We had a big discussion in moose camp this weekend about what type of bear would you rather shoot. A big one or a little one. The answer seems obvious to some, big, right? But recent experiences have made me re-think that a bit.
I was hunting with a buddy this spring for black bears. We shot 2 blackies. One big (maybe 400 pounds) and one little (150 pounds). Both had great coats and will make fine rugs. The little bear is missing a bunch of his skull (375 Ruger) but the big bear will make an impressive skull mount. The real difference is the taste. The little bear was like veal and the big bear not so much. Both quite good, but a night and day difference. I much prefer the little bear in the freezer than the big bear on the wall.
Fast forward to this weekend. The same hunting buddy and I spotted a little brown bear in a legal area to shoot and took it. Maybe 200 pounds. The coat has some neat blond coloring and the skull on a griz is impressive. This bear has not seen a fish all year I am sure because it tastes quite good. Again, a nice addition to the freezer. Most of little brown bear is cured and smoked like an Easter ham right now (cooked to 170 deg for to be safe). From what I hear, brown bear meat is not always so good.
So the debate goes on. Would you rather have the bear in your freezer on on the wall? I am thinking the freezer. Maybe one day I will be able to pick what bear to shoot because I will have so many choices and will see the need to be selective. Right now, if it does not have a cub, well....