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Montana or Idaho for spring bear?


uplandnut30

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I’ve always dreamed of a spot and stalk black bear hunt out west.


Idaho has more bears but allows hounds and baiting.  I think I’ll be at a disadvantage do have some leads on some great areas to hunt that I can mountain bike back into.  


I am heavily leaning towards Montana.  I’ve got a unit in mind and have already started doing some google earth scouting.

 

I admittedly have little experience with bear hunting.  Has anyone hunted both states?  I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the difference between the two.

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I've never hunted bears in MT and to tell you the truth, although growing up in Idaho, I've never really specifically hunted bear here either.  I will say that I've seen a bunch of bears over the years big game hunting and running around. I really don't think that the baiters and those running hounds would be much of a hinderance to a spot and stalk hunt. Depending on where a person hunted in Idaho, a spot and stalk hunter has to content, in much of N ID, with heavy timber and brush and some nasty terrain, although there are plenty of clear-cuts that one could set up on. As one goes further north, towards the Canadian border, there is always a greater chance of running into both black and grizzly bear.

 

Western MT is similar to N ID concerning being heavily timbered, but I believe, it is a bit more open, perhaps more open bowls and has a good population of bears! I would guess that NW MT probably has the highest concentration of bears in MT and probably lions as well! Sorry, not too specific on information. 

 

Due to the size of the area I've mentioned, I don't believe this would be considered hot spotting!

   

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Not a bear hunter here, but here’s a thought maybe worth considering. Assuming that you will want to bike on logging roads, might want to take a look at US Forest Service travel plan maps for the area you are considering.  Those show locations of gates and give the dates of gate closures. Bet that roads behind closed gates would be best bet, all else being equal of course. 
 

Don’t know what bear hunting info is provided in MT FWP online “hunt planner”, but maybe worth checking.
 

Agree with Idcut above - much of forested MT seems to me less steep / rugged and more open and “parky” than ID. Seems like good number of bears around (both species). 
 

Good luck, have fun!

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  • 3 weeks later...
flyphish2day

I have bear hunted the last few years in Montana. I have friends that hunt Idaho. We both see bears. From my limited experience I am not sure I would say one is better. The hunt is very different day to day as the melting snow line drastically changes bear location quickly. Throw in sows coming into heat towards the end of the season things really change. I have shot or had opportunities every year. That being said it is the hardest hunt I do since you can go days and days without even seeing a bear. 

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