Jump to content
  • GUESTS

    If You  want access  to member only forums on FM, You will need to Sign-in or  Sign-Up now .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member.

scouting


jay83196

Recommended Posts

I'm going scouting this week I need couple new spots for bear bait stations and would appreciate some advice on what some of you experienced guys look for in trying to find a good spot. I planned to look over map (i am familiar with area somewhat) pick some new areas to start and then walk around those places for a possible spot.

How close to water should I be? swamp or ponds/river better?

The thicker the better?

Look for food and sign in area.

Public land so stay away from crowds trails?

Anything else to look for?

Certain types of trees etc?

I've been surprised on some areas that do and don't do well over the years high traffic areas vs remote areas etc. Just wonder if there are things I don't look at or consider?

Thanks I appreciate the help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like water, very near water. Swampy, ponds, river, all these generaly have travel routs in them or along side. Swampy areas an ponds that are created by beaver lodges are ideal so look for funnels created by the beavs. Oak ridges are to be favored near these areas an wild plumbs, grapes an choke cherries along river bottoms. bear will lie in the swampy wet stuff during the day an come out in the cool temps uring morning or eveing to feed in the oaks wen they start dropping. Fox made good points in looking for over turned logs an logs that have been toren apart looking for gubs an ants an agricrops are to be highly considered corn an sunflowers especialy. Walk these feild eges an look for scat an prints. I like drainage ditches that might be running along these feilds towards any promising woods, bear like to keep a very low profle when out an about. Cant remembwer wen I havent seen a pad in a drainage ditch. The public boys have more experience here than me, but i would have a several foot trils leading to an from a bait site on pub. land. any heavy trail brings people. So getting way in as far as you can of course is prefered, im sure ya know this.

Look for water holes on the topos for sure an yup for me the thicker the better. hope this help some.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks boar, there are a lot of creeks ponds etc I plan to be close too. My buddy had a spot by beaver dam nice thick spot never got hit it was a great spot but nothing and he had another spot mile away or so high traffic area with no water near and it gets pounded every year. Go figure! how close to water is good? Do you look for low thick canopy areas too?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am no expert...only been bear hunting 3 times, and each time was a DIY hunt on public ground with the help of friends who knew the area. Arrowed bears 2 of the 3 times I hunted, but each time the baits had something in common....water. Creeks, ponds, impoundments, etc. were all nearby. My buddy who had hunted the large public area his whole life said this is the key, and it made sense to me. Just my 2 cents...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

THICK COVERED BEAVER PONDS!! They love that stuff.. Heavy cover to the Bait and preferably damp ground to it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another tell tale sign, considering tracks may be hard to find in a dry field edge, are areas where bear come in and out of heavy cover.

Large bear will often "slide" on their bellies under fences, down ditch grades, and thru very heavy low hanging canopy.

As creatures of habit, when not being pressured by hunters or human scent in their living room, bear will often follow the same trails daily when traveling thru familiar areas.

Especially when looking at very dense new growth forest, like young Aspen stands, you can step back and scan the edge for a "hole" in the cover where a bear is making a corridor while traveling from bedding to feeding areas.

If driving thru dense forest roads, which often have small ditch grades on each side from when the road was actually made, you can sometimes catch a bears travel route by the "slide" he makes on each side of the ditch grade. If you can find a "slide" it's likely a big bear.

Many years back I found a trail across and along the edge of an agricultural field where a large old boar had been traveling, at night, from a bedding area far south, to a feeding area a few miles to the north. I could see as clear as a bell this bear had been literally walking on his same tracks every night for many weeks. Thought I had him "pegged" when I found the exact spot where he emerged every night from a very dense young clear cut on the edge of the field. He never showed, but it sure was an exciting hunt!

Sometimes a bear's sign in a standing field of oats, corn, or sunflowers, will be as obvious as the nose on your face. Bear can be real pigs in a corn field. They'll walk in a small circle, pulling down corn stocks into a pile in the center, then lay down in the middle and just pig out. If and when you can find an area like this you're pretty likely to be "in the money"! wink

As stated above, bear are pretty wary critters. They don't like to be seen out in the open unless they are very hungry. 5-15 yr. old clear cuts with tons of junk (downed undesirable timber, rotted stumps, and leftover limbs and root balls) in the middle are good places to find bear. If you really have to work at walking thru it, and in most places you can't, there's a fairly good chance there's a bear in there!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Canopy,Just curious, Hey whats a bear slide look like. Want to go out and do some checking on some pond area's that we hunt next weekend. Do they slide alot in the summer or more in the fall when baiting! Wanted to do some more scouting soon and wanted to check for that.. Thanks and let us know..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A place where a bear slides it's belly is simply an area where they have to just to make getting thru a little easier. Don't think it's a seasonal thing.

Gotta imagine a big bellied sow or boar cresting a ditch edge and starting it's decent to cross the ditch. It's pretty much inevitable that it's belly is going to drag on the ground. Or squeezing itself under a wire fence where necessary.

Nothing mysterious about the way an area like this looks. Just looks like a wide beaver slide. Grass, brush, etc., laid flat and/or pushed to the side about the width of a big bear. It's pretty easy to pick out a bear slide vs. another game trail cause of the lack of deer tracks, etc.

Again, most often I see them along ditch edges en route to feeding areas, between large sections of forest on roadway edges, or on steep grade drainages. It's just a kind of quick and simple way to locate bears moving to and from an area, and if you can find one that's well used (beaten down pretty clearly) odds are you've got a bear that's moving back and forth thru this same trail almost every night. It's only a starting point to locate a good spot to set up a stand, but it does work.

No guarantees this always works, it's not a high percentage game, but I've found bear this way in the past. I actually know people up north that simply sit in the truck and wait for the bear to cross the road on a trail like this in the evening. Not my cup of tea as far as fair chase, but each to his own I guess.

Best of luck to ya' bud! I actually enjoy the process of scouting, finding, and hunting the bear more than anything else! I don't even care if I harvest an animal. Somehow it feels to me more like how bear must have been hunted back in the "olden days". smile

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Canopy. Hey, you cant mistake theses slides for Beaver slides can you? Do they get muddy looking and beaten down? Just inquisitive is all..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They look a lot like a beaver slide, except a beaver slide typically goes into the water, and is near an area where a beaver has clearly been cutting down young trees.

You'll know the difference as you'll find a bear crossing near a road edge where there is no sign of beaver, nor would there be any reason for a beaver to be in the area.

It's so darn dry up here this year I'd guess a good crossing area might just look like smashed down dry grass...about the width of a nice fat bear.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know this idea sounds pretty silly, but it really does work. Just like finding good game trails while scouting for deer, or running trap lines, bear, if not pressured, will use the same trails fairly often, if not everyday.

Find a well used trail, a point where bear are crossing a road, sliding under a fence, or skirting around or thru heavy cover, and you're on your way to finding a good place to start hunting!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • travis_td
      Hi there, I am making sure that this is the location that folks will be posting updates for Ice Fishing on Lake Vermilion this winter (2022).  I think so but want to make sure as I plan on trying to get out next weekend, December 8-11.
    • smurfy
      thanks wanderer.......even reports from lakes like leech gives me a pretty good idea of what the lakes i want to fish will be like. lot of past experience helps, and no doubt wheelers will be used soon.    we had a retiree.holiday union party last night. buddy said that his kid was on little Winnie with about 5 inches of ice and there moving all around the lake!!
    • Wanderer
      Leech lake has been 100% capped for about a week, I think.  Before you say that’s not a small, underfished lake, it’s just an example that you could prolly drive wheelers on your kind of lakes by now. 😉   I’ve been seeing a lot of 5-7 inch reports going into the weekend.  Sadly I haven’t cut a hole yet.  Still working on repairs and updates on our houses.
    • leech~~
      Here's some throw back for yea. Lets your candy azzz E-cutter battery do this!  🤣    
    • Tom Sawyer
      Oh I didn't say I don't own several versions of Teslas, just that until this hell frozen over state changes I'll always find a use for the ice diggin' anchor. Will be a great post hole digger in it's next life use too
    • leech~~
      Yep no puzzy Tesla auger for me until they pry it from my dead hands!  😆
    • Tom Sawyer
      Still waiting for global warming to ditch my Lazer Mag, always in the truck for thick, virgin ice.    Don't know if it's possible, or advisable, but thought I would throw a 8" K drill bit on it to lighten it up. Should be an adapter for such a conversion. Careful what you wish for, probably rip my arm off with a shredding combo like that 😂    
    • rundrave
      Leech I still have my old jiffy gas auger mainly for sentimental reasons. I haven’t used it for 3 years now. The only time I start it up is in the garage just to hear that pop pop pop sound lol   I will never go back and have no regrets going electric. Huge weight saver and with an extension will go through any thickness of ice. Starts first pull every time lol    we were fishing 2 weeks ago Swiss cheesing a slough here in SD on 4” of ice when someone else tried to fire up their gas auger and my buddies and I looked at each other almost in disbelief that someone was still using a gas auger.   pros and cons for sure but I think electric has more pros than cons with advancements lately     
    • smurfy
      any ice thickness reports..........especially on smaller not heavily fished lakes???????   chances are i wont be up till after christmas anyway, but............
    • leech~~
      Let me know when you go again.  I'll being my crossbow and take out the Deer when you kick them up!  😁
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.