My last California bear...

bowuntr

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I've been hunting for the past 10 years with some houndsman buddies. These guys live to work their dogs and I am lucky and get to hunt with them every year. I've been on at least thirty hound hunts for bobcats, bear, fox and one time for mt lion. Lots of fun with some great guys.

I went last month on a brutal hunt that proved to be one of my most physically challenging days in the field. The dogs fought a big bear on the ground and the bear took them in to some inpenetrable country. My buddy did not get his dogs back until the next evening.

I got the call to hunt with them this week. First we were going to get this 12 year old boy his first bear. Then, if we had time we'd try and get me a big bear. I had until Friday to hunt. I met them at a ranch on Tuesday morning. Within the first 30 minutes the dogs strike and the race is on. They quickly bayed up the animal on the ground in the bottom of a canyone. We went down there and find out the the dogs are fighting with a big boar hog... and he's pissed. This kid put one round into the forehead of this beast with his pimped out model 94 John Wayne rifle and he had himself a trophy hog with 3 1/2" exposed tusks. One happy boy. We made quick work of the hog and were back at the truck hunting.

About 10 minutes later I saw a fat bobcat 30 yards away. The dogs saw it too and went bezerk. I asked my buddy if he wanted to catch the cat for the boy and he said "we're bear huntin... relax". Serious bear hunter... Another half hour later and the dogs strike again. The race is on... The bear wouldn't tree and took them over hill and dale. I actually saw the bear side hilling away with the dogs in tow. A pretty good chocolate. A couple miles later the dogs went in to a deep canyon and were heading for the top. The only way to get to the top was on a quad trail so we saddled up and headed up that way to catch them before they went over. On the way up I heard the dogs coming our way. We looked over the edge just in time to see the bear enter a pile of boulders and crawl in to a cave. Game on... It took us about 45 minutes to get to the rock pile crawling through some dense oak brush. It was real exciting watching that kid get close enough to see the bear in the opening and get a shot on him with his cool gun. During all the chaos, one of the dogs had snuck in to the cave and was in there with the bear. Amazing drive these dogs have. It even got more exciting when we couldn't pull the bear out because it was stuck. The kids dad crawled in there and unstuck him. You should have seen that boys face... priceless experience for all. We took pics, broke him down and packed the bear back up the hill.

Everything was great, except that we were missing two dogs. By the time we found them they were on the other side of the main ridge... treed. We had a few problems though... it was the end of the day and the dogs were a long ways off at the bottom of a big canyon. Can't shoot them from the truck... right... My buddy and I bailed off the side and dropped 1000 feet in to the canyon. 3/4 the way down we discovered that the dogs were on the opposide side of the canyon... still a long ways off. We kicked it up a notch, hit the bottom and made it up the other side. I was beat. The bear was way up in a pine tree... like 75 feet up. I was on the downhill side and my angle rangefinder said to shoot him for 8 yards and he was 32 yards away. Crazy steep. I made my way up to the uphill side and had a nice 25 yard shot. The bear was dead before it hit the ground... three fatal arrows worth. My biggest bear to date. What an incredible day... one of the best I've ever had in the field. My camera failed so I will post better pics later.

If you didn't know California outlawed bear and bobcat hunting with hounds, starting next season. I will not buy another bear tag in California. I'm pissed and sad for my buddys and their hounds. I videotaped this kids entire hunt for him. I'm sure he will show it to his kids and tell them about a day when you could hunt bears with hounds in California. I will post better pics when I get them.... maybe some cool video too. Ed F
 

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Travis Bertrand

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Ed. Great work! It's a shame we lost California, my father and I ran a guide service for a while running hounds. My wife and I talked probably 6 months back about our plans once the kids get a little older. I told her I wanted to start running hounds again, told her its a full time job etc.. Well she was cool with it! That's too bad I will not be able to unless I move to Idaho or elsewhere.
That law ruined a bunch of houndsmens careers and some of their lives... It's too bad.
 

Arrowslinger

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Great job Eduardo! The hounds-men help kill a pile of bears in this state and with them gone, well.....more bears isn't good for an already rapidly declining deer population. Nothing like a state that takes away a mans livelihood.
 

trkyslr

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Congrats again Ed on a great bear!

And Kirk you are correct unfortunately... You think next year if I took my wife's ferocious Pomeranian on a walk and happened to arrow a bear the state would see it using a dog ;-) and yes it's my wifes dog haha..
 

shaun

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Nice bear....I think you will be surprised at what you see coming up with SB1221. It is not banned yet it was wrote very wrong and has a lot of loopholes that the hounds men are using. I have quite a few buddy's in the Central Valley that run both pigs and bears and there are very involved with this. Things like hound hunting will be at DFG's discressin, also saying DFG can run dogs for study and general public can not, it is looking like it will be how it is during deer season 1dog per "dog tag" and dog owners now will have to have shot records on dogs and all MUST be chipped. They are still fighting it hard
 
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bowuntr

bowuntr

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Sorry Shaun, that's not the way it's understood by me and my buddys. The only people that will be able to run hounds are F&G employees, nobody else. The governor signed the bill... nothing else to fight. I wish you were right... Ed F
 

Travis Bertrand

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Sorry Shaun, that's not the way it's understood by me and my buddys. The only people that will be able to run hounds are F&G employees, nobody else. The governor signed the bill... nothing else to fight. I wish you were right... Ed F

Every houndsmen in northeast corner of the state has either sold their dogs or have them for sell.....
 
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bowuntr

bowuntr

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My buddy's are keeping theirs.... at least til I get my lion in Utah next month. I can't wait for that adventure... Ed F
 

Craig4791

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I agree it's a major bummer and BS but it won't stop me from buying a bear tag. Lots of good bear hunting in Ca. I wonder if they might consider a spring season to make up for the hound quota??
 

bighouse31

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It is truly sad what is happening to this state. The funny thing is that this bill was backed by HUS and had a large part to do with animal rights. Well just think how many bear hounds are out there right now for sale. More than enough to go around. What do you think is going to happen to a majority of those dogs when the owners can't sell them. Hate to say it but they will either get left on the mountain somewhere or be on the wrong side of a muzzle blast. So HUS just helped pass a law that is going to be the demise of a lot of dogs.
 
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bowuntr

bowuntr

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I wonder if they might consider a spring season to make up for the hound quota??

Never, never, never... The only promise that California can make is that we will continue to lose more and more outdoor privelidges... guaranteed. Sorry for being so negative guys but I live in a state that allows you to smoke pot after getting a prescription online, where a man can marry another man, where my kids cannot mention or talk about God in their public school, where I just got a notice that I have to pay extra taxes because I live in a fire hazard area even though I all ready pay taxes for firefighting, where a liberal ignorant politician from Torrance outlaws hunting with hounds, where I cannot bring home meat from the mt lion I'm going to legally shoot in Utah next month, where we cannot buy a 11 round magazine for our registered handguns to proctect us from the hundreds of felons that are released from jails and prisons everyday, where they closed parts of the Pacific coast to sport fishing... the fricken Pacific Ocean for Gods sake... I'm pissed... I'm outta here in two years. Move over because you're gettin another conservative runnin from California... Ed F
 

SDHNTR

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Another CA bear killed off the same property, with some of the same houndsmen, just a couple weeks before. So sad. I'm with ya Ed. I want out too.

Nate 2012 bear.jpg
 

ShootToKIll

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Never, never, never... The only promise that California can make is that we will continue to lose more and more outdoor privelidges... guaranteed. Sorry for being so negative guys but I live in a state that allows you to smoke pot after getting a prescription online, where a man can marry another man, where my kids cannot mention or talk about God in their public school, where I just got a notice that I have to pay extra taxes because I live in a fire hazard area even though I all ready pay taxes for firefighting, where a liberal ignorant politician from Torrance outlaws hunting with hounds, where I cannot bring home meat from the mt lion I'm going to legally shoot in Utah next month, where we cannot buy a 11 round magazine for our registered handguns to proctect us from the hundreds of felons that are released from jails and prisons everyday, where they closed parts of the Pacific coast to sport fishing... the fricken Pacific Ocean for Gods sake... I'm pissed... I'm outta here in two years. Move over because you're gettin another conservative runnin from California... Ed F

These statements are sad but true... what is this once great state coming to...
 

BlackBear

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I saw this post and registered with Rokslide. First of all, nice bear.

We need to continue to fight for what is ours. We can't get pissed, we need to do something about it. You may or may not know that there is an organization in California that fights for the preservation of our hunting rights in California. COHA (California Outdoor Hetitage Alliance). A link to thier web site is below. We all need to support COHA and other organizations trying to help us.

http://outdoorheritage.org/
 
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bowuntr

bowuntr

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Prescott, Az
Thanks and welcome to Rokslide. I re-read my posts and I did sound quite negative... lots of emotion. I only have so many days on this planet... I owe it to my family to do the best that I can for them.

Anyways, I haven't given up the fight. I am a lifelong member of the California Bowmen Hunters which is a member of COHA. I applaud COHA for getting organized for these battles... which there are many ahead. I'm also a committee member of the CBH Big Game Club and we had a meeting just yesterday. A big portion of this meeting was discussing how we are going to fight these battles. I agree WE should never give up... Ed F
 
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kickemall

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A bill has been introduced to overturn SB 1221. Just got the info. on it but no hearing date yet. Introduced by Assemblyman Donnely as AB 1230. With the 2/3 Democrat majority I don't know if it has a chance but at least its something. I still have all my hounds.

Dave
 
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Craig4791

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A bill has been introduced to overturn SB 1221. Just got the info. on it but no hearing date yet. Introduced by Assemblyman Donnely as AB 1230. With the 2/3 Democrat majority I don't know if it has a chance but at least its something. I still have all my hounds.

Dave

Good news at least it is still being fought!

I would like to see even half of the hunters in this state march the Capitol over some of these issues. I would take a vacation day to participate.
 
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