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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Spring Creek, NV
    Posts
    130

    Default 2018 Idaho Spring Bear

    A few years ago I got the hankering for a bear. Hunted Montana spring of 2015, stumbled on and brought home a smallish red bear. Spring 2016 hunted Idaho east of Hailey, saw nothing but a young wolf. Spring 2017 hunted the southeast side of area 49. saw one small sow. I read area 39 has lots of bears, but also a lot of competition, baiters, hounds, hunters, etc. I'm just looking for one more average bear (5'+-). Would like an area less pressured, but possibility of seeing more than one bear over a 5 day hunt. Any suggestions I'm in NE Nevada so looking mostly in the South Central Idaho Units, Spring, Spot and Stalk.
    If 39 is still my best bet any recommendations? I'm thinking above Arrowrock Res. I've also heard of pretty good bear population over around Anderson Ranch Res,, Pine Featherville.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Nevada/Idaho
    Posts
    151

    Default

    Your expectations may be too great to be realistic. In any case, try hunting Units 36A, 37, 50 and 51 which offer some surprisingly good opportunities for both spring and fall bear hunting. Hunting earlier in the spring season may help to eliminate some of the competition from hound, bait and spot and stalk hunters. You may be pleasantly surprised at the number of bears you'll see once you become familiar with the terrain in these units.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Spring Creek, NV
    Posts
    130

    Default

    Wow, my expectations too great to be realistic! When the main expectation is to see more than one bear during a 5 day hunt, with something being around a 5' bear. Competition from others will always be there, was just hoping to balance out pressure vs bear population. I appreciate your reply, I enjoy the hunt itself as much as anything, so I'll be going somewhere, enjoy being out and seeing new country, and hopefully at least see a bear.

  4. #4

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    I live in the area you thinking about. There are bears here. Being close to Boise, it is baited and hound hunted heavily. The farther you can get away from Boise in the unit, the better your odds of finding a bear. If you’re going to buy a license, you should apply for the bear draw this month.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Wherever the bugles are
    Posts
    798

    Default

    The areas you mentioned all have bears, I think your expectations are realistic. If you are set on coming to Idaho to hunt bears buy your license now and apply for one of the controlled units for spring bears 39 has a lot of baiters and houndsman but I wouldn't let that be a deterrent the unit is HUGE and holds bears but just like anything you'll burn some boot leather and glassing time to find them best of luck.

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    Anyone know when they usually post results from the spring black controlled hunt applications in Idaho?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Wherever the bugles are
    Posts
    798

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bbateman View Post
    Anyone know when they usually post results from the spring black controlled hunt applications in Idaho?
    Late February, early March.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NV_ARCH3R View Post
    Wow, my expectations too great to be realistic! When the main expectation is to see more than one bear during a 5 day hunt, with something being around a 5' bear. Competition from others will always be there, was just hoping to balance out pressure vs bear population. I appreciate your reply, I enjoy the hunt itself as much as anything, so I'll be going somewhere, enjoy being out and seeing new country, and hopefully at least see a bear.
    Something else to think about, a year and a half ago we had the Pioneer fire in unit 39. It misplaced a lot of baiters (myself included) If your looking for exclusive spot-n-stalk I would look at the recent burn areas of 39. You can park your truck and the gates and walk in to hunt, every time I have done that I have not seen another hunter.
    It's too late now but Idaho has a couple draw bear hunts in the western part of the state that don't allow hunting and it's a limited entry hunt. Those two units are the best in Idaho. The only catch is the deadline for entry into that draw is Feb 15th.
    Gage Brock
    Idaho

  9. Default

    Brock-ID (or any other ID bear hunters that bait),

    I'm new to bear hunting come this spring and have the idea to spot-n-stalk. I've never spent much time in the woods during April/May and have a question about baiting/baiters.

    In Unit 39 (or 33,34,35) how many folks are out there baiting and how often will I be stumbling across baiting stations, assuming I'm covering some ground each day? Is it true that most baiters stay close to the roads?

    And what happens if I'm sitting there looking at a hillside and see a few bears hovering around a certain place on the mountain (a baiting station)........can I just walk over there and whack one? Is there a magic distance away from a bait station the bear needs to be so that I'm not encroaching on someone else's efforts?

    Thanks in advance for your replies,

    Focus

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Nevada/Idaho
    Posts
    151

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Focus View Post
    Brock-ID (or any other ID bear hunters that bait),

    I'm new to bear hunting come this spring and have the idea to spot-n-stalk. I've never spent much time in the woods during April/May and have a question about baiting/baiters.

    In Unit 39 (or 33,34,35) how many folks are out there baiting and how often will I be stumbling across baiting stations, assuming I'm covering some ground each day? Is it true that most baiters stay close to the roads?

    And what happens if I'm sitting there looking at a hillside and see a few bears hovering around a certain place on the mountain (a baiting station)........can I just walk over there and whack one? Is there a magic distance away from a bait station the bear needs to be so that I'm not encroaching on someone else's efforts?

    Thanks in advance for your replies,

    Focus
    Bro, you're contemplating disturbing a hornet's nest and then asking some of the very hornets, who would attack you, for advice on proper etiquette to avoid the possibility of being stung..........................just stay out of Unit 39
    Last edited by Hannibal; 02-25-2018 at 10:09 AM.

  11. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannibal View Post
    Bro, you're contemplating disturbing a hornet's nest and then asking some of the very hornets who would attack you for advice on proper etiquette to avoid the possibility of being stung..........................just stay out of Unit 39.

    Well, yeah, I guess you could see my questions in that light (maybe I framed them wrong). Hopefully you also see that I'm asking the questions before the occurrence ever arises and that I'm doing my due diligence now in order to prevent "disturbing a hornet's nest" in the future.

    Believe me, the last thing I want to do is encroach on someone else's efforts. Hopefully someone can provide me with some input on my questions.

    Thanks!

    Focus

  12. #12

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    There is a lot of people in those units because it is so close to Boise. It got worse a year and a half ago after the Pioneer fire. People like me have to find another area, make sure I'm not baiting close to someone, and find big bears to get that kind of spot it will take a lot of work and time. I would say that 90% of the baits that I have found while out spot-n-stalk and shed hunting are within 3/4 a mile of an open road. I have not found one over a mile. If you're out glassing and see a couple bears on a side hill go after them, it's public land. If you know they are close to a bear bait, that's another story, I wouldn't go over. Even though your legal to go after them anywhere on public land, it's unethical as hell and would end up in a situation that nobody will win on. I'm glad you asked about that, it's the ones that don't know or don't care that can cause an issue.
    Last edited by Brock-ID; 02-25-2018 at 06:52 AM.
    Gage Brock
    Idaho

  13. Default

    Thanks Brock.

    So I just now read the regs on baiting in the Idaho Big Game rules book and have some more questions. (having no desire to bait, I've not read the baiting regs until this morning)

    What does a bait site tag look like that's issued by IDFG? Would it be something that would stick out from say 50-100 yards away or do I have to be right on top of it to see it?

    What type of container is generally used for baiting in our SW region (39,33,34,35)? I was told by someone at IDFG HQ that you had to use a 55 gal. drum but I don't interpret the regs that way......it says "...except that a single metal container with a maximum size of 55 gallons may be used if securely attached at the bait site." Sounds like I don't have to use a container at all if I don't want to, I can just dump a bag of donuts out on the ground (as long as I place a site tag somewhere around it and have the proper baiting permit) and call it good.

    I also read the part about staying 200 yds from maintained roads/trails, 1/2 mile from a designated campsite, etc, and 200 feet from any water, so that does kinda narrow the playing field a bit.

    I also read the part about how a bait site isn't supposed to be established until season opens. So it could happen that I go and scout out an area prior to season where no bait sites should be out yet, and come back opening day or a day or two later and bam, someone else had the same idea as I had and established bait sites where I'd already planned to hunt. Which leads me to another question........how often does it occur where a guy establishes a bait site only to find out that someone else did the same thing a hundred yards further down the ridge? And what do you do then?

    To reiterate, the line of questioning has everything to do with staying clear of other hunters' bait sites, not finding one and setting up a stand 40 yds away from it or shooting a bear 200 yds across the draw that's headed to someone's bait site (that I may or may to know is there).

  14. #14

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    I think you are over estimating the chance you might run across a bait site, especially in open country that is best fit for spot and stalk type hunting. The bait site tags are a plastic snap together ring, the color of them changes every year. They are not very big and you probably wouldn't see one unless you're at the bait looking for one. As others have said most are close to roads, so if you really hike or get into nasty country you really decrease your chance of having any issue at all. The vast majority of the bear hunting I have done was spot and stalk and I've never worried a bit about bait sites in the area.

  15. #15

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    The problem isn’t walking into bait sites. The bears get habituated to eating at bait sites and change their patterns. It makes it harder to S&S as the bears stay forested longer. I’ve never had issues with hounds. However, bait guys and Houndsmen seem to have an ongoing war with each other. Some bait guys (not all) act like they own the area and bears around their sites while Houndsmen get lazy and start running dogs past sites to find bears.

  16. Default

    Hey OP,

    I thought I would chime in and give you some local input as well. The bear that I shot last year was out of unit 18, while I was at the Fish and Game station in Nampa checking my bear another hunter was also bringing in a bear from Unit 39. I overheard him mention he was near Arrow rock. I rarely see any other bear hunters out when I am shed/bear hunting. I would recommend hunting 2nd bear and reduced price units. If you are going to come all the way up from Nevada why not make it a 2 bear ordeal? I have seen more bears in the 2 bear units anyways. If you are willing to hike and you are willing to spend time behind your optics turning up a bear should not be too hard. The 2 bear units are not going to be crowded. The bears that I have harvested have mostly been incidental while I am either scouting or shed hunting. There seem to be enough bears to go around.

  17. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TheTone View Post
    I think you are over estimating the chance you might run across a bait site, especially in open country that is best fit for spot and stalk type hunting. The bait site tags are a plastic snap together ring, the color of them changes every year. They are not very big and you probably wouldn't see one unless you're at the bait looking for one. As others have said most are close to roads, so if you really hike or get into nasty country you really decrease your chance of having any issue at all. The vast majority of the bear hunting I have done was spot and stalk and I've never worried a bit about bait sites in the area.
    Funny story, the first spring I lived in Idaho I walked right into a bait site and I didn't realize it until later. I was hiking along a trail and it looked like it crossed a creek through some willows so I bushwacked through. I look up the hill and there are 3 mule does staring at me standing over a pile of rotting apples. They bolt and I go up and kick around the apples. I turn around and I am face to face with a trail cam. I thought it was just someone scouting for deer. Some dude now has my face on his trail cam. Whoops.

  18. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoPotato View Post
    Funny story, the first spring I lived in Idaho I walked right into a bait site and I didn't realize it until later. I was hiking along a trail and it looked like it crossed a creek through some willows so I bushwacked through. I look up the hill and there are 3 mule does staring at me standing over a pile of rotting apples. They bolt and I go up and kick around the apples. I turn around and I am face to face with a trail cam. I thought it was just someone scouting for deer. Some dude now has my face on his trail cam. Whoops.
    That is pretty funny! The last time I noticed that there was a functional trail cam that was watching me I dropped me pack and trekking pole outside of the frame. Then I got a good running start and tried to get the came to take some action pics of me doing dragon kicks and different acrobatics. I was secretly hoping someone would post their trailcam pics on the internet but alas they never surfaced on any of the forums that I frequent.

  19. Default

    has anyone heard when Idaho might post the draw results? They normally post before the 10th of March right?

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