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Thread: DIY Black Bear Hunt

  1. #1
    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Default DIY Black Bear Hunt

    Not sure where this should be (here or optics), but I figure more people will see it here.
    I am considering a pack in black bear hunt from the road system north of Wasilla. I was looking to do a spot and stock hunt. What optics will I need? I'm buying a leica crf 900. I have a pair of Steiner predator 8x30s. I don't have a spotting scope. I'm considering either buying a Swarovski spotting scope or Swarovski el 10x42 binos. I will buy both in the future, but only one for now. My question is.....if I buy the Swarovski 10x42s will that be sufficient without a spotting scope for my hunt or would I be better with the spotting scope and my Steiner binos? Thanks.

    Brett

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    Are you planning on hunting off the parks? or the glenn? I'm assuming off the parks, which in most cases, I'd leave the spotting scope at home and rely on binos. Even off the glenn, I would rely on binos.

    IMO, no need for the extra weight on a pack in blackie hunt.

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    I'm still deciding were the hunt will be. I heard the same advice about the binos being sufficient from someone else hence my question. I just want to get a consencous since I'm new up here. Thanks.

    Brett

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Intentions

    That all depends on your intentions. Just last week we had another hunter on here looking to just score on some black bear meat. Other times we get hunters on here asking when the coat is prime for a nice mount. I'd say fiqure out what category your in first. If your meat hunting.....only take binos.....when you see a black spot head towards it.

    If your trophy hunting.......find the best possible specimen you can from a distance with the spotting scope and judge it to see if you want to spend the energy and $$$$$$$ to mount it.

    Regards and good luck!

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    i would use the binos. if you have a scope take it too.. but keep in mind, ALL bears look big on the side of the hill unless they are following momma bear. some will stand out more then others and the light in their coat just makes them that much more "visible" you will Not get a honestly good look at a bear until you get up to it. and determine head size, ear spacing and girth . most the terrain and the shape of that bear just make it very difficult to see from a distance,,, especially for the untrained eye, and then when you have shot that monster... and get up to him... don't be surprised when some one took a pin and popped all the air outa that big black ballon...ground shrinkage is areal thing for blackies...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Default swaro doubler and bino's ??

    If I was in the market (I am) and had the money (I don't) and was in your situation, I'd take a look at the new binos AND their doubler. I don't have any experience using the doubler, so maybe someone else has better input on that.

    For spot & stalk, I'm packing a tripod wether I'm packing just binos or the spotter so that is calculated into my base pack weight. saves on hand, arm and eye fatigue while sitting and looking for something to stalk.

    This combo will not completely replace a spotting scope, it could help on hunts that ya just don't need all the weight/capability of the spotter too.

    Just a though.

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Bighorse

    I want the meat for sure, but I also don't want a 100-150 lbs bear. All else being equal I'd love a nice rug, but that's not the primary concern. Meat and getting out on my first Alaskan hunt to start the learning curve is my main objective. It seems like a good place to start for a newbie. Do you feel the 10x42s will give me a reasonalbe chance at guessing bear size?

    All

    I thought about the tripod for the binos, but I am quite frankly in unfamiliar territory and unsure. Would the tripod be a good idea or just more weight?

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    the glasses will give you a good idea... the only reason i mentioned taking a spot, is if you are some ways off, you MAY be able to look for cubs before you take the trip up the hill. your best view will be once you are inside of 100 yards on a black bear in the grass/brush/rocks/ snow etc. by that time your glasses will be more then adequate for determining the size of your bear. and for meat hunting... those 150-200 lbs are dang tasty table fare.. and consider in most parts of the state you are allowed 3 bears a year... so if you are in a one bear area you can go elsewhere and get two more....
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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  9. #9

    Default 10x42's

    I have the Swarovski 10x42's and that's all I take on a black bear hunt. Can't go wrong with the 10x42's, leave the spotting scope at home.
    Marc Theiler

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Small packable weight

    Like said before......I'd target a small bear if your by yourself and want table fare. Since your new to this Alaskan hunting I'll add this. It sounds like you've spent some money on glass. Consider the taxidermy costs of your hunt too. Its fun to shoot em and do the work but not so fun to scape up extra funds to mount that special first bear. Hopefully this is a mute point and ya got money flowing.

    I'm not one of those folks and have to budget things carefully. I've already budgeted for the entire year and I've only got enough for a single mount and one big hunt. That hunt will use up some AK air miles and the help of a good friend.

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    Default Spring?

    If you are hunting in the spring don't forget you need to take the meat with you.

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    I'm not looking for a full mount, but a rug would be nice. What does a bear rug run these days? I do know the meat must go with me in the spring. It looks like a thumbs up on the 10x42s, but the spotting scope will probably wait until next year. We'll see. I also need to get a pack. I was thinking about a Moose Bag 3. What are thoughts on the bag? I saw them online for $75. Looks like a good deal to me.

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    all those answers are here all over the forum llike rug cost a few threads down....http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=51392
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice guys. I bought a Barney's frame and pinnacle pack today. I'm sure I'll be back needing more advice in the future.

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    If I hunt black bear in the Mat-su valley this spring will I need snowshoes? I looked on the gear forum and Atlas seems to be the best or at least one of the best. Is that so and what size? I'm 6 feet 205 lbs. Thanks.

    Brett

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    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Good choice

    I'm sure my northern counterparts have more snow shoe time than me but in SE when I happen to strap on a pair I use Atlas. I don't know what model mine are but I'm of a similar build to you. I like mine because they strap onto my particular model of boot really nice. It sounds like your putting together a great spring time adventure. What I want to know is, What kind of camera are you taking? We would all enjoy a return update of your adventure.

  17. #17
    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    Canon shure shot A700. I think? And I'm usually not shy about taking pictures. I will definitely post a report for sure. I appreciate your guys help a lot. Some times it's hard to know what you don't even know, but this site and you guys help. Thanks.

    Brett

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    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    I picked up a set of Atlas 12x35 snowshoes for 50% off today. I'm going to give them a test run tomorrow. We'll see how it goes.

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    Member mmusashi2k's Avatar
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    Default Get what you don't have.

    If you already have the Steiners the scope will add a level of versatility to your hunt. 10 power on binos is truly over rated as your current ones will have about the same light gathering quality and be less stressful to your eyes. They'll be a lot easier to use from a boat as well. I would go ahead and get the Swaro bino's later cause they are really sweet glass but you would, in my opinion, be making a bigger step by adding the scope to what you now have.

  20. #20
    Member BrettAKSCI's Avatar
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    mmusashi2k,

    I came to the same conclusion in the last couple days. I decided to go with he spotting scope for now and use the Steiners.

    Tested the snowshoes out today at Hatcher's Pass. Worked well, saw some great scenery and got some exercise.

    Brett

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