do bears use same hillsides every year

Rocketdog

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Jul 7, 2014
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Last year I found a hillside that had a nice bear living on it. I was never able to close the deal with that bear and this year I've been glassing it a bunch and have not seen any bears. Do bears usually use to the same hillsides year after year? I realize this bear may not be alive anymore but I figured a different bear would move in. It's well off the beaten path and I've never seen any hunters or signs of anyone back in there so it's not getting a lot of pressure. Thanks
 

Bubblehide

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May 13, 2015
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Generally speaking, bears tend to be creatures of habit. However, like most animals, they go where the food is, and look for the highest caloric value food source, i.e., the highest intake value for the least energy expenditure, this last part is pretty much a law of nature. As the seasons change, so do food sources, and of course food sources can get completely consumed. But in short, animals need their basic needs met, i.e., food, water, and secure shelter. Bears can have some pretty large territories, so nailing down a bear in a large territory can be a difficult task. But considering the winter many places have had, I would think the food supply is exceptionally abundant, thus making finding a bear in a low density population area very difficult. I'd be trying to figure out what the current food source is, and go from there. In one of the areas I hunt here in Ca, the bears tend to be in the western 2/3 of the zone at this time of year. As winter sets in, quite a few tend to utilize the eastern portion of the zone. Granted they disperse over the zone, but population density tends to fluctuate based on environmental conditions.
 

Michnal243

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May 3, 2017
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MT
This year has been quite the experience for me being that it's my first year trying to harvest a spring bear. I'm in nw mt and we got slammed with snow last winter but the snowline here is at 4,800ft about everywhere I've hunted. I've seen a total of 4 blackies this season all of them have been in drainages that were south facing and greened up and literally about 400ft below the snowline. Last weekend I found a great avalanche shoot that I sat on and saw 3 different bears in just 2hrs. They were at 4,300ft and were feeding in the shoot for a few minutes and then would go back into cover. There were three shoots in this same location but the bears were only utilizing this one shoot in particular. Reason why I believe they perferred this shoot is because there was thick cover on both sides of it and the the base of it as well making it a b*tch to hike up into as where the other two shoots didn't have thick cover at the bases at all. Moral of the story is that from this years experience I've came to realize that the bears are following the snow line feeding just under it, they love the south facing slopes that are greened up and have water running thru them as well as good surrounding cover that they can get to quick. Hope this helps any. I feel that uf you can find that right avalanche shoot that has feed and water and cover than your bound to find a bear there and they are probably sticking close by being that they have all their needs to keep them happy there this time of year!
 

Bubblehide

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Yep kind of what I expected to hear^^^^

If those are the conditions, I would expect that many of the bears may still be in hibernation, and those that are not, have a plethora of food. if that is the case, they likely are are not traveling far for what is a great food source that provides excellent security, along with water. I would expect that the bears are not very dispersed yet. As such, it may take a little work to find them.

Where I'm located, the bears do not hibernate. Knowing the OPs location may make a significant difference in advice provided.
 

Michnal243

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May 3, 2017
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MT
Where I'm located, the bears do not hibernate. Knowing the OPs location may make a significant difference in advice provided.

x2.. Yeah depending on where he's located will definitely make a difference in the bears habits and where to find them.
 

Read1t48

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May 18, 2017
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Oregon
I found a place that consistently holds bears on a particular hill. Throughout the years, I have been able to find a den on this hill, consistent food, water, and cover.
I have only seen them move once. And it was shortly after a logging company sprayed the roads with Roundup and crossbow. It took out a big part of their food supply and they had to leave. When the berries and grass grew back, and the loggers left (pressure gone), they returned. I think Bears will stick around in a particular area if they have these components. During the rut is a different story. A big boar may travel 20 miles or more in a day, and cover some of the roughest terrain you can imagine, searching for a sow. They only have one thing on their mind.
 
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