Archery Elk hunting Solo in grizzly country.

grfox92

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Mar 14, 2017
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How many guys hunt solo in grizzly country? I'm talking high density grizzly country.

I had 4 or 5 guys committed to hunting bow season with me this year and everyone is a flake.

It's my first year elk hunting, and I'm in NW Wyoming in a high grizzly density area. I've always heard archery elk is the best way to get mixed up with a grizzly bear.

I don't mind being out in the mountains with grizzlies when I'm with another guy, but when your alone it gets pretty spooky. I'm new to all of this so I'm sure it will get better with time, but I've got three little kids and that weighs heavy on my mind now compared to how I lived life before children.

So what do you say? Am I over thinking it? Do I need to just go or am I doing the right thing by staying home until I have a partner?

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MTSasquatch

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I’ve bow hunted solo for years in the Bob, the highest grizzly concentration in the lower 48. As have a number of my friends. We have never had a serious issue. Clean camp, no food or attractants near my camp, don’t camp in high quality bear habitat, and I don’t sneak around in the dark. I think if you act accordingly you can reduce— but not totally eliminate— the risk. You’ll have to weigh the risk/reward for yourself and proceed as decided. Good luck!
 

Carlisle

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Jun 30, 2021
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I hunt alone in the Madison range of MT. It definitely gets spooky by yourself at times (mostly in the dark) but it’s all mental. Don’t let your imagination get the best of you. I carry bear spray and a 10mm. Neither are guaranteed to help me but it makes me feel good.

Be smart and alert and you most likely will be fine.


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cgasner1

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Mar 12, 2015
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Be smart have fun. Be sure before you go that your actually not worried and can enjoy the trip without worrying about a bear every 20 yards


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FLATHEAD

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Jun 27, 2021
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The few times I've been up around Yellowstone/Bob Marshall, it never
crossed my mind till it got dark. I would have a really hard time getting
any sleep if I was hunting solo and tent camping.
 
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grfox92

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Mar 14, 2017
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Solo?
No thanks.
There are plenty of good places to hunt where I won't have to share my elk meat.

Walking up on a fresh lion kill (young mulie) was enough predator excitement for me.
Well unfortunately I live in grizzly country so that's not an option for me but thanks.

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grfox92

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Mar 14, 2017
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Bear spray a good sidearm you'll be fine.
I'd be more worried about after the kill, especially your second trip in to haul meat out.
I live less than 10 minutes from National Forest so I'm not doing anything overnight and if I did get an animal down the second trip I could definitely have people with me. Most likely horses.

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grfox92

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Mar 14, 2017
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The few times I've been up around Yellowstone/Bob Marshall, it never
crossed my mind till it got dark. I would have a really hard time getting
any sleep if I was hunting solo and tent camping.
I've been solo and camped in black bear country but never grizzly country. For now I'm just day hunting though. In the future there's an electric fence on my list and I would probably also bring the dogs if I was packing in for a couple days.

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insanelupus

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Sep 2, 2015
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When solo hunting in grizzly country, it is prudent to have a conversation on possibilities vs probabilities.

The issue isn't the bears, it is fear. Fear of an unknown you can't control. That's the biggest part of working through such things, especially as outdoorsmen. If you look at the statistics of what could hurt you or kill you traveling to and from hunt areas and while you hunt, then approached then with the same worry many do grizzlies, there would be far fewer hunters in the hunt areas.

I'm not dismissive of the concern. I've worked outside and recreated in grizzly country for the better part of 20 years. Ive encountered a few and seen even more fresh sign. I've been fortunate to have no issues with them.

That said, I respect them for what they are, an unpredictable, apex predator. Give them their room if they are around, don't do anything foolish to increase odds of an encounter, keep a clean camp and hunt on.

And on those rare occasions I start playing mental "what if questions", I come back to a conversation with myself of possibilities vs probabilities, and understanding fear is the bigger subject at play. I use this conversation reminder a lot in other areas of life.

In the end, I simply fall back on trusting the Lord to lead me and doing my best to avoid foolish actions.

YMMV.
 

corey006

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Jun 19, 2019
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To the guys that solo....

How do you handle the packout?

Do you try to move/relocate the quarters away from the carcass/gutpile, or would the bears still find the quarters before gutpile?

My worry would be an evening kill, and coming back for meat, because you cannot take out in 1 trip.
 
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Coveyleader

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Nov 27, 2013
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Camping/hunting wouldn't bother me, it's when you have an elk down and have to deal with it. If you shoot an elk at dusk, you're looking at 2 hours more or less to break it down and it will be dark. Partner, non issue. Alone, that's a task and a daunting one at that.
 

Dalen88

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Mar 26, 2020
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im so jealous of you guys from the states being able to carry, mountain goat hunting last year with my bow i accidentally snuck up on a sow and her cub and watched her cross in front of me at 40 yards, felt pretty silly with my bow and bear spray haha. Later that year seen a good rub so i did some cow calling and called in a sow with 2 cubs that charged and had to put her down at 30 yards. Glad i had the gun that day
 
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grfox92

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Mar 14, 2017
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Camping/hunting wouldn't bother me, it's when you have an elk down and have to deal with it. If you shoot an elk at dusk, you're looking at 2 hours more or less to break it down and it will be dark. Partner, non issue. Alone, that's a task and a daunting one at that.
This is another major consideration. I would probably have to call a quits around noon if I didn't get into elk depending upon where I was

Tomorrow I'm going to hit as many trail heads as I can and hike a little ways in, let out some bugles and see if I can get any responses. Seems like my best bet being alone for now.

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grfox92

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Mar 14, 2017
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Went out this morning and ran into a guide at a trail head. He gave me a hot tip on an area that was about a 3 mile hike and I should get into some elk.

I struck off. The trail had me side hilling along a rocky trail heading into a draw. The trail brought me to through the bottom of the draw into a creek bottom. It was full of choke cherries and I couldnt see more then 30 or so yards.

Right in the trail I was on was bear shit, full of berries. I pushed my boot into it. Dry and crumbly. So I moved on. Passed about 10 more piles. Came across the next one and pushed my boot into it. It was soft. Ok no big deal. I'm making noise and calling out "Hey Bear" every couple yards. I come to another pile, this one looks different, bent down and picked up some and it was warm.

I wasn't scared but felt it would be irresponsible of me to continue on with 3 little kids and my wife waiting back at home for me and literal steaming piles of grizzly shit on the same trail I was walking.
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bowhunter307

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Feb 11, 2020
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Are you in Cody? Hit me up sometime if you need a hunting partner. I have a GEN deer tag that I'll be trying to fill around here, but my elk tag is in the SE part of the state.

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