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  1. Question Idaho Spring Bear

    Im trying to plan my first western hunt (I'm from Texas), and I've been researching a spring bear hunt in Idaho, however I know Idaho allows baiting, and I was wondering who on here has success spotting and stalking in the mountains. Is it worth driving 6+ hours further to Montana to not have to compete with baiters, or is it not too hard to get away from baiters and do a spot and stalk in Idaho? Thanks for any help anyone would be able to offer

  2. #2


    I've hunted both Montana and Idaho and I didn't really notice a difference. Most bait sites will be near roads as people don't want to regularly hump hundreds of pounds of bait that far, in my experience I saw more and bigger bears 2+ miles from the roads.

  3. #3


    You will compete against baiters and Houndsmen in the popular units.

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    I only know of one popular OTC drainage...let’s just call it a trailhead where you can ride your ATV. I’m betting you we saw 15 hunters along that road and I’ll bet you that not a one ventured more than 1/4 mile from it. It’s our plan C for hunting spot/ stalk this year. Spike camp 3/4 mile from the most popular spot I know...

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    If you look at the harvest statistics up north in unit 1 they always harvest the most bears. I'm thinking about heading up there in May for a week to hunt bears once I finish my MBA as a reward, but haven't figured which drainages are probably going to be productive.

  6. #6


    I'm out of Boise, and know good Bear places. I also know folks who run hounds every year, we could at least get a lead on where the bears are. Lots of them around. Easier to spot/stalk here in this country than the North part of the state, where you would just about be required to bait or dog them to catch a glimpse.

    Shoot me a message if you want to collaborate.
    - Joseph

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Eastern panhandle West Virginia


    Hey I’m in the same boat and am currently trying to put together a small group for diy back country hunt this spring if your interested

  8. #8


    Plenty of spot and stalk opportunities, with some semi open country glassing in southwest Idaho. There are some guys that bait and run hounds surely.

    Many serious bear baiters pack bait further into the backcountry units though. If you hike 1-3 miles from the road, even in the popular units around Boise, you won't run into bait sites. It's way too much work to pack 1000+ lbs of bait in, without stock.

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    Hey guys!!! I just barely joined the forum and I am from Utah but I have had Idaho residency for about 2 years. I thought that I would chime in and say that Idaho is probably the best State to affordably hunt bears. Sure Alaska and Canada are great but you are going to pay a butt load for them. Since gaining residency I have gotten a bear every year up here in Idaho. The reduced price units have a lot of bears in them and you can buy a second bear tag as well. There have been several days that I have been out hunting and the bear sightings have out numbered any other big game species. Name:  IMG_1861.jpg
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    Thats good to hear! I will be getting my Utah residency next year, as I will be attending the U of Utah. My family owns a house in Idaho Falls, and I'm looking forward to some awesome hunts in Utah and Idaho in the next 4 years. Me and my buddy have decided on unit 27 for bears this spring. From what I've heard, it will be a tough hunt, but thats what we're looking for. Let me know if you can offer any insight on 27!

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    The black color phase bear is from right next to unit 27. I would recommend buying the 2nd bear tag if you end up hunting that unit. I made the mistake of just buying one tag and getting that bear only to find more bears on my way down the mountain. If you are in a 2nd bear unit you can tag your first bear with a 2nd bear permit and then hunt the single bear units with your first bear permit. Anyhow I did end up missing a much bigger black color phase bear at 325 yards after I went into town and bought another tag. Then I came across another brown color phase one and then I came across a smaller brown color phase one with a blonde heart on her chest. There were literally bears everywhere up there. I felt like I was in an ewok village.

    I had never really seen too many bears before coming to Idaho but once you start finding scat everywhere then the bears just start appearing everywhere as well. I am by no means an expert. Last spring I went out and went to the same spot where I missed the big black boy and he was there feeding on some grass again. Come hunt it in the spring and then if you don't get one come back for the fall. I would not leave a single ounce of meat on the mountain because they taste delicious.

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    I went and dug up some pictures of the bears on my adventures. The one that looks like a dot is the big black boar that I missed. The other one is a sow and a cub that I ran across on my way down the mountain with my little black boar. Attachment 80536

  13. #14


    If you are looking exclusively to spot-n-stalk I wouldn't go too far north. You can do it up there and guys do it all of the time, but down around mid state (unit 18) it will start to open up a little bit. I am yet to set or find a bait further than a mile from the road. Good Luck!
    Gage Brock

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    That's awesome to hear! Mind if I PM you a couple of questions about 27 in the morning? I have yet to talk with anyone who's had boots on the ground there and I'm itching to see if my observations from google earth and OnX are accurate.

  15. #16


    Quote Originally Posted by BigTex View Post
    That's awesome to hear! Mind if I PM you a couple of questions about 27 in the morning? I have yet to talk with anyone who's had boots on the ground there and I'm itching to see if my observations from google earth and OnX are accurate.
    I’ve spent a lot of time in 27. Lots of bears.

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