Spring bear idaho

Awin321

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Dec 30, 2018
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10
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Colorado
Planning a 2021 spring bear Idaho hunt with one other person. Were both avid backcountry hunters coming from Colorado.

Right now were planning on taking my savage HS precision in 300 win mag and my m1a SOCOM II. (I know both are heavy platforms but it's what I have)The idea is that we'll have the m1a for grizz/wolf protection in addition to our pistols/spray and we'll still be able to reach out to 1000 with the savage. While splitting the load. Also the SOCOM is solid out to 500 yds if the opportunity arises.

Thinking about the Salmon Area units 21,21a, and 20. Any advice about it is greatly appreciated.
 

dogz

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Jan 11, 2006
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690
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SWMT
Bear hunting isn't much about the gun, it's about timing first and formost, being in decent shape and the ability to sit your buns still and do some darn good glassing.

Spot and stalk spring bear hunting is about some of the best times one can have.

Key....get your timing right for the area you're hunting!
 

Awin321

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2018
Messages
10
Location
Colorado
Bear hunting isn't much about the gun, it's about timing first and formost, being in decent shape and the ability to sit your buns still and do some darn good glassing.

Spot and stalk spring bear hunting is about some of the best times one can have.

Key....get your timing right for the area you're hunting!
Were thinking the last week of April and first week of may.
 

dogz

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Jan 11, 2006
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690
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SWMT
That might could work, up here once we get to May 13th the buggers are out in total force....

You might wish to check in with some locals to see, just in case.

I'm a huge fan (if you can't tell) in regards to getting the timing right
 

Hecouldgoalltheway

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Aug 30, 2020
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900
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Tennessee
I'd question shooting a bear at 500y with a .308. Depending on the load, you're looking at a retained energy of somewhere between 800-1,100 ft/lbs.

I personally consider 1,000 ft/lb the minimum for deer. I sure wouldn't want to be tracking a wounded bear, but I'm sure they have been killed with less retained energy, just something to think about..
 

whirlwindjml

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Aug 23, 2009
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491
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Rathdrum Idaho
Wherever you find to go you may wan to check with forest service before heading out. Some spot remain snowed in for most the spring. I deal with that in North idaho. It's not necessarily a deal breaker but it can be for certain spots on some years.
 

dogz

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Jan 11, 2006
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690
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SWMT
I'd question shooting a bear at 500y with a .308. Depending on the load, you're looking at a retained energy of somewhere between 800-1,100 ft/lbs.

I personally consider 1,000 ft/lb the minimum for deer. I sure wouldn't want to be tracking a wounded bear, but I'm sure they have been killed with less retained energy, just something to think about..


Good point on the range, I'm of the opine that bruins should be taken at 300 or so or less. Bullet placement being the issue with most and with bruins if you wound them I would ever time bet on the bear not being recovered...

As for foot pounds, I don't think much about using that as a basis for taking a shot or not. I could care less how many foot pounds it has but that's just me...
 

WeekendWarrior

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Mar 1, 2021
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39
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United States
Do not worry that much about guns and side arms and bear spray. Pick the rifle you feel most comfortable shooting out to 600yards. If the bears are out, you will have opportunity in the 300-600 yard range pretty consistently. 6.5 and 270 are very common bear cartridges. Grizzlies aren't a big deal down there, and wolves almost never attack humans. The last predatory wolf attack in the lower 48 was in the 1800s, and since then only five predatory attacks in all of north America have been confirmed (none in the lower 48). Most of the wolf attacks are with captive wolves. Its a non-issue. If you look at bear attack stats, 9mm is the most commonly used round to defend against bears, and it works too. You can leave the hand cannons at home, not implying that you are bringing them...

With respect to your savage, note the final weight of your rifle in Idaho must be below 16lbs to be legal, and this includes all accessories. I also have a savage precision rifle, and mine weighs in at 16.3lbs with a magpul gen3 prs stock and a vortex viper pst gen 2. I switch to a liter stock and scope, and get my weight down to 14lbs for Idaho trips.

Good glass and good boots are what you need. Every wet stump looks like a bear. Look for green meadows, flipped rocks, and prints.
 

Professor

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Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
15
Location
Newnan Georgia
You are worrying about way too much stuff.
Catahoula is right. I took my son to Idaho for our first western hunt in 2019 and we agonized over gear. The grizzly issue was only an issue because of my ex-wife. My son took his Tikka in .270 and I lugged around a Ruger Hawkeye Alaskan in .416 Ruger. We were just North of Salmon, and grizzlies do pass through on occasion but the likelihood of bumping into one was almost 0%. Still, she is my son's mother, and we were not going unless I was carrying a bonified big bear stopper. There are lots of bears up there North of Salmon. Study the map and pick a few trails to check out. Just go. The bears there I found out are on the smallish side. In Georgia, we have more than a few 400 pounders killed every year. In Idaho, at least in that area, a 200-pound bear would be a monster. We did not kill a bear. We did see some and had the time of our lives in those mountains.
 

calling4life

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May 22, 2012
Messages
147
Location
Brookston, MN
Avg bear killed here in MN is about 140lbs and our DNR notes live trapping 800lb bears and not like it's a once in a hundred years thing, there was just one that would have been over that killed illegally a year or so ago as well.

But that tends to be reality vs fantasy a lot of the time, you can sure always hold out for big regarding anything, big money gains, big bull elk, big boobed 20yr old blond that likes crazy old fat guys...

Eventually you may want to just appreciate reality though, maybe.

Oh and I just built a 458 lott and I run a 500 S&W on my chest, call me a worrier or not, I plan to die throwing a lot of noise and power at whatever kills me.

I think I keep noting I hope to do this exact hunt some day, had 3 different bears within 20 yards of me dozens of times last year right out in my backyard but it takes us 3 or 4 years to draw here. Idaho or Montana for a spring hunt sounds like a nice dream.
 
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