Spring Bear As First Western Hunt

LeakyLoon

FNG
Joined
May 22, 2024
Messages
1
I am looking to do my first western hunt and am considering the idea of doing a DIY spot and stalk spring bear hunt in Montana. The spring hunt would be convenient for me as I would have more free time to dedicate than a hunt in the fall, but I am still wondering if it is a good idea for a first western hunt. I should also mention that I would be solo if that would change recommendations.
 

Nine Banger

Lil-Rokslider
Shoot2HuntU
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
227
I just hunted with a group in MT. It was my first western hunt. I had a blast.

I really enjoyed Montana.

I also enjoyed that there were no preference points, etc. I just signed up, took the test, paid the toll and I was off.

My hunt was not DIY.
 

Rogue Bay

WKR
Joined
Mar 10, 2021
Messages
373
Location
Oregon coast
I think the answer would depend on your goals for the hunt. It’s not as much of an investment as some other big game if you consider tag prices, points required, etc. I consider spring bear hunting to be so much fun because there isn’t as much pressure and it’s a very enjoyable time of the year to be in the mountains.

Western Montana has decent road access in many areas so a DIY hunt is very doable without being isolated in the wilderness for your first western adventure.
 

Blind Squirrel

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
188
If it’s your first western hunt, I recommend using a guide. You’ll learn a lot faster than you will DIY. In my opinion, that money spent is worth the knowledge gained. Just my $0.02.
 

QuickTrigger7

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Jun 22, 2019
Messages
113
If you have the money go with a guide learn the ropes. I’m two years in of diy learned a lot but bear hunting is tough and being a nonresident with the trips I’ve made I have lots of money invested cheaper if you just get a guide and have a better chance of harvesting one.
 

EdP

WKR
Joined
Jun 18, 2020
Messages
1,207
Location
Southwest Va
Rouge Bay, Blind Squirrel, and Quick Trigger 7 covered it all really well. Very low chance of success DIY but a very good chance with an outfitter that has baits out. Either Montana or northern Idaho, both are great county. A back country hunt with pack stock is about 1/2 the cost of a fall elk hunt and a very similar experience IMO. Still not cheap but at least the tags are OTC.
 

Guy

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Nov 28, 2019
Messages
142
Location
Washington State
I just enjoyed a fun and interesting spring bear hunt in Idaho - the state makes it easy and inexpensive for a non-resident to get a license and tag, or even two bear tags in some areas. They're trying to reduce the number of predators so perhaps help the elk and deer populations.

This time I packed in on mules with an outfitter, lived in a spacious wall tent, and shot a bear not long into the hunt.

Can the hunt be done on your own? Of course!

But it was a great experience going with this outfitter, and not particularly expensive.

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It really was a fun and interesting hunt into some great backcountry - oh - be prepared for any weather! I drove through fresh snow getting there, but it had all melted by the time I started hunting.

Regards, Guy
 

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Nine Banger

Lil-Rokslider
Shoot2HuntU
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
227
That sounds like a great adventure, do you want to share the outfitter?

I'm crossing fingers for the Fall controlled hunts in Idaho, but would like to go anyway if I don't draw.
 
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Guy

Lil-Rokslider
Joined
Nov 28, 2019
Messages
142
Location
Washington State
That sounds like a great adventure, do you want to share the outfitter?

I'm crossing fingers for the Fall controlled hunts in Idaho, but would like to go anyway if I don't draw.

Sure. I went with Cameron Outfitters. They're based in Darby Montana and have guiding rights to a huge chunk of the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. They've got drive-to camps as well as their backcountry wilderness camps.


Regards, Guy
 
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