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Ravin R9
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.:surprise2:
 

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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":rolleyes::laugh:
 

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... 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.

loridr
 

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Bears are more difficult to field judge than most other animals but a lot of PA bear hunters are like our buck hunters USED to be. The buck hunters would use forced movement and any glimpse of antler would result in a volley of shots at a fast moving fleeing target. The shooter had no idea if he was shooting at a 6 point or a 12 point. The number one priority was to get the buck on the ground and then count the points. Many bear hunters follow the same philosophy. They see a black ball streaking through the woods and their brain screams BEAR and they open up on it not really knowing (or caring) about its size. A 100 pound bear and 200 pound bear can sometimes be very difficult to accurately judge differently and I would consider them both trophies. Even an 80 or 90 pound bear perhaps? (They make the perfect size rug.) I struggle with the idea of the 40 and 50 pound ones that are killed.
 

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I would not, and have passed up on a couple bears that I thought were under 100 lbs. I don't claim to be an expert but I 'm getting better at judging them having seen a bunch dead and alive here in PA and Maine. Saw one standing on the road yesterday I estimated in the 250 range. My cousin killed a PA one a few years back I thought would go 400. 5 guys to get it out across a swamp. Live estimated weight by the check station people was 410. Lucky guess. They look different from a tree stand vs the ground, and keep in mind even a 100 lb bear can be an old bear. They don't all get bigger with age.
 

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Ravin R9
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Some really good replies here from hunters with more experience with Bears than I.
Maybe I can ask the next bear to come in at Camp to get on the scale to see if I guessed right. (lol)
 

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I never hunted bears before, so I knew nothing of bear size. In 2015, I saw 5 different bears from my tree stand while deer hunting. I took videos/pics of them, and showed them to my buddies. They guessed them all to be in the 250lb range. In 2016 I decided to bear hunt. I shot a bear from that stand just after dawn. It looked big on the ground, but hey what did I know? I assumed it was 250lbs. It took me 6 hours to drag that thing a 1/2 mile out of the woods on a jet sled by myself. I felt like a huge pu$$y for having such a hard time with a 250lb bear. Turns out it weighed 427lbs. That made me feel better.
 

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I never hunted bears before, so I knew nothing of bear size. In 2015, I saw 5 different bears from my tree stand while deer hunting. I took videos/pics of them, and showed them to my buddies. They guessed them all to be in the 250lb range. In 2016 I decided to bear hunt. I shot a bear from that stand just after dawn. It looked big on the ground, but hey what did I know? I assumed it was 250lbs. It took me 6 hours to drag that thing a 1/2 mile out of the woods on a jet sled by myself. I felt like a huge pu$$y for having such a hard time with a 250lb bear. Turns out it weighed 427lbs. That made me feel better.
That’s more impressive than killingthe bear. You’re welcome to hunt with me anytime. No need for a quad or horses as long as you’re along.
 

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That’s more impressive than killingthe bear. You’re welcome to hunt with me anytime. No need for a quad or horses as long as you’re along.
Thanks, but it's not something I care to do again. I was sure I was going to die of a heart attack several times during the ordeal. Fortunately, I only pulled a few muscles. I was sore for over a week! :)
 

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bear size

The one time i went hunting up in Maine over bait, I had told the guide that i didn't want to shoot a cub. She placed several marks on nearby trees that i could use to judge the size of the bears when they came out. I saw several that i thought were big, until they walked past the marked trees and i realized they were cubs. (did manage to take a 250 lbs bear). Several years ago i saw a bear leaning over a log at about 100 yds away looking at me . All i could see was his head. Looked huge, but didn't have a clear shot.. Son later saw the same bear walk past... 60 lb cub. It is hard to tell size of bear in woods unless you have something to compare it to..
 

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The one time i went hunting up in Maine over bait, I had told the guide that i didn't want to shoot a cub. She placed several marks on nearby trees that i could use to judge the size of the bears when they came out. I saw several that i thought were big, until they walked past the marked trees and i realized they were cubs. (did manage to take a 250 lbs bear). Several years ago i saw a bear leaning over a log at about 100 yds away looking at me . All i could see was his head. Looked huge, but didn't have a clear shot.. Son later saw the same bear walk past... 60 lb cub. It is hard to tell size of bear in woods unless you have something to compare it to..

The way Bob Parker does it with most of his baits is: the bait is in a 5 gallon bucket wired to a tree at a certain height. If a bear can stand up and put it's head in the bucket to feed, it's a good bear... if a bear can sit on it's butt and put it's head in the bucket to feed... SHOOT!!!!!!!!
 
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