Great nugget, I will no doubt be looking out for bear trails now. Never really thought of it that way but it makes sense. I don't base a whole lot of my hunting on beaten down trails, but there's always something for the woods to teach you. Anymore I learn more from people with a trapping background than anything. Nobody I've found reads sign like trappers.The easiest way to describe it is that bear trails are flat, @elk yinzer. Because of their pads, everything is flattened and pushed down, whereas deer trails are churned up. The best way to put a visual on it is to picture about 4 inches of fresh snow that someone pulled a plastic sled through. The sled marks will be an inch or two lower than the surface of the snow but still flat. It's the same with bears in leaf foliage and even goldenrod. Another way to look at it is like a man trail. It almost becomes a rut over time with little surface disturbance. Once you start seeing it, you can't not see it, but we're so programmed towards whitetails it's not always easily discernable.
Been there done that more times than I care to remember. It usually came down to guys at Camp shooting them in the shoulder with deer loadsThey can die easy or extremely hard! The year I got mine another member hit a big one with a .35 Whelen that did forward rolls all the way down the hill, blood everywhere. This was fairly early and members tracked it til 4 pm, blood on the sides of trees that looked like it was painted on with a brush like it was staggering and ready to go down. A bunch of guys went back the next day and tracked til after 2 pm, up and down ridges for over a mile and lost blood?