back into the dark and I turned around. My photographer was already back at the boat waving his gun around. I made a motion like I was taking a picture and he got ready, from the boat. As I resumed splashing the bear stood up. Just as I was waiting for the click, I heard brush breaking on MY side of the creek. Now we are both in the boat waving our guns around. Good clean fun.
    The same creek, silver fishing last year. Some friends from outside wanted a bear picture. I knew we had pushed a couple of blackies out and told them to be quiet for a while. I know they were rolling their eyes, but did as asked. I started splashing and the 17 year old girl laughed at me. Then 3 blackies came out upstream a little ways. They wandered down across from me and milled around. Lots of shutters clicking and "Cool"s around. Then Bruce, same guy as the first story, cast a lure in front of them. That did it. One started across the creek. I unholstered and started backing towards the already full boat. The bear came across and directly at us. I am now on the bow of the boat shouting. He didn't stop until I hit him in the head with a chunk of driftwood. We floated away chattering like a bunch of school girls.
    One more. Moose hunt, West Cook. Taking a friends 12 year old out for his first moose. We were hunting out of some old tree stands on a productive swamp. After about an hour of calling I look towards the kid and there is a big blackie sitting at the base of his tree. His eyes are big and he is waving. (We had impressed on him the need to be QUIET!) Good kid, never said a word. Told us later that the bear had stood and tried to smell him. So we scared that one off and were now on the ground thinking of hunting elsewhere. I called again, cow call long and low. The 12 yr old goes "Bear!" Across the swamp was a 3 year old brownie smelling the wind. Then I spot another and his dad spots a third, all trying to smell dinner. We are whispering back and forth. We are aware, but unafraid, after all we are 2 grown men and a boy with large guns. Jimmy says "Call again." I do and the three bears all start into the swamp. They congregate about 60 yards from us and it is obvious they had met before, possibly siblings. After milling around and smelling each others butts they try again to wind what brought them here. I whispered to Jim "They will run from a bull." I scraped my scapula down a birch tree. All three stood up and I scraped again. On cue they dropped down and started straight at us. We came out from behind the tree and it took a long second for them to recognise us. They bolted in 3 different directions. I will never forget the long hair blowing and the mud flying off of their rolling muscles. They were close.

    I could go on, I have more. I no longer step out of the cabin and moose call while answering nature's call. That one pushed my cabin door open. Good thing I had already whizzed. Then there was the one that the (now) ex-wife wanted a picture of....

    I didin't mean for this to get so long, but it's Saturday morning.
    So they are very susceptible to a call. I never tried a rabbit call, but can speak for the moose call and splashing fish call.

    Now, for a decent salary and a calm camera man, I will get you some "bear coming to the call" footage. If he can get a shot of the head held low and the "devil eyes", you will have an Emmy!
    Live life and love it
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  11. #11
    Member doogiehauz's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I've got a wireless caller, can go up to 200 yards, and i have a decoy rabit that wiggles. THis is absloutly killer on coyotes in the lower 48, works on black bears too. I like the fact that i can set up the call 200 yards away and push a button to change sounds and volume. If you have the decoy they come in a hell of a lot faster and not so weary with their eyes focused on just the decoy. Plus 200 yard shot when im already set up is a gimmi.

  12. #12
    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Thumbs up calling all bears

    Bullbuster....Great advice. I'll try that this September. I take out four brown bear hunters every September. While my normal style is simply spot and stalk, which produces bears that are eating berries, I'll purposely do some cow moose calling on bears within sight to record their reactions, and hopefully kill bigger bears, faster. Even an old dog (like me) can learn new tricks.

    Now, concerning my spring black bear failures...I did not expect the dying rabbit calls to really work because those bears are only hours or days out of their dens and they are still lethargic. Those bears are so early out of their dens that they have not really even started eating the first green blades of grass yet.

    I do believe that the time of the year is important for calling to be effective. I would not expect it to work on any bear just out of the den, and I would not expect it to work very well on brown bears that were primarily still eating salmon, but you apparently have had great success even with fish in the water. The splashing fish sound effects are something I have never before considered, either.

    The whole bear calling deal is really interesting, sounds exciting for myself and for client-hunters, if I can get to work. Got to go...time to go to the gym....

    Dennis
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  13. #13

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    Wow. I thought my job gets a little hair. Ya'll sound like you enjoy an adrenaline rush every now and then.

    I just hope for one to come in and commit suicide.

    Maybe I'll set up in a tree next to a creek and try to splash water with a 12' pole...

    I'll dissect the regs and see if a battery operated rabbit decoy is legal. Anything to get their attention off of the shaking idiot in the tree. Thanks for the input.

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