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I am interested in doing a spring bear hunt in Idaho. Most likely I will try to camp out and do it on my own with my brother rather than do a fully guided hunt. We are both accomplished bear hunters and do not really need a guide, though a drop camp in a good area is a consideration. I would like to find an area that has a high population of bears and that has relatively open cover on the south facing slopes so we can spot the bears out feeding and then stalk in on them. My understanding is that many areas of Idaho are too thickly vegetated for such hunting, though they would be good for bait or hound hunting. Any recommendations on areas to hunt or outfitters that would do a drop camp for spring bear in Idaho? Thanks, Brian.
 

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Brian,
Much of the Panhandle of Idaho is very brushy, however the bear population up here is very good. Two of the best places are up around Priest Lake and in the north-east corner where the Kootenai River dips down from Canada. I'd suggest getting a topo map of those areas and start there. I know of a number of people who are successful without using bait, but it is definitely more difficult. ID
 

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Hoping not give away ID's or Marshall & Alex's favorite hunting spot, I visited the panhandle about 10 years ago for about 10 days. It was just to get away and to do some fishing in a place that I had always wanted to see. Anyhow, I stayed at the Snyder Guard Station (USFS cabin) on the Moyie River in the very northern extremes of Idaho. I must have seen a half dozen or so black bears in my stay. One was a beautiful cinnamon colored bear. Lots of deer in that area too. I guess they released some Woodland Caribou in that area, but don't think they ever really took to it. Probably too many bears. At any rate, I seen most of the bears around a couple of lakes just up the mountains across the river from that cabin. Hiking was easy on some old logging roads and it sure was beautiful country. I think the names of the lakes were Queen and Spirit, but I may be wrong about that, it's been a while.

Oh, the road was gravel about 3 or 4 miles down from the blacktop highway (I can't remember what road that was either). It was right near Boundary Creek and I'm guesstamating that it was 10 miles or so from Bonner's Ferry.
 

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Alyeska,
That's the general area I'm talking about, on the northeast corner of the panhandle. Kootenai river runs through Bonner's Ferry. From Moyie Springs all the way up to Canada is good bear country! I am not familiar with Queen lake, but Spirit lake is further south, not too far from where I live. One lake with which I'm familiar up there is Perkins lake, almost on the Montana border. Also check out Copper mountain, it's just north of Perkins lake. There is plenty of forest service road access; in April there will likely still be snow on many of them. Drive up as far as you can and camp, then hike from there. The bears will be where the snow is melting and things are greening up anyway! ID
 

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That sure is some beautiful country. Great fishing too.

Those lakes I was talking about (I don't remember the names, but I'm pretty sure Queen is the one across the Moyie, on top of the mountain from the cabin) are more of the size of big ponds, small glacier carved alpine lakes. Lots of cutthroat trout in them though. Tons of bear sign and the little meadow beside the cabin was full of deer in the evening. It was a nice, relaxing vacation. It must have been in mid July and boy was it hot. I'll have to dig around in my photo collection and dig those out.
 
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