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#214889 - 07/03/01 12:32 PM OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
Critr Gitr Offline
Retired staff

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 2456
Loc: Oak Ridge, TN
After peacefully calling a hour at a time in a qutra-zillion spots, a bear meanders in and I pop a Nosler through his shoulders, doing the classic textbook dropped-him-on-the-spot shot. With him on the ground I find that he is much bigger than I had dared hope for.

Suddenly it dawns on me that the fun is all over! I pull my trusty Buck knife...... Now what?

Having passed three-score some time ago, I realize now why I have been hunting varmints. I swore off dragging out elk a number of years ago. And this thing looks formidable.

OK, one thing at a time. Do I slit and gut him like a elk? Are there any real tricks to skinning him? Do I reach for the cell phone and call 911???

Help guys!! It is warm this afternoon, and this thing is gonna stink big time if he spoils.

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Critr


www.SaguaroSafaris.com

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#214890 - 07/03/01 03:47 PM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
Daryl Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Arizona
Well Critr, if it was me the first thing I would do is sit down and let my nerves settle cause otherwise I'm gonna cut my fingers off with that sharp knife. Also, don't unload the rifle. You been ringing the dinner bell and another bear might think you got something to eat.

OK, now that it's good and dark and you can't see what you are doing, dig out a piece of rope and tie the back legs to a couple of different trees to keep 'em outta the way. Now, get that sharp knife and go to work to gut the critr...uh~I mean the bear. Slit the belly up as far as the brisket and then empty everything out thru the opening just like you would a deer.

Now, count your fingers. All there?

OK, now you have to decide whether to skin it for a rug or a full mount? For a rug I slit the belly and inside each leg and don't skin out the feet. The taxidermist will have to wire in the claws when he does that. If you want a full mount you better discuss skinning with your taxidermist.

Now you can quarter the animal and hang the quarters to cool while your packin stuff out. Don't forget to save that tooth for Game and Fish and be sure to report the kill. Good luck!!

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Take care,
Daryl

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#214891 - 07/03/01 05:17 PM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
Michael J. McCasland Offline
Retired PM Staff

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 9470
Loc: Tucson,Az
A number of years ago I got one of those $7.99 videos at the store about skinning an animal for transport. Until that point I thought that I understood how to remove an animal from its hide for food processing. Well this video showed me something new.

The fella on the video had just taken a bear that he wanted for the meat and was not interested in the hide. This is gointa' sound weard so stay with me. The first thing that he did was roll it onto its stomach and spread its legs out. Then he cut the hide from tail to the back of the bears head. Then he cut down the back of all legs. Using normal skinning technique he skinned down both sides until the legs were free of hide. At this point most of the hide was under the bear around its stomach/chest on the ground. With the skin off the lege he removed the shoulders the way you would a deer. The back legs were removed by cutting the meat from the pelvis and from around the ball joint. The legs are now removed to hang and cool. The bear now is only torso and head. Cut the spine in front of the pelvis, being careful not to hit the intestines. Carefuly cut along the lions to the ribs, then along the ribs to the top of the ribs. Using a pruning clipper cut the ribs down both sides of the back bone. This frees the back bone, neck and the head to be removed and cut into manageable pieces. The stomach, ribs, side meat are never touched and is left with the skin to rot or the skin is tied around the gut pile, dragged to a hole and burried. You now have a pile of manageable meat, you did not have to mess with the guts, heart lungs ect. Sounds and looked like a nice neat little operation.

Awful waste of a good hide though.

Michael

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#214892 - 07/03/01 06:21 PM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
Critr Gitr Offline
Retired staff

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 2456
Loc: Oak Ridge, TN
Yes, the hide would be the main thing I would want. I have heard that the meat is terribly greasy. I wonder if we would even be able to eat it.

Daryl, thanks for the skinning tips. Sounds like I'll be there a while.......

Although I hunt alone a lot, it sounds like it would be worthwhile for 2 or more guys to hunt in the same area, if not together, so if a bear is down there will be help.

Anyone want to coordinate bear/cat/coyote hunting on the rim this fall???

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Critr


www.SaguaroSafaris.com

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#214893 - 07/03/01 07:49 PM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
Bob Mc Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Fort Jones, California, USA
Critr Gitr,

I have also passed that 3 score, exactly 3 years ago. Take a little advise from an old hand at banging his head against the wall. Before you ever have that bear on the ground, in fact before you ever pull the trigger, give some thought to how you will get a bear out of where ever you are. You may have dragged out many a deer, but I guarantee you haven't lived until you try to drag out a bear. There is absolutely nothing any more awkward and ungainly to handle. Somewhat like a bowl of jello wrapped in a hide!

Believe me, it has been many years since I back packed a bear out of a canyon. I figured out long ago that a camera is a much lighter load. These days I wouldn't even consider killing a bear in a place where I couldn't get to it with a pick-up truck or a good dependable pack animal.

My favorite place to kill a bear? Straight uphill from the truck, where I could just kick him and let him roll!

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#214894 - 07/03/01 08:00 PM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
Bob Mc Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Fort Jones, California, USA
Critr,

Regarding the meat, it can be very good, depending on what the bear has been eating. If it has been eating acorns, berries, ect, it is probably a good piece of meat. If it has been eating carrion, fish, ect, you have probably wasted a bullet.

Bear meat is not marbled like beef, and the fat can be trimmed off. In my personal opinion, steak is about the worse way to eat bear meat, but roasts and stews can be very good. And don't throw all of that fat away. Render it out. The old time settlers used to kill bear every fall as much for the fat as for the meat. The lard is excellent for baking any kind of pastry from biscuit to pie crusts, and I have heard there is nothing better for frying donuts.

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#214895 - 07/03/01 09:28 PM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
Daryl Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/23/01
Posts: 806
Loc: Arizona
Hey Critr,

I got another idea if you want a hunting pard. I plan to hunt bears when the season opens and I have a really neat way to get them out. My dad lives in Show Low and has 3 mules we could use plus I have a big stout registered Morgan. So whatcha think?

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Take care,
Daryl

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#214896 - 07/03/01 10:17 PM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
Lonny Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 1598
Loc: Lewiston, Idaho USA
Critr,

Make sure to have some rope,lightweight meat bags,game saw,pack frame with you and those latex throw away gloves are nice to have also when working on a bear.

Check with some taxidermists many of them can give you a picture of what they need you to do in the field when skinning a bear. Like the saying goes "A picture is worth a thousand words" The first bear I ever skinned was with the aid of a business card from a taxidermist that showed where to make the proper cuts for a bear rug.

Unless you know what you are doing I would let the taxidermist skin out the head and paws that is what you are paying them for and most prefer to do it themselves anyway. You must be very wary of hair slippage. Spread out the hide and let it cool as best you can. Don't roll hide up into a ball this will trap heat in. I learned the hard way one time by rolling a hide up with the skull still in it and putting it in a game bag then in the freezer overnight planning to take it to the taxidermist the next day. Some hair slippage occured around one eye because it couldn't cool out properly in the rolled up positon even in the freezer. Fortunately the taxidermist did some fantastic work and was able to save it.

If you get a male bear don't forget to salvage the "penal bone" that bears have. It makes a interesting conversation piece anyway. Good luck to you on your hunt.

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#214897 - 07/04/01 06:16 PM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
Loel Offline
New Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 10
Loc: Eagle River, Alaska
As Bob said, what they eat is how they taste.

I cut all of my bear into stew meat. You can put it in a pot of beans, stews, shiskibobs, or what ever you can come up with. One of my favorites is to cook it in a crock pot untill it falls apart then add BBQ sause to it. Makes a good sandwich.

Don't forget to cut the back straps out of it. Those are the only things I cut into steaks. Just butterfly cut them and you are in business.

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#214898 - 07/04/01 09:39 PM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
Critr Gitr Offline
Retired staff

Registered: 04/21/01
Posts: 2456
Loc: Oak Ridge, TN
This is great. Keep it coming guys, you really got me thinking.

Daryl, we will have to talk more as the time gets near.

Loel, thanks, and welcome to Predator Masters!!

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Critr


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, USA!!!
www.SaguaroSafaris.com

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#214899 - 07/05/01 12:43 AM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
Bob Mc Offline
Die Hard Member

Registered: 04/24/01
Posts: 597
Loc: Fort Jones, California, USA
Critr,

Another use for the meat. Don't forget to make some sausage. I have had straight bear sausage, and I have had it mixed with pork. I have had it plain, and I have had it smoked. It was all good. The trick is in the seasoning. I have also had commercially prepared salami. Delicious!

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#214900 - 07/08/01 10:49 PM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
Coyote Bob Offline
New Member

Registered: 06/21/01
Posts: 8
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO
Thanks for posting this question, Critr. I really enjoy the knowledge that is available around here. So many questions and so many answers from guys who have "been there and done that"

Hope we are both able to bag (and drag out) a bear this year.

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#214901 - 07/13/01 06:23 PM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
NM Kid Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 218
Loc: Farmington NM
Hello Critr,

Now the key to the bear hunt is to have a good mule. Preferable a kid that is fit and say in his early 20's. That way he can pack it out. God I feel like a mule between my dad and his friends...

I am faced with a similat dilemia... On my oryx hunt more than likely i will have to pack it out. These animals get to be about 600 lbs on the hoof. I am going to borrow a friends three wheeled game hauler. That should help move things a bit faster. Maybe look into something like that? They have them in Cabelas for a reasonable ammt. Thats if you are able to roll it over the terrain at hand.

Best of luck on the big meat eater,

Chad

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#214902 - 07/16/01 09:26 AM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
DesertRam Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 8786
Loc: Las Cruces, NM USA
Hey Chad, don't sweat the oryx packing. On my hunt they let us drive right to it. You have to stay on the roads while hunting, but to retrieve legally taken game you can leave the road and go mesquite bashing. Have two spare tires and get ready. I had to thread my way through a mile of desert to get to mine. Then it was just a quick twenty yard drag down the hill. I backed up a wash and dropped the tailgate. Didn't even have to lift her, just slid her right in. Most of the country these critters call home is open enough to do this. If you can borrow the game hauler, do it though, just in case you take a big ol' bull on top of a mountain you can't climb in the truck!

You can also use ATVs if they are licensed, you have taken a safety course, and have a helmet (I think). On my hunt the G&F wanted the whole animal if at all possible (sans innards, that is). They measure the horns, estimate the weight, check the sex, ask you if had a young 'un with it or in it (in the case of cow). It's a pretty regulated hunt, but worth it.

I got a call from my taxidermist this weekend saying mine was finally ready. She takes a while, but does good work. Do you have someone lined up to mount yours? If not, I can give the name and phone # of this gal. On my hunt she and her assistant were set up at the gate to the Missile Range when we came out. She caped it out to her specifications, and skinned the rest of the animal for me (I had the rest of the hide made into a rug). Her prices are reasonable too. Let me know.

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#214903 - 07/21/01 09:45 PM Re: OK, suppose I just shot a bear......
Roddo Offline
New Member

Registered: 05/10/01
Posts: 16
Loc: Hermiston, OR
As to your questions about what to do with it after it is dead. No one mentioned making hamburger, bearburger if you will. Just make sure whoever grinds it doesn't add anthing to it, like beef suet or anything else. As far as the steaks go, they have to be cooked right. They need to be cooked done like a pork steak, but the go from done to shoe leather in a very short time. They are also great when rolled in flour, fried, and then simmered in brown gravy. It also makes good summer sausage, polish susage, and pepperoni. I will also say that if you need to go get help getting it out, you need to get it opened up to cool out before you go. This will probably get serious criticism from fellow hunters, but on one occsion we had to leave a good sized boar to go get help getting it out, we gutted him like you would a deer, and threw him in a shady creek to cool out with water running into the gut cavity and out the mouth.when we returned he was cooled ut and no worse for the wear. the meat tasted great, and the hide made a great rug, however this was an "extreme" case and I would reccommend this as a last resort only.
I didn't mean to ramble on so long, but I hope it helped.

Rod
ps, My dad and I cut our own meat and removed all the bones from the steaks, I believe this makes a world of difference.

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"Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes."--Oscar Wilde

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