Idaho or Montana For Nonresident Black Bear Hunters

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Deleted member 52995

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I spend most of my time scouting for black bears in Idaho, not hunting them. I seldom pull the trigger anymore, and have no intention of doing so unless it happens to be a new world record black bear (haven't seen any of 'em, and certainly won't in the State of Idaho), or a very unusual color phase. I have seen a few of those. But having had the opportunity to do some scouting in northwestern Montana, I'm beginning to wonder which state is the "lesser of two evils" for spring black bear hunters. Clearly Montana appears to be "standing room only" for hunters (road hunters included), and campers with Idaho marginally less so. But Idaho appears to have a slight lead IMHO, due to its' reduced tag fee units. With a success rate in both states hovering around 5% (if you exclude success rates for Idaho's hound, and bait hunters), a realistic, and sane nonresident black bear hunter will ultimately come to the realization that if you're going to "book" what will in all probability (95%) be little more than a sighting seeing tour, it's always prudent to purchase the least expensive tour available. After all, you can pocket the savings, and spend it on new hunting gear for next year's unsuccessful Idaho or Montana spring bear hunt (remember, it's a 95% probability). ..... The award goes to Idaho🏆.... 🐻👍
 
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mdkelley

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Nov 5, 2018
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Michigan
I have spot and stalk spring bear hunted Idaho 2019 and 2021, once was in reduced tag area. 2 days actual hunting the first trip one day this year. Add a few more days for scouting each time. Saw and killed a bear both times (hunting partner shot the bear this year but i located it and had a good shot opportunity, I wanted him to have a chance at one though.) Two different locations. Isn't impossible but takes some bear behavior knowledge and a lot of scouting. I've never hunted Montana. Agree Idaho bears are small. If you want a big bear come hunt Michigan. I wish we had a spring season, would save me a lot of money and travel time!

If you are looking for a partner for Idaho next spring let me know.
 

mdkelley

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Nov 5, 2018
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Michigan
Wasn't trying to offend or insult. Mostly trying to encourage other non residents like me that a successful hunt is possible if you work at it. My uninformed (no MT experience) vote is Idaho.
 

wildwilderness

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Mar 1, 2017
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Eagle River, AK
Neither, POW is where you need to go if you want a big black bear (20”+ or 7’) Spot and stalk or boat is what you do there. NR need to put in the draw in December or hire a guide. I think the draw odds are good
 
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