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Back of Pro LT 5500 in Phantom Grey Color with Lid Removed Next to Tent on Spring Bear Hunt

Spring Black Bear Gear List

There is something about spring in the mountains that builds excitement around melting snow, off-road vehicle access, and black bear hunting. There are many factors and weeks of spring that can set up success for spring black bear hunting in the mountain hillsides and steep burns.


I consistently find myself packing right along the snow line in early spring anxious for the first sight of a bear pillaging the newly sprouted grass hillsides. Inevitably, I get myself into a predicament of wanting to gain higher elevation and trudging through thigh-deep snow for the correct vantage across the valley. The taste of fresh snow melt in my water container is easily all that’s needed for the final push to setup camp in the perfect glassing point. Brisk air in the mornings, combined with a warming sun hitting your face mid-day is a feeling that will keep a hunter coming back spring after spring.

Spring black bear hunting can come bring unexpected challenges, and its important to have the right gear for the task. Varying temperatures, wind, and precipitation can turn an enjoyable spring hunt into a nightmare quickly without the correct preparation.

Gear List

Below is a breakdown of what my gear choices consisted of for my spring black bear hunt. This hunt was conducted in North Montana, the first week of May. Temperatures ranged from high 20’s at night to mid 50’s during the day. We did see serious wind conditions that made it difficult to glass and even stay atop glassing locations for two entire days. Eventually we retreated to our tents until the gusts subsided.

My goal is always to pack as many versatile items as possible, and keep the item count low for weight savings. At times, I under pack and wish I brought an extra layer when met with difficult conditions, but I always am comfortable enough to continue the pursuit. I find it helpful to become familiar with the max conditions that you can use a layer in, then gauge weight and expected weather for your final pack kit. I am confident in this kit for almost all my fall hunts as well.

I am able to layer all the TOPS in size Large, sometimes I wish I had a bit more loft and flexibility so the Chugach TR Jacket is an XL. I used Talus Hybrid pants due to their fit and water resistant panels knowing snow would be present. I used the Pro LT 5500 lid-less for this hunt, which allowed me a streamline system with less weight. I trimmed down my tent and only used the Mountain Star 2P rain fly with the carbon fiber poles. I find this setup perfect for no mesh body and floor less options, creating an incredibly lightweight, but sturdy tent system.










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