Grizzlies

Cramer

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Oct 21, 2013
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I live and hunt in areas with a fairly high Grizzly population. How do you guys handle them? I know all the food handling and camping tactics, but what about when you are breaking down a kill? In the past year I have been anywhere from 10 yards to 500 yards from them and honestly the thought of running into one while I'm covered in animal blood/scent doesn't appeal to me. That uneasiness (fear) has actually caused me to hunt areas without Griz just because it freaks me out. To the point I don't want to backpack into areas I know they are because I doubt I would sleep, though that is a fear I hope to conquer this year. Backpacking into these areas would probably exponentially increase my chances of success over day hunting. Any advice?


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Bubblehide

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I live and hunt in areas with a fairly high Grizzly population. How do you guys handle them?.. Any advice?


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I usually give them a tickle and send them on their way.

Okay, I just couldn't resist. All joking aside, we don't handle them. We do everything to avoid them. Understanding bear behavior can be important in not just giving up a harvest. But push come to shove, I don't think anyone here is going to insist on standing their ground when it comes to a determined Grizzle.
 

mike.adams.467

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I carry a can of spray and a pistol any time I am archery hunting. If I hike at night I carry the spray in my hand. If I kill I try to get the meat out the same day. Someone always packs a shotgun when we return for the meat, and we make plenty of noise when returning to the kill site. I have also carried quarters to a stream and put them under water in a garbage when leaving meat overnight. There are a lot of grizzlies in my area.


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406

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I am so paranoid about a big bear trying to jump my kill. Besides trying to be clean and fast, I keep my pistol on me at all times... It doesn't do any good strapped to your pack when your pack is leaning up against a tree 15 feet away.

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matthewmt

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I am so paranoid about a big bear trying to jump my kill. Besides trying to be clean and fast, I keep my pistol on me at all times... It doesn't do any good strapped to your pack when your pack is leaning up against a tree 15 feet away.

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This is a good point, I do run a holster on my pack belt but also pack along a Dale Fricke "Zach" holster in my bino harness to remove pistol from my pack and run appendix.

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Beendare

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No doubt the area within about 80 miles of Yellowstone has the most aggressive grizzlies in NA. The whole 'gun is like a dinner bell' on Kodiak is a myth...those bears in all of the parts of Alaska I've hunted have a healthy fear of humans.

Last year there were at least 2 attacks while we were in montana....one right there near us just north of YNP
 

frankrb3

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I hunt in heavy grizzly country aswell. I carry bear spray and a .44 revolver on my body regardless of whether I'm archery or rifle hunting. I have found my rifle to be useless when hiking in or out in the dark because of the scope. It also requires both hands to use. I killed a cow elk 5 minutes before dark this fall over a mile back in really bad grizzly country while alone. I've never felt so alert in my life as I worked to process my elk. Luckily my elk died in a fairly open area at the base of a tree that had great climbing potential if needed. I got the back straps and a deboned quarter out that night and hung the rest of the meat in that tree. I was glad I had my .44 with me because once I got to work on the elk my rifle was never really an option. I didn't get out of there until 10pm and by the time I did I was glad. Only critter to show up was a small fox but everytime I looked over my shoulder with my head lamp I was praying not to see Mr. Grizz. I find packing the extra weight of bear spray and a handgun of suitable caliber reassuring when I am hunting alone even if I have my rifle and I think that's what most of us want when hunting around big bears. Only other way I feel more secure is when I am with trusted hunting buddies but our schedules don't always workout for hunts and I won't let bears prevent me from getting out there alone.
 

907to406

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I hunt in grizzly country and have anywhere between 3-9 encounters/sightings per season. In these areas I always use the gutless method to breakdown an animal and keep scent to a minimum. Using this method it'd rare for me to get any blood past my wrists.
 

MtnOyster

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No doubt the area within about 80 miles of Yellowstone has the most aggressive grizzlies in NA. The whole 'gun is like a dinner bell' on Kodiak is a myth...those bears in all of the parts of Alaska I've hunted have a healthy fear of humans.

Last year there were at least 2 attacks while we were in montana....one right there near us just north of YNP


my 2 cents, those bears wouldn't be so aggressive if they had a hunting season on them, they have no reason to fear anything right now.
 

wyosteve

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I've tried to hold back, but the post by MtnOyster is similar to others I've seen recently. Would you explain to me why you think a hunting season would lessen grizzly aggressiveness and instill fear?? It makes no sense to me. They don't have Facebook, Twitter or tweets, so how is the fact that someone is hunting them going to get communicated? If there was hunting, the idea is to kill the critter you're after. If that grizzly is dead, its not going to let its buddies know someone shot him and there's not going to be a bunch of spectator bears watching their buddy get shot. Sows with cubs are not legal so no one would be shooting at her/them. If you say well, shooting at them and missing will educate them, then you can legally do that now. Not wanting to sound overly critical, but posts like that seem to be 'mouth engaged before brain'! Flame suit on, but if anyone has a logical explanation, I'm all ears.
 

907to406

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I've tried to hold back, but the post by MtnOyster is similar to others I've seen recently. Would you explain to me why you think a hunting season would lessen grizzly aggressiveness and instill fear?? It makes no sense to me. They don't have Facebook, Twitter or tweets, so how is the fact that someone is hunting them going to get communicated? If there was hunting, the idea is to kill the critter you're after. If that grizzly is dead, its not going to let its buddies know someone shot him and there's not going to be a bunch of spectator bears watching their buddy get shot. Sows with cubs are not legal so no one would be shooting at her/them. If you say well, shooting at them and missing will educate them, then you can legally do that now. Not wanting to sound overly critical, but posts like that seem to be 'mouth engaged before brain'! Flame suit on, but if anyone has a logical explanation, I'm all ears.

I understand what your saying and that's a logical perspective but
 

907to406

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I've tried to hold back, but the post by MtnOyster is similar to others I've seen recently. Would you explain to me why you think a hunting season would lessen grizzly aggressiveness and instill fear?? It makes no sense to me. They don't have Facebook, Twitter or tweets, so how is the fact that someone is hunting them going to get communicated? If there was hunting, the idea is to kill the critter you're after. If that grizzly is dead, its not going to let its buddies know someone shot him and there's not going to be a bunch of spectator bears watching their buddy get shot. Sows with cubs are not legal so no one would be shooting at her/them. If you say well, shooting at them and missing will educate them, then you can legally do that now. Not wanting to sound overly critical, but posts like that seem to be 'mouth engaged before brain'! Flame suit on, but if anyone has a logical explanation, I'm all ears.

That's a logical thinking on your end and a valid point so I'm not looking to "flame" anyone, but I would think that if there was a season on Grizzlies that other griz would catch scent of the kill sites and human scent with it and that would potentially start to educate bears over a few years. As I'm sure you know a bears primary sense is its sense of smell...
 

Nomad

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If elk hunting was banned in your favorite unit, I'd bet ya $5 those elk would become a lot less concerned with humans.
 

MtnOyster

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Kentucky
I've tried to hold back, but the post by MtnOyster is similar to others I've seen recently. Would you explain to me why you think a hunting season would lessen grizzly aggressiveness and instill fear?? It makes no sense to me. They don't have Facebook, Twitter or tweets, so how is the fact that someone is hunting them going to get communicated? If there was hunting, the idea is to kill the critter you're after. If that grizzly is dead, its not going to let its buddies know someone shot him and there's not going to be a bunch of spectator bears watching their buddy get shot. Sows with cubs are not legal so no one would be shooting at her/them. If you say well, shooting at them and missing will educate them, then you can legally do that now. Not wanting to sound overly critical, but posts like that seem to be 'mouth engaged before brain'! Flame suit on, but if anyone has a logical explanation, I'm all ears.


hmm...........well........ tell that to the victims family who have been killed by one. when a killing machine has no reason to fear you and its hungry do you think your gonna have a cup of coffee with it and talk it out of it? Now if it had a hunting season on it and you shot at it and slightly wounded it it would run off on its next human encounter or make a good shot and not have to worry about it harming you or anyone else. Dont know if you seen the news in the last 5 years but the bears around yellowstone are getting aggressively out of hand, killed a wildlife official last year.
 

BigAntlerGetter

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Black bears have a huntin season on them all over the country, but they still enter people's homes. There are still black bear attacks.
As you just said if a bear wants to attack you ur not gonna make it decide otherwise. Black bears are less aggressive as grizzlies with a hunting season on them but they still aren't afraid of human encounters. Just like bears getting the 3 strikes for entering homes and stuff they obviously don't learn from a huntin season.
 

Jason Snyder

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I really doubt bear behavior has changed markedly. There are just more of them. Couple that with the fact that there are a LOT or archery hunters tromping around in really prime grizzly country around YNP and it completely makes sense to have more bear attacks.

Elk are a prey animal. Grizzlies are an apex predator. To try and assimilate behavioral patterns between them is probably not going to be all that accurate.

The only way I see a hunting season lessening the occurrence of grizzly attacks is by reducing the overall number of bears. I just don't see how it would create a fear of humans.
 
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