First time bear hunt?

Foxi

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kapitaler Bär Waidmannsheil.
My outfitter used to tell me: if you "don't see legs" on a bear, he is first class.
Just like your -absolutely fantastic.
What weight ?
 

Trail Rated

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For perspective I’m thinking February 2022 I turn 50 and may be able to pursue this
I did a black bear hunt for my 50th birthday as well. I chose New Mexico because of its proximity, but any of the locations suggested above would work. I also recommend spot and stalk — I was clear with my outfitter that I didn’t want to hunt over bait and especially did not want to hunt with dogs.
I used a .30-06 with 180-grain bonded bullets that my outfitter recommended. He wanted to ensure good penetration if I hit a shoulder, which I did. I took my shot from about 150 yards but we encountered bears we couldn’t shoot (sows with cubs) much closer than that, and I would have been nervous with anything under the .30 calibers.

Good luck!

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MarkB

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CBH Australia

As a British Columbia (BC) resident I may be slightly biased. Having shot many back bears and many colors phase black bears, plus 3 BC grizz, before our fool Gov decided to "manage by emotion" and close it down. I must say I love bear hunting, best is spring from my boat with kayaks on roof, spot the "right" one, anchor, launch and stalk the correct wind. This is an annual spring hunt. I am lucky but I cant hunt roos, pigs, or all other wants you have.

I say you need to set your parameters, must haves, needs, wants and nice to haves before any advice, places or outfitters can be recommended.

What do you want from your hunt?

Relaxing, backpack, physical, fancy accommodations, wall tent? Seeing bears every day or just the "one" you want to shoot? Bait, spot and stalk, dogs, spring, fall, size and lots more answers before any place can be narrowed down. Then even more specifics, spouse along, kids accompanying, mountain hunt, beach boat hunt, riding on ATV, truck, drift a river, watch a grain field, walk the bog/tussock, sit in a tree, you mention color phase so some areas are excluded (Vancouver Island) and of course cost/budget?

As for weapon, I would answer the questions above and narrow down what the hunt will be, then I pick caliber and weapon based on these answers, South Carolina monster blacks can go 800+ lbs (my bucket bear), BC coastal and interior bears may be 400 lbs but sometimes one must stalk past 1000lb grizz to get your black (fun), size differs dramatically from coast to coast of NA. In all places its best to anchor him down right there, dragging a bear is not fun. Packing out is also tough.

With a couple hours internet searching and a few specific answers to what your hunt must be there are tons of experienced pers on here that can and will willingly provide first hand details to assist you.

Let your fun begin.

MB
 

markferrigno

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It seems most folks look down at hunting Bear over bait. Here in Colorado, years ago via proposition (the worst way to govern in my opinion) they ended Spring Bear hunting and all Bear hunting over bait/hunting Bear with dogs and Black Bear population has exploded. I don't know how much was due to ending Spring hunting vs. hunting over bait but hunting over bait is an effective population control strategy. Of course now they want more Bears taken.
 

markferrigno

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Does it? I found them extremely reasonable and you get a second tag if you like. Send them an email.
Just wanted to know what you paid, your "reasonable" may not be to other folks.

I am always wary of outfitters who do not list prices, makes me think of "If you have to ask you can't afford it" attitude.
 

Bullthrower338

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89F77581-3A6C-47E4-ABD7-62F24F22C355.jpeg

I killed this bear at 18 yards on the ground spot and stalk in New Mexico with a bow. Measured 20-15/16, 6’-7” nose to tail and 7” paw to paw. I’ve killed many bear in Montana but I’ve seen my best bears in AZ and NM during the fall when the prickly pear are in bloom. A lot of color phase bears there also. I hunted one that was butterscotch in color for two years and cold never close the deal on him. Bear hunting spot and stalk is one of the most rewarding hunts you can do in my opinion.
Cheers,
Cody
 
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Red Leg

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Just wanted to know what you paid, your "reasonable" may not be to other folks.

I am always wary of outfitters who do not list prices, makes me think of "If you have to ask you can't afford it" attitude.

You will find a number of people are not entirely comfortable sharing contract costs on what is essentially a public forum. Others do not mind at all. I am one of the former.

All you have to do is shoot them an email or give them a call. What I paid for a hunt that was actually booked almost three years ago isn’t particularly relevant any longer in any case. What is relevant is that I have hunted with them several times with great success. The hunting reports are easily found here. After contacting them, if you find the cost too high, don’t book with them. However, whatever their current price is for a black bear hunt, I am confident you will find them very competitive.
 

Red Leg

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View attachment 320649
I killed this bear at 18 yards on the ground spot and stalk in New Mexico with a bow. Measured 20-15/16, 6’-7” nose to tail and 7” paw to paw. I’ve killed many bear in Montana but I’ve seen my best bears in AZ and NM during the fall when the prickly pear are in bloom. A lot of color phase bears there also. I hunted one that was butterscotch in color for two years and cold never close the deal on him. Bear hunting spot and stalk is one of the most rewarding hunts you can do in my opinion.
Cheers,
Cody
That is one hell of a bear. And to have done it with a bow ..... really well done.
 

Bullthrower338

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That is one hell of a bear. And to have done it with a bow ..... really well done.
Thanks Joe! Truly an unforgettable hunt!
The best part of that hunt was that my Dad was watching from the Mesa adjacent through my spotting scope and watched the arrow pass through! When they came around to help me get him out of the canyon Dad walked right down to my arrow stuck in a cactus 30 yards downhill.
This old bear was a cattle killing machine also, the rancher stoped by camp and thanked us for taking care of it.
Cheers,
Cody
 

Buffalo1

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In response to your question concerning locations for black bear hunt and color phases and weapon caliber.

If I were looking for brown, blonde or red phases I would look for outfitters in extreme northern Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba.

If I were looking for large bears I would at a fall hunt in the same area plus Michigan, Pennsylvania or coastal North Carolina.

Regarding weapon caliber I would prefer use a .308 or a 30:06. The .338, .375 and up is too much gun for the animal. Black bears are thin skinned animals.

I have hunted black bear in California, Colorado and Alberta. I have killed 4 bears with a bow. I was using a 62# compound and have gotten complete pass-thru shot results. My largest weighed 425# and squared 7 1/2'. 20 3/16" skull (registered in both P&Y and B&C.

I have hunted both with dogs and baited stand. Both methods have their pros and cons. I prefer baited stand hunting and it provides a better opportunity to field judge the animal.

If a bear looks like a German shepherd dog it is a small bear. A large bear has the appearance of extremely short legs with belly almost dragging the ground, a waddle walk and a head that appears to have very small ears.

I have also hunted both fall and spring hunts. My preference time to hunt in northern Canada is 1st or 2nd week in June because the big boars are in full rut and in search of hot sows.

Hope this info may be of help to you and good luck on your pursuit.
 

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Interesting. I think i want to spot and stalk. Bailing with dogs may increase chance of success. But i guess the one you bail is the one you shoot.
Its a long way to come home with no Bear.
Pricing, its nice if you can see a price on a website it narrows it down quickly. But i have contacted one place i was reffered to and they have put a price to my request. I think there may be room for negotiation sometime. I believe i got a good deal in South Africa my first big hunt. A cull hunt but with all the same experience i hope, package was negotiated with sightseeing and the next person may have different requirements or the outfitter may be have plenty of clients lining up. I do see some big variations in price. I look at it from what is it worth to bring home that trophy. Coming from Australia flights and maybe a couple of days sightseeing with my wife it could easily be 15k USD to bring home one rug. Its justifying it to myself that makes it hard. I couldnt do it year after year but i can do something if thats my priority.
Ive seen bear hunts advertised from $4000,
@MarkB roos are harvested by proffessional shooters at night using a spotlight and proccessed for either human consumption or pet food pending market and approvals. They are protected and can be culled on permit otherwise shooting them is illegal but it happens a lot. Pig numbers fluctuate with seasonal conditions and need water. Foxes and rabbits can be shot in spotlight. There are feral deer in some areas. Taken under licence in some areas of culled on private property
Camels and Dingoes can be found in areas and Water Buffalo are concentrated up north.
There is no commercial hunting of native animals so no export opportunity.
I think there is one Game Ranch with exotic species and that is Watervalley Station in South Australia.
 

Brent in Az

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You might want to check out Black Bear hunting on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Has the highest density of Black Bear in North America. Plenty of spot & stalk opportunities with outfitters.
 

fourfive8

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Here's a spring brown bear on the AK Peninsula- likely not long out of the den. You can see a small amount of bleaching of hair ends that was caused by the sun before going into the den the previous fall and the short time out of the den the current spring. The occasional fresh snow on rolling tussocked terrain made for some frustrating and slow going over distance to head off moving bears. Then of course plenty of work retrieving a hide weighing nearly 200 lbs on one pack frame.

The pre-hibernation coat would have been a solid, slightly darker color- much like the color of the underside of the front leg in the pic. This bear shows petty well the idea of a "thermos bottle" snout and small ears to head ratio. This bear was 9'10" squared. The measurements taken laid flat without stretching. Hunted spot and stalk, on foot in fairly open rolling tundra interspersed with alder thickets. Other bears were regularly seen visiting their freshly opened dens on the steeper slopes that still had heavy snow cover. I used a 375 HH with 300 gr soft points and did NOT feel over-gunned.

Brown Bear 1.jpg
Br bear front foot 2.jpg
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MarkB

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Van Isle is loaded with black bears, normally choose a bear as we see 4-20 day depending on weather and time of year. But there are no colors but black, as a resident living here bear hunts are very "cheap", $20 per tag and limit of 2 per year. But as a non relative and non resident you must be guided. These are somewhat expensive, (in my view).

fourfive8's grizz and hunt above is another bucket hunt as are those sika black tails. Been to Alaska many times but never hunted. Love the state.

CBH Australia

Maybe its the wallaby's I see being shot on the TV shows. Dingo would also look good in memory room.

MB
 

CBH Australia

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MarkB i think you could export a dingo. People shoot roos and Wallabys in their many varistions but they are all protected and i dont think you could export unless its tagged and i dont think a hunter can do that. Taxidermist wont touch Natives without paperwork.
Dingoes also classed loosely as Wild dogs as there are few genetically pure populations. Still plenty of places thst are Dingoes. , look like dingoes but in populated areas there are many hybrids.
Are Dingoes native? They say they came 40, ooo years ago with Aborigines. I learned that in school but now they say aboriginals have been here 50, 000 years im getting old.
 

Alaska Luke

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Well I'm no expert but here are my thoughts.
1. Finding bears isn't always easy. I think a DIY hunt might be frustrating unless you really find a good area.
2. You are flying from Australia, you want to see a new cool place. I would suggest British Columbia or Coastal Alaska. Your hunting area should be scenic and afterwards you can see cool mountains. Check out the Canadian Rockies or Denali National Park in Alaska for good post hunt adventures.
3. In my corner of Alaska black bears are hard to find in the think brush so baiting is popular. I think spot and stalk would be better from a boat on the coast but I've not tried it.
4. I never hunted there but I saw a ton of black bears in central BC. I know some people hunt them down lower in old logging cuts. I saw a YouTube of a guide bringing one in with a predator call. Looked fun.
5. Spot and stalk is most romantic but being at the right place at the right time is important. You could end up to high or to low in the mountains. I spent a week in Cordova Alaska without seeing a bear. A pilot told me they were all up high. This is one reason a guide might be a good idea.

For black bears with a guide I don't think a huge rifle is needed. I'd bring a 308 or 30-06 just because ammo is easy to find. A 7mm would work too. My little buddy shot a black bear with a 308 and low recoil ammo. It died just as fast as the one shot with a 375 Ruger. Also if you are in the mountains a lighter rifle is nice. I don't know about importing it but once in the USA gun laws are pretty lax. But silencers are heavily regulated. I brought a rifle to Canada once and it was fairly simple.

If you want to see a lot of North American critters, a trip to Yellowstone is a lot of fun. There is bear hunting outside the park but I doubt your chances of success are as high there as BC or Alaska.

Hope this helps. It's a great dream but a bit overwhelming. Start with BC and Alaska and see how prices look. If they are outrageous look at other options.
 
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Alaska Luke

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I did some googling. Some BC outfits do guided hunts for around $4000 (Canadian). You can easily spend $3000 (US) just getting dropped off by a bushplane for a DIY hunt in my area of Alaska. I'm going to guess the BC option is cheaper because it's less remote. They probably aren't paying for a boat or plane to move you 50 miles into the wilderness. But you don't have to be in a super remote wilderness to find bears. Anyway that might be a good option.

I don't use outfitters so I can't tell you anything you can't Google. But if you visit Alaska or the Canadian Rockies I can point you towards nice places for site seeing.
 

CBH Australia

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Thanks for ideas Id like to pursue bear and get a rug . Ive done Africa and hoping to do more in Australia. Ive shot pigs dingoes foxes close to home but always wanted a Buffalo and maybe some Camels if i can find a place where they are a pest.
Maybe i jump the ditch and do New Zealand but that would be pigs. I dont mount deer .
A bear rug might be my most desirable trophy after a Lion rug which is not importable.
 

thi9elsp

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CBH - I hunted with Keegan McCarthy in 2005 and my wife and I did their inside passage cruise in 2006. He is going to be on the high end for price but the boats you are on have suites(nice for the spouse) and there is the opportunity to fish and crab too. I took a cinnamon which squared 7' 4". You hunt morning and evening by skiff cruising the beaches looking for bears feeding in the spring time. I believe he takes some cinnamons every year but not sure what his ratio is. He books out for one to two years in advance.

If you want more information from my experience, PM me.

John

http://www.coastalalaskaadventures.com
 

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