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  1. Question Spring bear in Montana

    Heading to Montana on April 22. It looks like the snow is a lot more than anticipated when I planned my vacation days. The original place around Kalispell I don't think is going to be accessible. Was looking around Wisdom, more south. Any body ever hunt around there or around Bozeman? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Western Montana
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    Welcome to HuntTalk.

    Access anywhere may be an issue. We have so much snow, bear hunting would probably be far more lucrative if you waited a month. Good luck.
    It is well to go all out sometimes. - Elers Koch

  3. #3

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    I live in Bozeman, and I'm possessed with bear hunting. I would be willing to put money down you will not see a bear in April, this year, anywhere around here. I don't plan on going until late May, and I'm usually out right when it opens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Bitterroot Valley
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    Wisdom is in one of the highest elevation valleys in the state. Even on a low snow year the national forest is inaccessible until late May.

    I'd be looking at one of the areas in Northwest Montana under 4000k elevation. I killed a bear in mid April one year on a snow year like this, they're out and things are starting to green up. Look for really steep, rocky canyons where the snow melts off early.

    This is a normal scenario for the Southwestern part of the state. Idaho, the Bitterroot and Dillon will be bare, while the Big Hole is caked in snow-

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Bitterroot Valley
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenhorn View Post
    I live in Bozeman, and I'm possessed with bear hunting. I would be willing to put money down you will not see a bear in April, this year, anywhere around here. I don't plan on going until late May, and I'm usually out right when it opens.
    Road trip time, we're starting to get green around here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
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    Bitterroot Valley, MT
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    If you saw a bear in the Big Hole on April 22, I'd be surprised for the reasons above.

    FWIW, in the Bitterroot here, Zero bear activity so far.
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  7. #7

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    my buddy is on a loggin job around fisher river, and have seen couple bears in the last week, for what that is worth,,,,, too far for me to go

  8. #8

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    Buy some turkey tags... looking out my front window at the area I see bears every year and planned to hunt opening week.. snowline is 2000 ft below it still.. snow in the forecast 3 days of the next 5
    I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery. Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, January 30, 1787

  9. #9

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    I'm in about the same boat as Greenhorn, I've become fairly obsessed with bear hunting over the past few years, haven't missed an opener. This year I'm sure I'll be out though, just to go it's been a long effn winter I'm not expecting to see much or anything at all. Another foot in the forecast Thursday and Friday in a area I hunt. If bears are out they aren't wandering too far from their little hole in the wall. Never know though!

    There's bears everywhere you just need to be able to play the game of patience and let them show themselves to you. Mid May would be way better though especially this year.
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

  10. #10

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    Same boat as Greenhorn here... In the Bozeman area, and although I'm starting to hear reports of bear activity here and there, it will probably be a while until it gets really good. Most places I hunt are still under a considerable amount of snow, with more on the way.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Coloado Springs
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    It is crazy to hear the amount of snow and the winter you all had up there......we basically had NO winter here in the Front Range. Looks like it will be dry up in our AO this year.
    "Never apologize for being a Patriot!"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Kalispell , Montana
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    291

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    It's Raining here now and turning to Snow ..guess up to 2' plus in the Mountains . Depends on the Weather Station you watch . Bring your snow shovel and tire chains !!
    Best of Luck to all that head out for the Opener !!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    God's Country - Montana
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenhorn View Post
    I live in Bozeman, and I'm possessed with bear hunting. I would be willing to put money down you will not see a bear in April, this year, anywhere around here. I don't plan on going until late May, and I'm usually out right when it opens.
    I agree with Greenhorn's comment on timing. I don't hunt that area, but further north - we just made plans to shift later due to the current snow pack. That's OK tho, more time for turkey along the river bottoms!
    - Wild Bob

    "Turn me loose, set me free somewhere in the middle of Montana." ~ M.H.

    "Everybody told me you can't get far on $37.00 and a Jap guitar." ~ S.E.

  14. #14

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    I was thinking about this just yesterday. Bear season opens in a few days and I can't think of anywhere that I could get to now. The mountains are going to get another foot of snow by tomorrow and up to six inches in the valley.

    If it were me, I wouldn't waste the money on a NR bear tag in April this year. The fishing can be good. We aren't seeing high water from runoff yet.
    "The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir

  15. #15

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    This is the year of the snow cave bear like a AK brownie. Stretched out at the den door, it's gokng down Sunday.
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Seeley Lake, Mt
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    It's snowing in Seeley today elevation 4000 ft. North of town the snotel at Kraft elevation 4750 ft. shows 58 inches of snow this morning. At the North Fork of the Jocko snotel has 162 inches of snow, that's 13 1/2 feet. Along the Blackfoot valley the ground is bare. There have been several sightings of Grizzly tracks but I haven't heard of any Black Bears yet. The forest service roads open to motor vehicles on May 1st if the roads dry out. I think that will be a little later this spring. So if your thinking of the Seeley Swan area you might plan mid to late May at the earliest.

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    I was down on the big hole 2 weeks ago, and the upper river (by Wisdom) was almost entirely frozen over. It was just a small channel running between giant ice shelves, and entirely iced over in places. I wouldn't recommend relocating to the Big Hole for sure. Saw a picture today of the first black bear spotted in Yellowstone - so they are starting to emerge, but the big hole is a particularly rough spot this year. Hope it works out for you!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by EYJONAS! View Post
    This is the year of the snow cave bear like a AK brownie. Stretched out at the den door, it's gokng down Sunday.
    Hahaha. Thats probably the best strategy. Im going skiing
    'Hunt a little harder Gomer' - u1299

    ...sound proof phone booths ruin our environment." -gr8bwana

  19. #19

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    Anybody get out over the weekend? Just curious if anybody has been seeing any bears yet. I spent the weekend fishing, but planning on getting out atleast to do some scouting this week/weekend.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    God's Country - Montana
    Posts
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    I didn't even think about wasting fuel on bears...but I did go out chasing turkeys.
    - Wild Bob

    "Turn me loose, set me free somewhere in the middle of Montana." ~ M.H.

    "Everybody told me you can't get far on $37.00 and a Jap guitar." ~ S.E.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by WildRHK View Post
    I didn't even think about wasting fuel on bears...but I did go out chasing turkeys.
    That seems to be the consensus

  22. #22

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    No snow bear...... gonna get back after it next weekend.
    Ain't doing half bad for a half full glass - Drake White

  23. #23

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    The score is Region 7 - 0
    Pryors - 1
    Beartooth - 0
    'Hunt a little harder Gomer' - u1299

    ...sound proof phone booths ruin our environment." -gr8bwana

  24. #24

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    Keep us posted if you are successful
    To what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?

  25. #25

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    Can't even drive in to the Nat'l Forest boundary at my favorite spots yet.
    "The most terrifying sound in nature is not the roar of a charging lion nor the whistle of a descending bomb; rather it is a click when you expected a bang"- Peter Hathaway Capstick

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