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jpbowhunter 04-08-2014 03:39 PM

Spring vs Autumn Black bear hunts
I want to go on a bear hunt maybe next year (although I'm working on a hunt swap with a canadian guy for a whitetail maybe) or the year after.
What are the differences in spring vs Autumn in terms of the hunt, the bears, styles of hunting etc.? Just trying to figure out what is best for me.

Also I have heard many different things on the size of bears but on average what would be a decent sized average bear in the lower 48?

Appreciate the help guys,


wyomingtrapper 04-08-2014 08:33 PM

How are you planning to hunt them? Dogs, bait, spot and stalk? The general consensus is that spring bear will have much nicer fur (until they rub) and fall bears will be larger. If you are spot and stalk hunting, then later in the spring when the rut is started might give better odds as the boars will be wandering more looking for sows. Size varies across the country. I think the odds for bigger bears increases in some of the eastern states like Pennsylvania, but California produces some big ones too. I expect all states have some big bears, as well as the full range of other sizes.

jpbowhunter 04-10-2014 07:22 AM

Thanks for the advice mate, I'd be preferring a spot and stalk type of hunt.
The question on the size of the bears wasn't around me demanding to shoot a record breaking bear or anything like that! I have just heard really varying things about weight and I was just interested in what a mature bear was like (seeing as we have nothing similar to compare it to!)

Appreciate the help,


Muley Hunter 04-10-2014 07:30 AM

I'll be hunting for bear this fall. We don't have a spring hunt anymore. We can't use dogs, or bait which is fine with me. Spot and stalk, still hunt, or call them in are the choices.

I think a fall hunt is better for spot and stalk. They're feeding like crazy to fatten up for the winter. They feed 20 hours a day, so much more opportunity to see them compared to the spring where they may go nocturnal.

You want to find natural food. Berries, acorns etc. Canada has a lot more bears, so you should do well there.

redgreen 04-10-2014 11:18 AM

If you plan on eating any, then the fall bear is a much better option. As stated, they are foraging for food all of the time, they have the weight on them, and their coats are not rubbed. Canada has a massive bear population, and they can get huge.

Muley Hunter 04-10-2014 03:29 PM

We have some good ones in Colorado too.

jpbowhunter 04-11-2014 11:04 PM

Thanks for the advice guys, Canada would be great. Only problem is flights can be an extra $1000 at times over flights to the US. Thats a bear and a half there MH!!! What did he tip the scales at?

Muley Hunter 04-12-2014 05:16 PM

Not me in the picture. I believe the bear was close to 600lbs.

flags 04-13-2014 06:03 AM

BC has some really good spring bear hunting. Bait and dogs not allowed so it is all spot and stalk. These 2 came from BC in a spring hunt. The chocolate bear (taken by my late father) squared 7'1" and the black ( taken by me) squared 6'11". Don't know what they weighed but they were over 300 each which is good for a spring bear. One thing about spring bear is the coats are really good if they just come out of the den. Neither of these bear were rubbed at all and both tanned out really good. Autumn bear, based on my experience will be heavier since they have been feeding all summer, will be better eating but the hides normally won't be as good. In the spring, concentrate on fresh grass and foliage and in the fall concentrate on things like acorns, berries and nuts since they bear are racking up calories.

I used to hunt spring bear in CO. We took quite a few but they were normally about 200 lbs and a lot of them were kind of cinnamon colored. I'll see if I can find a pic of them. Unfortunately, the bunny huggers that moved in from CA were successful in ending CO's spring hunt in 1992. Fall hunting in CO can be good. They hit the scrub oak for acorns and also the fruit orchards. Often if someone owns an orchard they will allow bear hunting since the bruins mess up the trees and they grow a lot of peaches, pears and cherries in some areas on the western slope.

GunnerJacky 04-15-2014 03:21 AM

I always prefer autumn hunt because there are more action in the autumn. Spring bears travel short distances in search of new grasses or for old winter kill.

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