BWCA da Bears Boundary Waters Group Forum: Hunting in the BWCA
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walleyehunter422
member (39)member
 
09/10/2017 03:43PM   (Thread Older Than 3 Years)
I was looking to hunt bear in the bwca. Has anyone done this here? I was reading the regs on the mn dnr and it said no bait station in the bwca which I kind of understand. But how else are you going to find a bear? I've never bear hunted before ,but I've read a lot about it. Or maybe I should try somewhere else in minnesota. I'm from South Dakota so Minnesota is the closest bears to me.
 
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nofish
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09/11/2017 10:18AM  
Couple thoughts.

You could call around to outfitters and ask if there have been reports of problem bears in specific areas or campsites. Then you could target those areas. At least then you know there has been an active bear in the area and might make it a bit easier to pattern.

I know you can't leave bait in the BWCA and it would be a pain to maintain anyways so one thing you could try is a scent burn. It might bring a problem bear in.

The real trick with bear hunting is patterning the bear. Very hard to do without a bait station and trail cameras. Even if you found a place outside of the BWCA where you could run a bait station or 3 your proximity might be an issue as you'd have some driving to do to maintain the sites.
 
walleye_hunter
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09/12/2017 05:49PM  
I think bear hunting in the Boundary Waters would be a fun and challenging hunt. It's impossible to spot and stalk since you can only see about 4 feet through the woods. I think some people do a honey burn. I know success rates are very low. The DNR only issues about 50 tags for the Boundary Waters zone which is too bad. In my opinion it should be an OTC tag. A few less bears would be good for the bears and the moose.
 
nofish
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09/13/2017 12:53AM  
Challenging might be an understatement for a BWCA bear hunt. Both the hunt itself and the work involved in getting your game out of the BWCA would make it a real challenge.

I'm sure success rates are very very low but of course that makes it all the more sweet if it you're successful.

I think you're best bet is to get into an area that is known to have a lot of bears. From there start looking for natural forage and key in on that for starters. You could then try a burn to see if you can draw a bear in by his nose.

This is all made easier if you can spent some time before the season in the BWCA scouting and forming a plan. It could be tough to put a plan together on the fly if you don't see the land before your hunting trip. i've had to adjust hunting plans on the fly and move into new unscouted areas and it makes it really hard to be confident in your plan when you don't have a full clear picture of the area.
 
walleye_hunter
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09/13/2017 05:13PM  
Walleyehunter422-I'd be happy to bait for you if you draw a tag for area 31. You'd be hunting about 10 miles from Grand Marais. We could work out a trade. Minnesota bear hunt for a South Dakota deer hunt.
 
09/13/2017 10:36PM  
I have a buddy that went last year and it's as hard as you guys have all mentioned. I understand the issue with leaving bait but that makes an already difficult hunt even harder. Add on top of just finding and shooting a bear, getting the thing out is a whole different animal. When we moose hunted the BW the weather was cold enough we could have just quartered and hung our meat but chances are very good that heat will be an issue during bear season. That means you gotta get out quick or have some other method of cooling the meat which would add significant weight to your gear.

With all of that said there are a few areas that are continually mentioned every year for nuisance bears. While you might not be hunting "the bear", there's a reason the same places come up year after year and that's where I would focus my efforts.
 
walleyehunter422
member (39)member
 
09/16/2017 10:27AM  
Thanks for all the information. I'll keep doing research and planning (that's half the fun). I'm hoping I can do some scouting on my june bwca fishing trip. Maybe change my entry point to a "nusance bear" entry point. The more I look into it; it seems to be a lot of work. I like a challenge, but... I'm hoping it could happen off of an entry lake so I'm not portaging 400+ of meat, hide and extra gear.

Walleye_hunter I like your offer but I'm new to deer hunting as well, and in the south east area of South Dakota where I'm from, there is a lot of pressure on public land, so you almost need private land to have a successful hunt which I unfortunately don't have. I didn't grow up hunting so I'm missing some of those hunting family friends contacts. I prefer to deer hunt the Black Hills.
 
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