Solo hunting - Predator mouth calling

LonePineAZ

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Jan 23, 2018
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Phoenix
Hello, I haven't posted for a while and searched a few different terms for this topic before deciding to post. Forgive me if this a repeat, and if it needs to be moved, feel free to let me know.

Background:
I'm in my 2nd year hunting. Spring/Summer black bear archery hunt in 23N Arizona. I've spent about 30 non-contiguous days in the unit over the last 3.5 months. I've set cameras and scouted on foot and have one or more bears to pursue. Through some acquaintances who are accomplished archery bear hunters by my standards, I picked up some mouth calls:

Distressed Fawn
Jack Rabbit
Distressed Cub

Problem:
I mostly hunt alone. I'm scared to use the mouth calls alone because of mountain lions. Sure, I carry a sidearm, tourniquet/basic trauma stuff, HAM radio, and beacon, but I still can't get the stones to rip some calls in the morning. I've read about getting a good backing/flank protection, but don't know predator behavior, beyond my dog and cat, well enough to subdue my fear.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

bkspyder

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Jun 21, 2018
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Brooklyn, NY
Hmm - could you try putting patches on the back of your hat that look like big eyes? Story goes that a puma won't try a sneak on an animal that can see it.
 

hutty

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Mar 12, 2018
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maryland
Doing it solo is a bit dicey. My buddy and I did predator calling 4 years ago for bears in Maryland we were about 70 yards apart. Had a bear sneaking up behind me (totally crazy) . Called my buddy to let him know to be awake and bear crept up on him, bear was 15 yards away when he shot. Now we only do it in pairs. Wasn't a huge bear but still wild to have something stalking you for a meal. Add in mtn lion and it could get colorful.
 

chindits

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Feb 25, 2013
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Westslope, CO
I had a similar problem, I would hunt elk early morning and around mid morning I would head down to the creek bottom and call for bears. It would only take a couple calls and I would fall asleep with warming temperatures and the anti climax of going from talking elk to silent bears. However, I really wouldn’t be concerned about cats. Way more bear attacks then cat attacks. And if a cat gets you by the neck from behind it will be a lot quicker then a bear. BCFD9B69-BF2B-4303-A70D-80A01CD34FCA.jpeg
 
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LonePineAZ

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Thanks for the anecdotal information guys.

@bkspyder: I've heard the same with other big cats but didn't know it applied to mountain lions.

Anyone else have suggestions on where to place yourself?

For example, there are some falling water cutouts (currently dry) in a drainage I want to call in. They are shaped like a bowl and have about 10-15 sheer walls, or even overhangs. Would these be safe backings, or give the cats more advantage? I imagine they would funnel bears to a good choke and shot point, thought.
 

AndyB

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Mar 8, 2013
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North Wales UK
Hmm - could you try putting patches on the back of your hat that look like big eyes? Story goes that a puma won't try a sneak on an animal that can see it.
Watched a doc on big cats in Buritan, Tigers, Leopards, clouded leopards etc, local villagers all wear hats with big eyes on the back when walking the trails, works for them.
 

DEEF

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Apr 14, 2018
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Carmel Valley, CA
Thanks for the anecdotal information guys.

@bkspyder: I've heard the same with other big cats but didn't know it applied to mountain lions.

Anyone else have suggestions on where to place yourself?

For example, there are some falling water cutouts (currently dry) in a drainage I want to call in. They are shaped like a bowl and have about 10-15 sheer walls, or even overhangs. Would these be safe backings, or give the cats more advantage? I imagine they would funnel bears to a good choke and shot point, thought.
Dr Boze talks about defensible space that consists of structure at your back, a visible line of saftey, and continual alertness.
I would add, listening to the feeling of company close by.

I read a comment by a houndsman that stated cougar won‘t ambush attack from a tree but I doubt that reasoning outside the context of hounds at tree. If your rock wall is 15 foot vertical I think a cat would reconsider a direct pounce. But if that is the only line of sight from that direction I wouldn‘t be surprised to see a cougar peering at you. Any structure/topography that would make animal movement difficult or prohibitive is the idea. Making as much line of sight for yourself in any direction is optimal. A lot of tje setup is contingent upon knowing where animal is and/or likely to be coming from. Your cams sound like they given you this. If those shoots correlate with animal paterns then that set up seems like an excellent spot.

I‘ve only called once solo and herd brush moving and had no vis beyond a little 20‘ section in front of me. I stage by cover that would Provide a little obstruction from a blindside.


I am way more concerned with Griz than Blacks or Cougars. The predator in Cougar and Blacks, although aggressive, seem to exhibit more avoidance once man is seen.

If we were in tiger or leopard country, I would take way more consideration of the setup. Those eye patch suggestions are interesting.
Im kind of skeptical that it would prevent a stalk turned into an attack. Predators are seen by prey all the time. They act according to prey type movements. Eyes on them would only delay their stalking tactic; not necessarily prevent a backside ambush.

I am also considering calling from a saddle so I can enjoy the comfort of 100% defensible space. I would like close encounters but Im not begging for scratches of discovery.

Dr. Boze mentions having some close encounters so I look forward to those. If we didnt want them, we probably wouldn‘t even consider calling them in the first place 😃 It‘s exactly why I’m into this method.

Be safe brother, take courage, and get after them!
 

DEEF

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Carmel Valley, CA
Have you ever heard of a silent cougar attack? I‘ve only heard of attacks where humans exhibited prey behaviors. Cougars think carefully about attacking humans, fellow predators aren‘t on their preferred get list.

The best thing for stepping into courage is acknowledge your fear and distinguish it from your predator state. You are the one leading the conversation, you called them to you.
When they see that, they acknowledge the potential danger they are in.

Another belief I hold to transform my fear into courage is my belief that my Creator gave me dominion over the animals. I behave with authority rather than timidity.

Competency of equipment and readiness is how I mobilize those beliefs.
Stay sharp, stay smart, and get after it!
 
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
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Stevens County, WA
Just go for it man. I call solo, im still here. The added pucker factor is half the fun of using hand calls over e callers. Ive called in bears and lions, yet to be attacked. Had a bear sneak up behind me to 10 yards. They can move damn quiet when they want to. August 1st ill be out calling bears by myself. Highly doubt im going to die, but im pretty sure a couple bears will. Just do it, the more you do it the more comfortable youll be with it. Especially after you find out how infrequently youll ever call in a lion. at least that you are aware of.
 

bkspyder

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Jun 21, 2018
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Brooklyn, NY
One option is also a remote caller - electronic.
It would allow you distance from the “prey” source.
But this might not fit your definition of fair chase, etc.
 
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LonePineAZ

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Jan 23, 2018
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Phoenix
@DEEF thanks for the great information. I'm guessing you're referring to David Boze, author of Ultimate Guide to Black Bear Hunting?

I've been given a few "just go for it" explanations, some earnest (thanks @Huckleberry Hound), others ignorant. I definitely plan to go call rather than sit idly by, but your explanation of the context behind interactions resulting from our predatory actions brings a lot of clarity.

The best thing for stepping into courage is acknowledge your fear and distinguish it from your predator state. You are the one leading the conversation, you called them to you.
When they see that, they acknowledge the potential danger they are in.
Additionally, the technical approach to LoS and FoV are counterintuitive to what I was originally thinking. Thanks for the logical walk through.

Also, from a faith perspective, I agree. Heading up this weekend, will update with results.
 
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DEEF

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Carmel Valley, CA
your explanation of the context behind interactions resulting from our predatory actions brings a lot of clarity.
You are welcome, great to hear @LonePineAZ. I'm glad we are relating to these ideas.
Yeah, Professor Boze is the Man! His Ultimate Guide book is the best I've read.

I hope you connect this weekend, looking forward to hearing about your hunt!
 

jray5740

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Apr 9, 2017
Messages
170
Location
Colorado
My solution to this was a climbing tree stand. I use it to call for bear and My Lion......have yet to be successful calling either in the years I have tried but the climbing tree stand hooks to my pack, climbs safely to 10 or so feet depending on location, and makes me feel safe haha
 

264win

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Apr 3, 2017
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169
Location
Western Washington ( Whidbey Island )
I call solo as well, and can understand the op feeling uneasy.
Here is what I do to limit the danger/keep my nerves in check.

I always pick a spot with protection for my back and good visibility
I don’t call late in the evening so I won’t be walking out after dark
I won’t call if there are any Grizzly in the area.

Had close encounters with black bears and cats, definitely don’t want to have a face to face with a Grizzly
 

jseide

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Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
11
Hello, I haven't posted for a while and searched a few different terms for this topic before deciding to post. Forgive me if this a repeat, and if it needs to be moved, feel free to let me know.

Background:
I'm in my 2nd year hunting. Spring/Summer black bear archery hunt in 23N Arizona. I've spent about 30 non-contiguous days in the unit over the last 3.5 months. I've set cameras and scouted on foot and have one or more bears to pursue. Through some acquaintances who are accomplished archery bear hunters by my standards, I picked up some mouth calls:

Distressed Fawn
Jack Rabbit
Distressed Cub

Problem:
I mostly hunt alone. I'm scared to use the mouth calls alone because of mountain lions. Sure, I carry a sidearm, tourniquet/basic trauma stuff, HAM radio, and beacon, but I still can't get the stones to rip some calls in the morning. I've read about getting a good backing/flank protection, but don't know predator behavior, beyond my dog and cat, well enough to subdue my fear.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Get a foxpro and be ready to rock haha
 

BackcountryBloodline

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Feb 9, 2019
Messages
31
Location
British Columbia
I think there's a lot about hunting bears that can be a bit scary at first but the only way to get over the fears involved is through experience. I hunt bears with bow only in coastal BC (as thick as it gets,) griz, wolves and cats everywhere with more black bear than you can shake a stick at. I have blind called on probably over 40 separate occasions, usually with just my 9 year old son with me and only a bow for defence...yes it was a bit sketchy at first and I wouldn't have even considered having him with me in the beginning but the more experience you obtain the more comfortable you will get. Only twice have I ever got any reaction from calling without an animal in sight already, once a mulie doe came in about 15 minutes later to within 10 yards of where I had been calling from. The other time a bear hopped down a hill across from me about 80 yards away, running into the call and not trying to be sneaky in the least. If you stop calling for more than 5 seconds or so they will often lose interest and begin walking in a different direction, my trick is to always blow 3 calls, pause a few seconds to listen for any crunching/cracking and repeat. Yes they can come in quietly but they can also sound like an elephant crashing through blowdown, use your ears just as much as your eyes, keep a good distance between you and where a bear might pop out and keep your head on a swivel, the pucker factor will be real but calling a pissed off, huffing bear in to 30 yards and sneaking an arrow into him is an almost incomparible hunt. I think the bears that try and come in quiet are often sows or young bears, in my opinion they aren't so much being quiet to sneak up on what they believe to be an injured fawn but more because they're nervous a bigger bear may already be getting in on the free lunch.
 

Life_Feeds_On_Life

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May 16, 2017
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Location
AZ
Maybe I have the wrong attitude but I honestly wouldn't worry about it too much. Sure it could happen but the likelihood is pretty low. I've called solo numerous times and never have had an issue, doesn't mean it won't but again pretty rare. Think about how often you hear of a hunter, calling or no, get attacked by a lion. I'd be more worried about twisting an ankle on your way in.
 
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LonePineAZ

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Joined
Jan 23, 2018
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Location
Phoenix
Thanks for the additional input. I got out and called. First time, I found a lightning struck tree with a good crown about 10ft above the ground, easy to climb, good views all around, and good shooting lanes

I checked my camera from nearby and only had one bear from a month prior, that looked like a young boar.

I started calling with a distressed fawn call for 30 minutes straight. Rested for 30 minutes, and repeated for another cycle. A vulture did a low fly-by but thats about it. I hiked up over the ridge into the next drainage and did the same, trying a distressed cub call. Despite no responses, I was having fun and not nearly as worried, if at all. Maybe it was being in the tree or just finally doing it that got rid of the jitters.

I got out of the tree with a couple hours of daylight and headed down the drainage back to camp a couple miles away. Along the way, I stopped and hunkered near some thick trunks or downed trees from time to time and did 15min calling sequences with no luck.

Repeat for day 2 and so on.

I'm sure my calling needs some work. I tried to keep pauses to a few seconds and listened for movement. Operating a call and binos was, interesting.

I'm gonna have tag soup for this season, but now that I broke the ice, I can't wait to plan my next bear hunt with this tactic in mind from the beginning.
 

Saylean

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Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
47
David is my brother, he didn’t write it... 😂

That being said, set up in a defensive position and give calling a shot. Maybe even set up a tree stand and try that first, see how you like it. Thanks for the support guys and I hope to see some success.

Douglas Boze
 
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