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Recapp of 20 years of bear hunting In Mn and this years hunt (so far). Long read

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Recapp of 20 years of bear hunting In Mn and this years hunt (so far). Long read

Old 09-15-2009, 01:53 PM
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Default Recapp of 20 years of bear hunting In Mn and this years hunt (so far). Long read

1st of all this Is no knock on guides In general what so ever, just a couple In my area. I have a few friends who are bear guides here and In Canada, there good folks just as most of you others are!! So please don't any of the guides or other hunters here take this the wrong way what I'm about to say.

Bear hunting has gotten extremely tough In Minnesota on public land where we bear hunt the last 7 to 8 years. Back In 1977 was the 1st year my dad started bear hunting In the area we do now. There wasn't a soul around to be found, bear hunters were few and far between then. He hunted this area for about 6 years and did pretty good but he wanted to try out another spot south an hour or so.

He didn't have as good of luck there so In 1991 In my 3rd year of bear hunting we went back to the area my dad originally started In. The old road (logging road) that he bear hunted on was just wide enough to drive down It with his pickup back In 1977 to 1983, the road was 20 miles long connecting 2 highways. When we went back there In 1991 It was a tad wider but still wasn't used a whole lot. We met a bear guide on the road from the area, his name Is Tom and he's a great guy. Dad told Tom the last time he hunted this area was back In 1983 and there wasn't a person around. This same bear guide started guiding this area the year after that and has been guiding here ever since. We asked Tom where his baits were so we'd stay out of his way and we told him where our old baits were that dad used to bait at.

As the years went on the hunters started pouring In here. It was kinda surprising In a way being not many bear hunters do their own baiting and such. We soon found out It wasn't actually hunters but other outfitters Instead that moved on In. One of these other outfitters had worked for Tom at one time so they thought they'd give It a try themselves and hoard In on where Tom was guiding. 2 other bear guides that are from the area I live In that I know very well (4.5 hours south of here) started bear guiding up where we hunt also. A coincidence hah?? To make a long story a little shorter the area we've been bear hunting In for 20+ years Is now Invaded with bear guides everywhere. They try and push us around but most are finding out we don't give. Why can't these leeching guides find their own spot and do the hard work we have done and Tom the guide has done? Tom Is a good guide, I've recommended him to allot of hunters. I just wish the other guides In the area had the same respect Tom has for us and other hunters. Mn needs to do something here, to many wantabee bear guides. Guide licenses are under 100.00 dollars, that's half the problem right there. Like I said In a few of my posts since I've been back from bear hunting this year, hunters every 2 to 3 tenths no matter where were hunting. Everyone of these hunters are guided. There's no way In hell I'm giving up on this area, It's got some outstanding bear running around. I told the local GW up there It's getting real frustrating with all of these guides, he agree's as well.

Fast forward to this years bear hunt. Baiting opened up August 14th and we put out 13 baits. Allot of the spots we've had baits In for 20+ years. We've shot some outstanding bear through out the years In some of these baits, some of these bear weren't far from B&C material. 12 of these bear since 1991 have made P&Y. Most of our baits this year had trail camera's on them. When we went back up on our 2nd weekend of baiting we swapped the cards In the camera's and saw some good results with day hitting bear. The 3rd weekend we checked our baits again and 90% of them all had turned to night hitting already. That's absolutely crazy, I knew then we were In for another tough year of bear hunting. Bear usually will turn to night hitting when the season starts (September 1st), not 10 days earlier like they've been doing the last few years. Reason being, way too many baits and people (human scent) walking around In the woods or driving their 4 wheelers In the woods. All of our baiting/hunting Is done on foot, we don't use 4 wheelers. The 1st week of hunting we had just one bear sighting from one of the guys In the group, It was the last night we hunted.

My dad lives about 45 minutes SW of where we hunt so he figured he'd let the bear woods be for a week and give It a try then. Well It worked out good for him, he shot himself what looks to be a possible P&Y bear. The bear dressed out at 335lbs, he's fairly short for his weight but he's pretty plump. He measured out at about 6.5 feet long. He's a dark chocolate phase black bear.

There's a chance we might have had history with this bear last year. About 3 miles north of this bait where my dad shot this bear my brother was hunting a bait that also had a nice size chocolate hitting It last year. The 2nd or 3rd evening hunting last year the big chocolate showed up right before dark but wouldn't give my brother a shot, the thing was 10 yards away but knew my brother was there and was always looking at him. When the bear left that night my brother got down thinking he was gone but seconds later found out he wasn't when the bear started woofing and chomping his teeth close to his stand tree somewhere. My brother scooted back up the tree and gave a few yells out. 10 minutes later my brother got back down and hurried on out to the road. He was sure shook up when we talked with him after he came trotting out of the woods. 3 evenings later this same bear came In again right before dark. My dad sat with my brother figuring he'd feel a little more comfortable which was a good Idea, I was going to do the same but dad told me to go hunting so I did. Well the end result that evening for my brother wasn't a good one either. His arrow didn't go where It was Intended too, none of us are sure where he hit It. We didn't track It that night and waited til morning being he was unsure of the shot. Right at 1st light the next morning It rained a tad while we were heading over In the trucks to track this bear. Not one spot of blood was found, we looked for him for 2 days.

The bear that my dad shot this year Is 3 miles south of where my brother had wounded his chocolate colored bear last year. There Is a wound on his lower right rear leg about a foot up from his foot. Could be the same bear, no one Is sure. It looks as though there's a 3 blade Imprint In where the broadhead might of entered In the leg bone and broke It, my brother was shooting a 3 blade Snuffer. I wasn't up there last Friday night when dad shot this bear so I haven't got to see It yet to look at this wound. My brother was there and he still Isn't 100% sold It was his bear from last year, dad says It Is so who knows I guess.

The 1st trail cam pics we got of this bear we could see the limp In his right rear leg and we could also tell he wasn't In very good shape and we were already thinking If this was my brothers bear from last year. He was skinny looking but you could tell he was big framed. A month later this same bear fattened right up, he would've of easily made the winter dened up If dad wouldn't of got him. If this bear wouldn't have found any other baiters bait, he never would've made the winter dened up.

Here's a picture of him the 1st time he hit our baits. There's actually 2 different baits here, there about a mile and 6 tenths apart. He was hitting them both.

Dad with his 335lb dressed bear, his biggest. Same bear everyone as the above pics.

I hope you all enjoyed the story, sorry It was a little long winded. I'll be heading back up September 23rd In hopes that the bear hunters have thinned out by then.
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:56 PM
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Here's a few pictures from at camp and our baiting sites....

My tent

Our practice target

Our oven and BSing place at night. Food don't taste any better then over a fire!!

My recurve that didn't have any arrows In the quiver yet. Was checking over all of my arrows and BH's to make sure they were good to go for the hunt.

Our bath tub, damn she was cold too!!!

One of our bait sites. We tie a biodegradable sack In a tree with meat In It so the bear will crawl the tree some to see what size of bear we have hitting the bait. Below that you can see the logs all staked In a nice pile, there's meat and goodies In there. For the most part bear are the only ones able to move bigger logs around, that's the reason we use them. Coon and such try to but aren't very successful at It. Usually the logs we use are bigger then these but there wasn't to many big logs to choose from In the woods here.

This Is the bait that my dad shot his bear out of. In the second picture here you can see the trail the bears were using coming In and out of the bait. That trail was actually made by my dad and another guy last year when he shot his bear. It was there dragging out trail, bear used It this year.

Look closely and you can see a metal hang on stand In the tree, we make our own stands.

Here's dad In the tree after we hung the stand. Thumbs up he says!!

Here are some random pictures that I took while coming In and out of the woods checking bear baits while bear hunting this year.

Typical Mn northern woods. Try spotting and stalking In this stuff, won't happen here or anywhere where we bear hunt. This Is actually somewhat open, you can see about 15 yards here. Try getting an arrow through there.

Here's some bear sign, a dug up ant hill from a bears front foot. This Is actually across the road from where our camp Is (1/2 mile away or so). We always put a camp bait up no matter where we've hunted through out the years, always thought It would be cool to shoot a bear close to camp.
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:52 PM
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I just look at the pics, no apology needed for the long read here.

The pics were almost as good as being there.

Shultzy the Bare Hunter! Got a ring to it!
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Old 09-15-2009, 04:07 PM
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Wicked Reading Steve and great pictures , i'm sure you'll tell me again over a beer next year around the campfire in Co
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Old 09-15-2009, 05:23 PM
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Great looking country, awesome read....sorry about the changing times! Congrats to your dad, great bear!!!
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:21 PM
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Great read Schultzy, and congrats to your dad! He's a terror on the bears, ain't he!

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Old 09-15-2009, 07:46 PM
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That was a good read, can definately see where you would be frustrated with all that traffic now. Congrats to your dad and the pics were awesome. Thanks for sharing.

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Old 09-15-2009, 07:55 PM
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after looking at the pictures i had to read the post. great pictures and great story, thanks for sharing
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