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Thread: New Hunter needs help!

  1. #1
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    Default New Hunter needs help!

    Hey all,

    I'm a 29 y/o former Marine and 6'2 sized pack mule with no experience hunting anything more than white and blacktail deer in VA.

    I've been up here two years and want to get a black bear this spring. I want to learn from someone experienced how to field dress a bear.

    Any help?

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    Default Skinning help

    Roach-

    The Sportsman's Show is next weekend- check out the free seminars there for info on field dressing and meat care- great info, and that's how I first learned. Good luck!.

    -Tom-

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    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default taxidermist

    I think a taxidermist would be the best place to learn how to skin a bear, depending on what kind of mount you want to do. I did the bear baiting class a few years ago, and the guy at Knight's Taxidermy did a great slideshow presentation on how to skin a bear. I think you can view the slideshow at his shop. I think that it was the best way to learn what they need you to do in order for your mount to turn out perfect.

    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

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    Member pike_palace's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Roach View Post
    Hey all,

    I'm a 29 y/o former Marine and 6'2 sized pack mule with no experience hunting anything more than white and blacktail deer in VA.

    I've been up here two years and want to get a black bear this spring. I want to learn from someone experienced how to field dress a bear.

    Any help?
    Well you have to shoot a bear before you can skin one. Mornings and evening, glass the edges of logged out areas, be quiet, look for the berry patches and just be patient. Or if you have time hunt off a bait station.
    "Ya can't stop a bad guy with a middle finger and a bag of quarters!!!!"- Ted Nugent.

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    Member AlaskaTrueAdventure's Avatar
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    Default bear skinning

    I believe that you should know how to skinn-out a bear prior to shootin one. So check in with your preferred taxidermist. And do check out Russ Knight at the Sportsmans Show. He used to do a skinning seminar...not sure if he still does it at the show. That first bear to be skinned can be a hugh task! Second bear will be a breeze!

    And If you want a spring bear like you mentioned in your post....glass south facing slopes in May. The black bears will be eating the new, freshly growing grass as the snow-line recedes.

    Dennis
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    Default

    When your hunting them, you look for a shiny looking Black "ball", they really look round at a distance, especially if the are coming to/going away from you.
    On the snow they are unmistakable, on the Tundra they dart from bushes to bush and along willow lined creek beds to eat below or "move/hunt" along ridges and hill tops......and they sort of just walk slow among the trees, checking things out.
    When your gutting them, you can slice the stermun right up the middle.
    Skin the feets first, then the body and do the head last. Keep you cuts next to the bone and pull the hide like your taking his shirt off. The ears , eyes and lips will be cut from the "Inside" but be carefull, and take your time.

    When your skinning, its best with a very sharp knife and theres gonna be a lot of fat on the hide when your done, but try to keep as much as you can on the Meat.....Its BETTER than Caribou, unless they have been eating Salmon, but Spring , its the Best.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by pike_palace View Post
    Well you have to shoot a bear before you can skin one. Mornings and evening, glass the edges of logged out areas, be quiet, look for the berry patches and just be patient. Or if you have time hunt off a bait station.
    Aha, I may have not been clear but someone got my intention! I don't know all the areas around here well, and only have vehicle and foot access to places, so I know I'm limited.

    I do want to know how to clean the bear, as well as pack it up. I don't particularly care if I salvage the hide, I want meat!

    So, with that said. If you are willing to take someone with you on a hunt anytime soon, I am happy to go with you, help in being your pack mule, and learn how to clean the bear.

  8. #8

    Default Semper Fi

    Semper Fi Marine,
    I wholeheartedly agree, check out Russ Knights skinning class at the Sportsmans show in Anchorage next weekend. Great class. Runs 2 hours but well worth your time. Russ sells a small laminated flip chart that you can put in your pocket that is pics of the skinning process. I take it with me no matter where I hunt, its a great reference.

    Good Luck
    Brian
    CWO3 USMC Ret....

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Roach View Post
    Hey all,

    I'm a 29 y/o former Marine and 6'2 sized pack mule with no experience hunting anything more than white and blacktail deer in VA.

    I've been up here two years and want to get a black bear this spring. I want to learn from someone experienced how to field dress a bear.

    Any help?

    just like skinning a deer... except the legs are shorter. espessaly if you not after the hide..

    the hide will still need to be sealed at adfg.. then you can toss it.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Default check the regs

    even though you may not be interested in keeping the hide/skull, I believe it must be salvaged. what you do with it after you bring home is up to you.
    where did you find blacktail deer in VA?? Blacktails are a west coast species.
    Gary

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    Default Bear skin...

    Here's some helpful info:

    http://www.wildlife.alaska.gov/index...rhunt.skinning

    Good luck!
    Respect what you do not own but are privleged to enjoy, Mother Earth thanks you...

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    Member doug1980's Avatar
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    Default

    Well I am new here as well and have the same issue you do with access and knowledge. I would be happy to hunt with you, but I know as much as you do so that may not really help either of us. If you need a hunting partner though I'm game. That is if you don't mind hunting with a "flyboy"
    Former A.F Staff Sergeant

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary View Post
    even though you may not be interested in keeping the hide/skull, I believe it must be salvaged. what you do with it after you bring home is up to you.
    where did you find blacktail deer in VA?? Blacktails are a west coast species.
    Gary
    Sorry, I never complete my thoughts in a straight line when I'm on message boards. I hit the white tail up in VA. I used to have a friend that lived in California and I hunted with him once about 10 years ago somewhere near Eureka.

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by doug1980 View Post
    Well I am new here as well and have the same issue you do with access and knowledge. I would be happy to hunt with you, but I know as much as you do so that may not really help either of us. If you need a hunting partner though I'm game. That is if you don't mind hunting with a "flyboy"
    Well that's not a problem, we all know you guy's can't shoot so I know the bear will me mine. Hehe, sorry, can't help throwing one at you guys at least once daily!

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    Member doug1980's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roach View Post
    Well that's not a problem, we all know you guy's can't shoot so I know the bear will me mine. Hehe, sorry, can't help throwing one at you guys at least once daily!
    Yeah, yeah I know. However I shoot expert so don't count on it. It's all good though, when you guys in trouble we save your butts. Just let me know if you wanna go hunt.
    Former A.F Staff Sergeant

  16. #16
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    Default I prefer to skin First

    This is the method I learned from a friend of mine. I start by laying out a tarp and position the bear on one side of it. My first cut is at the rectum and goes up to the throat. Make cut through the skin only. I then make a cut up the inside of each leg to the pads of the paws. When I get to the pads I cut off the feet at the "ankles". Then skin the hide off the carcass starting at the tail and work my way to the neck, making sure to leave "evidence of sex" attached to the hide. This is where the tarp comes in handy as it help keep the meat "clean" of debris from the ground while I roll the bear as needed to skin it. When I reach the neck I remove the head from the carcass. Once I have done that I set the hide to the side and proceed to field butcher the bear. I try not to open up the body cavity till the end. I prefer to start by removing the leg quarters, backstraps, and neck meat. Once I have achieved this step I will open up the body cavity. At this point the carcass is easier the move around as needed to avoid the gut pile that I remove. I then remove the heart, liver and kidneys for consumption and I take the gall bladder out. For the gall bladder I tie it off before removing it. My best friends wife is Korean and loves it when I get a bear cause she always get the gall bladder for her to use. After removing the guts I cut up the rest of the "keepable" parts of the carcass. I put all of the meat into game bags as I remove it from the carcass. When I am done I take the hide and wrap it up in the tarp to keep as much hair off the meat while I transport it home. When I arrive home I let the wife process the meat while I finish skinning the hide off the skull. This can be tricky at times if you are saving the hide for a rug or mount. If you are then basically what you do is turn the hide "inside" out over the head while carefully cutting any connecting tissues along the skull. Kinda like it was suggested it's like taking off a shirt. As far as turning the ears or paws it depends on how much work you want to do or are willing to pay the taxidermist to do for you. When I am done removing the hide from the skull I head to my friends house(with the gift for his wife) on my way to the F&G office to have the hide and skull sealed. Once the hide is sealed, you can take it to a taxidermist, store it till later, give it away(which is what I usually do) or toss it. The same goes for the skull.

    I hope this helps and I have sent you a pm also.

    Tom

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    Default hide

    You can do some pretty neat thing swith the hide without using a taxidermist if you wanted. Tanning it is easy although fleshing and degreasing is a pain. I suggest tanning it on your own and hoop it. This is pretty simple, Take a couple saplings and as the name describes, make a hoop large enough for your hide. Lace it in using what ever material you think would work, I prefer leather laces or bailing twine. You can get pretty crazy using the same methods as dream catcher weaving and the product looks pretty decent. I usually do not "break" (soften) the hides for this as the stiffer the better for wall displays. For the ears and snout, I usually use some stif wire screening to shape them until it dries. Comes out pretty descent. I had a hall of fame trapper (Johnny Thorpe) show me this, and tried it first on my wifes first whitetail deer. Good luck on the hunt, I also recommend keeping an eye on confluences of little streams with big waters. By the way, thanks for your service but never underestimate rounds on target from this smurf .

  18. #18
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default Hunting Spring Black Bear

    Morning,
    There is tons of decent Black Bear hunting locations that are easy access via foot.
    The hillside straight across from Summit Lake Lodge and just before the Hope exit always seem to have a few bears out and about.
    Another Spot just before the Hope Exit: Donít remember the mile marker, but there is a wooden bridge crossing six mile about 2-3 miles before the Hope turn off. Cross this bridge and work your way up to the head waters of that little drainage and you fill find bears. Tons of them in the Fall.
    I doesnít work for sheep hunting but for most hunting in Alaska, if you can hike three miles in, you can loose a lot of hunters. Especially for Black Bear.
    Moose Pass: Can't remember the spelling, but just after you cross the tracks in Moose Pass there is a camp ground and trail head to a lake (3 easy miles) the area around the lake is good for a bear or too.
    The trail between Upper and Lower Russian River Lakes is usually pretty good.
    Of course if you can setup as bait station or hunt with someone that has one the odds are much better and a boat or boat access up the odds even further.
    Late evenings glassing areas where the snow is receding is a good method. Black Bears love the young tender green stuff.

    Just about any of the trails around Cooper Landing will get you into some great Black Bear hunting. In the Fall you can easily spot up to 20 bears a day using this method. It does not work as well in the spring because most of the bears are at lower elevations, but it still works.
    It is a great way to learn to area and see some awesome country. Just remember the three most important things about hunting anything in Alaska:
    1. Glass
    2. Glass
    3. Glass

    O and it helps to glass in the right spot J
    That should get you started.

    Believe itís been said but: Knights has a pocket size bear skinning instruction book that is pretty handy for some people.

  19. #19
    Member cusackla's Avatar
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    Default Bear Hides and Skulls

    I know several people that would love a bear rug that don't hunt. They would be more than happy to take the hide off of your hands. U can not sell them, but you can give them to who ever you please. It would be a waste to toss a really nice hide and skull.

    Carefull of advice about skinning bears: The leg cuts are a little tricky the 1st time, so get some good instruction, make the right cuts and save the hide for someone that would love to have it. If you are hunting on foot, than you have pretty quick access to a taxidermy, that makes things much easier, since you do not have to worry about fleshing and salting.

  20. #20

    Default internet....

    Some very good info is on the internet. You can print off diagrams on how to skin a bear for a bear rug. The skull around the eyes and ears and the feet require some know how and a sharp and small pocket knife. They will be comming out any day now on the Kenai. You need to spend time looking through binoculars, lots of time. After you spot one you have to watch the wind. When they first come out they will be looking for fresh grass that grows fast as the snow receeds. Bears are always looking for food. Learn their habits. There is no substitute for time in the field.

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