Sitka Mountain Gear
Close Encounters if the Bear Kind
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
trophyhill 05-Aug-19
smarba 05-Aug-19
Dyjack 05-Aug-19
WV Mountaineer 05-Aug-19
Mule Power 05-Aug-19
elkmtngear 05-Aug-19
Jaquomo 05-Aug-19
Treeline 05-Aug-19
SteveB 05-Aug-19
Irishman 05-Aug-19
Jackaroo 05-Aug-19
Jaquomo 05-Aug-19
Treeline 05-Aug-19
RK 05-Aug-19
GF 05-Aug-19
Elkslaya 05-Aug-19
Irishman 06-Aug-19
Ermine 06-Aug-19
Brotsky 06-Aug-19
YZF-88 06-Aug-19
Brotsky 06-Aug-19
Inshart 06-Aug-19
Elkslaya 06-Aug-19
elkstabber 06-Aug-19
painless 06-Aug-19
woodguy65 06-Aug-19
goelk 06-Aug-19
From: trophyhill
05-Aug-19
What are your experiences with bears in the elkwoods?

From: smarba
05-Aug-19
Black bear: blow predator call, play cat and mouse, shoot, butcher, skin, pack out, eat (delicious) :o)

From: Dyjack
05-Aug-19
Usually see them running away from me after I fail to get close.

Only sketchy encounter I've had with a black bear was being charged by a mama sow when I was stalking a bedded bull.

Heard squirrels freaking out. Knew it couldn't be me causing their alarm. Then saw three little cubs run up a tree.... And then mama went for me. I backed up behind a bush and bugled. Think she thought I wasn't a threat after that. Took me a day to get my head back in the game though LOL.

05-Aug-19
Most of the Black bears in CO I have seen react very differently then Black Bears here. They just aren’t as afraid of humans. None have attacked me. But, of the dozen I’ve seen there 40 yards and less, only one sow and her two cubs tore out like bears here do when they realize you are there.

Most all acted as if they were offended by my presence. When a bear drops it’s head and looks at you from that position, after standing upright and woofing at you, it’s thinking about coming at you instead of turning and running. Which only the sow and cubs have done. The rest starred me down and either walked around me or eventually turned and walked off.

That’s been my experiences with them.

From: Mule Power
05-Aug-19
They are taste bud friendly as long as you make sure you remove all of the fat!

From: elkmtngear
05-Aug-19
They will be on your gutpile (or "gutless carcass") within 24 hours in my "regular" area. But, they have never taken hanging meat (I try to pack the quarters at least 100 yds from the gutpile).

If I run into them running and gunning, they generally bug out (black bears).

I also pee on them from my treestand when possible. :^D

From: Jaquomo
05-Aug-19
My hunting partner had a big dominant boar mess with him in N. CO. He only had a bow and no bear tag. The bear circled him at very close range grunting and growling with ears back and hair raised. Backed him into and inside the branches of a big spruce, and kept circling and growling for a bit before losing interest.

I called a pretty blonde boar in across 400 yards of sagebrush, then rose up out of the sage and shot him when he stood up. Fall bears in CO are tasty, indeed!

From: Treeline
05-Aug-19
Hope to have a good close encounter with a black bear, in the unit that I have a tag for, before a rifle hunter shoots it this year to end my bear dry spell in CO...

Shot a bull in Colorado in the evening and trailed him up the next morning. Nothing had been on him overnight so broke him down and packed out a load and went to get my kid and some help. When we got back, one bag was missing. Saw the drag marks and followed up into the willows with my 9 year old kid. Found the ripped up bag about 40 yards into the brush and pulled it back out to the opening. Didn't really think about what might have happened if the bear would have decided to fight over the meat! Especially with my kid right there...

Not in the elk woods, but two years ago had a black bear come right at me and a buddy packing out a Coues in Arizona after dark. We yelled at him and he just circled and got in behind us. Followed us over a mile in the dark, woofing and popping his teeth. We got to the point of stopping and throwing rocks and branches at him every so often and finally got lucky and landed a rock on his head before he backed off. Kinda spooky.

If you are hunting in bear country and kill an elk, take the quarters at least 100 yards away from the carcass and put them out in the open where you can see if there is a bear on the quarters. Pee around it if you can and leave some sweaty clothes near the meat. The bear will most likely go to the gutpile and leave the meat alone.

From: SteveB
05-Aug-19

SteveB's embedded Photo
Destroying my Montana Decoy elk.......
SteveB's embedded Photo
Destroying my Montana Decoy elk.......
In 16D calling to a bull across a meadow on my belly....sensed something, turned around and had a big boar at 15 yards sneaking in......we were both quite surprised (Obviously no pics pf this one). Another time in Unit 10 made up at a natural blind on water and had a young boar come in across the pond and beat up my Montana decoy (Pictured above) as he slowly worked his way clear around to my blind. Stuck his head over the logs and into my personal space.....and it was a little tense for a few seconds as he wouldn't leave. Hung around for over 30 minutes. Sad to say my "guide" was a sissy and scared to death, no kidding.

From: Irishman
05-Aug-19
Black bears usually just run off when they figure out that I'm human, but not always. I had to shoot one a couple of years ago while elk hunting. I'd given up on elk hunting for the morning, and had my bow on my backpack for my 7 mile hike back to my truck. First she bluff charged me, which gave me enough time to get the bow off my backpack and ready, then she came in for real. My first shot hit some branches in front of her and missed, with the arrow deflecting and hitting a stump behind her. She heard the noise of the stump getting hit and paused to look behind her, giving me enough time to get a second arrow ready. I didn't miss the second time. When a bear is coming straight at you, it isn't that easy to find a good place to put an arrow. So far I haven't had any issues with grizzlies, mostly because if I see fresh sign that they are around then I find somewhere else to hunt. I've gotten several photos of them on game cameras where I hunt, but no encounters while hunting.

From: Jackaroo
05-Aug-19

Jackaroo's Link
They run until they don’t. For those that feel that they can get a gun , nock an arrow , shoot or run up a tree.

From: Jaquomo
05-Aug-19
Tavis, I've watched them walk right over fresh pee and not bat an eye. Once we left a stinky, sweaty tshirt and a bear tore it to shreds but didn't botherthe meat....

From: Treeline
05-Aug-19
They sure do some crazy $#it!

From: RK
05-Aug-19
So Irish when you shot the charging bear how did you handle the tag etc. And I assume your arrow turned the charge, which was lucky indeed

More details in case some of us have the same experience

From: GF
05-Aug-19
My brother has cow-called in a couple of Bears in NoCO. Standing up and telling them to get lost has been working so far. Good idea to do so when they are 35-40 yards out (or more) so they feel like running is still a good option for them.

JMO, a beat that doesn’t turn tail first thing is a bear in dire need of aversion conditioning. Pepper spray is best for all concerned if you have it. No paperwork, assuming it’ll work in the first place.

JMO, we hunters - whose boot-prints often lead to FOOD - have something of an obligation to other human visitors to reinforce the idea that people are best avoided. Non-lethal measures are preferred, of course, but ya gotta do whatchagottado to make the point when the point needs to be made...

From: Elkslaya
05-Aug-19
I’ve had quite a few “encounters” between CO and NM. The 2 where I felt unnerved were both in the GilaZ the first in 2012 when we came face to face at about 15 yards. My .44mag was pointed at him as he stood clicking his teeth at me. After what seemed like an eternity, he bolted up the mountain and out of site.

The 2nd was this past Saturday. And it was a harrowing experience. I had hiked in with a plan of about a 12 mile round trip to check a couple trail cams. I was in a dry creek bottom to remain nameless. There was a pinch point where we had thought about placing a camera, but didn’t back in June. I heard some sounds in the thick stuff that were made by a large animal, or maybe a rock rolling down the slope into the trees at the bottom. It got my attention.

But after about 10 minutes of remaining motionless, and rehydrating, I eased back to the other side and cat walked the steep rocks to be on the safe side instead of venturing into a location I couldn't see into. I went on for about another 15 minutes and heard another sound. Again I saw nothing. Onward toward trail cam 1.

My buddy had left his knife on a rock last September and we found it in June when we were setting cameras. I stopped at the rock where he left it and proceeded to mark the location on my gps as the trail was now within eyesite up to the camera. By this time I’m getting excited to go pull an SD card and see how many pics are on it. Not even thinking about what I had heard back there. Then it happened.

The moment I decided to get technology involved and drop my guard taking my head off its swivel, I heard crashing across the rocks in the dry rock bed. I turned just in time to unintentionally yell “oh F—k!” As the huge black bear broke off his charge and ran up a big ponderosa pine 10’ from me! Staring at me the whole time. As if to say “hey human! This is my turf! And you should not be on it!”

And then he gave me the same look as he came back down the tree from 30’ up. Don’t climb a tree if a bear is coming at you. You won’t escape! It was very intense and intimidating! He had me if he wanted me before breaking off the charge! You always hear how fast these animals are. I can vouch first hand! As he was climbing that tree you could hear the claws ripping the bark as chunks were flying off the tree. Proof that a grip like that would mess you up badly if he ever got a hold of you!

While he was going up or coming down, it’s a blur, I drew my .45 and was yelling “go away bear!” When he got down the tree standing on his hinds he just looked at me as if to say “yeah right human, that only works in magazines and on the forums”. I’m 6’ tall and was looking up at his eyes.

Then he calmly dropped down on all 4’s and made his way back across the dry creek and up the rokslide on the other side, rather nonchalantly until out of site. What a rush and believe me when I say God blesses me by letting me see and experience this, and spared me so I could live to tell about it. I might just leave that area alone, even though there are 34 pics on the disc from the cam that I haven’t seen yet ;$

From: Irishman
06-Aug-19
RK. I had a black bear tag, so that wasn't an issue. The arrow hit the bear in the front right shoulder, and the bear spun around and ran off. I'm pretty sure the bear survived.

From: Ermine
06-Aug-19
If you have a bear tag while elk hunting you won’t have to worry. You won’t see a bear

From: Brotsky
06-Aug-19
So, when do you decide you need to pull the trigger when a bear is coming at you? A lot of you guys sound a lot more tolerant than I might be. Just wondering when you start sending rounds downrange?

From: YZF-88
06-Aug-19
I had a black bear circle my little tent a couple years ago in Idaho. Dang thing wouldn't leave. Was ready to start sending rounds out the tent wall when it finally did.

Since then I've discovered the ultimate light weight bear repellent. Buy a bear tag. I haven't seen one since!!!!

From: Brotsky
06-Aug-19
I sure wish the bear tag repellent was an option for Griz. I'm sure the rest of the guys that hunt in MT, WY, and ID agree.

From: Inshart
06-Aug-19
A few years ago I set up on a small finger (about 50 yards across and 150 yards long) coming off a pretty good sized park in WY.

A big black came out and was walking straight across towards me. I didn't want to screw up the area by yelling so I stood up and in a "loud whisper" said "Hey Bear" 5 or 6 times to no avail. I don't think he heard me - he never even looked up.

He got to about 20 yards so I said in a normal voice "Hey Bear, this is my spot", at which he finally heard me and when he turned and ran it was amazing how fast they really go. I was in awe at the size of the clumps of grass and mud his claws flipped up as he ran.

From that point on, I always carry a side arm and/or spray.

From: Elkslaya
06-Aug-19
Brotzky, I did not have time to even draw my gun let alone shoot initially. I can tell you that had that bear started toward me after he came out of the tree, I would have let lead fly and hope for the best. That bear could have had me for lunch had he not climbed that tree at the last second

From: elkstabber
06-Aug-19
I've had numerous experiences (15-30) with black bears while I was bowhunting elk. The bears ran away in fear every time so far. I've bumped into them when cresting a ridge, sitting a waterhole, just walking on a trail, etc. and never had any problem of any kind. I've never had one mess with any of the meat before I was able to get all of it out. I've never carried a pistol for protection. Maybe I've been lucky but I think my experiences have been fairly typical for black bears.

I've also generally kept a clean camp and haven't (yet) hunted in Grizzly country. I'll be hunting in Grizzly country next month and will have a pistol in a chest holster.

From: painless
06-Aug-19
This is a heck of a story. It happened last year on the ranch next to where we elk and antelope hunt. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BWU0haqRCI

From: woodguy65
06-Aug-19
^^^^ Yeah that’s a good one!!!

From: goelk
06-Aug-19

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