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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Bear weight

Sure not trying to start any Controversy here, just curious of others opinions.
First off I've never shot a Bear and only hunted them twice even though I see plenty in the area of Potter Co. I hunt.
There was a posted report on another forum of and out of state hunt.
Three of the male bears taken were 87 , 95 and 112 Lbs. I'm no expert judging a Bears live weight but have observed enough of them
around Camp and in the Wild that I think a Bear in that weight range has got to be pretty small.
There are several characteristics to aid in guessing the live weight.
Hats off to those who have been successful but just can't see taking an 87 Lb. Bear regardless of what the hunt cost me.
Just looking for opinions here, not a bashing session.

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 01:12 PM
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Depends on your mindset, I guess.

We are Christmas tree farmers. Bears cost us a lot of money some years. We hunt them because we don't like them. Our gang's philosophy is that bears are just like house cats...………….they're cute when they're little but there's no compelling reason to let them live past about 8 months.

We've killed bears from almost 70 pounds to almost 700 pounds. No regrets from anyone for any of them.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 01:14 PM
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Ive bear hunted about 10 yrs and heres my 2 cents field judging bear is one of the hardest things Ive taken 3 in pa all with a bow under 20 yrds and they all lost a lot of wieght from the time I shot em to walking up to them the first was 13 yrds and I KNEW it was 300 lbs it was 165 the 2nd 2 yrs later was 9 yrds and I KNEW that one was 250 to 300 lbs it was 185 the 3rd was 15 yrds and I thought it was 300 again but it was 250
I know many guys have shot bear at the end of the day calling and texing they are always big and 300 to 350 lbs and in morning 115 to 200lbs
I watch 12 to 18 different bear all summer 12 trail cams checking every 3 weeks sorting photos in files all summer and fall and even with that its so hard to tell bear size most guys harvest the only bear they see that year and if its gun season and 75 yrds unless you spent a lot of time watching bear you have nothing to judge the size with,
I am no expert just lucky I think, and even with all the bear I see still learning to judge so i would never say anything bad about anyones trophy and any bear in Pa is a trophy
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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I'm always looking to learn.

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 01:29 PM
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Hunted bear three times so I am no expert. The third time I took a bear at 20 yards with my Mathews compound bow. I guessed his weight before I shot at 250 lbs. I was criticize at camp because he only weighed 248 lbs. However, I tried to explain to the critics he lost 2 lbs. of blood.

My second hunt I shared my lunch with a cub I estimated to be sightly under 100 lbs. I was eating a high protein bar and the cub walked under my 10' stand I dropped a piece of the bar to the ground in front of him which he quickly went to and ate. I fed him two more bars my daily ration as he would retrieve each one immediately; however, he never did look up to say thanks. I watch him wonder off in the distance of the direction he came.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 01:55 PM
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Many small bears are taken by people who have not seen a lot of bears and the bear they killed was alone so they had no other bear to compare it to. To further complicate matters, when I worked check stations I have seen legal adult bears that went under 100 lbs all sows and I have seen cubs that went over 100 lbs so sometimes size does not matter. The bottom line is the more experience a person has the better they get at judging weight, however, I don't think there is an animal in PA that is misjudged in weight than black bears. There is a lot of ground shrinkage with bears. I would not be too hard on those who shoot smaller bears, so far as management of the species goes, a bear removed from the population towards goal, is a bear removed from the population.
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Last edited by Woods walker; 05-27-2019 at 06:06 PM.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 05:55 PM
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That’s about average weights for bears taken in Maine. Their “growing season” is much shorter than Pa.,....if there’s a shortage of fall mast they’ll den up extremely early. Winters are long in the north woods, and bears don’t emerge out nearly as early as Pa. Pa bears have access to a lot more feed and are going to grow at a faster rate than many out of state bears. Saw the same thing in Idaho and Montana also.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 06:23 PM
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I told this story before, but it’s a good one so I’ll tell it again. My son and I were hunting baits in 1999 in northern Maine. On the first evening of the week, a fella from Lancaster, Pa. hit a bear with his bow. He said it was a giant bear and thought it might be P&Y size. He said he made a good hit on it, and what made this story unique was the fact he was using a string tracker that was a hot gimmick in those days. The bear took off on a dead run, and the string was zinging out quickly. The string stopped, meaning either it broke or the bear was dead.

The outfitter opted to look in the morning for the bear as it was already well past dark. At camp that night, it was decided that my son and I, along with the hunter and two guides would go on the recovery to help retrieve this large bear. When we got to the bait site, we found a good blood trail as well as the string from the tracker. My son and I brought up the rear, as we were there to primarily help carry out the bear. About 40 yards out, I saw something pretty unusual. There was a fallen tree on the trail, about 2 feet off the ground, and the blood trail and string went under the log. I whispered to my son that this bear wasn’t gonna be in the record books. A short distance down the trail, the bear was found, all 65 pounds of him. Upon finding the bear, the hunter exclaimed that it wasn’t his bear....must be someone else’s. The guide says in a low tone....there’s a string from your tree stand to the dead bear that says otherwise.

The hunter wasn’t a rookie....he had killed several bears prior to this one. Bears can fool you more than any other big game animal.
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Last edited by Bigbrownie; 05-27-2019 at 09:38 PM.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 07:44 PM
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Great story! My old hunting partner shot a "giant" in Vermont many years ago,back home, when asked about the size and weight he sheepishly replied....."Teddy"

Remember.... they're full time deer......we're part time hunters!
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 05-27-2019, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Potter Co. Joe View Post
... There was a posted report on another forum of and out of state hunt.
Three of the male bears taken were 87 , 95 and 112 Lbs. I'm no expert judging a Bears live weight but have observed enough of them around Camp and in the Wild that I think a Bear in that weight range has got to be pretty small.
You are referring to my post. No offense taken but keep in mind a few things:

We are talking Canadian bears, which are typically smaller than Pa. bears. Also unlike Pa. bears, which may be out for short periods feeding in our milder winters, Canadian bears stay in the den all through the long winter, and the bears in the post were taken about 2 weeks out of the den in a late spring.

An Ontario study estimates that in an abundant food year, a Canadian bear will double it's weight between emerging from the den and late fall. That means that this fall those bears may have weighed as much as 174, 190, and 224. Note: the 112 lb'er was my bear and it was a sow, not a boar.

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