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Location: Thompson, Manitoba Canada
Joined: 04/09/2005
Posts: 77
Getting your bear out of the bush

I hunt and guide in very remote places in Northern Manitoba. A lot of these places you cannot get an ATV into. Some I found I could mountain bike too and others I had to boat to each location. There are different schools of thought on whether to skin the bear where you locate it or to carry it back to camp and skin it out there.
The majority of the bears I have helped harvest were skinned where we tracked them. There are usually only 2 of us , the hunter and me and or just me. I recently worked for an outfitter whom brought each bear back to camp. That is back breaking work gutted or not , I asked why not skin them out in the bush and was told they like to hang them up by the back paws and take photo's.
I have taken photo's in the bush and they look much better than a bear hanging by it's back paws. Dam thing looks like an oversized furry bat hanging upside down. We got one that was 6"9" and over 400lbs it was about 150 yards from the boat and there were 3 of us the hunter , operator and me but holy sheep shit it was a long haul and dangerous over thick and rough terrain in the dark.
I was taught a great tip by old trapper Mike ( passed away now God bless him).
I purchased a trappers basket. ( LL BEAN CO ) Its like a bambboo wicker back pack with straps, you can put you're skinning kit into and once the bear is skinned out just roll it up and put it inside the basket and pack it out. You can then come back for the meat and back that out as well. The pack works well for putting your bait bucket into it and packing bait into the bush leaving your hands free to carry a firearm and or another bucket with greese.
I have seen others use a body bag to haul out bear or tie it to a pole but again back breaking work and then you have to dispose of the remain's, whereas skinning it in the bush you can take the skin& meat and leave the remains.
Any thoughts from others ?

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Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 635
Getting your bear out of the bush

First I'd like to say hi. I'm a novice with bear. This is only my second year going. I hunted alone last year due to not finding anyone interested. So I talked my father to accompany me this year. My father and I were talking about this subject of last winter. We had been looking at a spot that was 300+ yards to the closest trail. I was thinking of trying one of those sleds. I heard they work great for moose. However, I heard that from someone who used an atv to haul it. I might still try it, only wax the underside real good first. My father was suggesting what you were talking about, skinning on the spot then quartering and hauling the meat out seperately. It would take a while, but it would be more like a hike than an iron man contest dragging that dead weight through the bush. I've since found a good spot on the edge of a swamp we own. It's very close to an atv trail that I'm able to squeeze my truck down. I'll be trying that this year.

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Location: Central NY
Joined: 09/16/2003
Posts: 823
Getting your bear out of the bush

My dad always said "if your going to shoot a bear, shoot him in the road so we don't have to drag him". Well I never have shot one in the road and ol dad helped me drag quite a few out of the woods. I do try to get them back to camp in one pce so they can hang for a few days (temp permiting) aging any meat but esp big game with the hide on always tends to improve the taste. I have seen posts here from folkes that use "sleds" and say they are the cats a%$ for dragging a bear out. I must admit it has to make the job easyer dragging a bear is like pulling a garbage bag full of jello through the woods, they fill every little hole and void. But to be honest the last thing I want to be carrying around the woods is a plastic slead.
If getting the bear out whole is impratical due to distance and or teraine I will skin and quater the bear in the woods. The "pack basket" sounds great but I don't have one. I have a "outfitter" (I think that is what it is called) pack from Cabelas. It is a heavy duty external frame pack with one big compartment. There is a support shelf off the bottom of the frame that supports the load from below. It workes great and I have packed out Deer (whitetails), Bear and Caribou from remote locations with it.

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
Getting your bear out of the bush

Theres not a poorer quality hunting memory than to have your pic taken with a bear hanging in some guys yard with scrap lumber or wheelbarrows or a swing set in the background. Take your pics in the field where the bear was dropped. Then when your hunter looks back on it, he can still remember everything about his stand, where he had to track and where it was dressed. Hopefully you can discretely steer that outfitter in this direction.
I've set up most of my baits in remote areas where they can still be accessed by ATV. Last fall one guy took a male just over 400 lbs and it was all 3 of us could do to drag that bear 10 feet to the ATV. Then it was all we could do load him into a tilt ATV trailer. I would never under any circumstances drag or try to carry a bear of any size, any distance without first skinning and quartering.

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Location: new brunswick
Joined: 07/28/2007
Posts: 298
bear hauling !

I remember some 40 odd years ago hauling bear and moose out using the hood of an old truck the kind with a rounded nose ... just flipped it over and attached a couple of chains using a horse at that time made a great sled and didn't burn up the hide now days best method would be to skin and quarter where allowed

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Location: Thompson, Manitoba Canada
Joined: 04/09/2005
Posts: 77
Getting your bear out of the bush

Great idea's thanks,
I have tried using a nice plastic sled ( ice fishing sled nice deep hull) . With the terrain being so rough it kept tipping over and getting caught on bushes and tree's. Might be good for a nice flat area with little or no bush.
I do perfer taking in the trappers basket they only cost around $100.00 and I've had mine now for 3 years and it's still in great shape. You can put all your knives, sharpener's ,game bags etc inside and even track with it on your back, leaving your hands free with blaze tape for trail marking. I use it when I guide to put in my scent sprays, paper towels, bait bucket etc.

Last September I got a nice 6"8" black bear at Clarke lake, Manitoba I was by myself and had arrowed it at 18 yards. It ran 75 yards and let out a death moan. I tracked it and it was getting dark so I skinned it out right there. I put one hind quarter and the fur and head in the basket that was sitting on the ground. I couldn't lift it up to get the shoulder straps on. So I sat down on the ground and put the straps on and tried to get up and fell backwards -- I looked like a turtle upside down, pretty funny. I took the hind quarter out and was able to pack the head and hide out and then come back for the meat.
Needless to say that basket has saved my back alot of times.

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Location: Upper Peninsula of Michigan
Joined: 01/13/2007
Posts: 368
Getting your bear out of the bush

One of my favorite bait sites was in a swamp that could turn into knee deep muck if there had been much rain. I tried many different ways to drag out bear from that site and found the narrow plastic sleds they sell to deer hunters worked best. Just lash the bear on tightly and it slides over all the muck and brush. Today, I try to get an ATV into where the bear fell and drag it out that way if at all possible.

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Joined: 08/27/2004
Posts: 1964
Getting your bear out of the bush

Nice bear trapper and nice pic meda awesome stories and advice boys. If it were me and I was more than 30 min in the bush walking I would deffinetly skin and quarter my animal in the field if my truck was a stones throw away I wouldnt do it there I much rather doing it in my garage. At the top in one of the first posts someone was talking about pics in a yard or pics in the forest by far thier isnt even a comparison I would much rather have a pic I can frame with your site or the mountains and trees in the backyard then some other persons yard and kids toys sorry just not my cup of tea.

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