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Thread: PWS Black Bears in April

  1. #1

    Default PWS Black Bears in April

    I am planning to hunt for spring bear (black bear) for the first time in Prince William Sound.

    I know it will depend on the weather, but generally speaking, is it too early to go out in late April, early May?

    Thanks for your advice.

  2. #2
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    I would say APril will be to early any where from the second week in may to end of may would be good. But like you said it all depends on the weather..
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    Gary Keller
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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Times

    The earliest time that I have record of, between my friends and I, is May 17th. (avitar) The next date was May 21st. Most were the last week of May and first of June.

    This year was different. We had a late spring and the plant growth was two weeks latter than usual. I have pictures of the blueberry bushes and skunk cabbage and it was diffenitely late.

    There were about 228 boars and 45 sows taken in Unit 6 in 04/05. The average age was 6 years old with a lot of 4-8 year olds. Average female was 8.6 Average boar was 6.6 The oldest boar was 17 (3) and the oldest sows were 22, 23 and 27 years old.

    The one in my avitar was 15 yeas old.
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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Ive done a few trips with my father and every bear we spotted was still hanging high on the hills. Both trips were 3rd week of May. Hopefully next year will be different.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    While commercial fishing I have seen bears on the beach in the last two days of April, but typically we don't see much action until the 2nd half of May, like the other fellas here mentioned. The snow in the Sound gets deeeeep, so it takes a while to melt back.

    -Brian

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    Member Snagger's Avatar
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    Hopefully this pic will show up with the date as may/7/05 also noticed a couple other bears two days earlier. Most that are familiar with the sound can place the shot from the slide in the background.
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  7. #7

    Default Push back

    Thanks for the helpful advice.
    I may have to push back my date a little then, more like mid May.
    Or better yet, maybe I'll go in late April, early May like I had planned, then go again a few weeks later... if the bride will let me :-)
    Here's hoping for some Global Warming!

    Being a relative newbie in PWS, I can't guess the slide in the background. Is it near the top of Culross?

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    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    There were about 228 boars and 45 sows taken in Unit 6 in 04/05. The average age was 6 years old with a lot of 4-8 year olds. Average female was 8.6 Average boar was 6.6 The oldest boar was 17 (3) and the oldest sows were 22, 23 and 27 years old.

    The one in my avitar was 15 yeas old.
    Wow, great real world info, Dave. I'm really shocked at those sow ages-- 27?!? Thats a heckuva long time out there in the wilds--especially in the Sound. And its amazing much of that 27 years is slumbering...


    Frank

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Surprized

    I was surprized myself. But, my son took a barren sow this spring that had about 2 out of 10 hairs that were white. Dave Winney, who does the registration of bears over here thinks it was at least ten. She squared out at 6'. It will be interesting to see how she ages..
    "Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another".
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    Default harvest numbers down?

    i think those numbers are quite a bit less than previous years. i recall it was in the low to mid 400's one year.

  11. #11
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Correct

    You are correct! The previous couple of years were around the 400 mark. The Whittier tunnel has made quite an impact on the accessabilty of hunters. I re-read the email from F&G and it does not say: all of 6, 6D by it self or what. It just says Prince William Sound.

    Last year was a very unusual year around Valdez. Like I stated above spring was late about 2 weeks. Some areas around Valdez had snow all summer for the first time since I move here. It snowed on the mountain above my house in August. Wasn't much of a summer.
    "Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another".
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    Default new rule

    i'm sure the no shooting from a boat(rule) had a large impact on the harvest. in some instances that i recall, it was about the only feasible chance you were going to have on some bears; considering topography, cover,etc.

  13. #13
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i was in the east side of the sound first week of may this past year and we did really well on black bears, saw them on the beaches as well as the slides. probably saw close to 20 bears in three days. bottom line is you won't see any if your not out there.

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    I was out the first week of May and didn't even see a track.

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    Default the earliest

    i've seen bears out was april 27. that was in 2003, super early spring that year.

  16. #16

    Default GMU 6 "No hunting from boat" rule

    What year did the "No hunting from a boat" rule go into effect? I'd like to see the ADF&G data on bear harvest after the rule went into effect to see how much of a difference it made.
    Last edited by OneRound; 11-20-2006 at 22:03. Reason: To clarify question.

  17. #17
    Member Mort's Avatar
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    Default 2004

    "No shooting bears from the boat" went into effect with the 2004 hunting season. Shooting deer from the boat is still legal, though perhaps quite difficult that time of year.

    Mort

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    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mort View Post
    "No shooting bears from the boat" went into effect with the 2004 hunting season. Shooting deer from the boat is still legal, though perhaps quite difficult that time of year.

    Mort
    Yes it would be difficult, and illegal since the season would be closed.
    "Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another".
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    Member Mort's Avatar
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    Default I meant during deer season!

    Glad you were paying attention though, Dave.

  20. #20
    Member Adventures's Avatar
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    Default april

    We went the 12th- 18th of May this year which was two weeks earlier than normal. The air was cold, but the snow was still pretty deep outside of the beaches so the bears were really out in force down there. IMO the real trick is to get to the bears between the time they wake up and the time the foilage starts getting real thick. If you've got alot of green on the hillsides it's alot harder to spot them than if those greens are just budding and they are eating the buds.
    Justin
    Justin

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