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Location: North Central ND
Joined: 02/20/2007
Posts: 54
Numerous questions: bear size, carcass disposal?

My partner and I were just out to Minn. this past Friday-Sunday, scouting and baiting. This is our first Do-it-yourself bear hunt and I have a couple of questions, if anyone can answer I would appreciate it.

Sat. we placed 3 paits in areas that we scouted in July, Sunday morning one of the baits had already been hit. Is it common to occur that fast or did we hit a bears beadroom by accident?

If we harvest a bear that is to large for two of us to bring out whole our plan is to skin it and quarter it similar to how you would a moose or elk. Can we leave the ribs, backbone and guts entact and in the woods or do we have to remove that as well?

The next deals with bear size.

We stumbled, and I mean stumbled, onto some very large bear sign, can anyone tell their opinions on just how big this bear may be and what are the chances of harvesting him? (I say him because I believe it is a boar)

His front paw track is just a hair over 6" across. We also found a
"bear tree" / "scratch tree" that leads me to believe he is huge. I am 5'9" and I could not reach the top of the claw marks. On one side of the base of the tree there is no vegitation, just dirt and that side has an almost poished look to it. He has also bit the tree horizontal to the ground, this bite mark is about 5" above my head, my hand spread is 9" and his bite mark is a good 2" beyiond my finger spread. The widest distance between the canine bite marks is just a hair under 2.5" and the bites are about 1/2" into the tree. Any ideas on size? Square, wieght?

Last question, The bark on the aspen were the claw marks where had not discolored yet and the sap from the tree had not started to run or fill the wounds to the tree. How old do you predict the bite mark would be? 24, 48, 72 hours, etc.?

Whoops! One more? Do these trees show up in the bears core area, edge of the area, etc and how often does a bear visit areas like this.

Okay two more! How large is a boar bears home range? On average?

Thanks in advance, and if we harvest him I will post photos.

Last one. Does anyone know anywhere that I can find a chart that estimates bear weight by chest girth? Thumbs up

Offline
Location: OlyWa
Joined: 04/27/2005
Posts: 472
Numerous questions: bear size, carcass disposal?

Sorry, but there is no way to estimate the weight of a bear by it's tracks or sign. One method that can get you close is to add an inch to the width of the front pad for a squared measurement.

I say you have a shooter and the stats are secondary.

Here is a link to a weight chart. http://state.tn.us/twra/bearweights.html

Offline
Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 635
Numerous questions: bear size, carcass disposal?

Sounds like a good size bear with potential to be large if food supplies are good this year in your area. Good luck on your hunt. Don't forget to check with the local Game Officer for the area you will hunt. They should be able to answer alot of your questions, especially any purtaining to your quartering questions.

Offline
Location: North Central ND
Joined: 02/20/2007
Posts: 54
Numerous questions: bear size, carcass disposal?

billythekidrock, thanks for the chart reference. I have printed it and hope to use it this weekend on a bear.

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
Numerous questions: bear size, carcass disposal?

That your bait was hit so soon was good luck but bottom line is that they know its there. Your job is to keep them there by continued baiting. I've left empty pails in the bush with the intention of returning in a few days to start baiting--only to find they've been chewed by bears already.
Can't answer your question about leaving in'ards in the bush. Only State officials can give you that. I'd suspect its OK with them as long as you don't leave edible meat.
Chances of taking an exceptionally large boar are slim--thats why they're big. They move constantly, especially in the spring. You have a greater chance of picking up a large sow because their range is a lot smaller than that of a boar.

Your description of the markings lead me to think you're looking at a sow with cubs. Almost every tree without exception that I've seen marked around my baitsites have been balsam fir. While the bark is soft, as is aspen, I've not seen them mark aspen(poplar). One thing though, I bait in the heaviest cover I can find and that usually means balsam. Cubs readily climb anything but generally territorially mark balsam. You also can't go by claw width. Their toes splay when they climb giving the impression of something larger than what it is.
One way to get an idea of whether its marking a tree or merely climbing the thing: territorial markings at baitsites are usually longish or raked, maybe a few inches in length and often have a tendril of bark at the bottom--like what you see when a moose feeds.
Claw marks left from climbing are just indentations in the bark like a bite mark, often 11/2" apart with no drag marks.
Are you asking if aspen show up in a bears core area? Sure they do, but they're just a part of the normal species of tree you'd expect to find in a bears range. Expect to see cedar, spruce; black and white, various species of pines, balsam fir, white birch, yellow birch, maple and anything else commonly found in the great lakes forests or fringe boreal forests. Keep in mind bears need heavy cover which means conifers. Aspen and the lesser vegetation that grows in its company are great sources of food for bears.
A sows range would be something like 2 or 3 square miles while a boars range would be 5 times that--and likely more in the spring when 'tis the season to be jolly.

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Location: North Central ND
Joined: 02/20/2007
Posts: 54
Numerous questions: bear size, carcass disposal?

Sawbill, I was wondering if the tree with such markings occur in a certain area of a bears range. I am 100% certain that you know more about bear than I do, but I just don't think this was a sow and cubs? I can't really saw why but that is my gut feeling.

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Location: ontario
Joined: 07/07/2006
Posts: 237
Numerous questions: bear size, carcass disposal?

I believe any place a bear frequents with regularity is a place they'll mark. Every one of my baitsites is marked and is freshly marked each year when I start baiting. Almost always the same tree.
I've also seen an abandoned hydro line thats fully grown in. Its probably been a great feeding area with the lush vegetation that grows in the open in those places. All the pine poles were clawed almost cleanly through while the red cedar poles weren't touched. But I never knew if it had something to do with the salts in the creosote in the pine poles they were after or if it was the stringy fibers of the red cedar they didn't like because the cedar weren't treated. Like most things about wildlife its just keep lookin, keep learnin and keep wonderin.

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Location: Northern Minnesota
Joined: 07/08/2007
Posts: 325
Numerous questions

Trapper62, The sign you describe is from a large bear, and I will bet it is a boar. I have never seen or heard of a sow that large up here (Northern Minnesota). The bite marks are exceptionally wide. Any Black Bear with 2 1/4 inch plus width between Canines is a big bear. The width of the tracks would also indicate a large boar.
If the sign you describe is accurate, you will have one chance at this bear. If you spook him he will not return to that bait until after dark, if at all. He will probably hit that bait every 3 to 4 days and probably in the last minutes of light. Don't leave your stand until it is too dark to see. If he is around your bait and you move or climb out of your stand when it is light, he will not return. For some reason bears do not spook as easily after dark. I am no expert but I hunt big boars up here and study them a lot. Yes I do have too much time on my hands. I hope you will go home with a good story and lots of good meat. The weather has been perfect for bear recently and looks as though it will continue. Thumbs up

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