Book Cliffs Roadless Bear (Spring)

Maxxy

Active Member
Messages
213
My Family spent last Spring learning this unit for Bear on the Spring Spot and Stalk... Was an absolute blast and we learned a lot. With the snow we had in 18/19 we were only able to access the roadless on the south side the first week in May last year.

I drew the tag this year with 8 points and just looking for info on access this year and from those that have more knowledge of this unit in the spring. Is it resonable to think we can get in there middle of April this year or is that not likely? Thinking both the acess to the Tribal Land as well as access on Wendt Ridge.

Appreciate any info...

Thank you in advance
 

Maxxy

Active Member
Messages
213
Thanks 340. Where specifically are you headed? Roadless? From the south or the north? Thanks a bunch!
 

schoolhousegrizz

Very Active Member
Messages
1,419
My Family spent last Spring learning this unit for Bear on the Spring Spot and Stalk... Was an absolute blast and we learned a lot. With the snow we had in 18/19 we were only able to access the roadless on the south side the first week in May last year.

I drew the tag this year with 8 points and just looking for info on access this year and from those that have more knowledge of this unit in the spring. Is it resonable to think we can get in there middle of April this year or is that not likely? Thinking both the acess to the Tribal Land as well as access on Wendt Ridge.

Appreciate any info...

Thank you in advance
When you guys were in there last year did you come across any bears?
 

Maxxy

Active Member
Messages
213
We did. Difficult to hunt without horses but we managed (will tackle it different this year, still without horses). Saw a few decent bears... My Nephew made a great shot on a great bear on our last day to hunt right at dusk. Came back the next day to find blood 5' wide for nearly 3/4 of a mile and 2 beds... and then it stopped. We stayed for 2 days additional and no luck. Heartbreaking. But was a blast. Hence why I put in this year, but learned a ton. Hard hunt regardless. Were you out there last year?
 

schoolhousegrizz

Very Active Member
Messages
1,419
I put in for that hunt for a long time and could never draw, so I went with San Juan. That was two years ago. I keep putting my wife in for the roadless hunt. I have been in there backpacking a couple times and rode horses in once.
 

Maxxy

Active Member
Messages
213
WIth horses it is a much different hunt and Im sure a much higher sucess rate. I dont have horses, but we are working on a plan. We were doing nearly 20 miles a day on average for 3-5 days at a time last year and I dont think I can do that again... much too fat...
 

Maxxy

Active Member
Messages
213
Im hoping to be in there the following week. Let me know if you are still that way. Thanks!
 

WhiskeyDog

Active Member
Messages
216
Quick update for those interested. Still can't access the roadless from either end by truck. Quite a bit of snow melt in the last week, but still a ways out.

Also, camping is currently prohibited in Grand county. They have been out patrolling heavily. Grand county sheriff's office has gone overboard with the regulations. It looks more like they're in the middle of a man hunt than just reminding folks they can't camp. 7 officers in 1 area on Saturday.
 

notdonhunting

Very Active Member
Messages
1,081
Yes Grand County diffently has went overboard.
The Grand county Sheriffs office knows the hot spots for campers so they probably concentrate on them areas.
 

WhiskeyDog

Active Member
Messages
216
So being in the middle of the woods with nobody around isn't social distancing?
I agree. I've made phone calls and sent emails trying to understand the camping ban. But I'm nobody and my opinion doesn't matter. Maybe if they hear from more people. Contact the Southeastern Utah Health Department if you wish to comment on the closure.
 

340Wby

Active Member
Messages
155
I hear ya Whiskey dog, makes absolutely no sense. I think everyone wants to keep safe and protect the most vulnerable but the guidelines also have to make sense. Balancing priorities is never easy but at some point common sense has to kick in. what's the difference between being at home and being in your trailer or tent?
Its kinda like Michigan, you can go kayaking but you cant fish? wow! You can go to the grocery store but only purchase certain items, I don't blame them for civil disobedience.

People aren't dim witted. this stay at home order and bans will only be tolerated for so long, shifting of the goal posts will not be accepted at the rate of which it is today...….rant over...sorry for the diatribe
 

pumaguy

Active Member
Messages
206
Still a week or so away from being able to drive to the trailhead at the top of Sego. Was there yesterday and it still is drifted in on top.
 

COZY25

Member
Messages
89
I would think that if you are parking your truck at whatever trailhead you decide to go into you would not have any issues with camping (as long as you are not camped at the trailhead).

There have been a lot of people out shed hunting the roadless and many of them backpacking in to camp with no issues from Grand County making them leave.
 

Maxxy

Active Member
Messages
213
What a discouraging week in the Roadless. No sign, literally nothing. We put in 42 miles on our boots (no horses), in areas where we saw bears last year the same time, but there was nothing. Grass is still not plentiful, and I'm hoping as that grows, it changes my outlook, but was a rough few days.

Saw very few Animals in general. 3 Elk, maybe 50 bison, No deer. A few wild horses.

If anyone has any info, please PM me. If I can be of any help with info to someone, please let me know. Thanks in advance.
 

Maxxy

Active Member
Messages
213
Well I put another 51 miles on the boots and got into some country I hadnt been too. We saw 5 mature bears. (5 additional cubs). 2 boars, 3 sows. Had a shot that didn't go my way on a great bear on Thursday Night. Overall, a much better week, but spot and stalk in the Roadless is no joke, and doing it with boots and not horses has taken its toll on me. I was really hoping to get in there this week and next, but I think I might recover a bit more and head in for the last 4 days of the hunt. We were first to the trailhead thursday, but was told there were close to 20 or more horse trailers by Friday. We honestly didnt anyone where we were but there were lots of horses somewhere. If anyone has any advice for me, shoot me a PM.
 

340Wby

Active Member
Messages
155
Well glad you are seeing bears! keep at it the bulk of the spring harvest is the last 10 days and the bears from the lower or south side should be moving into your area. Keep at it!!!!
 

Maxxy

Active Member
Messages
213
Ill do a more detailed write up. No harvest success but it was for sure an adventure. Not sure Id do it again on foot, but... give me a week and I might change my mind. :)
 

Maxxy

Active Member
Messages
213
Well I may still write up a more detailed post in the hunt adventure page with pics, but for now this will have to suffice.

I knew what I was getting myself into going into this hunt. We hunted it last year and would hike in and out each day (back to Sego Trailhead) and it beat the crap out of us. This year I drew and planned to set up a base camp and move if needed. This worked well until the end of the hunt (explanation later).

We thought this years snow would be significantly less than last year and decided to go in the first week of may. I posted above, but that was a mistake. Grass had just started and essentially there wasnt much to eat for the bears. We hunted an area we saw 4 or 5 bears the year prior , but saw absolutely nothing, very few elk and almost no deer. We were definitely too early so after 42 miles we called it and headed home.

The following week was Mothers day and we decided it would be good to let the grass grow and head in mid May. We Map scouted an area we had never been too but felt had better glassing spots than where we had previously focused. I had 4 guys helping me out and we wanted to put the hours in behind the glass (also somewhat of a mistake, explanation also later).

We went in on a Thursday, hiked 11 miles to camp (spring) and set up base camp and were out glassing by 4PM. # of us went one way and two the other way. By the time I got to the spot I was headed I had a call on my in-reach that they were already on a bear. I was 2 miles from them and they were more then 2 miles from the bear. It was unlikely He would still be there, but we gave it a shot and headed that way. By the time we had reached them they had already spotted a 2nd bear! The first bear was still visible and appeared to be eating something. Things were looking promising. We made a game plan to get to the bear and took off leaving 3 back to spot. It took nearly an hour to make it 2 miles in that nasty country, but we finally peaked out on the ridge before the bear and he was still there, definitely eating on something and the closest I could get was 575. I look back now and realized how big of a mistake I made, and while I didn't rush the shot I should have found a better set up other than what I did. I had 4 shots at a bear, not moving, and missed. I was stunned. I feel comfortable with my rifle but it is still fairly new to me. I watched as he ran after shot 4 and knew I had missed a rare and perfect opportunity. The bear had killed a freshly dropped calf elk and was eating on it. What an opportunity missed!!!

We spent the next 2 days glassing and turned up 3 sows with cubs (1 was the biggest Sow I have ever seen) but to no avail to find a Boar. I tucked my tail and headed home after 51 miles on the boots. My body was wrecked. 55lbs on my back in that country was taking its toll. I use to be in shape for this stuff, I was a D1 college wrestler, completed many Ironman's not too many years ago, but since kids became my life, my body has changed to say the least.

I decided to give it one more week and go in for the last 4 days of the hunt and see what I could turn up. I only had 2 guys coming with me the last trip and we were going to try and make the most of it.

Then I saw the weather forecast. Green River was 105/103/103/101 the 4 days we were to be hunting. Not good. We headed in and got to base camp (same as last place) and had the same plan. Elk everywhere, but for 2 days we saw no bears, and very little sign. Discouraging. On Saturday Morning we packed up camp and decided to move to a different drainage. As we approached the same spot we glassed the bear I missed from, we sat down to glass at about 830 in the AM. Sure enough, a bear was on the same hillside as the one I shot at. In fact I can almost guarantee it was the same bear. I ran the 3 miles with 55lbs on my back, dropped my pack before the last ridge and peaked over. I got confirmation that he had left the canyon 15 minutes prior. Even with that, I felt elated and encouraged!

Day hunting was out of the question as we had done that 2 days prior with no results in near 90 degree weather. We recovered that day and went back to the canyon to see if he would return. I glassed for 5 hours with nothing but deer. As I watched deer on a far ridge out of boredom, I saw 5 deer all immediately look in the same direction and stay frozen. Minutes passed and they all ran in different directions at once. With my limited knowledge of bears I didn't know what was happening. No more than 2 minutes passed and out walks a Giant bear at 700 yards. I anticipated him to walk across the face of the ridge opposing me. As I set up, he did the exact opposite and walked over the top without giving me the opportunity I needed. Another sleepless night.

Sunday (last day) we woke up and headed to the same canyon (we had seen 3 bears in this canyon in 3 days of glassing). We glassed until late morning and decided to call it. I had to be home for family obligations that night. We made the trek out. As we hit about 5 miles from the trailhead, we started seeing fresh sign in the dust. We must have seen tracks from 5-10 different bears. We had been in the wrong area for sure, but that was the gamble we took.

I don't like to eat tag soup. But this was one hunt I put my all into. I wish I had been in better shape going in. I wish I knew bears better than I did. I wish I had made that shot that I was comfortable with. Things didn't pan out and that was ok. I had a blast hunting out of a backpack in the wilderness with friends and family. Now I want the tag again, just for the challenge and I would do it the same way the next time, just with more knowledge. The roadless is no joke, and especially on foot. Bears in the roadless, on foot is a whole other story. What an adventure!!!

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