Anyone ever hunt spring bear in Idaho?

Thread starter #1


Senior Member
I will be taking my son in June and the planning is really frustrating. There is a lot of information but it never really helps. Instead, everything I pick up from the internet just makes the process more confusing. I think it is because everyone commenting is from the west. If any GON forum members have attempted this please chime in.


Staff member
I've not bear hunted out there, but was actually telling my wife last night that a spring bear hunt in MT, or ID would be pretty nice.

I'll tell you one thing from experience; plan on allowing time to acclimate to the altitude. Altitude sickness ain't no joke and could ruin your hunt for a few days if you over do it.
Thread starter #5


Senior Member
Thanks everyone. Good stuff. One concern I have is how thick the areas will be. I have read several times that some areas have a lot of bears but the areas are so thick you can not hunt them. I have never hunted through a spotting scope, but I know how to hunt deer in thick s***. I am curious if these bears can be hunted by locating sign/food/water like deer.

500 S&W

Senior Member
Are you going with an outfitter? If so, they will have made the right stand locations for you. Most outfitters run dogs in the morning and place hunters over bait in the evening. On the morning hunts, if the dogs tree a bear (as in my case) you may have to hike quite a ways up or down mountains to get in position. My guide told me they tree'd a bear, "just over the hill". I replied "I'm from Georgia and that's a mountain!"
Thread starter #7


Senior Member
Funny. We are spot and stalk and on our own. I would one day like to hunt with hounds but that will have to wait. My son and I are planning an elk/deer DIY hunt in Idaho this fall and the bear hunt is a scouting trip. So, we need to be able to move around more than a guided hunt would allow.
I think guys get the idea of just hiking out in the mountains, spotting a bear and killing it and some do. But most of the time if you're with an outfitter/guide and he don't bait or run dogs you'll be in the truck driving two tracks and logging roads looking for bears feeding on new grass in clear cuts, replanted hydro lines or along the two tracks. If they have spotted a good bear using an area to feed yeah they will drop off and let you sit that spot waiting on the bear to come out to feed. It's a lot more fun than sitting over a garbage pile waiting on a bear to come in though I think.

Can I ask you why Idaho? Alberta and British Columbia are the places to go for really big spot and stalk bears. Alaska too but that has changed a lot in the past 20 years or so because it became popular.
Thread starter #9


Senior Member
Can I ask you why Idaho?
We are going to Idaho for several reasons:
1. This is a DIY hunt and as US citizens we can not do that in Canada.
2. Idaho has more than 30,000 black bears.
3. This hunt is a scouting trip to learn the country and how to navigate/access it in preparation for next fall and a DIY elk hunt.
A two track is a seldom used dirt road. Yeah the problem with Canada is you have to use an "outfitter". Idaho is pretty but bears??? Not my first choice but it will be fun I'm sure. Great bird hunting there too. Good luck.
Thread starter #12


Senior Member
Thanks killinstuff. I was once there in the late summer. I was walking up a switchback and there was purple poop every step. On the adjacent hill/mnt. had black bears pigging out on berries from bottom to top. Never got that image out of my mind and I have always wanted to go back. Hopefully I will get an image like yours and I can upgrade my mine.