Contributors to this thread:
Best state for a DIY bear hunt
I want to try a black bear hunt but I don't have the $$ to go with an outfitter. I am an experienced hunter and can do the leg work necessary to find game. What is anyones opinion on the best state to do a DIY hunt. obviously this would require and good population and accessibel public land.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, if you do a little homework, it becomes pretty obvious where to go. There's a lot of choices and almost unlimited public ground, more than you could hunt in a lifetime.
Minnesota has areas you can hunt every year DIY. It might take a little research but there is public land available.
If you draw the tag, WI is hard to beat for baiting and hounds.
I'm a CO native and for 20 years have had no luck with Black Bears. However, the past 3 years I've killed bears. Biggest factor has been just being where they are, first year on the largest bear I've shot was over another hunters deer he left out in a valley overnight- next day it was almost all consumed and he showed me where it was at. I hung my treestand and here came a Monster. Lost that bear on private property where it went onto and could not get permission to recover it and then it snowed 14" on my blood trail anyhow.
Last year I killed a bear over my deers gutpile and the valley and waterhole we hunt for elk was overrun with bears all over the place. In fact, my dad killed a big boar off of the waterhole and we did not see any elk the rest of the season because of all of the bears.
This year I hunted just behind my house figuring I would save money by not driving 3 hours into the mountains to our usual elk spot. Really it was just a tag we got (a friend and I from work) thinking we would give it a shot. We found an active seep and hung a stand. He killed a blonde boar, the very next night I shot a jet black 400+ pounder.
I guess it has more to do with actually having a tag here in Colorado, and if you do either killing a deer or elk, or hunting over water since we cannot use a bait site.
My vote would be Alaska... DIY hunt on POW.
Don, should I have also mentioned that he has to be willing to pack the bear out 3-5 miles in "sheep country" in 80 degree temps? That might be disuasive. ;-)
yeah, the "carrying the bear" is sort of a deal-breaker for alot of guys.
It does make the hunt on POW look more appealing.
Another suggestion though for "sheep hunts for bear", try Western Alaska Range in unit 19 Alaska, year round season and the bag limit for non-residents is 3 black bears. In the Fall, it's a predator control hunt, no meat salvage required, though you'd be stupid to waste a "Berry-Bear", some of the best eating game hands down!
Lower 48, have to go with Idaho. Otherwise, Alaska.
Better check the regs for POW. Big changes for next year. Especialy the fall hunt.
We hunted POW island 3 years ago, lots of black bears, just wading creeks full of dying salmon. No guiding necessary but transportation is pretty high.
the U.P. of Mi. lots of state land and paper company land with a lot of bear.
Cohutta wilderness in Georgia. No one hunts them. 150,000 acres to yourself. 350-400 not uncommon. Skulls are small though.
Can tell us more about the changes coming for POW? I have heard for years things might change, sounds like they finally did it.
BR Stinger's Link
I'd vote for the western counties if VA. lots of bear, lots of public land, long season, and decent accissibility. no baiting though
For now it only affects the fall season. See link.
Take a look for the changes on POW below on the POW thread.
All of Alaska will go 'Harvest Ticket' hunt in spring 2009. Harvest Tickets are not available online so you must visit a ADF&G office or a vendor who has them prior to going into the field.
Also this fall change on POW Island is just for 2 years.
It appears now that then (in 2011) all of SE Alaska will go draw for Black Bear for the non-resident hunter.
North West New Jersey! Just need a drivers lic. bear/auto collisions up.
Hee Hee Hee ...........
Sorry coudn't resist someday Gov.Corzine will be out.
Alaska, and not just POW. There's a good number of black bears and opportunities throughout the state.
California has more black bears than any other State by FAR!
Be careful in California. Lots of pot farming on public land, and the guys behind it are not hippies growing it to supply their commune, it's mexican nationals with machine guns. Places with the highest bear populations have the most pot farms.