Ripcord Arrow Rests
The Gila has a Huge Bear Problem
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Trophyhill 27-Aug-19
Red Sparky 28-Aug-19
GF 28-Aug-19
loesshillsarcher 28-Aug-19
Rocky D 28-Aug-19
nmwapiti 28-Aug-19
nmwapiti 28-Aug-19
nmwapiti 28-Aug-19
LINK 28-Aug-19
Norseman 28-Aug-19
svrelk 28-Aug-19
DonVathome 28-Aug-19
mrelite 28-Aug-19
LINK 28-Aug-19
Trophyhill 28-Aug-19
Trophyhill 28-Aug-19
Trophyhill 28-Aug-19
GF 28-Aug-19
Trophyhill 28-Aug-19
GF 29-Aug-19
Trophyhill 29-Aug-19
Red Sparky 29-Aug-19
Kodiak 29-Aug-19
Shaft2Long 29-Aug-19
smarba 29-Aug-19
BullBuster 29-Aug-19
Shaft2Long 29-Aug-19
Bowfinatic 29-Aug-19
smarba 30-Aug-19
Shaft2Long 31-Aug-19
trkytrack 01-Sep-19
From: Trophyhill
27-Aug-19
So I heard a conversation in the Winston General Store this past Sunday, that in 2002, a cap was put on bear hunting in the Gila. (Probably a decision made from emotion or pressure from treehuggers) And that the G&F has NOT done a study on these or any other prey animals since then.

We all know that bears can and do have significant impact on elk and deer "infant mortality".

There's no debating that. Nor can it be debated that the bear population has been left unchecked, essentially throwing things out of balance in the Gila.

I can personally attest to this from the shear # of bears I have seen both in person up close and personal, and on our trail cams. It is out of control to put it mildly. If G&F don't do something about it, I have no doubt we will be hearing about an increase in bear attacks in coming years. It's just a matter of time.

For those of you who have hunted and scouted the Gila the last few years, have you seen what I've seen? Or am I being granted some kind of sign from a higher power about the Gila?

From: Red Sparky
28-Aug-19
Years ago when my Uncle was still alive we deer hunted up by Lake Roberts in unit 24. Was not uncommon to see a bear with a tag in its ear since it had been relocated from Silver City. I can't say if they are increasing or decreasing but they do need to have a study on the population.

The other problem is the size of the zone, seems like the Gila is the biggest zone and if 58 females get killed they close the entire zone.

I would suggest you are being granted some kind of sign. The sign says......... get a bear tag!

From: GF
28-Aug-19
JMO, instead of complaining that the DFG acted without due diligence and demanding change based on your personal observations (aka Not Data), maybe you should find out what studies were done before and what are being done now (or are planned).

If it turns out that there WAS NO study before and no follow up is in the works, then raise hell. Wildlife Management is a SCIENCE, and no politician or bureaucrat who treats it as a political football deserves to keep their job.

You can bet the Antis would raise hell (as they always do!) about any easing of restrictions on hunting (think Grizz, Wolf, Hounds, Trapping), and so should we.

28-Aug-19
I saw a couple bears and lots of sign on my elk hunt there in 2001.

From: Rocky D
28-Aug-19
I have had two bears come into cow calls in the Gila.

From: nmwapiti
28-Aug-19

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Last year in 10 days of hunting, I saw 13 bears. That doesn't count the one repeat I am sure of, a black boar with a hitch in his step that liked following a specific elk herd. That's the most I've ever seen in one trip. I didn't have a bear tag, but my buddy reduced the population by one large boar.

From: nmwapiti
28-Aug-19

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Only 50 yards from camp...

From: nmwapiti
28-Aug-19

nmwapiti's embedded Photo
nmwapiti's embedded Photo
Plenty of sign...

From: LINK
28-Aug-19
Trophy is right. The elk population and quality have taken a huge hit by the hordes of bears in the Gila and surrounding units. ;)

From: Norseman
28-Aug-19
Talk to lion outfitters that run dogs. They would know.

From: svrelk
28-Aug-19
Shame.... Hunted the Gila. 16 c 3 times in the late 90's. You mentioning the Winston store brought back a flood of memories..

From: DonVathome
28-Aug-19
Its been a few years but I saw more bears there then anywhere else exceot POW island AK. Lots of sign and sightings - lots.

From: mrelite
28-Aug-19
No doubt about it the Gila has a lot of bears, they are in every canyon! I've never seen as many as I have seen in the last 6 years and I darn sure wouldn't leave any food item or eat in my tent cause the bear food supply isn't over abundant.

From: LINK
28-Aug-19
Unit 15 is just as bad as 16B with bears. I hunted there in 2012. I saw more bears than elk and haven’t been back since.

From: Trophyhill
28-Aug-19
Hey GF, just my opinion but.......awe nevermind. I'll keep my opinion about your opinion to myself ;)

From: Trophyhill
28-Aug-19
Hey GF, just my opinion but.......awe nevermind. I'll keep my opinion about your opinion to myself ;)

From: Trophyhill
28-Aug-19
Hey GF, just my opinion but.......awe nevermind. I'll keep my opinion about your opinion to myself ;)

From: GF
28-Aug-19
Point being... it’s a shame that we don’t learn from the Antis and figure out how to make sure that these changes don’t get studied for longer before changes are made, and we need to demand follow-up studies to make sure that the desired outcomes are being achieved.

Good news is that it’s really the calves that are vulnerable and for a relatively short window. That makes calf mortality studies relatively inexpensive to run.

Good Science and Facts are the way to go... Hunters are a small minority, nationally, but Non-Hunters outnumber the Antis, and most of them are reasonable.

You look at the number of bear incidents in places like Estes Park over the past few weeks and tell me that rational people won’t tumble to the idea that the bears are becoming too numerous....

From: Trophyhill
28-Aug-19
And I agree with that GF. Your earlier comment and comments like it are frustrating to say the least. The history of our game commisioners and wildlife decisions in this state have left a lot to be desired o er the years for various reasons. So yeah......if some of us complain a little on occasion, it is with merit. Because we've been to the commission meetings and to the state capital and made our voices heard. Unfortunately they were heard by deaf ears.

From: GF
29-Aug-19
That’s the part that often gets left out of these threads; right or wrong, I never assume that the Due Diligence has been done up front.

But DAMN, Brother - when we are in the right and the role of Science has been usurped by Politics, we’ve go to (POLITELY) raise hell and get the Rational NON-hunters on board with the SCIENCE agenda.

From: Trophyhill
29-Aug-19
Hey Red Sparky. I plan on it. Having a tag is the biggest deterrent and guarantee one can have that you won't encounter any

From: Red Sparky
29-Aug-19
Yep. Every time I have seen a bear I had no tag. I got mine so won't see one again this year. I hate the "mandatory waiting period" between buying the tag and being able to hunt. I guess it is so somebody doesn't kill a bear and then go buy a tag.

From: Kodiak
29-Aug-19
I hunted 16D in 2004 and bears were everywhere.

Haven't been back though.

From: Shaft2Long
29-Aug-19
I have the 2nd hunt in 15 this year. I’ll be taking a bear tag and a mt. lion tag.

Curious after this post to see how many bears we run into. I REALLY hope I have no need for the lion tag. If there’s one thing I think is really unchecked it’s the lion population. I’ve had a couple of very close encounters and I don’t like those things.

From: smarba
29-Aug-19
I like lions...delicious :o) I ALWAYS have a tag for them, just in case. Best of luck Shaft!

From: BullBuster
29-Aug-19
Over last 8 years I’ve hunted 16A, 16D. . Only saw 1 bear over those 2 hunts.

From: Shaft2Long
29-Aug-19
Thank you samba! My bow is dialed! Shooting is on! Should be good. There were already a few small bulls bugling last weekend.

29-Aug-19
I hunt 16D as well. Saw 3 bears during elk hunt. See usually 1 per yr

From: smarba
30-Aug-19

smarba's embedded Photo
smarba's embedded Photo
Last year I didn't have an elk tag so I made a concerted effort to look for bears. It paid off and we've found the meat to be delicious (be sure to fully cook...just ask Meateater).

No elk tag again :o( so I'm out looking for bears this year too.

From: Shaft2Long
31-Aug-19
That is a nice bear!

From: trkytrack
01-Sep-19
Pretty sure you just gave a heads up to all the NR with their $100 bear tags. Hope it works.

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