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Author Topic: 1st time hunting grizzly country  (Read 4889 times)

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Offline bbrown601

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1st time hunting grizzly country
« on: June 21, 2018, 02:17:14 PM »
Its looks like I will be archery hunting grizzly country this year, something Ive never done. I was hoping to get a little advice on the dos and donts.  I plan on carrying my .44 mag and bear spray.  My biggest concerns are camp precautions and after the shot precautions. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.


Thanks
Brandon

Offline montanaelk31

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2018, 12:08:34 AM »
We'll I've been hunting grizzly country for a few years and do everything textbook, after the shot and at camp. And my partner and I still got charged.  So it's important to know that even if you do everything right, the s_it can still hit the fan! and you better be prepared to defend yourself. First and foremost, having 2 deterrants are better than one. In our encounter, we grabbed the firearm first and we're able to stop the charge.  During our next encounter with a different bear, no shots or spray was fired. Trust me when you are in the middle of it, you are going to want to be carrying a rocket launcher, so carry the biggest gun you can. Our 44 mags did the trick.  Hard cast bullets, no hollow points.  Pepper spray is a great backup. IMHO anyone who hunts grizzly country with 1 or the other is asking for trouble. Just a matter of time.
Other tips would be no nighttime pack outs. No following a blood trail after 7 pm. Don't walk in in the dark (this was a tough one for me because I get back), if your hunting solo(I would advise against this in grizzly country) have a inreach device to call for help, if hunting with partners, never separate, ever. Nap in shifts, not both together.  My partner and I were 100 yards away from each other when the grizzly made its move in the dark. I won't bivy in grizzly country.


Practice!
"The harder I work, the luckier I get"

Offline Bowhunter1

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2018, 05:32:11 AM »
Just use your head. I bivy hunted in grizzly country last year. I hung my food 75 yds downwind and kept a clean camp. I hiked in and out in darkness. The only scare I had was a huge 6x6 came crashing downhill and across the trail one night when I was hiking out. Keep your head on a swivel and enjoy your hunt.
"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - but the size of the fight in the dog. "

Offline Castle Oak

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2018, 07:07:21 AM »
Great replies above but I will add this: hunt defensively when setting up to call.  Be sure you can see 360
degrees around you.  Do not use cold calling setups.  If you hear and see a bunch of ravens circling an
area, get a weapon in hand and back away.  My partner and I blundered in to a kill with a bear on it
because we failed to heed the ravens.  Keep your camp as clean as possible-I will not even brush my teeth
in camp.  Have fun and don't let fear rule the day. 

Offline Don K

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2018, 03:01:42 PM »
Get yourself a partner that runs slower than you...........

Offline Bowhunter1

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2018, 07:59:14 AM »
Get yourself a partner that runs slower than you...........

 :haha: :haha: :haha:
"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - but the size of the fight in the dog. "

Offline westbound

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 09:23:01 AM »
If you camp down low and walk in know the rules for bear safety.  We had 2 empty freezers setting in our camp and got a ticket for not having them locked up correctly.  We didn't know even an empty freezer or empty cooler was considered bad.  Other than that those guys pretty much covered it.  I will say that you have a different level of awareness when you are hunting in grizzly country.

Offline Kdkehoe

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 08:58:31 PM »
I live in Montana and hunt grizzly country yearly.  Also bivy Hunt griz country as well.


My approach and my opinion is as montanaelk said know how to handle an encounter. Do the research and wall bluff charges and instructional until your blue in the face.


I carry bear spray and a 10mm as well as an extra bear spray and extra mag. Im an extras kinda guy.  Bear spray-Educate yourself on the use and application. Too many people here in MT spray at the bear and the bear is going so fast it goes right over. 30 degree angle in the PATH of the charging bear to create a barrier as the bear runs into the spray.  Burst fire rather than hold and squeeze.  And know that if the can says 40ft spray, that would be in ideal conditions.  The spray distance varies in cold/hot temps. 


Bullets-same as touched on by Montanaelk, hard cast lead.  HSM or Buffalo Bore.  Ive shot both and hit like a Mac truck.  I HIGHLY advise against single action and practice your reload with a speed cylinder reloader. 


Food- hang it in drybag or bear approves container. Same with camp trash, or you can burn it.  Lots of guys hang the food but wash their cookware with food remnants where they sleep.  Bad news.  Where you sleep should be attractant free.  A bears nose is insane. They can smell through 6 feet of snow and 4 feet of concrete.


Hiking and hunting keep your head on a swivel and watch the brush and listen intently same as you would for elk.   For real.  Make noise when its appropriate. 


If you encounter a sow and cubs or jump a cub dont run and dont lose it.  Back out slowly. If youre with a buddy have them guide you safely backwards. Do not turn your back to the bear.  Take it easy and safe and call it for that area.


After the kill implement a safe and preplanned stragic course of action. If you have to in the thick thick stuff two guys on the carcass. One working one holding and watching 360 and listening.  Dont get caught up talking. Now is the time to be vigilant, alert and aware of your surroundings. 


Packing out, if its a day or two pack out place meat is wide open spaces you can approach with 200yd viewing ability.  Unless absolutely necessary I wouldnt pack at night. I do hike in and hike out in the dark without meat a lot. Not too worried.   We have a system if the elk dies in a horrible spot as they usually tend to do, we get the loads ready and make the trip with the loads to the first pheasible open safe area. 200 yards to wherever.  And kind of do spurts.  500yards go back to being the rest. Then 500 yards and go back. Small jumps works well for us.


All things considered, dont be scared it will only hurt you in the end.  Be educated.  I anticipate every hunt I will have an encounter.  If I dont fantastic, which is most the time. But if I do the mindset is already there.


I also suggest when you nail an area down call the regional bear biologist and they can tell you what its like in the area. Take Todd Orr for example the famous guy who got chewed on a couple years ago. He KNOWINGLY went up into a drainage that had a MARKED trail head warning of a potentially injured Grizzly, for a fact. But that didnt make the news I dont believe and I dont think he advertised it. So find out if they drop trouble bears in the area, what the approximate head count is etc.


Have fun, be safe and enjoy the experience. Not too many folks want to, get to, or have the chance to hunt amongst an apex predator.  Its pretty humbling and awe some.  If your hunting MT gimme a message and I can assist getting you in touch with a biologist.
Without hunting there would be no conservation, without conservation there would be no wildlife. -R.K

Offline DEEF

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2018, 09:22:58 PM »
@Kdkehoe, wow great details!  Excellent advise.  The biologist tip with "bear drop" areas is gold.  Thanks for sharing your expertise. 


Which 10mm did you settle on?  I like the Sig P220 or the Kimber Eclipse Custom.  The only bad is that they are off roster in CA; so, I have to wait for a used to pop up and pay premium.  Had I been more roster aware, I would have geared up when I was an AR res:)

Offline montanaelk31

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2018, 10:34:30 PM »
@Kdkehoe, wow great details!  Excellent advise.  The biologist tip with "bear drop" areas is gold.  Thanks for sharing your expertise. 


Which 10mm did you settle on?  I like the Sig P220 or the Kimber Eclipse Custom.  The only bad is that they are off roster in CA; so, I have to wait for a used to pop up and pay premium.  Had I been more roster aware, I would have geared up when I was an AR res:)
Kdkhoe you and I need to hunt together! In all serious tho it was like you were reading my bear country playbook. Be prepared to see the bear.  Long story short.  I have bivy griz country but wont anymore. We see griz most days where we hunt.  Again, kdkhoes playbooks is right on.  But the bear caught us just as we got complacent.  We had the horns sitting in a wide open meadow 300 yards from the carcass.  We had all the meat in the creek 600 yards from the carcass. Cousin went to get the horns while I pumped water (80 degree day).  Bear was already waiting there. Dont separate in the dark. When he yelled hey bear it charged.  Luckily he had grabbed his 44 out of his holster before he went for the horns or it woulda been a very different story.  All at 10 oclock at night! Griz eyes light up like a 4-wheeler at night, so get an ultra bright headlamp for nighttime walking.
I shoot a 44 but if I packed an auto loader a 10mm 1911 would be my choice.
"The harder I work, the luckier I get"

Offline Boom

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2018, 10:18:25 AM »
i often wonder if a well trained bear-dog would work.  not a dog to attack the bear, just one to warn me.

grizzly country freaks me out..i'm a city kid.  i dont even shoot a hanggun all that well!

why do we see in videos at bear encounters..why do the people say, "hey bear! (and repeat)".?

if i see a bear.."hey bear" just doenst seem like the right thing to utter.  mine would have more cussing.

Offline Bowhunter1

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2018, 10:47:34 AM »
i often wonder if a well trained bear-dog would work.  not a dog to attack the bear, just one to warn me.

grizzly country freaks me out..i'm a city kid.  i dont even shoot a hanggun all that well!

why do we see in videos at bear encounters..why do the people say, "hey bear! (and repeat)".?

if i see a bear.."hey bear" just doenst seem like the right thing to utter.  mine would have more cussing.

I am not sure but I would guess if the dog started barking to warn you of a bear. The bear would think it is dinner time and come toward you. Make sure it is a fat lazy dog so you can out run him. :haha:
"What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight - but the size of the fight in the dog. "

Offline Jimbo1755

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2018, 03:48:26 PM »
We are heading back to Wyoming this year into  Grizzly county also . We both will be carrying spray and Side arms while hunting. I always carry   a shotgun with us when  packing meat out. I converted a enclosed trailed to use for a base camp and sleeping. 

Offline Ron Niziolek

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2018, 06:36:12 PM »
Kdkehoe has some excellent advice.

One thing I'd like to add is whatever you decide to use for protection/deterrent, practice with it. You most likely will not have much time at all with an encounter and getting spray or gun into use quickly is paramount.

I've hunted grizzly country for years (hundreds of days) with only bear spray on my pack belt. Yes I've been charged and it happens incredibly fast. I can get my spray into action quickly without even pulling it from the holster. Again, practice.

The last few years, if at all possible, I or others have carried a shotgun for tracking and recovery purposes. That can be the most dangerous time of elk hunting.

Common sense is key. There is no reason to fear grizzly country, only have a healthy respect.
Ron Niziolek - Elk101.Com - Extreme Elk Magazine

Offline nwmontana

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Re: 1st time hunting grizzly country
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2018, 10:55:31 AM »
Don't eat or store food in camp. Setup your camp with as good of a vantage point as you can.  Look for bear sign you will be able to tell if a bear is in the vicinity.  Try to avoid those areas as much as possible.

 

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