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A black bear came in running to my calls!

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A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby SilentDeath » 01 08, 2020 •  [Post 1]

So I have a story and a question. The story goes like this. Last fall I was in an OTC unit in Colorado bow hunting elk the second week of September. Checking out a new area, I was approximately 30 yards apart from my hunting partner and we call back and forth with cow calls while walking through the woods. Upon jumping an elk just as I crested a hill, I heard it running in the thick brush and gave it the nervous grunt twice. It stopped approximately what sounded like 40 yards away, and I could hear it start to walk back because I started giving it the regathering cow sound. my buddy was directly up the hill to my left on top of the ridge and I was down hill working on a bench. I did the regathering sound and would pause a second just to listen for anything, and do it again. After the 5th call in a row, I could hear the elk walking and getting close, and was about to pop out of the brush, which was thick, about 15 yards in front of me in a shooting Lane. I also simultaneously heard to my left something crashing and running. that is the exact time my buddy up on the hill above me could see down, and saw a black bear stand on its hind legs after about my third call, listen, and get a bearing on the fourth call, and take off on a dead Sprint straight at me in the thick brush from about 50 yards away at my 5th call. So right as I stop and heard this going on my buddy yelled, bear! Headed your way! so I immediately put my bow down and Drew my pistol and started yelling to stop the bear. Of course the elk turned and ran away, and the bear stopped in his tracks at about 30 yards. He was so convinced there was an elk, he just stood there trying to figure out what was yelling at him from the top of the hill and what was yelling at him in front of him where he had just heard the elk sounds come from. so my buddy had his pistol out, and the bear won't leave, so I told him to throw something at it. He chucked a 4 ft log that was 3 inch diameter and nailed the bear in the side. The Bear just flinched a little and looked up the hill at him, and then jumped up on a log and started walking towards my buddy! At this point I could finally see it because it came out of the brush in front of me, but it was not afraid of us and did not know what we were. About a 300 lb plus black bear! It's slowly working between us to get the wind, and even when it did smell us it's still did not want to leave. we probably yelled at it for between 5 and 10 minutes, and it's slowly worked out between us the other way. So my question is, is there any way to prevent calling in a predator in a situation like that? I doubt it, but it was about my only chance at a bull that week, and if there's anything I could do differently I would love your guys's advice. Thanks!
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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby wawhitey » 01 08, 2020 •  [Post 2]

Here in washington hound hunting is illegal for cougar. The vast majority of lions taken here are incidental to deer and elk hunting. Many are taken by guys calling elk. Elk is prey. If youre making prey sounds, you have to expect that you may call in predators. Bears, wolves, lions.

Black bears are far more predatory than people believe. Multiple multi-year studies in idaho have shown higher black bear predation on elk calves than cougar or wolf predation.

A friend of mine a couple years ago was bowhunting elk, cow calling, and a big blackie came charging in. He yelled snd waved his arms. It stopped and looked at him for a second, then started charging him again. He unloaded his .357 into it. Problem solved.

This last august i made 12 attempts to call black bears. I was just making normal fawn talk, like a fawn calling for its mom. Out of 12 attempts i called in 3 bears that im aware of, and killed 2 of them. Think about that. 25% response rate from bears by making calm fawn vocalizations. And 11 of the 12 calling sessions were cold calling, where i didnt know if a bear was in hearing range. Only one of the 12 attempts, my last of the season, was with a bear already spotted. Close to 200 yards out. The very second i made the first fawn bleat she came running right at me. Smallish, but older sow.

Bears are major predators of deer elk and moose. If you hunt any of the above, then the way i see it hunting bears is your duty. And hey, the meat is fantastic, so win-win.
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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby SilentDeath » 01 09, 2020 •  [Post 3]

Wow! Thanks for the input. I guess I hadn't really kept my head on a swivel the last few years while calling. The only reason I had my 45 with me is because some locals told us there were a lot cats up there. Otherwise I'm from Minnesota and have never had problems with black bears coming into deer calls. I think I will carry it with me from now on out west when I'm using elk calls in Bear country! I will have to look up if shooting a bear with a handgun during bow season is legal in Colorado. They finally lowered their non-resident tags to a hundred bucks for a bear, because they are getting so many.
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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby wawhitey » 01 09, 2020 •  [Post 4]

SilentDeath wrote:Wow! Thanks for the input. I guess I hadn't really kept my head on a swivel the last few years while calling. The only reason I had my 45 with me is because some locals told us there were a lot cats up there. Otherwise I'm from Minnesota and have never had problems with black bears coming into deer calls. I think I will carry it with me from now on out west when I'm using elk calls in Bear country! I will have to look up if shooting a bear with a handgun during bow season is legal in Colorado. They finally lowered their non-resident tags to a hundred bucks for a bear, because they are getting so many.


May be due to the time of year youre making deer calls. Go out may through september where there are a good number of bears, sit somewhere kinda hidden. Make pretty regular fawn bleats for 20 minutes or so. I bet you wont have to do that too many times before you get a big black visitor. Some come charging in hard, some sneak in slow like a cat. Theres just no telling how it will go.
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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby Lefty » 01 09, 2020 •  [Post 5]

Neighbor, this fall, while making calling sequence called in a 3 1/2 year old blackbear. Charged in, knocking over his 13 year-old son who was the shooter.
The bear hit the brakes, turned, ran 45 yards where he put an arrow in him.
I have yet to call one in seems like fun
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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby saddlesore » 01 09, 2020 •  [Post 6]

That is why Colorado is offering those $100 bear tags. One area I hunt, bears come around if they hear a shot. I guess they think it means a fresh gut pile. Leaving a fresh kill out over night hanging, you have more of chance of losing a lot of it to bears rather than meat spoilage.

Not sure, but I suspect if you would have shot the bear with handgun or with an arrow and you had no bear tag, you would have hard time with a self defense plea since you called it.You had better have some bite marks on you if you do.

Black bears a re not notorious for charging humans, even those with cubs. .They might make a mistake, but more probably they will figure that out before it all happens.I haven't encountered many bears in my hunting career,but nevrer had problem with them. Moose are different though.

Thank the liberals for the voter initiatives that banned spring bear hunting and hunting them with dogs. Of course if the wolf reintroduction passes this fall, you won't have to worry about bears while elk hunting because there will not be any elk
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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby wawhitey » 01 09, 2020 •  [Post 7]

I dont think a black besr is really a threat to an adult cow elk, but where there are cows, there are calfs. I think thsts why theyll come running into cow calls.

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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby Indian Summer » 01 10, 2020 •  [Post 8]

I called a wolf in to 10 yards with a cow call. I heard them howling so I got on a heavy game trail and sat up against a big doug fir on the uphill side. Didn’t take long at all. The interesting part is I was holding my pistol up aiming toward the trail thinking man if one of those wolves would come down that trail it would be an easy shot. Next thing I knew he walked right in front if my sights.
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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby wawhitey » 01 10, 2020 •  [Post 9]

Indian Summer wrote:I called a wolf in to 10 yards with a cow call. I heard them howling so I got on a heavy game trail and sat up against a big doug fir on the uphill side. Didn’t take long at all. The interesting part is I was holding my pistol up aiming toward the trail thinking man if one of those wolves would come down that trail it would be an easy shot. Next thing I knew he walked right in front if my sights.


You know you cant post something like that without attaching a pic of a dead wolf. Not only is it a bannable offense, but its just plain ol bad hunting forum ettiquette. Pics, or it didnt happen
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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby ishy » 01 13, 2020 •  [Post 10]

Old Wayne Carlton video on calling elk said if your calling in predators your calling right. He also had a great video just on calling bears that had some great footage. It's the best non elk video I've ever watched. I've called in coyotes, bears, and a lion during elk season. Still anxious for a wolf. For me it's part of the adventure.
+1 we need pics IS or it didn't happen!
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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby Indian Summer » 01 14, 2020 •  [Post 11]

I’ll dig one up. It’s in my laptop. Nothing special because that was my pre Clip Shot days.
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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby Tigger » 01 14, 2020 •  [Post 12]

Just a note to RJ, make sure you note the first Wapiti Talk foul of the year is on Indian Summer.

Indian Summer (-1) for posting a good story with no picture!
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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby >>>---WW----> » 01 14, 2020 •  [Post 13]

I have never had a bear come in while calling. However, I did have one of those big white guard dogs that sheep ranchers use to guard their flock come sneaking in for what he thought might be a free meal.
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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby WapitiTalk1 » 01 14, 2020 •  [Post 14]

Tigger wrote:Just a note to RJ, make sure you note the first Wapiti Talk foul of the year is on Indian Summer.

Indian Summer (-1) for posting a good story with no picture!


He’s been awarded/charged one WT demerit. I think he’s up to 9 or 20 now :lol:
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Re: A black bear came in running to my calls!

Postby wawhitey » 01 15, 2020 •  [Post 15]

WapitiTalk1 wrote:
Tigger wrote:Just a note to RJ, make sure you note the first Wapiti Talk foul of the year is on Indian Summer.

Indian Summer (-1) for posting a good story with no picture!


He’s been awarded/charged one WT demerit. I think he’s up to 9 or 20 now :lol:



One more demerit and we should hold a wt contest, the winner gets to choose his new profile pic.
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