2022 Idaho Spring Bear UNIT 1

Bubba94

Well Known Rokslider
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Dec 7, 2018
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110
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Idaho
This thread is directed towards those of you familiar with Idaho Unit 1. I live down in the SE corner of Idaho and am new to hunting black bears. I made an attempt last year in eastern Idaho and also in the Boise area, only seeing one sow who hadn't shed her 2 cubs yet. A small group of friends and I are going to try again this year and have tentatively decided on Unit 1, spot and stalk. My research shows that most hunters are in the Priest Lake/Selkirk area and that if you go east of I-95, the pressure drops. We haven't decided what specific area we want to try yet, or if we are going in May or June. My questions are:

1. For an average spring, how is the access in May as compared to June for a 4x4 pickup? We plan to hike deeper once we get to the desired elevation.
2. Any suggestions on general areas to research east of I-95?
3. What condition are the logging roads in as of 2021?
4. Anything you feel would be beneficial to know about hunting in this unit.

I am still doing my homework, and will contact F&G in a couple months to toss some ideas around as well. Any advice from a knowledgeable Rokslider would be greatly appreciated. I have a couple spots in mind that I would be happy to discuss with someone via PM.

Thanks in advance,

Bubba
 
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BuckSmasher

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Feb 18, 2014
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North ID
I have a sample size of one year, and this winter is drastically more snowy than last year, but by June last year there wasn't anywhere I went scouting that had snow in enough quantity to be a bother.

I am planning on going up near Priest this spring myself. Word is there are a ton of bears up there. Read online that some of the highest densities in Idaho. Based upon my experience this past fall and spring, I wouldn't worry about pressure in Bear season. Elk season is the only time I ever saw other hunters in the woods up here.
 
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Bubba94

Bubba94

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
110
Location
Idaho
I have a sample size of one year, and this winter is drastically more snowy than last year, but by June last year there wasn't anywhere I went scouting that had snow in enough quantity to be a bother.

I am planning on going up near Priest this spring myself. Word is there are a ton of bears up there. Read online that some of the highest densities in Idaho. Based upon my experience this past fall and spring, I wouldn't worry about pressure in Bear season. Elk season is the only time I ever saw other hunters in the woods up here.
Thanks for the advice!
 

TheTone

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Mar 4, 2012
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1,076
No direct knowledge but you’re driving past a lot of bears to get there and a lot of areas without the possibility of grizzlies
 
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Bubba94

Bubba94

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Dec 7, 2018
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Idaho
No direct knowledge but you’re driving past a lot of bears to get there and a lot of areas without the possibility of grizzlies
I hate to be "that guy", but do you have any units you'd suggest? My only real experience was eastern Idaho along the Wyoming border and Boise NF. I am not 100% set on Unit 1 just yet.
 

mtnbiker208

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Apr 4, 2017
Messages
685
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north idaho
typically we are still snowmobiling in may in unit 1. however unit 1 has a pretty big difference in elevation from the tops to the river bottoms.
 
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Bubba94

Bubba94

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Dec 7, 2018
Messages
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Idaho
typically we are still snowmobiling in may in unit 1. however unit 1 has a pretty big difference in elevation from the tops to the river bottoms.
I wish we could sled that long down here! Have you seen any bears while riding? If so, what elevation do you figure you were at?
 

Paulcobb

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Sep 21, 2015
Messages
164
I grew up at priest lake in unit 1 and still actively hunt/spend time up there. while there are a decent population of bears up there hunting is tough…. VERY thick heavily wooded country with limited opportunities for glassing spot and stalk. If your sights are set on unit 1 I would focus on the east side of the lake and the bonners ferry side. feel free to PM me with more details.
 

mtnbiker208

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Apr 4, 2017
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north idaho
I wish we could sled that long down here! Have you seen any bears while riding? If so, what elevation do you figure you were at?
the only time i see bears sledding is in the truck driving away from the parking lots. think green grass not mountain tops for spring bear. But i am not a bear hunter.
 
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Bubba94

Bubba94

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Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
110
Location
Idaho
I grew up at priest lake in unit 1 and still actively hunt/spend time up there. while there are a decent population of bears up there hunting is tough…. VERY thick heavily wooded country with limited opportunities for glassing spot and stalk. If your sights are set on unit 1 I would focus on the east side of the lake and the bonners ferry side. feel free to PM me with more details.
Great info!
 

TheTone

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Mar 4, 2012
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I think any country from Idaho falls, north to salmon and west towards Stanley has great potential. Great mix of big mountains, timber, and glass able areas. Just chase the snow line early season. I’ve hunted a number of different spots throughout the big area I referenced and either saw bears or bear sign
 

Bwat82

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Feb 7, 2022
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2
I grew up at priest lake in unit 1 and still actively hunt/spend time up there. while there are a decent population of bears up there hunting is tough…. VERY thick heavily wooded country with limited opportunities for glassing spot and stalk. If your sights are set on unit 1 I would focus on the east side of the lake and the bonners ferry side. feel free to PM me with more details.
I’m sure you get hassled quite a bit about bear hunting… Would you be will to show some fellas from Texas around Priest lake area in exchange for a Texas whitetail hunt? We’ll be up that way 5-20-22 through 6-3-22. We’ve hunted Colorado for bears a few times, but never as far north as Idaho.
 

North Idaho Stickbow

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Feb 9, 2020
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Idaho Panhandle
If you’re hunting east of the 95, just drive to Moyie Springs and head up the Moyie River road. There are tons of fire roads going up the mountains of that road, and it shouldn’t be an issue in late May or June. I’ve bear hunted around there a few times. It’s a fun area.

Stop and eat at the Mennonite Bakery and the Bonner’s Ferry Papusaria. You won’t be sorry.
 

mtnbiker208

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Apr 4, 2017
Messages
685
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north idaho
schweitzer still has 100 inches of snow, bear mountain snotell shows 100 inches. I should not have put the snowmobiles away.

I ran the moyie river in my cataraft last weekend, not much water in it for the time of year.
 

Wrench

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Aug 23, 2018
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4,211
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WA
I've killed several spring bears and seen hundreds. My advice is to find the darkest green grass you can that has the least pressure with the most easy access.

Bears want to be fed, left alone and not exert energy....in about that order.

You have better odds in a 3500' clear cut with over grown roads than anything open above snow line.
 

RMBoersma

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May 21, 2022
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1
Has anyone seen any bears or sings of bears in unit 1 yet or is it still to early I’m scouting in 1 right now and seems like good grass 3500 and below
 

i8urcat

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Apr 2, 2021
Messages
61
Has anyone seen any bears or sings of bears in unit 1 yet or is it still to early I’m scouting in 1 right now and seems like good grass 3500 and below
It's definitely not too early. I've passed on 2 little ones in the last week. Both at around 3000ft. Lots of people in the easy to get to spots over the weekend.
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