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Joined: 01/04/2011
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Hi again, another question from a soon to be Bear Hunter!

Ok, North Carolinas woods are pretty dense with Bramble and stuff, extremely so around where i would like to hunt. I dont own a four-wheeler, so thats not a option. I wanted to know if you guys had any interesting ways to get a bear out of some dense woods, I've though about skinning it right there, but im not real sure on how good of a job ill do skinning it. So... do you guys have any suggestions? Or stories of how you got a bear out of the woods? Thanks!Thumbs up

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Location: Finger Lakes, Upstate New York
Joined: 12/08/2010
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Getting your bear out of the woods

Hi Jeff, I forgot to welcome you to BGH on my last post. For getting that big bruin out of the woods, I believe it will come down to where you drop the beast. When I was in BC I killed a large bear across a valley that was very far from any road or trail. So we skinned him out and packed out the head, hide and some meat. Same thing in southeast Alaska last spring. Pic below. But in Quebec where we hunt the bears are usually taken out of the bush whole. Seeing it is an over bait hunt, most bears are taken fairly close to a trail or road. So we use a sled like the ones you see the guys dragging out thier ice fishing gear with. You can buy them at Bass Pro or Cabelas. There are two sizes. The larger one is I believe around 54" long. Get that one, you can use it for deer too! 

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Southeast Alaska April 2010
Southeast Alaska April 2010393.09 KB
expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
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Bear

For black bears, I skinned them out in the field because I knew I'd be home that night.  To save time in the field, I'd skin them out except for the head and paws.  I'd leave those attached to the hide to deal with later.  As far as getting the meat and hide out, Cabela's makes a huge dry bag with backpack straps on it.  I put the meat and hide in game bags and put them in the dry bag to pack out.  Worked like a charm.

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thanks guys

But like i said, im not very expiereinced with skinning, and i want a rug, so im really trying to not mess it up.

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Location: Arizona
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Skinning

Skinning isn't so tough.  Go up the middle from throat to bum, and then down the center of each leg to the paw.  Then start peeling.  It's relatively simple, because there's a layer of fat under the skin.  So you just pull the skin away and lightly slice away the bit of tissue connecting the hide to the carcass.  The tough part is the paws and skull.  Personally, I thought the paws were the toughest.  You cut around the big pad, and leave one side attached.  Then you peel the hide toward the claws, skinning as you go until you get to the last knuckle.  The skull is similar -- just keep working the hide up from the neck and just peel your way forward until you pull it off the nose.  The ears can get a bit delicate, but if you take your time you'll be fine.  Patience is the key to everything.  Just pull, cut the white gauzy tissue between the hide and meat, and then keep working it a bit at time.  When you get to the detailed work like the skull, I've found a good caping knife works wonders because you get a lot more control.

I'd never skinned anything but deer or squirrels, and never skinned a skull -- until I skinned my brown bear.  It was learning by doing, and my rug turned out great.

Ask your taxidermist before going on your hunt.  He'll have a lot of good pointers for you, and if you're still nervous you may be able to buy his time and have him do the head, paws, and final fleshing for you.

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Sounds good

Sounds like ill be skinning in the woods then, =D. How much does a bear rug cost? To be made of course.

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Location: Finger Lakes, Upstate New York
Joined: 12/08/2010
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Bear rug cost

There is a woman in Michigan that does a wonderful job. She has done two rugs for me and several for friends of mine. Her buisness name is Rugs by Nancy. She specializes in bear rugs. Her pricing as of this past spring is as follows; up to 6' $115 per ft. over 6' $145 per foot. Open or closed mouth same price. Her price includes all the fleshing,caping and knuckle removal. We send her the hides with or without the skulls in them frozen. We overnight them and so far when she has recieved them they were still frozen. Check her out on the web. I found her in Bear Hunting Magazine. She also beatles the skulls for I think $125.  

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Location: Arizona
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Bear

Cost depends on the taxidermist.  The guy I used up in AK was around $150-175 a foot, plus labor for any fleshing he might have to do, plus extra to have the skull bleached and preserved.  My guy specialized in bears and did great work.  I recommend that you check around, use a guy who's done bears before, and check with people who've used him.

A word to the wise...if you're going for a rug make sure you look your bear over well before pulling the trigger.  The hides are usually in great shape when they first come out of the den in the Spring, but before long they're rubbing.  Watch for bald spots -- especially on the sides just ahead of the rear haunches.  Don't mess around getting it too the taxidermist, either.  If you're not taking him the hide within a day, flesh it and salt the fleshy side thoroughly.  Otherwise, you could lose a lot of hair during tanning.

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The best thing that you can

The best thing that you can do is to find yourself a taxidermist that is in your area.  Go on down to a sporting goods store and ask around at the gun counter and see if they recommend one or two.  Then go down to their shop and check out his work and ask questions.  Most of them will be more than happy to show you just what you need to do to get the skin back to them so that they can make a rug for you without you causing problems with the hide.  Plus a lot of them will open up on a Sunday if that is when you have the hide to bring in to them.  All they will do is throw it in a freezer but they will do it right.  As far as cost it is going to vary across the country so don't depend on what one person says that isn't in your area.

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Location: Arizona
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taxidermy

Critter raises a good point...most any taxidermist will be happy to give you some pointers.  Not only will it help but get your business, but it's an investment on their part.  The better they teach you, the better hide you bring them.  That means less repairing they have to do to get you a decent product in return.  In fact, my experience has been that good taxidermists really appreciate you taking the time to check with them beforehand, because they've had too many people that didn't do that bring in botched up hides expecting them to work miracles.

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Thanks guys

Do you think one would mind if i brought in a whole bear? If i could get it out of the woods? Im sure theyd charge a little more.

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