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Thread: The burn

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Burnaby
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    192

    The burn

    Checked out a new area with my son this weekend for yet another poke around for a spring burger bear. I had found this south facing burn the fall before last (my first hunting trip ever) but hadn't been back to explore it more thoroughly since then.



    Hiked up Saturday morning, made lunch and set up camp. Poked around the immediate vicinity and couldn't believe how much sign there was from what I'm assuming is moose, significantly bigger pellets and piles than I've ever seen in Roosevelt elk country. Lots of fresh bear sign around as well...the burn has grown in a bit since I was last there but we poked through some of the game trails and clearings trying to find the chewed up grass while listening to the grouse drumming and keeping our eyes open for sheds and morels.











    Didn't bump any bears in the evening and the kid is letting me know it's about time for dinner. Oops, dad forgot the spoons! No problem, put my bushcraft skills to work and carve one right? Must have sharpened my knife a bit too well before we left and sliced open my thumb, I guess hunger got the best of me. Was cute seeing my son sprint to my backpack to get the first aid kit but then not know what to do with it...luckily it wasn't a bad cut but I'll have to go over some basics with him in case I ever can't handle something myself.



    Practice at 50, shoot em at 20.

    2016 Hoyt Powermax 28/70
    8" Beestinger w/ 10 offset
    Fuse 5 pin
    460gr 4 fletch Gold Tip Hunter XT
    100 grain Rocket Hammerheads + Nockturnals



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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Burnaby
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    Re: The burn

    As soon as the moon came out I realized I had never checked the schedule for that, it was as full as it gets and illuminated the burn like a spotlight. Did see some reports of bears hitting the ground this weekend so it definitely isn't the end all be all but I've never had much luck seeing game during full moons. Anybody ever set up camp on what feels like flat ground, then go to bed and realize it's a bit more sloped than you thought? Was definitely an interesting night sliding around on our tyvek ground sheet. I wondered if we might get a curious visitor sniffing around our tent at some point, if we did I slept right through it though and woke up at 5:15 to a mosquito buzzing in my ear. Slapped him away and thought about going back to sleep but curiosity killed the cat...or hopefully the bear!






    Decided to go for a poke up the hill now that the wind was in my favor. I don't have any real training whatsoever in mountain hunting, I'm a first generation hunter with fairly little experience in general so almost everything I encounter out there is a new puzzle to put together. Following the game trails I found what looked like a bed from whatever is leaving those massive piles of pellets, I'm leaning more and more towards moose the more sign I see and every white log with burn streaks on it is tricking my eyes into thinking they see a shed paddle.





    No such luck on that front, starting to get hungry though and didn't bring any water with me so back to the tent to make breakfast and roust the kiddo. While packing up the tent I noticed that somehow we had multiple large sparks pop all the way over to the tent and burn a few holes in our sylnylon tarp. That always sucks but nothing a few patches can't fix. Packed up our gear and decided to head up to the top of the burn, loop around and hunt our way down. There's an old overgrown fire road that parallels the burn, we followed that up and began seeing more and more bear sign. The grass on the sides of the roads was all nipped away and it looked like they were feeding along the trails coming out of the burn and onto the road, most of the grass inside the burn was untouched though. I had assumed that would be a buffet for them and they would prefer areas with a bit of cover as opposed to roads that would surely see more human activity but maybe the grass on the roads gets more moisture or something?






    Counted a dozen fairly fresh piles of scat (all grass, my son likes breaking them apart) in the 1km of road paralleling that burn, and probably 30 of those big piles...one spot had 5 piles within 10 yards.






    At the very top we stopped for lunch, we had been keeping our eyes open for morels the whole time we were in the burn but hadn't spotted any. While I was making lunch I happened to look down and there was a single morel sticking out of the leaves on the side of the road. Blake was thrilled about that, I've never tried a morel and needless to say neither has he, knowing where we were headed and that they commonly grow in burns though I had showed him a video about them and he was excited to harvest and eat it.


    Last edited by 45freezer; 05-21-2019 at 08:37 PM.
    Practice at 50, shoot em at 20.

    2016 Hoyt Powermax 28/70
    8" Beestinger w/ 10 offset
    Fuse 5 pin
    460gr 4 fletch Gold Tip Hunter XT
    100 grain Rocket Hammerheads + Nockturnals



  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Burnaby
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    Re: The burn

    Now he was excited again, I know he enjoys hunting with me but I also know it's tough hunting with a dad that doesn't have the most experience, the best gear, the most productive spots, and the list goes on. He got to see me shoot a bear with my bow from 40 yards (him 20 from me, me 20 from the bear) our first year hunting together but really hasn't seen all that much else as far as big game goes aside from a herd of cow elk and a few mulies here and there. Not for lack of trying though, not too sure if I just have a talent for picking the worst times to go, the worst places or a combination of both but we've been getting out as much as possible, the sign is always there and he's getting very good at moving slowly and quietly. Hopefully one day I'll have things dialed in and have some honey holes of my own, maybe that's just the "when I grow up" of hunting though...a constant work in progress. I certainly love that boy to the moon and back for sticking it out with me, he really is the best hunting partner I could ask for.










    Didn't find any more morels on the way down, not a critter to be seen either aside from a pair of squirrels that chased each other right past Blake. Lots more knowledge of the area gained though and we set up a trail cam in that burn so should have some cool videos to watch in the future assuming it doesn't walk off. Will definitely be back sooner than later trying to restock on burger before bear season ends, anybody have any insight on when morel season starts to die down? Would love to find some more of those, I cooked it up with garlic butter and it sure was a tasty morsel...Blake loved it but said he can't tell his mom that since he generally doesn't like mushrooms and if she finds out he liked that one then she'll probably make him eat civilian mushrooms from the store all the time Pretty long winded write up for an "unsuccessful hunt" (they're all successful in my opinion) but I know some of you have been following along on the journey since day one and figured I was about due for an update, hopefully my next one contains a photo of a restocked freezer. Oh ya, and the joke was on me...those spoons were hiding in his backpack the whole time, turned mine inside out but never thought to check his.
    Practice at 50, shoot em at 20.

    2016 Hoyt Powermax 28/70
    8" Beestinger w/ 10 offset
    Fuse 5 pin
    460gr 4 fletch Gold Tip Hunter XT
    100 grain Rocket Hammerheads + Nockturnals



  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Langley
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    Re: The burn

    Awesome write up! I love the night time picture. Yes, moose for sure (the poop) 100%

    It looks like you found a good spot. Best looking area out of all the pics so far. Decent grass in the pictures and you mentioned it's getting hit.

    Go pound that. Poke in and out of spots that look like feeding places. Even if it's only once place, just walk in to check on it every so often. If you can find two or three places, alternate and play the wind best you can. You're going to see a bear there, guaranteed... just wish I was seeing a little more grass or some dandelions but it's thick steep country, so it's not going to serve you everything on a silver platter. You can work with what I am seeing though, I promise you that. Is there a drainage around there still running or that was running recently? It might not be a honey hole (it could be?) but it should be productive. I think you are starting to see what an area should look like because the pictures are starting to look more and more promising as time goes on. You'll dial in some honey holes soon.

    Little man is growing up... still needs the naps I see... he'll grow out of it in a few more years, but then back into it when he's around 35 LOL.

    Funny about the spoons.
    Last edited by caddisguy; 05-21-2019 at 08:45 PM.

  6. #5
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    Mar 2008
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    In the Very DARK Thick BUSH where Grizzly Bears Live ! and Now in Kammy
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    Re: The burn

    Very KOOL ! Love the Little GUY ! Keep it up there GOOD Dad ! RJ
    Earn your stalking MERIT BADGE before you start ​Blazing away at animals beyond your guaranteed ability.

    Can you Just IMAGINE with proper Smart Honest people running this country just how GREAT it would BE ?

    Member CCRA Member BCWF Member BRITISH COLUMBIA BACKCOUNTRY HUNTERS & ANGLERS


  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Burnaby
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    Re: The burn

    Quote Originally Posted by caddisguy View Post
    Awesome write up! I love the night time picture. Yes, moose for sure (the poop) 100%

    It looks like you found a good spot. Best looking area out of all the pics so far. Decent grass in the pictures and you mentioned it's getting hit.

    Go pound that. Poke in and out of spots that look like feeding places. Even if it's only once place, just walk in to check on it every so often. If you can find two or three places, alternate and play the wind best you can. You're going to see a bear there, guaranteed... just wish I was seeing a little more grass or some dandelions but it's thick steep country, so it's not going to serve you everything on a silver platter. You can work with what I am seeing though, I promise you that. Is there a drainage around there still running or that was running recently? It might not be a honey hole (it could be?) but it should be productive. I think you are starting to see what an area should look like because the pictures are starting to look more and more promising as time goes on. You'll dial in some honey holes soon.

    Little man is growing up... still needs the naps I see... he'll grow out of it in a few more years, but then back into it when he's around 35 LOL.

    Funny about the spoons.
    Ya it's twice as long of a drive to this spot so no day trips to this one but we'll definitely invest a couple weekends into this spot before season closes and keep an eye on it in the future. I did find a feeding area in our day trip spot and plan on using that tactic there for sure, will definitely employ it next time we're up here as well. Suppose I walk through their feeding area, how long do you figure the scent generally keeps them from hitting it again? Day trip area gets loads of human activity, this place didn't have one truck or quad go up the road the whole time we were there though and I didn't see one boot track...pretty good for may long weekend, it's really overgrown though and some people don't like those backcountry pinstripes on their new trucks. Was amazing how far away we could hear vehicles from though, we heard every truck pass by down in the valley from a ways off, I know some people are successful at road hunting but they must only be shooting the critters that go deaf cracking antlers and boxing each others ears.
    Practice at 50, shoot em at 20.

    2016 Hoyt Powermax 28/70
    8" Beestinger w/ 10 offset
    Fuse 5 pin
    460gr 4 fletch Gold Tip Hunter XT
    100 grain Rocket Hammerheads + Nockturnals



  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    region 3
    Posts
    1,700

    Re: The burn

    Great story and pics, thats an experience you and your hunting buddy wont forget!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Lower mainland
    Posts
    65

    Re: The burn

    Grasshopper is getting an early ,he wil be a one fine hunter

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    North Van
    Posts
    106

    Re: The burn

    Love it! Thanks for sharing
    "Don't believe everything you read on the internet just because you agree with it"
    -Abraham Lincoln

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Langley
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    Re: The burn

    Quote Originally Posted by 45freezer View Post
    Suppose I walk through their feeding area, how long do you figure the scent generally keeps them from hitting it again?
    Every bear is different. If it's a viable area, there will be at least a few bears, so my answer is this...

    5 minutes

    Sure some huge old boars lived to be huge old boars because they knew better, but on average bears just equate humans as other bears, err on the side of caution and give a little space, take turns in small feeding pockets.

    There was a time I would just sit in one spot (and I still do once in a while) for hours on end. Eventually their hunger would get the better of them and would even walk up from down wind. I figured they misjudged scent and didn't know if I was there (scent I left behind) vs "am" there (scent I am giving off) ... but I realized most bears didn't want to enter the feeding area because they could tell I was there... like I am bogarting the good grass.

    Over time, I started realizing I saw 5x as many bears just walking in and out of the spots on average every couple hours but sometimes every half an hour. In 2017 I realized just how quickly it happens too... I walked out of a spot after sitting for a couple hours, heard a snap, walked back in and tagged a pretty nice boar.

    This took me from seeing maybe 1 bear over a weekend to seeing at least a few each day. Example last weekend (before the long one) my brother walked into a spot in the morning and saw nothing, sat around and came out. Went back in at around 4PM, we spooked multiple bears (chaos, bears running around, one huffing at us from the safety just inside the treeline) ... went and sat in the same feeding area my brother was in that morning, wind swirling everywhere... we hung out for 30 mins or so because I wanted to give the bear that was huffing at us time to chill out) ... went back to camp and sat for 30 mins then went back out. Spooked a bear from pretty much where we were sitting 30 minutes before that ran for cover. It was funny... my brother went to go look for it and the bear ran up the mossy knoll right above him... starring down checking him out. I watched the situation unfold a bit before I shout "hey man, check it out" and point at the bear... at which point the bear made an exit.

    You probably wont shoot a 500lb 7ft monster where your boots were a little while ago, but you can certainly shoot a 200-300 boar where your boots were as little as 15-30 minutes ago. I've done it over and over.

    Your non-day-trip spot sounds a lot better. Some human traffic is fine. Bears still live in those areas and know how to deal with that stuff. They usually just hear a vehicle, duck in the bush then come back out when it passes (funny I do the same thing) I prefer hearing vehicles in the distance though and only seeing the odd one.

    Another thing worth noting is that when bears detect you or even if you scare the crap out of them, they usually don't go for. They hide and wait for your to pass. I can only recall a couple bears out of dozens of such encounters that ran for the next time zone... on average, 15 yards into the nearest cover and most of the time they will come back out in short order.

    The other thing worth mentioning is that in that kind of terrain if you're poking in and out of feeding spots it's going to happen pretty fast... every step is a different view and 10-15 yard windows open up each step. If the wind is right and the bear is focused on munching you'll get time to evaluate the situation and draw back... it will probably be close up but still take your time... if it's meant to be great and if not then it's a cool story too.
    Last edited by caddisguy; 05-21-2019 at 09:39 PM.

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