ID Spring Bear Units

SFN2821

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Headed on my first western trip to Idaho for spring bear. I've been swaying back and forth amongst all of the information and I'm hoping those that have been in some of these units can share some info that helps me narrow my search to one unit. Doesn't sound like bear densities are much of an issue in ID, so I'm really searching for a unit that gives me the type of hunt I'm after, and is within my first timer abilities.

Looking at starting somewhere in the second week of June. All spot & stalk. I'll be on foot the entire time, but willing to put on miles to get away from crowds & have that backcountry experience. I'd like to do a backpack style hunt, but I'm open to camping at the car as well. Most, if not all, reduced price units in the mix here simply because of the price and the assumption that there is less pressure. I'd prefer to not have to battle crowds/bait sites and hounds on my first trip. Not 100% sure how comfortable I am with being in grizz country - that's something I'm still debating.

For a first time western hunt, am I selecting units that are too difficult to access on foot? And do these units lend themselves to spot/stalk methods? I'm going all spot/stalk and am hoping to be able to access glassing points & be mobile during a week long hunt.

14, 15, 16, 16A, 17, 19, 20

Any info would be greatly appreciated!
 

Spoonbill

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I wouldn’t worry about grizzly bears, I think it is overblown. You will also have a gun with you, so if a grizzly becomes a problem you have a solution.
I would look for a wilderness area if you want to avoid dogs and bait sights.
 

archp625

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I wouldn’t worry about grizzly bears, I think it is overblown. You will also have a gun with you, so if a grizzly becomes a problem you have a solution.
I would look for a wilderness area if you want to avoid dogs and bait sights.
Its interesting you said this. I called and talked to a Biologist last week on a Unit I am interested in. Places like goHunt says Grizzlies are there and watch out and he told me if I saw one it would be like winning the lottery. Made me feel better but still, people win the lottery every day.
 
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SFN2821

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I'm looking at wilderness areas but have been reading and hearing that the ability to get back into these places will take you days without pack animals. And getting a vehicle to a number of possible access points is pretty restricted even in June. I'm not opposed to walking a whole bunch of miles. I just want to know what I'm getting myself into before arriving at the trailhead. And definitely don't want to arrive after an entire day's hike and struggle with finding a spot to glass.
 

Spoonbill

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Its interesting you said this. I called and talked to a Biologist last week on a Unit I am interested in. Places like goHunt says Grizzlies are there and watch out and he told me if I saw one it would be like winning the lottery. Made me feel better but still, people win the lottery every day.
True, it is something to think about. You have a better chance of getting attacked a black bear over a grizzly. I would pick up a wolf tag in case you get a shot at one.
 

Spoonbill

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I'm looking at wilderness areas but have been reading and hearing that the ability to get back into these places will take you days without pack animals. And getting a vehicle to a number of possible access points is pretty restricted even in June. I'm not opposed to walking a whole bunch of miles. I just want to know what I'm getting myself into before arriving at the trailhead. And definitely don't want to arrive after an entire day's hike and struggle with finding a spot to glass.
A lot depends on snow. Idaho just got hammered by snow, but that doesn’t mean it won’t melt off in April. Also I have been in and out of wilderness areas without hiking for days, just depends on which one you are looking at, there is also less pressure in spring than their is in the fall so you don’t need to go as far to get away from the crowds.
 

280Ackley

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I’ve been on multiple spring trips for bears on the Selway and have never seen anyone else other then rafters and trail cleaning crews. One year I even had to hike the 15 miles into our base camp because I had to coach my kids soccer team in the championship!! Sure was a whole lot easier on the at out on horseback but definitely doable. Saw bears right at the river and at snow line. I agree with the others grizzlies shouldn’t be a problem. Spend a lot of time in the panhandle and Selway and I have never seen any sign of them.
 

Ross

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Spring in much of Idaho is difficult to get around in the backcountry if you can rent one of these it will make your day🤙 first week of May in the panhandle great time to be out and really start seeing bears around May 15th back in.
 

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mtnbiker208

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A couple of years ago, my wife and i where riding around on 4 wheelers near the st joe\clearwater divide. I came accross a car with a couple of backpackers. I got asked a question and told the guy that the tralhead was 3 miles away and had 5 ft of snow on it. His wife did not look to impressed. We left and i have no idea if they postholed the 3 miles to start there backpacking trip or not. They where from oklahoma and did not expect the snow that is always there at the end of june. This unit closed july 31st for bear. This was in the Mallard larkins area.
 
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SFN2821

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I did not realize that snow was such an issue in June. Easterner here so my eyes have been opened a bit. I'm still working to figure out what the vegetation looks like in these various units. Some resources tell me some of the units I've listed have great glassing opportunities while different resources tell me those same units are too thick to glass outside of some logging cuts. Trying to get my head around this before I actually have boots on the ground.
 

Ross

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I see rigs buried in snow every year in late May and June and I just scratch my head and ride on by🤙The new folk have no idea and think it is summer time because it is 50-60 in town 😂 one notorious spot I have seen buried to the bottom and a car this yr I’m like what were they thinking.....snow hangs long in the shaded north slopes and bottoms....that ruins a day to walk out after alot of digging check road conditions🤙 Before pulling forward
 

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P Carter

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I see rigs buried in snow every year in late May and June and I just scratch my head and ride on by🤙The new folk have no idea and think it is summer time because it is 50-60 in town 😂 one notorious spot I have seen buried to the bottom and a car this yr I’m like what were they thinking.....snow hangs long in the shaded north slopes and bottoms....that ruins a day to walk out after alot of digging check road conditions🤙 Before pulling forward
Yup, my dad and I have pulled out a number of folks. Last year I pulled out a passenger car when I was out turkey scouting with my three little kids. It’s nice in the valley, the bottom of the roads look good, but there are deep drifts on some curves higher up and folks get a “I can make it through this one last drift” mentality.
 

ilikefunkymusic

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Spring in much of Idaho is difficult to get around in the backcountry if you can rent one of these it will make your day🤙 first week of May in the panhandle great time to be out and really start seeing bears around May 15th back in.
Bro, your camera is tweaking
 
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