Spring bear season in WI?

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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby stash59 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 3:58 am

Far from an expert! But in my opinion whatever is decided. It should be what is best for the bears! Not us hunters!


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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby Mike Foss » Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:22 am

Freelance Bowhunter wrote:
Mike Foss wrote:
Freelance Bowhunter wrote:
Mike Foss wrote:
matt1336 wrote:I think it’d be nice to give the hound guys the fall and the sitters the spring. Issue the same amount of tags. The pressure would/could be less and it might result in a better quality hunt. The boars would be easier to target. I’d think and the oops I shot a sow situations would maybe decrease.
I’m sure the powers that be wouldn't agree with that as their proposal seems like a money grab to me.More bear tags being issued is not the answer.


It would be a disaster to have a Spring hunt, ( The boars would be easier to target) mature bears would eventually decline and the quality of the hunt would be drastically reduced. Anyone associated with the yearly Wisconsin bear hunt will tell you theirs already a slow decline in the bear population. Sit back with the popcorn for a few years and watch it unfold.

More bear tags being issued is definitely not the answer. The state is just trying to boost license sales.


Mike what do you base this on?


Its no secrete that in the spring the food source is just not there like in the fall, add the bears breading habits in the mix even though it starts around end of May & June, more mature bears would be shot, its not like Wisconsin has a huge abundance of mature bears running around like parts of Canada does. Call any Bear Guide service or talk to any hounds men groups like I did and most likely they will tell you theirs a huge noticeable decline already happening.


One of the reasons I ask is because the Minnesota bear biologists claim the reason they have cut back on the tags so much is because we shoot too many young bears and female bears. Any way we could increase the number of adult males would be a good thing and lead to more tags. Shooting males does not affect the population structure much, but shooting females and young bears does. So it seems to me that if there is evidence that a spring season would increase the percentage of adult males in the overall harvest, that would be a good thing for the overall population.

Mature male bears are hard to kill. Period. Spring or fall. In fact, I hardly see any rutting activity around here until the last couple days of May and I would say it peaks more towards the end of June. I've seen it here in Minnesota and all over Canada where big males just cruise through bait sites in June, usually do not even stop to eat during the rut, and often do not even come in to the bait they just check it from downwind and keep moving. No doubt in my mind that a spring season would have a higher success percentage for baited bears, but I don't really see the logic that it will increase the number of big males. Possibly if the season was held in June, but if it was held in May, it would be difficult to make that case in my opinion.

Just thinking out loud.

Odds are better shooting a mature bear during a spring hunt vs a fall hunt. Food sources are a more deciding factor than the rut. The way Wisconsin’s Hunt is structured and receiving a kill tag once every 5-12 years (depends what zone) there will always be more sows and young bears shot, I call it “Itchy Trigger”. Bear hunters hunting in Wisconsin do not get a chance to graduate from bear hunting, if they were able to hunt every year than eventually being selective would naturally happen.
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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby Findian » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:18 am

I personally would like to see more Bear tags issued up in northern Wisconsin. And a spring Bear hunt would be fun I think it should be a spot and stalk type of hunt no bait or hounds.
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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby Mike Foss » Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:18 am

Findian wrote:I personally would like to see more Bear tags issued up in northern Wisconsin. And a spring Bear hunt would be fun I think it should be a spot and stalk type of hunt no bait or hounds.

I’m curious as to where you would have a chance at a spot and stalk in Northern Wisconsin?
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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby stash59 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:51 am

Mike Foss wrote:
Findian wrote:I personally would like to see more Bear tags issued up in northern Wisconsin. And a spring Bear hunt would be fun I think it should be a spot and stalk type of hunt no bait or hounds.

I’m curious as to where you would have a chance at a spot and stalk in Northern Wisconsin?


Interesting point Mike. And Findian, I'm only bringing this up because! Whenever Montana hunters asked about having baiting season for bears. We were told the bear areas out there, were so open. So enough bears could still be harvested each year. Fish & Game said, " this ain't Canada or the Midwest, where it's so god awful thick".

This despite the fact that most bears killed out there were only 100-250 pounds. Often sows. Making the case that baiting would at least allow a hunter more time to determine if a bear was a sow. Fell on deaf ears.

I think the main reason they don't allow baiting is to avoid hunter/grizzly bear confrontations. Cause I think they know there are more grizz than they say. Even in areas not thought of as grizz country!
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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby Findian » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:32 am

Mike Foss wrote:
Findian wrote:I personally would like to see more Bear tags issued up in northern Wisconsin. And a spring Bear hunt would be fun I think it should be a spot and stalk type of hunt no bait or hounds.

I’m curious as to where you would have a chance at a spot and stalk in Northern Wisconsin?



I guess it would be more like still hunting but there’s many places where a person can see a good distance in the spring. I usually spot few ever spring when I’m scouting for deer it’s not like it’s hard to find them in the spring they are almost alway by the sunny side hills or ravines eating greens and grubs. Or pipe/power lines. Also if you got the right spring you could also track them in the snow that’s left over.

But of course if we had a early spring green up then it would of course be harder.
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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby Findian » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:46 am

stash59 wrote:
Mike Foss wrote:
Findian wrote:I personally would like to see more Bear tags issued up in northern Wisconsin. And a spring Bear hunt would be fun I think it should be a spot and stalk type of hunt no bait or hounds.

I’m curious as to where you would have a chance at a spot and stalk in Northern Wisconsin?


Interesting point Mike. And Findian, I'm only bringing this up because! Whenever Montana hunters asked about having baiting season for bears. We were told the bear areas out there, were so open. So enough bears could still be harvested each year. Fish & Game said, " this ain't Canada or the Midwest, where it's so god awful thick".

This despite the fact that most bears killed out there were only 100-250 pounds. Often sows. Making the case that baiting would at least allow a hunter more time to determine if a bear was a sow. Fell on deaf ears.

I think the main reason they don't allow baiting is to avoid hunter/grizzly bear confrontations. Cause I think they know there are more grizz than they say. Even in areas not thought of as grizz country!



I’m only suggesting that it be for spring hunting of course with no bait or hounds it would make things harder. I would think hardly any bears would get shot but I wouldn’t know.

And why does it mater if someone shots a sow? I believe your not supposed to shot a sow with cubs in Wisconsin. So that means that a dry sow is fair game. It’s not like cubs are that far away from there mother.

Most people I talk to about the woods up here (Ashland) think there’s to many bears, and wolfs and that we have to bring down the populations on both.
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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Wed Feb 19, 2020 8:24 am

Mike Foss wrote:
Freelance Bowhunter wrote:
Mike Foss wrote:
Freelance Bowhunter wrote:
Mike Foss wrote:
matt1336 wrote:I think it’d be nice to give the hound guys the fall and the sitters the spring. Issue the same amount of tags. The pressure would/could be less and it might result in a better quality hunt. The boars would be easier to target. I’d think and the oops I shot a sow situations would maybe decrease.
I’m sure the powers that be wouldn't agree with that as their proposal seems like a money grab to me.More bear tags being issued is not the answer.


It would be a disaster to have a Spring hunt, ( The boars would be easier to target) mature bears would eventually decline and the quality of the hunt would be drastically reduced. Anyone associated with the yearly Wisconsin bear hunt will tell you theirs already a slow decline in the bear population. Sit back with the popcorn for a few years and watch it unfold.

More bear tags being issued is definitely not the answer. The state is just trying to boost license sales.


Mike what do you base this on?


Its no secrete that in the spring the food source is just not there like in the fall, add the bears breading habits in the mix even though it starts around end of May & June, more mature bears would be shot, its not like Wisconsin has a huge abundance of mature bears running around like parts of Canada does. Call any Bear Guide service or talk to any hounds men groups like I did and most likely they will tell you theirs a huge noticeable decline already happening.


One of the reasons I ask is because the Minnesota bear biologists claim the reason they have cut back on the tags so much is because we shoot too many young bears and female bears. Any way we could increase the number of adult males would be a good thing and lead to more tags. Shooting males does not affect the population structure much, but shooting females and young bears does. So it seems to me that if there is evidence that a spring season would increase the percentage of adult males in the overall harvest, that would be a good thing for the overall population.

Mature male bears are hard to kill. Period. Spring or fall. In fact, I hardly see any rutting activity around here until the last couple days of May and I would say it peaks more towards the end of June. I've seen it here in Minnesota and all over Canada where big males just cruise through bait sites in June, usually do not even stop to eat during the rut, and often do not even come in to the bait they just check it from downwind and keep moving. No doubt in my mind that a spring season would have a higher success percentage for baited bears, but I don't really see the logic that it will increase the number of big males. Possibly if the season was held in June, but if it was held in May, it would be difficult to make that case in my opinion.

Just thinking out loud.

Odds are better shooting a mature bear during a spring hunt vs a fall hunt. Food sources are a more deciding factor than the rut. The way Wisconsin’s Hunt is structured and receiving a kill tag once every 5-12 years (depends what zone) there will always be more sows and young bears shot, I call it “Itchy Trigger”. Bear hunters hunting in Wisconsin do not get a chance to graduate from bear hunting, if they were able to hunt every year than eventually being selective would naturally happen.


Well this is exactly what I have been saying for years. The Minnesota DNR has dropped the tag numbers so low that it's a fraction of what it was even 10 years go. It seems their contention that they want people to shoot more boars is based on the belief that if a person has to wait several years between tags, they will be more selective. I believe the opposite is true, that if you wait several years between tags, the thought process is that "I waited a long time for this tag I am going to get a bear, any bear." I think it's having the opposite effect that they want but I guess we will see when the numbers come out this summer.
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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby Ol Split ( ) Toes » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:31 am

matt1336 wrote:I think it’d be nice to give the hound guys the fall and the sitters the spring. Issue the same amount of tags. The pressure would/could be less and it might result in a better quality hunt. The boars would be easier to target. I’d think and the oops I shot a sow situations would maybe decrease.
I’m sure the powers that be wouldn't agree with that as their proposal seems like a money grab to me. More bear tags being issued is not the answer.

I am not a hound hunter, I also have nothing against it, but I do hunt bears and do enjoy eating the meat. Now I have never eaten a spring bear so I may be wrong, but I just wouldn't think the meat would be as good as in the fall. It be kind of unfair to split the seasons up by hunting methods.
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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby matt1336 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 3:50 pm

^^^good point.
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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby john1984 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:01 pm

What about ALL those bears you see on TV getting shot during the Spring????

Do those celebrity hunters just leave the carcass to the insects, rodents and varmints just because the bear meat "don't taste good during the Spring"????
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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby john1984 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:06 pm

Those Spring bears all taste like sheet just because they are "Spring" bears???
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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby stash59 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:15 pm

john1984 wrote:What about ALL those bears you see on TV getting shot during the Spring????

Do those celebrity hunters just leave the carcass to the insects, rodents and varmints just because the bear meat "don't taste good during the Spring"????


The only bear I ever killed was a Montana spring bear. So not only a spring bear. But also not any large mast crops out there for the bears to take advantage of. It ate just fine in my opinion. Not much different than the bear meat from fall killed bears. I've gotten to try. Main thing is less fat on/in spring bears. Especially the "kidney" fat. That makes the best bear grease when rendered.
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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby john1984 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:18 pm

I have never had bear or tasted bear. Its some foreign food,,, I cannot obtain bear meat whatsoever, ... I want to eat bear....,,,, I prefer too earn it.... But its gonna take work........
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Re: Spring bear season in WI?

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:42 am

I have eaten dozens of bears both spring and fall and I have not been able to tell the difference in the meat. The one exception was a spring bear shot on a hound hunt in Idaho, it was a little leaner than the baited bears, but still good.


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