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180ls1

Spring vs Fall Bears

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Why does it seem like everyone talks about how hard spring bear hunting is? Like its harder than fall. Is that true in AZ? Is it just AZ bear hunting is rough no matter how you slice it?

From what I have gathered, in other states, hunters greatly prefer spring hunting when targeting bears. A lot of the fall kills are when a guy bumps into a bear and has a bear tag in his pocket while hunting deer/elk.

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From what I’ve read they move father around in the fall looking for food as they fatten up before winter hibernation, making them more vulnerable/susceptible in easier areas to glass. Springtime they are still waking up, not moving around as much, still skinny from hibernation, still in rough, tough to reach areas. But i really don’t really know I’ve yet to see a bear in AZ. Hoping to change that this year.

also fall you can use dogs and seasons are longer with higher sow quotas than spring

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I’ve killed two spring bears and can say that it’s hard. Haven’t killed a fall bear yet. 

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You are correct, listening to podcasts and watching shows on TV, spring seems to the ideal season for bear hunting across the west. For some reason in AZ the spring is just tough. I have killed a number of AZ bears, all in the fall. I probably see 6 - 10 fall bears to 1 in the spring. Success rates start to increase around mid April each year; by this time the rifle units usually close due to sow quotas or the season ends at the end of April, for most units….not all.

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On 4/8/2022 at 8:49 AM, GJMauro12 said:

I’ve killed two spring bears and can say that it’s hard. Haven’t killed a fall bear yet. 

Have you specifically hunted them in both seasons?

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On 4/8/2022 at 9:21 AM, lcyardball said:

You are correct, listening to podcasts and watching shows on TV, spring seems to the ideal season for bear hunting across the west. For some reason in AZ the spring is just tough. I have killed a number of AZ bears, all in the fall. I probably see 6 - 10 fall bears to 1 in the spring. Success rates start to increase around mid April each year; by this time the rifle units usually close due to sow quotas or the season ends at the end of April, for most units….not all.

Interesting, good to know. I like bow hunting so I wonder if that may be a better option for a guy without dogs.

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13 hours ago, 180ls1 said:

Have you specifically hunted them in both seasons?

I’ve missed two in the fall and those pack outs wouldn’t of been any easier than the spring hunts. 

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22 and 6b close down tomorrow at sundown. And 27 and 34A have both had one sow shot in each but are still open until they reach their sow quotas. Was really hoping a member on here might post about their success. Sounds like the bears are moving around now

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Spring is tough as the bears don’t move much so you really gotta be in their kitchen. I have got 2 bears both fall. I don’t dog hunt though so not sure about any of those odds. Never successfully called a bear in either just glassing for me. 

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