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Discussion Starter #1
When will PA ever agree to a hound training season for bear????....i can't figure it...we can run everything from rabbits pheasant..coyotes, coon, fox, bobcat..but not bear. Being an avid bear hunter it totally baffles me that it's ok to get a large gang of guys together and put drives on for bear. Many times you can hear other gangs of guy's driving the mt across from you at the same time...wam ,bam,slam..sometimes sounds like a war when you get them moving...yet if i take a couple hounds..let them trail and tree a bear..then leash them up and lead them away without ever firing a shot and the bear no worse for wear...that's illegal!!....lol..duh..makes no sense!!!!..hunting with tree hounds is about as close to catch and release hunting as you can get....So why not a training season?
 

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That would be great but with all the hunters in PA in bear season someone else would get the bear which I guess isn't the bad thing. Bad thing is all the confusion it would create for you. Only way it would work is if there was a dog season. Guess you used to be able to train dogs for bear here but not hunt them. Was talking to a guy and he was young every community had a dump. They would run the bear off the dump with their bear dogs to train them and hunt bear in states that allowed it.
 

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I know West Virginia has hound bear hunting but I believe it's only in the least populated counties. I'm sure it could be done hear in PA if they limited it to a few northcentral counties and had a hound hunting only season.I'm sure the game commission would see bear license sales double!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I wouldn't care if it was only a training season before the regular season...We can take our dogs to other states to hunt them during the kill season..And the Private ground argument is a lame one as well..PA has hundreds of thousands of acres of SF land and game lands...far far more than many other states that run bear...and yes it could easily be limited to certain areas...and for the record coyotes will run every bit as far and farther than a bear..and that's legal.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
it's really hard to get stuff like that passed here in PA...I think about the only way would be to recruit the help from sportsman federations from other states like WV..wisconsin , Va , Maine, Michigan, North Carolina , Tenn..and the western states is the only way to have even an inkling of hope..otherwise it will just fall on deaf ears....i was recently discussing this very issue with a guide from Wisconsin and he mentioned how they went to board meetings in front of their wildlife people and got some things changed ....lol..i just laughed..and said good luck doing that in PA.
 

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after running bear dogs in NC im itchin to get back down and run em again!! being a born and raised coon hunting, that was just awesome...

it was sept on the coast...talk about a thick jungle...we had a great run...we got about 100yds from the tree and i spotted the bears..a sow and 2 cubs...right about that time the sow decided to bail! i could see the plott dogs jumping up the tree at her and she was maybe 6ft above them upside down swatting at them before she bailed...she jumped over the 3 dogs and the chase was on! she went into a huge block we didnt wanna run so we got them caught on the road...


i dont know why PA dont have a training season...my guess is just because there isnt a kill season with dogs...hate to say it but i doubt we'll ever see bear hounds allowed...

land isnt the issue IMO...the areas where the bear population is high is typically large tracts of public land...

the issue is the public approval..hunters and non-hunters...the hunters dont want "the dog hunters killing all the bear" because they think its so much easier and the hound runners got it easy blah blah etc...and the non-hunters just generally dont like hound hunters...ive seen that a fair bit..people hating hound hunting more than anything just because its hound hunting...ive even had people tell me how cruel it was for me to MAKE a dog go hunting and i should do it myself if i wanna hunt coon...sorry thats as far from the truth as you can get...come to the milk house when the sun goes down...you'll see 2 pups that are absolutely dying and crying to go hunting...boy do they get upset if the milk house lights go out and we leave the barn and their collars and leads arent on and they are going to their box not loading in the truck to go hunting...anyone that ever hunted hounds knows that them dogs are born and raised to hunt and they just love it...if they dont love it, you probably dont got much of a hound..
 

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When we come to realize that the Pa. Game Commission is not a hound hunter friendly organization, we get it.. They rule and reign by public opinion, why do you think there is no spring hunting in Pa. over bait for bear.... NOT SCIENCE, public opinion of it... The "Public" doesn't like it the PGC is afraid to enact it, Good solid game management practices are not permitted based on OPINION not fact..

Started hounding these bears that are hand fed by folks and see how you change their behavior away from no fear of humans, as it should be, to FEAR of humans !!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Public opinion is the whole problem entirely.....The hardest states to get anything passed are states like PA, MD,NJ..ect...even among the general hunting public...most people don't have a clue...A fine bird dog is thought of as a gentleman type ethical sport...but hounds are thought of as being used by ruthless , toothless hillbilly's...well i Have raised and trained both...And enjoy hunting both but the absolute best bird dog in the world will never come even close to being the athlete (speaking of dogs) that a good hound is...they lack the stamina..the nose..the grit that a hound does. Also it baffles me why so many are against a training season?..i'd be satisfied with just being able to run bear dogs...how many PA hunters would vote no to a PA dog training season for bear....then turn right around and go to camp this fall and drive the crap out of them with a large group of guy's..and shoot small 50lb bears ect.....sorry but most all hound hunters i know would leash the dogs and leave that one in the tree....It's ok to hunt bird dogs..its ok to run beagles for rabbit...its ok to coonhunt..its ok to run fox or coyote...why not bear....give me one good reason?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i once was leading a treeing walker past a neighboring cabin..one of the guys from the camp was up for the weekend..when i walked past he came out to chat...during the conversation he asked me.."what is that a beagle"? i seriously doubt us hound hunters are going to get much help or support without proper education.
 

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well who says you can't turn loose on em, if you get questioned about it, say your hounds are trashing on them darm overpopulated bears !!! You were only coonhunting ...LOL...
 

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Houndsmen get the bad wrap and yet the game we chase doesn't need stocked or has to have a special program.

I'm pro dog, pro running your dog, etc. The only issue I see as why it won;t happen is because it opens up the door to alot of other things. As we've seen with other issues in this state the past few years, as long as enough noise is made for long enough it will eventually happen no matter what is brought up against it. So if a bear hound training season occurs, what happens when the voices of those that want a deer hound training season begin to rise. That is why if we allow a big game animal training season, then more is soon to follow. Being that deer population is the GCs bread and butter, they may not want to be opening that door.

I don;t know enough about bear hunting or bear hunting with a hound. But wouldn;t it make more sense to be allowed to run hounds on bear in areas with the greatest population the closest to human populations. Won;t the hounds force a bear up a tree quicker, therefor allowing for an easier kill shot. I know there is more danger for the hounds. But if the y tree quick, doesn;t that make more sense.

Just my thoughts on it.
 

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You can also impose a size limit with dogs. If you tree a small bear you know it is small. Think that is how the other states do it.
 

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wayne, ive been on deer and bear dog hunts on the coast on NC....THICK is not the word for it...


this is a pretty normal sight..not the thickest...keep in mind it towers over my head...



we did tree a sow and 2 cubs the day we ran the bear hounds..







they say there are more bear than there are deer on their hunt club...we could drive around and see bear readily..


this youngun was in the road and would not leave..he walked infront of us for probably a half a mile or better!


this was a good bear we caught feeding...they plant food plots along the roads on their club..provides food for the bear and deer and gives the hunters tracks to turn the dogs on...

they also bait the roads...corn, sweet taters, whatever they can get...they put alot of work into it...they will bait the roads and drag them to clean the tracks so they can go in the next day and find fresh tracks...quality tracks..rarely do they free cast dogs...though the sow and cubs we treed the dogs jumped when we free casted them...we seen a big boar there spotting the night before so we let the dogs run the field edge..


it was a BLAST...i didnt get to kill a deer or bear..ran the bear dogs during training season..did run the deer dogs during the season...we got a 7pt killed that day and some misses..i didnt get the chance to shoot at any...but it was a BLAST...

but boy is it thick..dog hunting is the way of life down there simply because its so thick..stand hunting works in some spots....but the blocks are so big you'll educate the deer in a hurry and never see the deer that live IN the blocks...the smallest block on my buddies place was 1000 acres..the area surrounding their lease is over 100k acres..


i enjoyed it a ton and look forward to going back sometime...hopefully in the kill season for bear!

i seen probably 20 bear in 2 days of not looking real hard..one evening we worked on the club and seen a few..then went spotting for an hour or so and seen probably a good 10+..then the next morning we took the bear dogs in and treed 3 and seen a few others while we were driving around the blocks...

its a different way of life and a different world...

the guy with the bear dogs said its sometimes ALL day and some of the next to get a bear kill out...said they often have to chop their way into AND out of the the kill..

he is very selective on what bear he will run...his dogs are always on some of the biggest bear kills in the state..them guys are amazing trackers...we can be doing 25mph down the road and they are reading tracks in the sand..small bear...little deer..bobcat..coyote..gray fox..coon..impressive...when we'd see a track that looked good we'd get out and see how big it was..(deer and bear) and follow it and mark where it went into the brush..when we deer hunted we had a few trucks driving the area doing the same and we turned loose on the biggest and freshest tracks we found...

the roads all have big water ditches next to them...the bear have "slides" like beaver slides..theres a tunnel coming out of the brush and a slide going down both sides of the ditch..crazy...and when you start into the jungle to a bay or tree, you quickly realize theres ACTUAL BEAR trails...like deer trails here in PA but they are made and used by bear...it was amazing to me to see that..

scratching posts were cool to see too..my buddy showed me one the bears use..said he remembers when he was a kid bears were still scratching that same tree....it looked it too!
 

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i would love to see this happen!!!!an i know my dogs would too...an i in a way understand why they don't allow it.but then again they could regulate it enough that it would work....kinda odd i saw this bin throw the idea around to friends lately.but i could go on for days about this topic so they got my vote for if the issue ever gets pushed!!
 

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The draw monsters of NC, i have done land nav in the desert and the jungle, and when it came time night navigation down there, it was some of the toughest. We couldn;t use flashlights either.
 
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