Question about bears on a solo archery hunt in ID

rhendrix

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Trying to find someone to do go with me on a mule deer hunt in Idaho has been like trying to get oil outta a water spout. So...what information do I need to know to calm my wife nerves about bears if I decide to go? Not sure I'll have the money to afford a Taurus Ultralite .44, so I've been looking at other alternatives besides bear spray. Really just looking for something I can tell her to give her some piece of mind, besides the fact that bear attacks aren't as common as she thinks they are.

Thanks,
Ron
 

RosinBag

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Are you hunting Idaho in grizzly country? If not, I wouldn't worry about it. If you are in the zones with grizzlies, you can look at bear fences along with using good practices around camp to keep scent control away from the area you are sleeping. If you can't afford the Taurus, you could look at borrowing one to get through your hunt also. Bear spray is ok, but you need to watch your temperatures. It generally doesn't work below 32 degrees.
 
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rhendrix

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I hadn't settled on a unit, and to be honest, I don't know what the home range of a grizzly is in ID. I just know that there are grizzlies in ID. A fact that I should've witheld from my wife, since she is a worry wart sometimes, but a beautiful worry wart, so I tolerate it.
 

RosinBag

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I am not an expert, but it seems most of the grizzlies are along the eastern side of the state, which also seems to be mostly whitetail deer. I know there are several Idaho guys on RokSlide and I bet they will chime in. I think Robby Denning lives there and he is always on RokSlide and would be one worth sending a message to.
 

Ross

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If your looking at unit 1, there are MANY Grizzlies around the Priest Lake area. Ryan can tell you about his adventure this Sept with an early Muley tag. One of my hunting buddies also had this tag and got many on his camera in this area and up around Bonners Ferry. Be safe if it is in one of these areas.
 

TRIPLE

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Your location and timing is everything. Not bear country no problem. Bear country, different approach. If you're hunting early season, I absolutely think spray. Late season gun and make it a .44 minimum. I guide for black bear hunts (I know a 600 lb charging grizz and a 300 lb charging black is a bit different, but neither outcome is desired) and have had to shoot two charging wounded bears. The one worth mentioning I shot and killed at eight feet with four shots from a glock 21 in .45. Now, your potential senerio and mine are completely different as I was looking for trouble and your trying to avoid it. The point is I was drawn and following blood and alert when the sh*t hit the fan and every bit of my shooting experience flew out the window. The truth is I reacted and was lucky that it was too close too miss. With charging bears I'd much rather have a multiple square foot wall of pepper spray between me and him than a franticing non aimed pistol. Btw- a .45 is way underkill I know take a .44 when wading through alders cleaning up someone else's mess.
 
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rhendrix

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Thank you for the advice, I am comfortable with using bear spray...and now that I have some statistical evidence backing up my beliefs, I think my wife will be more comfortable as well.

I am looking at hunting in units 16A, 17, or 20, as I understand it, there are bear in all of these units, is this correct?
 
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robby denning

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Unless you're hunting units 61/60A/62A/62/65/64/65/67, you will be very hard pressed to see a grizzly in SE, S, and Western Idaho.

Black bears in every unit, but just stay alert, camp safe, and your chances of being hurt by a human are much higher.

I've hunted alone, even the grizzly units and while it's not for everyone, I don't let it stop me. Bear spray/pistol is my back up, awareness is first line of defense. Remember, bear spray less reliable in freezing temps.

Higher chance of getting killed on the hiway getting to the hunt than by a bear and virtually no one worries about the drive.
 

Craig4791

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Just as DWarcher said, check out that article in Bugle. Great Info on bear attacks with real data. Bear spray is proven to be more effective than a firearm. I carry mine with me on every hunt.
 

huntography

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I carried both of my bear sprays while filming our Elk hunt in Island Springs - Pepper spray and my Glock 20sf with hard cast bullets.

We had 2 fresh separate griz sign posts and that attack that was in the news in Sept happened not too far from us.

Pretty scary especially walking in the dark.
 

Darin Cooper

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Units 16, 17, & 20 are wilderness units with lots of bears. Grizzlies are rare, but definitely possible in those units. I had a run in with an aggressive black bear in unit 17 several years back that I eventually had to shoot at about 7 or 8 yards with my bow.

None of these units would be on my list for a solo mule deer hunt unless you already have some inside information - I would recommend that you do some more research and hunt elsewhere...

DC
 

Ryan Avery

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Did some hunting in unit 1 for mule deer. There's a lot of bears in unit 1:) In a 5 day backpack hunt I saw 9 grizzlies and 18 or so black bears. We had a Grizzly sow and two cubs come to about 50 yards before we had to scare them off.
IMG_02271.jpg

Sow and a cub
 
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