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Thread: Michigan bear

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Michigan bear

    I finally got drawn for a Michigan bear license this year after years of applying. Hunting on public lands it was a challenge to find a good spot. I finally scouted a nice area early this summer with some bear sign. As soon as allwed, I started baiting and had a bear come in within a few days. Excited, I borrowed a buddies game camera and found it was an average to small one, maybe 150 pounds. I kept hoping that a big one would join in and worked up a cast boolit load for my Marlin 45-70. Due to work and an upcoming surgery i only had one day to hunt the bait. Yesterday was it and I set there all day from before dawn until dark. About 20 minutes before the end of legal shooting hours, she came in. I had plenty of opportunities for a clean shot but the smaller size of the bear along with awe and respect for a beautiful animal, I let her go. As it got too dark to shoot, I hollered "gotcha bear!" I guess it was my version of counting coup. No blood was shed but I enjoyed my hunt very much just to see a bear up close. If I can find someone that will let me tag along on a hound hunt later this month, I may get another chance to see one but for this year my bait hunting is over.
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!
    Benjamin Franklin

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Good for you. Lot harder at times to not pull the trigger.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master
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    excellent
    good for you
    nothing like hunting bear I love it
    you did a good thing hope you get to trail the dogs
    Hit em'hard
    hit em'often

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Very good hunt, I can respect your decision. Congrats!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    A good hunt for all concerned.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    It's a pleasure to have hunters with integrity relate a good story. Thanks.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Another "successful" hunt I'd say. I'll also say there will be other days and bigger bears in store for you.
    Mark 5:34 And He said to her (Jesus speaking), "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction."

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Good on you..........

    Winelover

  9. #9
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    As you said you got your bear, good on you for letting the young ones walk I've seen quite a few little ones shot here in Pa every year that went 130lb or less ! Don't know how those guys could do it , be like shooting a fawn that still had spots during deer season . You'll have your chance again
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    At least you saw one. My buddy has been out every day since opener and hasn't seen a bear. All the bear for some reason went nocturnal about a week before season opened. He had it come to his bait about 10 minutes after he got out of his stand...10 minutes after legal shooting hours of course. I don't blame you for passing it up. A 150lb bear is about the same shoulder hight and length as a doberman....with meat on its bones. We all dream of a huge bear but in reality I and my buddies goal is always a 250lb minimum (guessing by looks of course). Imo a 250lb bear looks small. Once bear get to the 300lb range you really can notice a difference in their appearance.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 09-13-2019 at 07:57 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    My pap always told me when the ears start lookin small and the nose looks short it's a good bear
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    My buddy is sitting too close to his bait imo and that’s why he hasn’t seen one. I told him to set up a few baits on his property in case he bumps a bear off one and makes it go nocturnal. This is his third time he’s drawn a tag and he’s still not listening. Can’t help someone that doesn’t want to be helped. I also told him to set up one for a rifle stand a good 100 yards off the bait to keep smells off it. He set up two baits, one wasn’t getting hit after a few weeks so he pulled it. The other bait he sits 10 yards from and had been sitting on it every day for a week and a half...and you wonder why his bear stopped coming in. They did have a party the week before his hunt about a 100 yards away before his hunt started and I believe this knocked it nocturnal. They did the exact same thing before his last hunt and bumped his bear off the bait all season...you would think he would learn. The property boarders public land and it sounds like there are 9 baits boarding his property and there was a bicycle rally there with a good thousand riders who camped out on the public property a few days ago...so theres pressure there besides hunting. Imo sitting 10 yards from a bait is way too close for the low population of bear in his area so there’s no competition to compete for his bait. If he was farther North close to the Canadian boarder go for it. He’s closer to the middle of our state where the population is low. He had finally got bear in his area pretty consistently the last 7 or 8 years where before you would get one walking through the area every once in a blue moon. His scent,whether he thinks his scent shield works or not, is way to close to the bait. The problem is there are WAY to many Canadian bear hunting shows on the outdoor channel where bear are like mosquitoes and show hunters literally on top of the their bait piles and the bear up there are crowded that they are constantly competing for the bait. In my own personal experience black bear not really afraid of humans up there or they just couldn’t care less if your there. I’ve had several walk right up to me in Swan River while walking to my stand. I poked one in the nose with my arrow to get it to turn around around and run in the opposite direction. That doesn’t happen in WI. They spook worse more than deer from what I’ve seen. He plans on pulling his stand today and putting up a ground blind 40 to 50 yards from his bait. I told him at least 50 yards. His bear hasn’t been back for about a week after it came in 10 minutes after closing (10 minutes after he walked out), stood there for 20 minutes and didn’t eat. I’m sure it watched,heard, and smelled him leave. It’s bern raining hard every day since last Wednesday so he wasn’t able to sit till last night and didn’t see anything and had no bear on his camera the whole time. If it were me I’d stay out of there till a bear hits it and keep baiting and checking my camera along with setting up a new bait. I told him to try some type of new gimmick to bring it back in as well. Never tried either but told home to try some bear urine and some “stinky” bait which I had a good idea for. We will see if he doesn’t listen again. I hope he finally gets one but it’s not looking promising so far.

    I know 20 years ago the average bear in WI harvested was 165lbs. I think the average weight has dwindled quite a bit since. So imo you passed up an above average size bear harvested in WI. Most shooters shoot the first bear that comes into their bait or first beat that gets treed by dogs(not my thing).

    99.9% bear treed in WI by dogs are 150 lbs or under...which is how the majority of of success hunters get their bear here. The bigger ones normally never tree and keep running until they get tired and get cornered on the ground and or just turn around and kill the dogs when they’ve had enough. So you beat out most hunters by actually seeing a bear...and could have harvested it.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 09-15-2019 at 10:44 AM.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Bravo ! That is why we call it hunting, not killing. I would consider that a very successful hunt.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Your experience was the opposite of a friend of mine. He has 4 black bear mounts in his basement (biggest weighted 408#) so has orders from his wife to shoot a small meat bear. He shoots the first bear to come to his bait stand. He got his bear on the first morning of the MN season but didn't call his wife until two days later. It weighed 329#. He's still in trouble at home.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



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    Good job!

    Its called HUNTING, and like all things its the journey not the destination!!

    You will get another chance GOOD LUCK!

    CW
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    What is that that is said about hunting/fishing?Oh yeah.I`ts great but the catching,not so much.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election.
    Otto von Bismarck

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy


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    I also had a 1st season MI bear tag this year. I saved up 9 years of points to get the tag. On opening day I took a 170 lb (dressed) bear. It was my 1st bear. Hopefully the OP can go with some hound hunters as there's lots of season left

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaydub in wi View Post
    I also had a 1st season MI bear tag this year. I saved up 9 years of points to get the tag. On opening day I took a 170 lb (dressed) bear. It was my 1st bear. Hopefully the OP can go with some hound hunters as there's lots of season left

    That had to put your bear at around 206lbs (adding 20% for the guts)...Nice first bear.

    My buddy started baiting his 2nd bait that he stopped baiting a month ago because it wasn’t ever it. I talked him into putting some “stink” by it since he hasn’t has his bait hit over over a week and a half now. We came up with the ideas of catfish bait to smear on the trees. Still nothing has come in after a few days of fishbait along with donuts. I think someone either shot the boar in his area or someone or something bumped it off the property. He at least stopped sitting every night to keep his scent away and just checks the bait in the morning now to see if it’s been hit. His plan is not to sit till the bear comes back.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 09-21-2019 at 07:26 PM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy


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    All that noise near the bait is never good. I was using a bacon smelling "smear" to help to attract bears and cover my scent. My stand was about 40 yds away from the bait. I was hunting in Delta co, Mi this time, and my bait was empty every weekend. 9 years ago, our baits went dead the weekend before the season started. That happened last year in Wi too. Sometimes the bears just aren't hungry I guess. Good luck to your friend and to the OP.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Yep, I agree. No bear have been back to either bait yet. It’s not looking good for him.

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