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Thread: I have spring bear questions, shameless pandering

  1. #1
    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    Default I have spring bear questions, shameless pandering

    Can someone please tie one to a tree? A really big one, and not too high up. Please.

    Ok, on a serious note - my little brother wants to come up from the lower 48 to try for a black bear and his dates are fairly flexible. Mine are limited because I'm going to guatemala on a medical service project May 9-17th. Would we be better off before or after?

    I'm not an experienced bear hunter (have only shot one and it was in 14). I'm pondering locations in 6, 7, 13, 14 or 16 as I've seen black bears in all of them. I have a raft we could hunt from, could probably swing a water taxi or close flight. How much does timing come into play when selecting the unit you choose to hunt?

    Thank you for humoring my pandering.
    Feel free to flame me, or pm.
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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    That is a little early (for a normal year),, Memorial Day, give or take is about the best Blackie hunting. Lots of bears to be had with a water taxi ride out of Whittier.
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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    What kind of shape are you in and how far are you willing to hike?

    Life is too short to pass up a day of hunting

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    I remember when I took the F&G black bear baiting class years ago, they said all the bears are out by May 23. Every year will be a little different and this year, the way it's going, more bears might be out by the first part of May. BUT......we could get a heck of a lot of snow again and could return to a regular old breakup. Hard to say right now. But, considering your time, I'd go after your trip.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    We had no bears on our bait last year until the END of June... I'd say go after your trip too.

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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    Water taxi in PWS last week in May or first week of June.
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    Member Lone Wolf1's Avatar
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    I'd agree to go after your TDY. Also, if you have the time available, Master Guide Joe Want is conducting a free Bear Hunting Seminar on Sat, 22 Feb, 0900-1400 on the second floor of the Denaina Center in conjunction with the SCI Show weekend. His expertise slants a bit toward Kodiak Brownies, but a lot of the tips are universal. Also, you will be able to "network" with a lot of other new and experienced hunters attending the seminar. Here's more info: http://www.aksafariclub.org/

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0321Tony View Post
    What kind of shape are you in and how far are you willing to hike?

    Life is too short to pass up a day of hunting
    I'm willing to treat it like a sheep hunt if we need to. I'm sort of hoping we can work hard and bag him one in the first few days and then do a less strenous hunt to try and get my nine year old kid a bear in one of the three bear limit areas. I'll be happy spending a few days in the mountains even if we never pull a trigger.

    I've read that spring bears first feed on grass, and that grass is first available at low elevations, yet everyone talks about getting up high. I understand fall bears being up high in the berries, but are spring black bears consistently up high too? And how high are we talking? I've done two August sheep hunts and never seen a bear above 4000 feet. I'm sure they are up there (because we saw sign) but I've never seen any very high.

    Thanks all for the help on the dates and bear tactics.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I would personally leave the sheep hunting for bears for September and October. In late May I would take your raft out on a water taxi from Whittier or Valdez, get set up beyond the range of most smaller boats, and hike/cruise the beaches. You should have a good number of stalks if you set aside a week for such a hunt.

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    Bear Rug and Life Size Incision


    The First diagram below will show you where to make your incisions when skinning out your bear for a Rug or Life Size.


    1. Start your first incision about 1" below the anus, keeping it centered, run it up to the top of the chest.


    * On MALE bears, when skinning for a Life Size, make sure to skin slightly off to one side of the testicles and scrotum. If you cut through them your going to loose that detail on your mount if damaged. If later you decide to do a rug your not loosing a lot of flank on one side and the male parts can be removed. If you know 100% that you are going to do a rug than go ahead and make your incision right through the middle of them.


    2. Make a second incision from the back of the pad on the front foot across the chest to the back of the pad on the oposite front foot.


    3. Your third incision should be made from the back of the pad on the rear leg, up the back of the leg about 1" below the anus, up the back of the oposite leg to the back of the pad.









    Life Size, Rug, 1/2 or 3/4 Life Size, and Shoulder Mount Incision


    The Ventral or Case Incision can be used if you are undecided wether or not you want a Rug, Life-Size, 1/2 or 3/4 Life Size, Shoulder Mount, etc. This is also a good incision to use if you are nervous about screwing something up. It's not as easy to do in the field, especially by yourself.


    *Your going to want to start your incision at the back of the pad on the rear leg, up the back of the leg about 1" below the anus, up the back of the oposite leg to the back of the pad.


    [center][center]






    Shoulder Mount Incision


    If you plan to have a shoulder mount done with your bear than go ahead and remove the front paws off your bear, at the wrist. Than make an incision approximately 12" behind the front shoulder around the circumference of the animal. The Diagram below will give you an idea where to make your incisions. Remember to always leave plenty of skin! Your taxidermist can always remove it later. Better to have to much than not enough. We can't add what isn't their to begin with!






    . . . .Skinning. . . .


    Once you have made your incisions and begin the skinning process you will have to sever the paws off the carcass at the wrist and ankle joint leaving them in the hide. This will help free up the skin. When you get to the head go ahead and sever the head at the base of the skull leaving it in the hide as well. You don't have to remove the skull or paws out of the skin if you are going to get the hide right to the freezer or to your taxidermist. Be careful when you get around the genital area. If you remove them or cut through them you will lack this detail on a Life Size mount. If you decide to have a rug done these can be removed later.




    . . . .Field Care. . . .


    It is important, once the Bear is down, get it skinned out. Bear will hold their body heat for a long time especially if it's large and carrying a lot of fat. Once the bear is skinned out, get it to a freezer or to a taxidermist as soon as possible. You will want to keep the hide as cool and dry as possible. Don't put the hide in a plastic bag. Place it in a burlap or game bag, it will allow air to circulate and keep flies and other insects off your trophy. It will also allow heat and fluids to escape.


    Heat and moisture are a hides worst enemy. They promote bacteria growth that will cause the hair to slip (hair falling out), sometimes in large patches. Once this has started it doesn't stop until all the hair has fallen out of the infected area. If it is hot outside you will need to work as quickly as you can. If it is below 40 degrees you will have a little more time to work.


    DO NOT;


    * Get the cape / skin wet if it can be helped.


    * Lay the Skin in the sun. Keep it in the shade.


    * Drag the animal when bringing it out of the woods. This can damage the hair and cause bald spots.


    * Ride the animal / hide around in the back of your truck all day showing it off to friends and family. Take pictures and get the animal in the freezer or to the taxidermist





    . . . .Freezing. . . .


    If you decide to freeze the hide don't roll the hide......FOLD IT! It will help the hide thaw out more evenly and quicker. Also don't put the skull in the middle of the hide when folding. It can take up to 3 days for a bear skull to freeze all the way buried in the hide. When you put the hide in the freezer place it on a plastic bag NOT in it, to prevent it from sticking to the freezer. After the animal is frozen than place it inside a couple plastic bags.




    . . . .Salting the Hide. . . .


    For extended trips in the field and out of state, especially during warm weather it may be necessary to salt a hide in order to preserve it for mounting or tanning. I do not normally suggest this unless you are proficient in properly skinning the cape from the skull, splitting the lips, eyes, nose, and ears, and removing the flesh and fat.


    I buy my salt at the local feed store in 50# bags. It is called Feed, Feeder,or Stock Salt. This is a fine grain salt like table salt. Make sure it is Non-Iodized. DO NOT use rock salt or mineralized salt.


    Lay the skin out flat and apply the salt liberally. There is no such thing as too much salt. Let the salt stand on the skin for 24 hours, then shake it off and salt it again. You shouldn't have to use as much salt the second time, but be sure that the entire skin is covered. Let it stand for another day and then shake the skin off and let it air dry. Large hides should be folded before they are completely dry otherwise they are difficult to transport.


    Consult with your taxidermist on how to complete these tasks and then you can properly salt a skin.

  11. #11
    Member RuggerWA's Avatar
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    I found these videos on YouTube and thought it would help a few people out this year.


    Part 1 Skinning a Bear for a Rug


    I suggest watching this video til the 2:30 minute mark. You really don't need to watch the salting part because he didn't explain how to removed the head and paws or the splitting, turning, and fleshing process. I just wanted you guys to see where exactly to detach the head.


    Part 2 Skinning a bear for a Rug

  12. #12
    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    pm sent.....

  13. #13
    Premium Member AZinAK's Avatar
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    Do you have to have tickets for the show to go to the seminars? Do you know if he's doing a sheep judging seminar? Thanks for the heads up.

    AZinAK

    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf1 View Post
    I'd agree to go after your TDY. Also, if you have the time available, Master Guide Joe Want is conducting a free Bear Hunting Seminar on Sat, 22 Feb, 0900-1400 on the second floor of the Denaina Center in conjunction with the SCI Show weekend. His expertise slants a bit toward Kodiak Brownies, but a lot of the tips are universal. Also, you will be able to "network" with a lot of other new and experienced hunters attending the seminar. Here's more info: http://www.aksafariclub.org/

  14. #14
    Member Lone Wolf1's Avatar
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    No tickets needed for seminars. Yes, he's doing a sheep judging seminar. As stated -- the seminars are free.

    http://www.aksafariclub.org/#!2013-banquet/c24jt

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    This will be a very early spring. Most of the snow is gone. Hunt two weeks before your trip anywhere you can find green shoots you should be good. The sound Can actually have later bears due to their heavy snow load. I would hunt the kenais or talkeetnas early this year !
    I come home with an honestly earned feeling that something good has taken place. It makes no difference whether I got anything, it has to do with how the day was spent. Fred Bear

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