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Thread: Judging size on Bear

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    Member SANDRAT's Avatar
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    Default Judging size on Bear

    What is the best way to judge size on a bear from a distance ? I'm hunting a couple of different areas this year,for both black and grizz,where I will likely spot the bear a long ways off.Be kind of a ****** to take the effort to move in and find it's not much bigger than my black lab.A few guys have told me it is tough to figure the size of a bear from a distance................

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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    This is tricky but you will know a big brute when you see one. One thing I've found that really helps me is the way they walk. Smaller blackies that are skinny walk much like a dog and have a very skinny stance. The width of the stance says allot. The bigger bears have a much wider stance and it almost appears as if their legs are bowed out a bit. If you get a really big bear you may even notice that his belly is closer to the ground.
    It's a very tough thing to do so if you have something that will give you a size reference nearby it would be a big help. Most guys that are hunting over bait will use the bait barrel as a size reference.
    Good Luck.

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    I've heard the ears are a good check. Go for the ones with tiny ears.

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    The absolute "Easiest" way to size up a Bear of any type, at any distance, If you can, is to look at his tracks.

    Then youll have rough idea before you start your stalk. Theres a formula out there, read it here before, but in my book, if they are larger than my size 11 winter boots, then it IS Big. ~~LOL!!~~
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

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    As 907pride says, the way big ones walk, and as Stranger says, tracks are the easiest way to size a bear up.

    From a distance I like to see if they 'have' a neck, and if I can get a closer frontal view, flat head with distance between small ears.
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    Yes, big bears will have a neck. Much like a polar bear, the big ones do in fact have pretty long necks. I also like massive shoulders....if they are walking towards you a big bear's shoulders will stick out way beyond the width of his head. Also, as far as brownies go, standing broadside, if you can count 5 head lengths inside the length of it's body then it is a good bear.

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    The area I'm hunting this year is high tundra above timberline,it's fairly easy to spot them down in the breaks and ravines.The trick is to get into a good spot,close enough for a shot, without getting busted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SANDRAT View Post
    What is the best way to judge size on a bear from a distance ? I'm hunting a couple of different areas this year,for both black and grizz,where I will likely spot the bear a long ways off.Be kind of a ****** to take the effort to move in and find it's not much bigger than my black lab.A few guys have told me it is tough to figure the size of a bear from a distance................
    You are probably not going to like my answer but here it is. Experience. The more bears you see the better you will be at judging them IMO. You can look at the ears, the shoulders, the belly, how fast or slow they move etc., but in reality, after it is all said and done, the more bears you see before and after they hit the ground is the best way to learn how big they are. Go out and buy some movies about bear hunting. Watch a bunch of hunting movies. Try to guess the size of the bear before the kill and see how close you come. I know it is not the real thing, but under the circumstances I don't know how else you will learn without the experience. Good luck.

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    2 big ones killed by my great grand father earlly in the last cnetury.
    hope thes helps.
    wes
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    Awesome picture! Quite vintage- however, unless your great grand father was a lot taller than he looks, those aren't large bears at all. More like 3 year old kick outs.
    Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes. ~Wilde

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    Member 907pride's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Sockeye1. Although it's a very cool photo, those are definitely sub-adult. You have to remember that when people say they shot an 8' bear, they are measuring from the tail to the nose and not from the foot to nose. I always hear people from the interior say that they shot or know of somebody that shot an interior grizzly that was a 10 footer. I grew up in the interior and I know better. The largest grizz on record in Alaska (and world record) had a skull width of 10-9/16" which tells me that the bear wasn't more than a 10.5' from tail to nose. Thats a monster interior grizz. I just think that people don't really know how to measure bears and end up telling people some fish stories. Just my $0.02

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    Before I went hunting black bear in Idaho for the first time with a handgun- I wondered about judging as well. I then decided to use the reticle at yardage for comparison of size (based on size of nose to tail) and that helps if you know the range. I was able to estimate the bear I shot pretty easily- granted it was not a great distance but something to think about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 907pride View Post
    I have to agree with Sockeye1. Although it's a very cool photo, those are definitely sub-adult. You have to remember that when people say they shot an 8' bear, they are measuring from the tail to the nose and not from the foot to nose. I always hear people from the interior say that they shot or know of somebody that shot an interior grizzly that was a 10 footer. I grew up in the interior and I know better. The largest grizz on record in Alaska (and world record) had a skull width of 10-9/16" which tells me that the bear wasn't more than a 10.5' from tail to nose. Thats a monster interior grizz. I just think that people don't really know how to measure bears and end up telling people some fish stories. Just my $0.02
    Agreed....that's why I always seem to ask....."but what did he square?".....lol

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