La Sal Summer Bear Hunt

woodruffhunter

Long Time Member
Messages
3,203
Hello:

I have been a long time member here but have not posted a lot lately. However, I wanted to check to see if someone could recommend a licensed guide for the La Sal Summer Bear hunt. I do realize that this is a baited and/or spot and stalk hunt (no hounds). As we live in Northern Utah, we would really like to look at the guide options. I have looked at some different guides online but if not all are for hound hunts.

Thank you!
 

snoodafruff

Member
Messages
83
For that area of the state, I would talk to Black timber outfitters (BTO). They're out of Blanding and know every square inch of San Juan elk ridge. I would guess they guide on the La Sals too.
 

BCnimrod

Member
Messages
53
I’ve always stayed away from putting baits in barrels in utah.

Proclamation says this…..

“Bait may not be contained in—nor can it include—any metal, glass, porcelain, plastic, cardboard or paper. The bait station must be marked with a sign provided by the Division and posted within 10 feet of the bait.”

Good luck. Have fun. Post pics.
 

woodruffhunter

Long Time Member
Messages
3,203
I’ve always stayed away from putting baits in barrels in utah.

Proclamation says this…..

“Bait may not be contained in—nor can it include—any metal, glass, porcelain, plastic, cardboard or paper. The bait station must be marked with a sign provided by the Division and posted within 10 feet of the bait.”

Good luck. Have fun. Post pics.
BCnimrod:

I appreciate you helping me with my bad reading comprehension. I have read the proclamation and missed the first sentence. That does through a wrench into my baiting ideas.

The trail cam rule is odd as well. It says you cannot use them to hunt bear. However, it says that they are banned between July-Dec. Does this mean they can be used during a summer a hunt? I doubt it, but need to verify.

From the proclamation"

"You may not use any trail camera (or non-handheld device) in the take of big game, cougars or bears — or to aid in the take of big game, cougars or bears — between July 31 and Dec. 31 on public or private property".

Thanks

Update: I actually called the Southeastern Office and spoke to the lady there. She confirmed what BC posted, no barrels. She did say trail cam use was okay, as long they were used outside of the prohibited month bans.
Disclaimer: The two conservation officers were out of the office when I called. What I posted was what the front desk lady told me (I do not know her job title). I still plan on speaking with a conservation officer before the hunt.
 
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elkantlers

Very Active Member
Messages
2,898
BCnimrod:

I appreciate you helping me with my bad reading comprehension. I have read the proclamation and missed the first sentence. That does through a wrench into my baiting ideas.

The trail cam rule is odd as well. It says you cannot use them to hunt bear. However, it says that they are banned between July-Dec. Does this mean they can be used during a summer a hunt? I doubt it, but need to verify.

From the proclamation"

"You may not use any trail camera (or non-handheld device) in the take of big game, cougars or bears — or to aid in the take of big game, cougars or bears — between July 31 and Dec. 31 on public or private property".

Thanks

You don't need a guide to bait bears. That, to me, is the biggest benefit to the summer bait season. It is a very doable DIY hunt.

If you put out a good bait there will be bears all over it.

As for Cameras you are perfectly legal to them during the Summer season.
 

BCnimrod

Member
Messages
53
So, wood Barrel can be used?????
Gator brings up a good point with wood. If you’d like to use a barrel it seems that a wood one may be ok to go with. Anyone know the thinking behind not allowing people to use barrels in Utah? I’ve always put my bait in a hole with some logs on two sides and on top. Makes it a little more difficult. Cameras are good to go for spring and summer. Good luck.
 

woodruffhunter

Long Time Member
Messages
3,203
"You don't need a guide to bait bears. That, to me, is the biggest benefit to the summer bait season. It is a very doable DIY hunt."

I agree, but am not sure I can keep a bait station (or 2) stocked living 300-400 miles away. I do plan on being there through a lot of the hunt (and before). I think we will be able to do the baiting.

We will be headed that way after next week and see what we can come up with.
 

just_a_hunter

Active Member
Messages
425
That can be an awesome hunt!

TgKoRAEh.jpg


Todd
 

woodruffhunter

Long Time Member
Messages
3,203
Great pic Todd. My son, along with my father made the trip down over the weekend. Unfortunately, I was not able to make it as I was on my first Alberta bear hunt.
He did find a few spots that he is going to register as bait sites and we plan on being down there this coming weekend.
 

woodruffhunter

Long Time Member
Messages
3,203
The story:

First off, I will say that I appreciate all of the members who offered advice on this hunt. I felt a bit bad asking for help as I have not posted a lot here in the past few years but regardless, it has been good to catch up here and see some of the long time members here still posting.

My son drew this tag unexpectedly. He is working full time and attending night school full time. Therefore, I decided to put him in for one of the tougher units. I was visiting him at his house and he was going through his mail. He saw a letter from the DWR and inside was a bear tag. Its embarrassing to say that we missed the email!

Fortunately, we caught this in time but still had a lot of planning to do. I was getting ready to go to Alberta on a bear hunt and although it did not go as well as I would have liked, I did learn a lot about baiting and ironically, I met some fellow Utah hunters that gave me some good ideas on baiting.

We thought about going guided but soon found out that all the guides we talked to, only ran dogs. As this hunt did not allow dogs, we decided to do it on our own. As a school teacher and also being self employed, my schedule was a bit more flexible that my sons. I was able to leave early and help get the camp set up and help with the bait stations. My son was able to make a quick trip with his grandpa, find where he wanted to bait, and also register his two stations. I was a little nervous as to where he registered the stations as this was the first time he had done this. It turned out that he did a great job.

We were unable to set baits before the hunt (by law) and had to set the stations on the opener. In addition, the hound hunt overlapped our hunt by 8 or 9 days. I am not against hound hunting one bit, I have been on 3 hounds, but I do not understand why the DWR overlaps them (probably a topic for another thread). Regardless, we did not have a lot of expectations for the first week.

After a few days our baits (both) were getting hit. Ironically, the one bait, closer to the road, had more bears on it. My son sat the baits for a few days but nothing came in. He had to go home and get to work and plans were made for the following week.

I went a back and replenished the bait. Both my sons arrived early Friday (this past Friday) and we made a plan. Both sites had been hit again but the one of the shooter bears had not hit the site the night before (at least we do not think it had). Therefore, I was leaning for him to go to the other site. You can guess what a 20 year would choose, I am sure. He chose the other bait site.

Three people were too many in my opinion, to sit the blind. Therefore, me and my wife went glassing and my 2 sons sat in the blind. I told them to sit until shooting hours ended. A lot of the bears were hitting the site a few minutes before the end of shooting hours.

The phone service was very spotty where we were camping but surprisingly, we did get spotty service from the bait sites. One of my sons sent me a text around 8:00 or 8:30 that they had seen two bears from a distance, walking in the trees. However, there were elk feeding at the bait site. About 10 minutes before shooting hours ended, my oldest son (who did not have a tag) said "they are not coming in. My younger son said they were going to wait until shooting hours ended. About 5 minutes before shooting hours ended, they heard a grunt and the elk left. They then saw the bear they were after, coming to the site. My oldest son kept telling my son two wait until the bear was broadside, while watching his clock. He kept telling him the time. Finally, 2 minutes before shooting hours ended it turned broadside. He shot, the bear hunched up and took off.

They texted me and said Austin had shot a bear. I told them to leave and to not push it. They made it back to camp later that evening and all of us were wound up. They mentioned that the bear made a the most eerie sound that they had ever heard. I knew then that he had made a good shot.

We were up at daybreak and were off to look for the bear. I did not think that it would go more than a hundred yards. We looked farther than that and I decided to double back. I looked behind where I was walking and off to my left I saw a huge blood smear on a Quakie. I walked over and soon saw the bear. I called my son over so he could be the first to the bear.

We were all relieved. We skinned the bear, quartered it and packed it out. We were all tired after getting everything taken care of. After breaking camp, having trailer issues, checking the bear in and driving 6-7 hours home, we were all about dead!

I will say that a "baited" hunt is not as easy as I would have expected. Packing bait back and forth, trying to figure out which bait site to sit, driving back and forth took a lot of time. However, it was worth it and it was great to spend it with family.

Bear front.jpg


Bear Side.jpg

Side notes:

The DNR Biologist estimated this boar to be 7-8 years old.
My son used my A-Bolt 30/06. 165 grain Federal fusion bullets. The entrance wound was big (probably 4 inches at least on the entrance and was found in the hide on the rear quarter). I did not expect this big of a hole!
 
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elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,818
Awesome work and congrats to your son on a great bear!!

I agree with you 100% that the hound hunt and the bait hunt should not overlap at all - That one doesn't feel like it was thought through very well. Would be a great thing to comment on at the next RAC/Wildlife Board meetings focused on Bears.
 

elkhunterUT

Very Active Member
Messages
1,818
Thank you guys.

Elk: I agree and I say that without wanting to offend any of the great hound guys! I support the hound hunting 100%. I just think its a mistake to overlap the hunts.
Agree - I have killed a bear with houndsmen and loved the experience. I was in awe of the effort they go through not only on the hunt but throughout the year to keep their dogs top level. This definitely isn't about one vs the other - just that the hunts should not conflict in my opinion.
 

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