Nonresident Hunters And Reduced Fee Black Bear Unit Success Rates

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Deleted member 52995

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It's very difficult, if not impossible to determine real world success rates for black bear hunters, and that's certainly true for success rates of nonresident hunters in Idaho's reduced tag fee units. But it's blatantly clear that the vast majority of bears killed in those units (approximately 75%) are killed by bait, and hound hunters. The success rate for "still/stalk" hunters in reduced tag fee units is substantially lower, hovering at about 200 bears or approximately 20%. With approximately 2500 bears killed in 2019 statewide, only about 8% of the total of bears killed were killed by spot, and stalk hunters in reduced fee units. The overall statewide success rate for the approximate 31,000 + bears hunters is probably less than 8.3%, with the vast majority of those bears killed by bait, and hound hunters. So, if you're a nonresident hunter, new to Idaho spring bear hunting, bear hunting in general, and unfamiliar with the terrain that you plan to hunt, you may want to consider optional methods of hunting spring bears, no matter how isolated, and secluded you think your hunting area might me. It won't be, just take my word for it.....🐻👍
 
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MHWASH

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Aug 21, 2016
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I won’t disagree with, but baiting and hound hunting are both expensive for most non resident hunters. DIY baiting is very time consuming. I live 2hrs from the closest reduced near area. Pretty much impossible for me to find the time to bait correctly.
 

mhabiger

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@Hannibal 100% agree with you. Being a fella with deer and elk tags in 15 this fall, I figured I'd run around bear hunting this spring and get a feeling for access points and terrain features. The odds are low and if success is measured by a bear on the ground, prepare to be disappointed.

I've thought a bit about trying to get better success rate estimates in the absence of more extensive hunter surveys by IDFG. The only option I can see for better understanding success rates in both Montana and Idaho is to request bear tag sales reports from agencies by month and residency. For Idaho residents it should give an accurate view. For nonresidents it might be off since lots of nonres will purchase bear tags with their capped OTC deer/elk tags.
 

PablitoPescador

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Jun 18, 2019
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Something to consider…how many hunters just pick up a bear tag in case they happen to see one while hunting deer and elk in the fall? A large percentage of those bear tags are people who never go out specifically targeting black bears. When that is taken into account I’d suspect success rates for hunters who specifically target bears is much higher than 5%
 

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