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Sadly I’m at work till Thursday.
Found real fresh sign yesterday, wished I could have been back in there today.
Good luck everyone!!
 
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Wrapped up my final day of bear for 2021 today. Saw nothing! Not even a squirrel. Another "great" and frustrating season. Frustrating because my preparation wasn't where it needed to be even though, along the journey, I thought I was putting in 110%. Mad at myself more than anything. I saw 5 bears this year but never loosed an arrow. Found a solid bear trail today and some cub scat but really waiting until the close of the season to jump back in with all effort. Good luck to those still out there chasing. I'm headed to Ohio on Friday to start chasing whitetails again.
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I don't really scout for bears much, I'm more concerned about misidentifying a deer trail. Is there anything in particular about a bear trail besides finding bear sign along it? I've never found a game trail in the big woods and thought, oh man, that must be a bear trail. But I don't hunt very proximate to textbook bear bedding structure either which is swamps and extreme steep/thick around here.
 

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The easiest way to describe it is that bear trails are flat, @elk yinzer. Because of their pads, everything is flattened and pushed down, whereas deer trails are churned up. The best way to put a visual on it is to picture about 4 inches of fresh snow that someone pulled a plastic sled through. The sled marks will be an inch or two lower than the surface of the snow but still flat. It's the same with bears in leaf foliage and even goldenrod. Another way to look at it is like a man trail. It almost becomes a rut over time with little surface disturbance. Once you start seeing it, you can't not see it, but we're so programmed towards whitetails it's not always easily discernable.
 

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The easiest way to describe it is that bear trails are flat, @elk yinzer. Because of their pads, everything is flattened and pushed down, whereas deer trails are churned up. The best way to put a visual on it is to picture about 4 inches of fresh snow that someone pulled a plastic sled through. The sled marks will be an inch or two lower than the surface of the snow but still flat. It's the same with bears in leaf foliage and even goldenrod. Another way to look at it is like a man trail. It almost becomes a rut over time with little surface disturbance. Once you start seeing it, you can't not see it, but we're so programmed towards whitetails it's not always easily discernable.
Great nugget, I will no doubt be looking out for bear trails now. Never really thought of it that way but it makes sense. I don't base a whole lot of my hunting on beaten down trails, but there's always something for the woods to teach you. Anymore I learn more from people with a trapping background than anything. Nobody I've found reads sign like trappers.
 

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We missed a small one yesterday ( Sunday) about 125lbs and killed another 2 coyote. Had 16 guys. Skeleton crew of 6 guys went back out today. On our first drive we put out a big one. I’d say just as big as the one we killed Saturday, which ended up being 527lbs. My buddy hit him pretty good and rolled him then the bear came to me next but I couldn’t get a decent shot. He was grunting and wheezing like I’ve never heard one sound before. He ended up going back in the swamp we were pushing. We had very good blood for about 80yds then it just simply stopped. Only managed to locate a few small drops after that. We lined up and tried pushing the swamp again to no avail. Very difficult with only a group of 6. We spent the rest of the afternoon trying to do grid patterns in the swamp looking for the bear, no luck, ridiculously heavy rhododendron and very wet like most of the swamps we push. Almost like looking for a needle in a haystack but we had to try. I’m pretty sure the bear expired in there.
 

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They can die easy or extremely hard! The year I got mine another member hit a big one with a .35 Whelen that did forward rolls all the way down the hill, blood everywhere. This was fairly early and members tracked it til 4 pm, blood on the sides of trees that looked like it was painted on with a brush like it was staggering and ready to go down. A bunch of guys went back the next day and tracked til after 2 pm, up and down ridges for over a mile and lost blood?
 

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They can die easy or extremely hard! The year I got mine another member hit a big one with a .35 Whelen that did forward rolls all the way down the hill, blood everywhere. This was fairly early and members tracked it til 4 pm, blood on the sides of trees that looked like it was painted on with a brush like it was staggering and ready to go down. A bunch of guys went back the next day and tracked til after 2 pm, up and down ridges for over a mile and lost blood?
Been there done that more times than I care to remember. It usually came down to guys at Camp shooting them in the shoulder with deer loads
 

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I missed a small one (100 lbs) Monday night. Got my wind slipping into a corn patch and bolted. Came back out a short while later and sat down facing me sniffing my boot tracks. Of course he made sure there was a tree perfectly lined up with his chest. After a moment of sniffing my boot tracks he turned and started jogging back to the thick cover. Got lined up for one shot but missed low. Ran into another bear after dark on my way back to the truck.
 
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