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Thread: BOARS Killing CUBS..........My Opinion.

  1. #1

    Default BOARS Killing CUBS..........My Opinion.

    This is a post I made on another forum today.......and I am to lazy to re-word it for this forum, Sorry.
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    I have found that there is a period of "Roughly" 90'ish days after cubs have been driven off by their mother so that she can come into estrous (Heat); Where the cubs will be crying and advance toward me. It is my "opinion" that these young bears are not aggressive, but lonely.

    They just want what they had with their "bonded" family unit. They are scared and very lonely. Sadly this behavior is highly fatal for cubs, they will be killed by male bears (which the lonely cubs will walk right up to) and eaten. This lonely and lost behavior by clueless cubs is miss-understood by humans who interpret this strange behaviors aggression or rabies (the reason for the humans behavior is that they start from being fearful of bears.

    The cub in the photo, with huge ears is a classic example. I have had several cubs (Over the last 45 years) walk right up to with-in 3 or 4 feet and start eating grass and wild flowers. And when I get bored and walk away......most times they will follow me.

    I think there are more cubs killed by boars for this behavior, than are killed under the generally accepted theory of infanticide to bring the sows into estrous cycle.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007


    Those are very intriguing observations AGL, while I have not had them walk right up to me, I have observed that these young bears are often the most clueless ones as far as mucking about in trash, chewing on camps, romping about with dogs and the response to that by us humans can also add to their demise.

    I would think that it would be hard to tease out statistically just exactly why a young bear was chomped or eaten by a male but your observations and theory certainly carry some weight and you likely have more time in the field during this time period than most. Good topic.

  3. #3


    The only cubs I've seen killed firsthand were always youngsters cut away from their moms by the boars. Mom gave a hearty chase and maybe got in a few licks, but the boar always made off through the bushes with a cub dangling from its jaws.

    By the time the cubs were grown and moms were kicking them out, they were so conditioned to avoid other bears, I never saw a boar able to get close. Now, if you want to see some aggression and mighty blows, watch what happens when they get too close to mom after she's kicked them out!

  4. #4


    To be clear I am not saying that "infanticide" is not a primary cause of cub mortality in their "First" year of life.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014


    I was charged by a sow with a year old cub when I was logging. The 2 were being tailed by a huge boar who wanted to breed her. I was out in the brush unhooking a guy line. I doubt she would have stopped but for my coworker who yelled from the landing. She was huffing, snorting, teeth popping, slobbering mad. She looked back and forth between him and me, and finally caught up to her yearling. We went back after work and put all 3 of them in the freezer.
    Hunt Ethically. Respect the Environment.

  6. #6
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Valdez, Alaska


    In the spring if the cubs are killed the sow will come into estrus again that spring. If the cubs are nursing, she won't. I have had boars chasing sows with cubs in the spring before. Even had a brown bear with a 1 year old chasing a chocolate black bear with 3 cubs.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
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  7. #7
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Big Lake


    When I did one of my articles I interviewed several biologists about bear heat/esterus/rut.
    Basically bears can breed anytime they want to, induced ovulation was the term he used. Which is why when bears do mate it takes a long time, the longer he breeds her the more likely her ovulation. She is not in heat or ovulating before the boar begins breeding her. He reported seeing sows breed in October and that the wide range of time they could be breed speaks to the variances in the size of Cubs in the spring. Basically when the sow is ready she has some gland that signals that and then once breeding starts she ovulates. That way no eggs are wasted because a boar never found her since they are not herd animals like deer or caribou.
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