First time bear hunt?

CBH Australia

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just wondering if anyone can set me straight on bear hunting.
Maybe I will save and try for a Bear hunt in the future. It doesn’t have to be the biggest But something that can be a nice floor rug. I believe the Black Bear are the more common bear and cheapest option. I also read they might come in colour variations. Honestly I’d prefer a brownish variation. A short hunt a nice skin and some sightseeing within the area a makes It appealing to the wife
If I travel from Australia I’d want a high probability of success.
I’d maybe take my own rifle but some sightseeing might restrict that.
My wife would come along so maybe an observer option. From a boat/live Aboard? Accommodated package
Can you clarify the term bucket hunt?
I’d like a .338wm All weather Bear rifle in the safe but probably won’t buy one. I know Americans a ought six fans but is a 7mm-8 enough? .308? .300wm? Other suggestions . My .375 is Blued Timber CZ550 American Safari.
Where is a good place to consider going? considering that I would be.an international hunter with little knowledge of America, Canada and Alaska geography . I can look into it once I narrow it down.
What time of year? month. Remembering we have Christmas in summer here.
Anywhere else in the world that I could hunt a bear for less money?
 

gillettehunter

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I'll get things started. First warning is that I have never killed or hunted a bear. Seen a lot of hunts advertised and hunt reports on them tho. In the states that have bear hunts in the USA there is often a spring and a fall hunt. Those dates vary depending on how far North or South you are. Spring bears may have hair. A fall bear is usually fatter and better eating.
For sheer numbers Vancouver Island is one of the best places to go. High success rates. BUT the bears there are all black. No color phase bears. There are some big bears there and the average size is very good.
Lots of other Canadian options. There are several other hunting forums out there. Most will have some hunt reports with pics to look at to see what is available. Do some research.
In the USA Alaska has a lot of bears. Again a great place to go with decent success rates. Importing a rifle into the USA is supposed to be a pain from what I hear. Any 7mm and up will take a bear cleanly with good bullets. Hopefully this helps some. Good luck.
Bruce
 

mdwest

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Caliber really depends on the bear...

Black bears vary in size A LOT in the US depending on where you are hunting and the time of year..

A mature boar can literally weigh anywhere from 150lbs to 650lbs..

Black bear in the north western US tend to be the largest I believe...

You can find black bears just about everywhere in the US.. the laws and regulations on how they can be hunted vary quite a bit from state to state.. some allow you to hunt over bait.. some dont.. some allow you to hunt with dogs.. others don’t.. some allow spring bear hunting.. others only allow hunting in the fall, etc... definitely do some research and figure out what sort of hunt is most interesting to you..

There are some really nice bears in Southern New Mexico, near the Texas border... I’m looking into a draw for a black bear hunt on one of the Native American reservations in that area now...
 

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So I have actually hunted several black bear, and it is a great game animal to pursue. I would strongly suggest a spring spot and stalk hunt in late May in British Columbia. Do not go anywhere where they want you to sit over a stinking bait pile for days.

I have taken three boars and my son has taken one with BC Trophy Mountain Outfitters. You will stay at their ranch and hunt for seven days. In a typical week, you will see thirty bears and 10 to 12 boars. Roughly half in that area are color phase with chocolate and cinnamon the predominate non-standard colors.

Your .308 will be just fine. You will fly in and out of Vancouver which is a fabulous tourist destination with lots to interest your spouse. I believe Quantas flies their direct. The ideal trip would be a week at the ranch and a week playing tourist. PM me if you would like details.

The bruiser below was my best.

 

CBH Australia

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Thanks, the only Black bear I have seen was stuffed And not very big. I’ve seen pictures of Big Grizzly and there was no comparison.
I don’t want to eat it. When I first heard of that I spent a lot of time reading on it. I didn’t know it was a thing. I read they make sausage a lot.
Just stopped to read Red Leg’s reply .
If a flat rug was 5’- 6’ in overall length I’d be impressed.
For perspective I’m thinking February 2022 I turn 50 and may be able to pursue this but I get 65 cents on your dollar so budget is a consideration and I’m happy to take. Smaller bear for the same experience
 

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Thanks, the only Black bear I have seen was stuffed And not very big. I’ve seen pictures of Big Grizzly and there was no comparison.
I don’t want to eat it. When I first heard of that I spent a lot of time reading on it. I didn’t know it was a thing. I read they make sausage a lot.
Just stopped to read Red Leg’s reply .
If a flat rug was 5’- 6’ in overall length I’d be impressed.
For perspective I’m thinking February 2022 I turn 50 and may be able to pursue this but I get 65 cents on your dollar so budget is a consideration and I’m happy to take. Smaller bear for the same experience

A large Black Bear can out weigh a small Grizzly.
You get a 6 foot Black Bear rug, measured nose to tail, I'll be impressed.

A wild bear, not a garbage eating junk food junky, has excellent meat. Much like pork.
You are not required to keep the meat on some jurisdictions. However, of the anti's have their way......


Our hunting seasons are set and heavily controlled.
February the Bears are asleep. Hibernating. Zero hunting.
If you want to come and do some down hill skiing you'll be set.


There are plenty of Bears up here.

There are a couple of possibilities for the "bucket" reference.
"Bucket Head" is a very large bear. ie. Huge head the size of a five gallon pail.
A derogatory reference "Bucket Hunt" will be in regard to shooting one from a bait bucket.
Two possibilities for context.

Spotting a stalking a Black Bear is way more fun than sitting in a stand waiting for a bear to show up to the bait. It's an experience, but not on top of the list for sure.

Outfitter directories from the neighbourhood
https://www.goabc.org/members-directory/

https://www.apos.ab.ca/Hunt/Directory


Good luck with your search.
 

Von S.

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CBH

And though I have never told anyone that I was a great hunter of anything , anywhere, I will most definitely say that I am pretty lucky finding game, especially bears, by myself.

But we can skip that part of going after bear because you've never went after them before and your wife is tagging along.

What you use to kill them is up to you........ like that 7mm08. Up by where my relatives own a giant farm in Alberta a little girl killed a grea.t big griz with a 22 single shot. It worked, but doesn't make it a griz round. In 1955 I shot my first griz up there and when my Uncle asked me why I shot in the head I told him that I wasn't confident that the round was powerful enough and I didn't want to end up having a knife fight that I didn't think I could win.

Many people will attempt to tell you what they believe what will work an for the most part it will, but if you run into the rare, big, pissed off bear close up it may not drop and stop it in its tracks.

I don't carry for what I will probably see, but what might see me.

Many people over estimate the size of a bear before, during and after they kill it. Probab.ly cause they never shot one before.

Tbc...
 
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I’m not sure where you have the best chance for a cinnamon (brown phase) black bear. I took a nice old barren black sow in Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula. It was a boat based hunt. I saw 42 bears in 3 days. Not 1 cinnamon. We fished mid day and bear hunted mornings and evenings. It was a fall hunt, so the hair was long and beautiful!
Mine measured 5’10” nose to tip of its stub tail. 5’7” toe to toe.
Actually I read that South Carolina has some of the record size black bear in the country. I can’t believe their hair can compare to those in Canada or Alaska though.
17C0F539-8886-4E01-91A9-84C2A55F145A.jpeg
AFF57FB5-CFFB-41CC-8E71-33EED062DCF8.jpeg

Best of luck!
 

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So I have actually hunted several black bear, and it is a great game animal to pursue. I would strongly suggest a spring spot and stalk hunt in late May in British Columbia. Do not go anywhere where they want you to sit over a stinking bait pile for days.

I have taken three boars and my son has taken one with BC Trophy Mountain Outfitters. You will stay at their ranch and hunt for seven days. In a typical week, you will see thirty bears and 10 to 12 boars. Roughly half in that area are color phase with chocolate and cinnamon the predominate non-standard colors.

Your .308 will be just fine. You will fly in and out of Vancouver which is a fabulous tourist destination with lots to interest your spouse. I believe Quantas flies their direct. The ideal trip would be a week at the ranch and a week playing tourist. PM me if you would like details.

The bruiser below was my best.


Can you share the pricing for those hunts? Their web page doesn't list any prices which makes me think they are big $$$$$ Thanks
 

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Bears are still sleeping in Feb, and if i was wanting a color phase bear i would look in northern Sask or Manitoba
 

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Newfoundland has some of the largest black bears in the world , their also one of the few populations of black bear that are primarily carnivores. Moose claves make up a large part of their diet. As an added bonus you get two tags.
You might look into gander river outfitters.
 

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Newfoundland would also be a spot and stock option not a baited hunt.
 

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I would think that one of your more “budget-friendly” black bear hunts would be in my home province of Saskatchewan. Manitoba would be much the same. We have no grizzly bears, but do have a very high bear population in the northern three quarters of the province with a high percentage of colour phase bears (chocolate, cinnamon and blonde). Here in Sask you would need to go you would need to go through an outfitter as a non-resident and it would most likely be a baited hunt as our we don’t have the open areas for spot and stalk like Alberta and British Columbia do with their mountainous terrain. However a baited hunt can be very enjoyable. Sleep in, go fishing during the day, then hit the stand in the afternoon and sit till dark. I really like it. The seasons run from mid-April until into June and then again from late August into September. Your favourite deer rifle will be good for black bear and they are perfect for bowhunters.

If you decided to give Saskatchewan a try and were staying for more time than the hunt (it’s too long of a flight to just stay for a week!) and wanted to tour around with your wife and needed rifle storage, I’d be happy to keep it for you and give you a place to stay. You could rent a car and go wherever. Alberta’s Rockies are roughly 7 hours away as is Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

As someone said Newfoundland would be another good spot and stalk option. My wife is from there and it is a beautiful place. Lots of tourist stuff to do as well.

If you have any questions, don’t be shy!
 

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Can you share the pricing for those hunts? Their web page doesn't list any prices which makes me think they are big $$$$$ Thanks
Does it? I found them extremely reasonable and you get a second tag if you like. Send them an email.
 

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I live Saskatchewan and hunt bears occasionally in Saskatchewan. I hate to admit it, but British Columbia has far better bear hunting. All the BC bear hunts are spot and stalk. In Saskatchewan you will almost certainly be sitting over a bait. Near our cabin in north central BC I have seen as many as 24 bears in 24 hours. ( not hunting, just casual sightings) That would be several years worth near home.
 

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There are huge opportunities to hunt bears in NA. From costal browns to mountain grizzlies to black bears in AK and to black bears of all color phases in many states in the US. I'll leave the many Canada opportunities to the Canadian members.

I have seen higher percentage of brown phase black bears farther south in their range in the US- such as in NM, CO, AZ. Seems the farther north you go in NA the percentage of the brown phase decreases. Anyway no matter. All colors of black bears are worthy and genetically no difference.

The legal methods vary depending on type of bear and jurisdiction- baiting, dogs and spot and stalk. In the right areas, IMO, nothing beats a spot and stalk. Bears can be tenacious and can require some firepower to dispatch quickly so I wouldn't under gun them. Again IMO, for brown/grizzly the 375 with a tough 300 gr expanding would be nearly ideal and for all the black bears the 338 WM would work well with a tough 250 gr expanding. Or I guess if you sit in a tree stand on a bait bucket/drum surrounded by trail cams, you could do fine with an iron sighted thuddy thuddy for black bear. :)

On size- quite a variation that depends a lon on regular diet. Nothing like a big coastal salmon fed brown for size! Judging bears is tricky. Most overestimate their size/weight by quite a margin. But no matter where or the type of bear... a few rules of thumb can usually be counted on for judging age and size. If the ears look small compared to the head, it is a old, mature bear. If the muzzle looks long and large, kind of like a large "thermos bottle" relative to the head, likewise, it's an older bear. If the head looks big compared to body with big ears sticking up like Mickey it will be a younger, smaller bear. A well fed but much smaller mountain grizzly (simply a geographic race of brown bear) may look larger than a long headed, long bodied coastal brown under certain conditions. But a big mature male coastal brown bear may outweigh a mountain grizzly of similar age, by threefold.

Types of terrain?? You name it bears can live there if they have their necessities of food and cover available and they do habituate readily to peopled areas. The most difficult type hunt IMO would be a coastal brown bear hunt in AK if the weather is wet or snowy especially in the spring if it includes some steep coastal mountains with heavy residual snow. :)

Bucket hunt? who knows? sounds like artificially, possibly locally generated lingo.

Good coastal boat hunts are the bee's knees especially if the weather is bad and non-hunters are along. Plenty of sightseeing associated with coastal areas. I think certain coastal black bear hunts from a boat enjoy high percentage success rates. Just have to dig into the info provided for each area and double check past harvest rates and densities of bears living there.
 
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CBH Australia

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Newfoundland has some of the largest black bears in the world , their also one of the few populations of black bear that are primarily carnivores. Moose claves make up a large part of their diet. As an added bonus you get two tags.
You might look into gander river outfitters.
I Googled Moose Claves, all that came up was Moose Calves. Got it now!
I guess that’s a good reason to hunt more bear.

This is getting interesting, I’d like a record Grizzly or Brown bear but I’d be happy to have the experience and a nice specimen for a rug. Black in colour not so appealing but if that’s the only bear I could get I would still want a Bear rug. Being conscious of the budget I’m hoping to find a cheaper alternatives be it species, location, colour, sex, If I put it out there someone may be able to pose a package.
Extra travel / flights etc just adds up so I might open to suggestion and will keep reading. If I go to a location for a hunt I will try do sightseeing within reason. I will research a given area if I see an opportunity to pursue I can’t do it all unfortunately
 

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Coastal brown bear and grizzlies are very, very expensive hunts.
 
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Red Leg

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There are huge opportunities to hunt bears in NA. From costal browns to mountain grizzlies to black bears in AK and to black bears of all color phases in many states in the US. I'll leave the many Canada opportunities to the Canadian members.

I have seen higher percentage of brown phase black bears farther south in their range in the US- such as in NM, CO, AZ. Seems the farther north you go in NA the percentage of the brown phase decreases. Anyway no matter. All colors of black bears are worthy and genetically no difference.

The legal methods vary depending on type of bear and jurisdiction- baiting, dogs and spot and stalk. In the right areas, IMO, nothing beats a spot and stalk. Bears can be tenacious and can require some firepower to dispatch quickly so I wouldn't under gun them. Again IMO, for brown/grizzly the 375 with a tough 300 gr expanding would be nearly ideal and for all the black bears the 338 WM would work well with a tough 250 gr expanding. Or I guess if you sit in a tree stand on a bait bucket/drum surrounded by trail cams, you could do fine with an iron sighted thuddy thuddy for black bear. :)

On size- quite a variation that depends a lon on regular diet. Nothing like a big coastal salmon fed brown for size! Judging bears is tricky. Most overestimate their size/weight by quite a margin. But no matter where or the type of bear... a few rules of thumb can usually be counted on for judging age and size. If the ears look small compared to the head, it is a old, mature bear. If the muzzle looks long and large, kind of like a large "thermos bottle" relative to the head, likewise, it's an older bear. If the head looks big compared to body with big ears sticking up like Mickey it will be a younger, smaller bear. A well fed but much smaller mountain grizzly (simply a geographic race of brown bear) may look larger than a long headed, long bodied coastal brown under certain conditions. But a big mature male coastal brown bear may outweigh a mountain grizzly of similar age, by threefold.

Types of terrain?? You name it bears can live there if they have their necessities of food and cover available and they do habituate readily to peopled areas. The most difficult type hunt IMO would be a coastal brown bear hunt in AK if the weather is wet or snowy especially in the spring if it includes some steep coastal mountains with heavy residual snow. :)

Bucket hunt? who knows? sounds like artificially, possibly locally generated lingo.

Good coastal boat hunts are the bee's knees especially if the weather is bad and non-hunters are along. Plenty of sightseeing associated with coastal areas. I think certain coastal black bear hunts from a boat enjoy high percentage success rates. Just have to dig into the info provided for each area and double check past harvest rates and densities of bears living there.
The area I hunt in British Columbia is roughly 50 % color phase black bears. Cinnamon is the most common followed by chocolate and then blond. In my hunts there, I have taken two cinnamon and one black. My son shot a beautiful chocolate this past May. I let a gorgeous young bear walk last May that was blond with a brown saddle and leggings. Cool looking little guy.

 
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