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  #1  
Old 08-04-2010, 09:47 PM
rafvnrd rafvnrd is offline
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Default Bear Hunting Cohutta

I need a Cohutta bear expert! I been hunting up there the last two years and finding plenty of sign and smaller bears. I did see two really nice bear while scouting (before season) last year but come hunting season they must have left the area. I am a very accomplished whitetail hunter but finding those bigger bears in those mountains has been a very humbling experience not counting I now walk with one leg shorter than the other!

Looking to chat with folks to pick their brains on hunting Cohutta and adjacent federal lands.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:25 PM
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If you have found that kind of sign then slow down and don't push the area. Hunt the fringes of that area because if you found that sign someone else has also. Also back off and hunt the adjacent areas with the same terrrain looking for the same secnario or for the feed that they have changed to. Remember bears bed real close to their feeding areas. REAL CLOSE!!
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Old 08-04-2010, 11:47 PM
rafvnrd rafvnrd is offline
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Thanks...I am in there pretty deep and have never seen any sign of other hunters. I was not aware they beded that close to thier food I may be hunting to close to the food sources. I have filmed several small bears but just can't seem to find that big one. Do you hunt the Cohutta WMA?
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:08 AM
xhunterx xhunterx is offline
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the bears on cohutta roam hunting the food and then stay on the food until its gone or in the vicinity. if your seeing smaller bears then thats the luck of the draw. a bigger one might be around the next corner or maybe not. kinda like seeing a lot of bucks but the big one hasn't shown yet. if your seeing good sign and smaller bears your hunting right. you just have to wait and take your chance on the size of the bear. I've never had a problem with another hunter crowding me or the game on Cohutta. It usually averages out to about 1 to 1 1/2 hunters per square mile on Cohutta and if your being crowded ya need to drive a little farther then walk in. you don't always have to be in there deep either. lots of game are on the outer fringes of the wilderness area. The wilderness area in the center hasn't allowed any tree harvest in years. The outer area did allow it up until just a few years ago so there is a little more diversity in the forest on the fringes which seems to help the population more. Cohutta and the national forest needs to allow more timber harvest again and I would like to see more successful bear hunts so maybe we could start seeing deer again
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:23 AM
rafvnrd rafvnrd is offline
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I love hunting that WMA I guess because it is so rugged and remote. I will continue my search for that big one. As rugged as that place is it will have to be a nice one for me to drag it out. I am sure it is just a matter of time before me and a big un paths cross. I have seen some nice big tracks in the snow...just nothing standing in them...yet! Thanks for all the advice and tips!
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Old 08-05-2010, 03:06 PM
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Keep in mind if you hunt the wilderness area that wheeled carts aren't allowed, but if you hunt the wma outside the wilderness you can use carts. the last time we drug a bear out we had carried in a small tarp folded up approx 8 x 8. then rolled the bear up in it, tied it and drug the tarp, it slid easier and protected the bears skin. pic below is my son with a bear on cohutta couple of years ago. field dressed 235.
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2010, 09:28 PM
rafvnrd rafvnrd is offline
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Great idea on the tarp! Easy to pack in! I have pretty much give all my buddies notice that if I kill one expect a call. Can you cape the bear out and debone the meat and bring it out that way?
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:29 PM
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Nice bear...how deep in was he when he killed it and how long did it take to get it out?
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rafvnrd View Post
Great idea on the tarp! Easy to pack in! I have pretty much give all my buddies notice that if I kill one expect a call. Can you cape the bear out and debone the meat and bring it out that way?
Yes. For the love of all things holy don't drag it out unless you are tired of having a properly working spine.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:33 PM
rafvnrd rafvnrd is offline
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Where are you getting your national forest maps? I have several topos and WMA maps that show the outlines of the WMAs but he national forest lines seem to be skewed or incorrect. I am always afraid I will get onto someone's private land since there are so many cut outs and small private holdings. Don't want to make anybody mad by trespassing.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:36 PM
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Yeah I can't imagine trying to drag one out by myself...it is all I can do after two days of hunting to drag my own butt out of those mountains.
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:00 PM
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you can get good national forest maps from the forest service office at chatsworth, or blue ridge, any national forest service office has a good map of chattahoochie national forest. the bear my son killed was only about a mile and half in, good drag out on old logging roads. we walked out, left our rifles and packs then went back for the bear, took 5 of us 3 hours
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rafvnrd View Post
Yeah I can't imagine trying to drag one out by myself...it is all I can do after two days of hunting to drag my own butt out of those mountains.
always hunt up the mountain from your truck
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Old 08-06-2010, 11:31 AM
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I was going tell you that on the wilderness area you can have a wheeled cart but it can,t have any type of motor on it. Long as thay isn,t a motor on anything like a bike you can youse it, beside the apt trial. But you can youse a wheeled cart. Thinks brent
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:35 PM
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When you have a big bear down deep in the mts?? You have absolutely NO friends anymore. 2yrs ago I had to get a 275#er from 2,300ft, back up to 3,000 feet over 1/2 a mile to where the truck was........ by myself........ I hate bears.. It's like trying to get 250#s of jello out of the woods in a trash bag.

Upper ridgelines with these trails down them that look like soccerball imprints in them:

These are the "bear routes" They are creatures of habit to the point they will actually plod their feet in the same place over and over and create indentions in the trail.

Upper ridges with short broke down oaks and hickories:

this is years and years of bear climbing and breaking limbs for acorns.

immediate sign:

If there's not flies blowing the scat?? there's no sense hunting it. Use the whitetail mentality.... if it's not smokin hot sign?? keep looking.

SCAT:

If it's blue tinted you need to look for the mt. goose berries, huckle berries, sourwoods, cherries or wild blue berries the bear is eating.

If it's green tinted you need to look for the ginseng the bear is digging up.

sticks and bugs means he's diggin up yellow jacket nests and tearing up rotten logs for grubs.

husks and shells means he's eating acorns.

Looking like cornflakes means you need to vacate the area because someone is baiting him with corn and it's usually very very close. (seems it goes right through em and every time I stumble up on this I find a pile of corn within a half mile)
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Old 08-06-2010, 09:50 PM
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I work with the forest service and checked today with the leo that the law with the forest service and thay said as long as no motor is on it you can use it. Thinks brent
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Old 08-06-2010, 10:32 PM
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i stand corrected, but i am almost certain that the wilderness signs specify nothing with wheels allowed. good information
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  #18  
Old 08-07-2010, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LanceColeman View Post
When you have a big bear down deep in the mts?? You have absolutely NO friends anymore. 2yrs ago I had to get a 275#er from 2,300ft, back up to 3,000 feet over 1/2 a mile to where the truck was........ by myself........ I hate bears.. It's like trying to get 250#s of jello out of the woods in a trash bag.

Upper ridgelines with these trails down them that look like soccerball imprints in them:

These are the "bear routes" They are creatures of habit to the point they will actually plod their feet in the same place over and over and create indentions in the trail.

Upper ridges with short broke down oaks and hickories:

this is years and years of bear climbing and breaking limbs for acorns.

immediate sign:

If there's not flies blowing the scat?? there's no sense hunting it. Use the whitetail mentality.... if it's not smokin hot sign?? keep looking.

SCAT:

If it's blue tinted you need to look for the mt. goose berries, huckle berries, sourwoods, cherries or wild blue berries the bear is eating.

If it's green tinted you need to look for the ginseng the bear is digging up.

sticks and bugs means he's diggin up yellow jacket nests and tearing up rotten logs for grubs.

husks and shells means he's eating acorns.

Looking like cornflakes means you need to vacate the area because someone is baiting him with corn and it's usually very very close. (seems it goes right through em and every time I stumble up on this I find a pile of corn within a half mile)
That's some good info, the kind you usually pay for in sweat equity.

Thanks Lance.

Also good info on wheeled carts inside the Wilderness.
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  #19  
Old 08-07-2010, 10:53 PM
rafvnrd rafvnrd is offline
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Gentlemen a lot of great info here...thanks for all the advice and tips...rest assured they will be used. Can't wait to get up there and see if I can find the big old boy again this year. Better make sure my huntin buds are truly committed to helping get me one out...might have to cokes them with a few cold adult beverages and a night out on the town after we are done....LOL Thanks again!

FYI: Been working at the Atlanta Buckarama all weekend stop on out and see our camo caskets or go to www.metrooutdoors.com...tomorrow is the last day of the event in ATL. See ya in the mountain.
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Old 08-07-2010, 11:47 PM
rafvnrd rafvnrd is offline
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How important is a water supply to a bear. I have hunted some ridges and the water was not real close by unless I just could not find it...but there was plenty of bear sign?

In your opinion do you feel it is better to hunt near the outer fringes of the WMA and federal lands where the homes/cabins are or do you feel it is better to get back up in the mountains for those bigger bears?
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  #21  
Old 08-07-2010, 11:57 PM
rafvnrd rafvnrd is offline
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Can anybody tell me anything about the Murray Creek Drain coming out of TN (Big Frog Mountain area) that flows down to Jack's River on the GA side?
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  #22  
Old 08-08-2010, 12:30 AM
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rafvnrd,, I sent you a PM
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  #23  
Old 08-08-2010, 12:34 AM
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Hey guys, this is probably a newby question, while I was at Cohutta today I saw two of these and it made me think of bear sign, it was in the ground which had been dug up by something and chewed or scratched on, with bees and what looked like a nest. So I figured a bear was looking around for honey, would I be wrong or right? Thanks. And sorry about the pic quality it was with a cell phone.
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:52 AM
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I know edsel b spoke with an officer concerning this issue, but these stipulations concern me in dealing with deer carts inside the wilderness area. one officer could say "legal", and the next write you a ticket. i wish we could find out more. i will contact a local wrd law enforcement officer i know to get some clarification.




General Wilderness Prohibitions
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited on all federal lands designated as wilderness. This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters, unless provided for in specific legislation.

In a few areas some exceptions allowing the use of motorized equipment or mechanical transport are described in the special regulations in effect for a specific area. Contact the Forest Service office for more specific information.

These general prohibitions have been implemented for all national forest wildernesses in order to implement the provisions of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The Wilderness Act requires management of human-caused impacts and protection of the area's wilderness character to insure that it is "unimpaired for the future use and enjoyment as wilderness." Use of the equipment listed as prohibited in wilderness is inconsistent with the provision in the Wilderness Act which mandates opportunities for solitude or primitive recreation and that wilderness is a place that is in contrast with areas where people and their works are
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:48 AM
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That,s was jest what the leo over here told me and the game warden,s over here told me and i just as the ranger over here and that,s what thay said. Because i do alot of guiding over there and uses them all the time. Thay said you can,t run over little live trees or anything but that,s all. I contract with them all the time too and use them all the time too carry my stuff in . So that,s all i no. Thay see me use them all the time . Neaver had anything said. Thinks brent
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