Spring 2023 bear hunt planning

Asutcliffe

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Joined
Feb 25, 2022
Messages
31
Location
Freeman, Missouri
This will be my first year traveling out west to Idaho for a hunt. My goal is to do a spot and stalk bear hunt while spike camping from the truck if possible. I have read many threads on this forum and others o the topic but figured I'd go ahead and ask a few questions.
1. What units would you recommend avoiding due to lack of spot and stalk opportunities?
2. Do units that allow hounds or baiting greatly reduce chances of harvesting a bear with spot and stock methods?
3. Is it worth hunting units with grizzly populations or are there other units that can be successfully hunted without grizzlys?

Any and all help is appreciated as I want this to be a pleasant trip. I'm not only focused on the harvest as I truly enjoy the planning preparation and hunt in itself.
 
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Joined
Jul 24, 2021
Messages
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I was in your shoes 5 years ago so I’ll help you out. This spring was our 4th year hunting Idaho for bears.

We hunt a dual bear unit that has grizzlies and allows hound and bait hunting. For starters I have never personally seen a grizzly in 4 years and neither have most locals I talk to. Not saying they aren’t there, but few and far between in my experience. I have seen wolves so get a tag if they’re available.

Secondly you do see hound hunters on the roads every now and then, but again few and far between in my experience. We had one hound hunter go by our camp twice in 12 days this year.

Also I know it seems more romantic doing a spot and stock hunt, and I absolutely encourage you to try it, but don’t eliminate bait hunting if you truly want to be successful assuming it’s allowed in the units you are looking at. We generally spot and stock in the mornings and afternoons and sit baits in the evenings until dark. Almost all the bears we’ve killed have been over bait, but anything can happen. Just know that baiting is actually a ton of work and takes time, money, and effort as well as bait permits.

As far as getting recommendations for specific units on a public forum…..good luck. Generally nobody wants their unit getting blown up because of something they posted on the internet.

Any more questions just ask. I’m happy to help
 
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Asutcliffe

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2022
Messages
31
Location
Freeman, Missouri
MillenialHunter thank you for the tips. I won't have enough time this year to do any baiting as but it is something I would like to try in the future. I hope I don't offend people by asking what units to avoid my intent was purely to see what units are out there that do not offer spot and stalk opportunities. I'm willing to put in the work to get away from the crowd. As far as terrain goes can you rely on maps from Google earth, onx, huntstand or GoHunt to accurately show ground cover? I would like to target areas that have had burns in thr last 2-5 years and or areas that have been clear cut.
 
Joined
Jul 24, 2021
Messages
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Maps are not always up to date. Just looking at onX BaseMap and google onX is current with some 3ish year old burns in an area I hunt and the other two are not. Drop a pin with google earth and it will tell you image date. My particular area says 2014.
 
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Asutcliffe

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2022
Messages
31
Location
Freeman, Missouri
I have narrow my search area to areas north of Salmon to 12 Highway and west to Elk City. I'm winging it based on a couple YouTube videos I've watched on E-scouting for spring bears and what I think would be accessible areas for the time of year I'm going. Would it be save to assume some of the roads into this area would be open by the 3rd-4th week of May? It does not look like there are any highways through that area so i would be limited to the forest service roads and a few other named roads from what I can find. This area looks to have several trails, does hunting "near" these trails seem to have an effect on bear populations? Obviously I would just use the trail systems to get deeper into areas away from roads to start glassing. Also in reading the regulations you are allowed to use electronic calls in certain areas. I plan to have a wolf tag and possibly a mountain lion tag also in my pocket. Has anyone had decent luck using a predator call in the spring for any of the 3 of these predators?
 
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Pdzoller

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Feb 27, 2021
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73
Location
Oregon
I’m no expert and far from an accomplished hunter so take what I say with a grain of salt. Never been to the area that time of year but I recommend to just do it and enjoy the adventure. I totally understand wanting to gain as much knowledge as possible. Something to keep in mind, one hunter might go into an area and have the time of their life and bag a trophy while a different hunter may enter the same area, under the same conditions and discover the exact opposite. My favorite spot has almost no bear according to most people you ask and I am very happy they feel that way! Personally I’d think twice before using predator calls or baiting in grizzly country unless you already have experience doing so. As for predicting snow pack 🤷🏼‍♂️ Won’t know anything concrete until it’s much closer to that time of year so keep in touch with someone local.
 
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Asutcliffe

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2022
Messages
31
Location
Freeman, Missouri
Pdzoller thanks for the input. Having never been to Idaho I really don't know what to expect when I get there but I'm definitely coming barring any major reason I can't. Does anyone who's been in that area have any input on the grizzly population? I don't mind hunting in the same area as them but like you said it will very much change my hunting tactics.
 

yojo.3

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2019
Messages
77
I went to idaho this spring. I did do a guided hunt. But spot and stalk. Just remember some of the area are STEEP. When i got mine we had climbed about 1600 feet in elevation in under a half mile. I ranged a river just a little away from where we started climbing. 47 degrees down. 1 picture of me pointing at where i got my bear. The other was where i was just starting to come down.
 

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