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Thread: Bear size vs paw print

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    Default Bear size vs paw print

    Sorry I didn't get any pictures, but a couple days ago I was fishing in a pretty tight little stream and had a bear manage to sneak by about 50 yrs away around a bend. the only reason I know he snuck by was his track covered my track. Anyway I would imagine it was a pretty sizable blackie. All I saw was the front paw print but I measured the width of the print at 7". What do you guys guess on the size of this guy?
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    The rule of thumb is 1:1 (inches to feet)

    If the front track is 7" wide across the pad then the bear is roughly a 7 footer.

    I'm sure there some toads with dainty feet and dinks with waffle stompers but generally the 1:1 holds true.

    You may want to go back and sit that creek.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    I figured it was a big guy, it was definitely one of the larger black bear tracks I've seen.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    The rule of thumb is 1:1 (inches to feet)

    If the front track is 7" wide across the pad then the bear is roughly a 7 footer.

    I'm sure there some toads with dainty feet and dinks with waffle stompers but generally the 1:1 holds true.

    You may want to go back and sit that creek.
    I've heard a similar rule as <width of front track> -1= squared ft.

    Pretty similar to a 1 to 1, still worth sitting by that creek!

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    If it was a creek around town, just an FYI theres been quite a few Brownies on some of the more closer to town creeks...

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    I saw some tracks in the sand and another set in some mud. The claw marks in the deeper mud make me believe it's a blackie. At first I did consider that it might be a brown bear.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Rule of thumb around here for grizz-width of track +1 will get you close to the hide squared. For blacks, it is width of front paw +2. It is actually a pretty good way to figure it out. Never exact, but close. I would guess that if you had a 7" wide track it was from a brown.

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    http://www.mountainnature.com/wildlife/bears/bearid.htm
    scroll down to the bottom and look at the track tips...specifically dealing with the lines.....I typically go by that for determining what it was from..

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    It was definitely a black, the track in the sand did not show any claw marks and the track in the mud had small claw marks that were close to the pads and looked like the tips just poked in. Still don't know why I couldn't find any prints from it's back feet. Onelung, it was up by the gun range, if that helps.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Yeah, we have seen a decent size black bear boar roaming around up there by the range.....I do know there is a Brownie or two hanging up there as well just FYI...

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    a seven inch blackie track is a good one, if your sure it was a blackie. i generally add an inch to the width for brownies, but it's just a general guideline, you can tell more i beleive with brown bear by the size of there individual toes, and the shape of the pad...seen alot of eight to eight and a half footers with 6 and a half to seven inch tracks....a seven inch pad on a blackie is a bruiser no doubt, look for him to be quite a bit over seven foot (i'm betting) or it's an average brown/grizzly track. my couple cents....

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    Premium Member MarineHawk's Avatar
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    Was this a big guy?


    AK10-2.jpg

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    Buddy of mine told me about an 11" wide track they found just last week. And the place i like to duck hunt i found a front track wider than my size 11 boot, and it was fresh enough my #4 shot got dumped out quickly for slugs. Didn't see it but I have always wondered how big it might be.

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    Brown/Grizz add 1 1/2 inch, almost always about right . Blacks, depends 7 inch track does not mean an 8 1/2 bear. Tracks and body size vary on all bears somewhat. Might be a brown , if you could not even find a hind track then not seeing claw marks should not be a shocker. 11 inch front track very nice. Largest track I have seen was a 17 inch hind on the Penn.

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    I usually just go +1 to both black and grizz front pads. It seems to work well. I encountered a brownie last year with a 9" front paw track, and while viewing that bear for several minutes at 30 yards, I'd say he was every bit of a 10 foot square.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKBoater View Post
    it was up by the gun range, if that helps.
    Any 'hos up there yet?

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    ive read this in other threads but how do you tell what a bear squares? is it length plus width divided by 2?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjustinm View Post
    ive read this in other threads but how do you tell what a bear squares? is it length plus width divided by 2?
    Yes. (Front paw-to-front paw + tail-to-nose) / 2.

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    Well on a second visit it was quite obviously a brownie track. I remeasured and it hit at 7.5 inches. Somehow I missed the giant claw marks last time.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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    Well on a second visit it was quite obviously a brownie track. I remeasured and it hit at 7.5 inches. Somehow I missed the giant claw marks last time.
    I'd agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

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