NY Catskills early bear 9-18-2020

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NY Catskills early bear 9-18-2020

Unread postby Catskills » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:14 am

My Brother and I got it done on NY public land the other evening! We had two hours after work and wanted to go for a walkabout before sunset rather than the mornings we've been doing (mornings are easier with work). It was a clear afternoon with a Northernly wind and it was a N to S running ridge. Plan was to get to top of ridge to use rising thermals while we could and then walk N into the wind. Got to top of ridge slowly and began to still hunt. This was the first time hitting this ridge since last season but always bear sign here. It is not far from road but rather overlooked and no pressure. We were only seeing older scat and really wanted to find some hot sign before stopping. We did see fresh deer scrape and signs that the acorns were being hit by all species on this ridge. Got to a nice spot overlooking a bench and after being paused for about 5 mins there, my brother spotted the bear! I see him, lose him behind brush and get ready. He gives me a little window and I let the 270 fly into his vitals. He went right over! Put another bullet in him for good luck. We were field dressing him 10 mins later and texting for back up. Luckily service on top of the ridges here. He was 210lbs dressed. NY DEC will age him when I send the tooth in. I can report back.


This was our first bear. I must say I love early bear because you get to scout for them with the rifle in hand. Great time to deer scout and get some meat in the freezer early.

We plan to try and fill my brother's tag next and our game plan will be similar. If a sunny day, get to top of ridge and still hunt to find what trees they are pounding. Around here its acorns, beech and hickory. We've read in local forums and have found ourselves the bears love the benches just below the top of the ridge. They get moving an hour or so before sunset to start eating. They may even be spending more time on their feet getting ready for winter. We haven't found exactly where they spend their day yet (probably laurel, swamp? Etc lots of unused/unhunted land around). Our plan is to catch them headed to the hardwoods from cover. If we saw hot enough sign we'd hang in the saddle but it seems best plan is to still hunt until you cross paths with one. This one was coming up the ridge to acorns and he came up at a really steep spot. We spotted him when he got to the bench we were overlooking.

Sept Early bear is going to be fun for years to come. Now I'm addicted...
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Re: NY Catskills early bear 9-18-2020

Unread postby john1984 » Mon Sep 21, 2020 7:28 am

:clap:
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Re: NY Catskills early bear 9-18-2020

Unread postby Freelance Bowhunter » Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:37 am

Nice!
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Re: NY Catskills early bear 9-18-2020

Unread postby bruno1 » Mon Sep 21, 2020 8:55 am

My 2 cousins got it done in Sullivan County opening day. 412 dressed and the other I believe was 217 dressed. Both on public as well
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Re: NY Catskills early bear 9-18-2020

Unread postby Catskills » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:18 am

bruno1 wrote:My 2 cousins got it done in Sullivan County opening day. 412 dressed and the other I believe was 217 dressed. Both on public as well


Awesome man. Lots of nice bear around here
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Re: NY Catskills early bear 9-18-2020

Unread postby backstraps » Mon Sep 21, 2020 10:27 am

Congratulations :clap: :clap:
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Re: NY Catskills early bear 9-18-2020

Unread postby Mike Foss » Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:26 am

Congrats guys, sharing the experience with your brother must have been awesome
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Re: NY Catskills early bear 9-18-2020

Unread postby Catskills » Fri Sep 25, 2020 12:40 am

thanks everyone.. We are going to try and fill my brother's tag Saturday. Finally got the southernly wind we need to hunt this bench we scouted/still hunted opening morning (9-12). We thought we would spend the next week scouting for opening of archery for deer but after getting a taste of bear meat ground up, very worth going for another! The meat is so mild I believe you would not be able to tell the difference between beef and bear. We got 60lbs of meat off the bear and added 10lbs beef fat. There was some shot loss from one of the follow up shots hitting a shoulder.

The bear also had BB's in his hind end from being peppered with a shotgun. I can't stand those trashy folks who think shooting at a bear on their property is cool or necessary. They would get scared just yelling, banging pots and pans or shooting the gun in a safe direction. Taxidermist said that he sees that a lot and sadly a lot of bear die of infections in the woods from being shot at.


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