View Full Version : Spring Bear Hunt
03-06-2007, 09:34 AM
My first post here. Have really enjoyed reading through the postings for the past while.
I am planning my first bear hunt at the end of April. Can you guys recommend an area to hunt between Calgary, Edmonton, or 1-2 hours north of Edmonton? I was thinking of going to lesser slave lake region but some friends went last year around May and didn't see a thing.
Not looking for anyone to reveal their secret location or anything. Just wondering what areas are better to concentrate on.
03-06-2007, 10:37 AM
I've never hunted bear much in Alberta but IMO you'd be better off going the last 2 weeks of May.
If you had a hard time seeing bears in the slave lake area you will have a hard time anywhere else as well. There are tons of bears there. Find a few good spots and learn how to bait them. They are there, you just have to spendthe time baiting them
03-06-2007, 11:17 AM
I usually work around the slave area in the winter and while I haven't seen any bears for obivous reasons (they're sleeping) I have seen their paw prints on some of the well shacks I check in the winter. So they must be around. I've seen some bears west of Drayton valley in the Cynthia area also as well as several bait sites in the area.
Good luck and have a good spring hunt.
03-06-2007, 08:37 PM
Go just north of Whitecourt. Lots of Bears
I have the best luck if I wait untill the 15th of May around Grand Prarie
03-06-2007, 09:56 PM
Tons of bears around Lesser Slave Lake.....go at the right time and do some lookin on cutlines and roads and you'll find bears. We usually see 3-6 bears an evening spot/stalk hunting up there...
Any idea when green up occurs in that area? I was thinking Edson area third week of April as thats when i have time off. I think it will be pretty brown still but haven't been to all that many areas in Alberta early spring. I have that bow all ready to go so as i've mentioned about ten times now, can't wait to get out hunting.
03-06-2007, 10:28 PM
I've found that usually mid May is good around Slave country.....I've gone up on the Long weekend and found it to be a TOUCH too late. You really want to have green grass in the ditches and the cutlines, but not inside the trees. Somewhere around that middle of the month up there usually does it when we've gone there and usually works. The long weekend aint bad and you see a pile of bears, but I think its a touch late for the real good time.
Hows that bow shootin for ya? What did ya end up doin with the arrows? Almost regret selling them as I think I may have been able to use em....lol. Hope its shootin good for ya!!
03-06-2007, 10:38 PM
boys, i think we will be running a lot later than mid may for prime time this year. unless we get a real warm spell and melt a bunch of snow, we will be pushing back at least 2 weeks till the big boys get up and moving. dont see most of the big bruins till the end of may usually anyways. anyways just my thoughts, take care, rob
03-06-2007, 10:45 PM
Yep good point with all the snow up there.....feels weird that it was 15 degrees and the ground is bare around home....lol
"Hows that bow shootin for ya? What did ya end up doin with the arrows? Almost regret selling them as I think I may have been able to use em....lol. Hope its shootin good for ya!!"
Yeah, i have it shooting around 3'' groups at 20 yrds so i'm pretty happy with it. I switched to shooting 2 at a time after breaking a few nocks, working well. I think i'll be able to tighten up the groupings a bit more even, any bear within 30 yrds should be in trouble.
Thanks for the update as well Katts, i may end up risking another southern hunt, at least the weathers always nice. :D
03-07-2007, 01:42 PM
hi guys , i would not hear up north till mid may unless we get a early spring like last year hold off till late may if you are heading north of manning .
03-07-2007, 02:17 PM
Anywhere you go in the Slave Lake area you will find lots of bears. WMU 510,511,350 are all great zones.510,511 is great if you want to drive around and spot and stalk and 350 is really good for quading as it is really open with lots of cut lines.If you come anytime around the 15 of May you will be fine.April is to early ( unless you are baiting) and the end of may you will find the hides not as good.Some bears will be rubbed but the one's that aren't will still have lost there under wool and not be as good fur.We have lots of color bears and some really heavy one's but you have to look trough a lot of 200 pounder's to find them.We see an average of 10 bears a day and there is very little hunting pressure from the locals(except my family):lol
Jrs and katts...I find green up is never later then the first week of may even if you have lots of snow or no snow so as long as you come after that you will be fine.You will be hard pressed to find a bear any year hunting april.
Hope this helps. Good Luck.
"Jrs and katts...I find green up is never later then the first week of may even if you have lots of snow or no snow so as long as you come after that you will be fine."
Thats kind of what i end up accepting every year. Problem is getting time off in May is nearly impossible for me, April's kind of the calm before the outdoor field season. The only bear i've harvested was shot June 15th at about 9:00 pm up around Manning (i think it was 537, can't even remember for sure). I bought the tag that morning and ended up getting one about an hour before sunset (the days are amazingly long by that time of year). I may have to take a few days off during mid-May, i'll probably have to go fishing and look around a bit down south during my week off in April, unless i have another good idea or we get an early spring. Can't just waste the time ;)
spring bear hun
03-08-2007, 06:01 AM
its a bit of a journey but the peace river has the best bear hunting in the world.
03-09-2007, 08:31 PM
Bears mostly eat grass in the spring .you have to wait till mid may for the grass to get green in the cut lines .
03-10-2007, 09:50 AM
Stick close to water sources the earlier in the season you are. When bears first wake they drink only water until they've stretched the stomach and then start on grasses which usually green up on south facing slopes first. Water, green grass and next to good cover. Early morning and late evening if your not baiting. Be prepared to put on the miles.
03-12-2007, 04:38 PM
Is Easter long weekend too long to do a bear hunt?
03-12-2007, 04:39 PM
I meant to say "early" not long...
Easter is well before prime time this season, i've seen bears in Waterton over that week but not in full force. Still pretty brown. I understand frozen up north still.
03-12-2007, 08:41 PM
When I guided for bears way back before you were allowed to bait them, we would quad around looking for 1 to 2 year old cutlines. Always searching for lots of bear tracks. (The black dirt on "young cutlines" thawed quicker than other sites and weeds would come up quicker) bears like the green stuff in these places to get the guts cleaned out after a long nap. When you find such a place, take a lawn chair and book, lay the rifle across your lap and enjoy the sun. I guided 3 bears this way.
Also, glassing south facing slopes in the foothills/mountains was fun. Just keep looking from the trails you are riding in the valley or from the highway if you like. The black specks on the sides of the hills stick out pretty well. Sneak up on them like you would sheep. I was never successful with this method, but the oldtimers I hung out with at the time (they were 30, I was 21 :D ) assured me this worked many times for them. Their theory was at the time that any black bear that was gutsy enough to eat on an open slope in the middle of the day in grizzley country was worth sneaking up on. Special note: do not shoot bears straight upslope from you, they may role downhill toward you fighting mad or until they are dead. Rather, shoot them from an elevation about equal or above. This advice also came from the old timers. The story they related was one instance when they left the horses at the bottom of the slope, and snuck up on the bear. They shot the bear. Half alive/half dead, the bear rolled into the middle of the tied up horses about 300 meters below him.
Uh...horse went home without the riders, saddles or tack.
If they still have the youth hostel in Nordegg, you can stay there inexpensively, and have a nice warm place to sleep each night. Lots of roads/highway through south facing slopes in this area.
Hope this helps.
Shoots black bears...save a moose/elk calf for us. ;)
03-12-2007, 11:11 PM
i know i'm counting the days
03-12-2007, 11:33 PM
Cant wait til bear season. Im going to hit it hard, and hopefully get my first alberta blacky. Moved here last fall from the land of many bears (Vancouver Island) Got 4 bears in 4 springs there, and when spring arrives, the bear fever will burn once again. I,ll be hunting out of south AB, mainly spot and stalk, and I'll try my damndest with the bow. When I get my scanner figured out, I'll post pics of my biggest guy from the island. Thanks:rolleyes
03-13-2007, 11:31 AM
We have been baiting for afew years now, awesome, have taken some great bears. Finally found some turf to do a spot & stalk hunt, but will be restricted to the 1st week of May, or the 3rd week, with the way days off work out. Will be heading into Hinton/Fox area. IS THE 1ST WEEK TOO EARLY. I have never been in this turf this time of year.
03-13-2007, 07:55 PM
If it stays this warm for the rest of March and April with a few days here are there in the -10 range, the first week of May will be good hunting. If we get another cold snap for a week or two in April well its anyones guess for the beginning of the month. But generally May anywhere in Alberta sees at least some bear movement. How much depends on the temperature.
And remember if it gets cold and wet ie. rain, stay next to the fire and drink beer and tell tall tales.
03-13-2007, 09:28 PM
Yep, with this nice weather, time to start thinking about lining up some bait. I like to be sitting the last week of April. The coats haven't been rubbed and the blasted skitters aren't out yet!
03-14-2007, 12:09 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys. Much appreciated! I'll post some pics if I'm lucky and bag one.
03-16-2007, 01:29 PM
keep a strain on er.
03-16-2007, 10:06 PM
did youse guys see my add in the buy and sell section??
i got a ****e load of fryer oil that i wont be using. the hairpigs really dug it last spring, when you just pour it on the ground.
03-18-2007, 11:03 PM
anyone here planning on using predator calls to draw out blackies instead of using bait??? Watched a Jack Britt video while he was using a bear buster and it seemed to do the trick. Called them out in the past. BUt wondering what calls are more effective than others.
03-19-2007, 03:19 AM
Is bear meat any good to eat? I have never had it myself and have heard everything from excellent to horrible. My son is bugging me to take him out his spring and i am wondering what everybody does with the carcass?
I kept the backstrap and hams off mine (some spring bears are pretty slim on the front) and it was excellent, wish i would have kept more. Make sure you freeze it first to ensure no parasites persist and cook it well. Very weel suited to stir fry or dry garlic/ ginger dishes (Ginger bear just like the chinese beef dish was excellent).
03-19-2007, 05:14 PM
Hey Bigbore, Ya thats a good question, I have tried calling a few times during midday before heading into baits. Have heard a bear in the bush once, but wouldnt commit. Was in real beary country each time. was it time of day, or the call, its an adjustable pitch call. Throws a real different tone, and have used it with alot of success on pressured and educated dogs. Or is mabey fall better for calling bear???
03-19-2007, 08:35 PM
I have called a few times and the last time was my last!! I was with my bow and I had my partner set-up with a rifle watching downwind.....
We all I hear is this rustle and I go to tell my partner to quit moving and here I am face to face with a small blackie.....Well it was 30 yardish....
I think we both scared the @#%$ out of each other....
Since I was in grizz country as well....I figure I would stop while I was ahead!!!
It works but sit back to back.....
03-19-2007, 11:52 PM
Islander...I got my biggest bears off the Island years ago, so many logging slashes...so many bears. I'm looking forward to seeing your pics.
When it comes to size though, these AB bears are pretty awesome. I just finished mounting up one that is fricken huge!! I had to special order a form from the States, and even they said they only make a few forms of this size a year. Nice spring bear, lots of good hide too.
I hear it's still covered with heavy snow in the bush south of GP, if that's true it'll be a late year for me.
Yummmm...fresh bear meat!
vBulletin® v3.8.5, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.