View Full Version : Packing out a bear...?

09-26-2005, 08:45 AM
Last weekend, on a solo high-buck hunt here in Cascades I came across what appeared to be a MASSIVE black bear. His nose "mask" was almost white with old age and his canines appeared to be rounded down considerably. The old bruiser's belly was scrapping the ground as he calmly grazed on high-country huckleberries like a fat cow.

I had him dead to rights (scoped rifle) with a bear tag in my pocket as I sat there straddling a knife edged ridge covering his every move for over a half hour...I finally made the decision to not take him. I decided that while I could have done it, I wanted to be better prepared for haul out.

Here's my question. How much does a really big black bear weigh skinned and boned out? Skin weight? Flesh weight? I would definitely have him mounted and want to take the utmost care possible in bringing him out to ensure both the quality of the meat and the mount. I can access I high-mountain cirque to cool the meat rapidly mid-day if necessary. It is frosting at night now at that elevation.

The other part of the equation is that in order to get to him, I need to ascend/contour/descend a series of truly diabolical mountainsides miles. Up, up ridgline, level ridgline, down, level ridgeline, down, down, contour, up, contour, up, up cliff, down cliff, down...Anyone that has hunted the Cascade high-country knows what I'm talking about. The "Intelligent Designer" seemingly created this country for one purpose...as a last ditch hold-out (from two-leggers) for truly wild animals.

I will be taking climbing gear (static line, harness, ascenders, and assorted protection) because I don't think a man can (or should) climb back out of that beautiful, hell-hole of a game-rich high-country basin carrying a heavily laden pack without some modecum of protection.

So, any help on approximate weights and best method of skinning/prep/care would be appreciated!


09-26-2005, 01:48 PM
uhh...surely someone on this board has packed out a bear. Any help/input appreciated.

09-26-2005, 01:57 PM
I killed a pretty small bear in Wyoming several years ago (150 lbs or so). The hide probably weighed around 40-50 lbs. I'm guessing a really big one might be double that.

09-26-2005, 02:05 PM

Thank you. Did you bone out the meat? Flesh weight?

While I've had other opportunities to put some bear meat in the freezer, I've always held off for the deer or elk I was pursuing. After looking at that thick glossy coat, I now want to bring one home!


09-26-2005, 02:13 PM
As far as the hide goes, ask a taxidermist. He could also tell you how to prepare and pack a hide for best results.

Don't know what a reasonable proportion of usable meat to gross body weight would be for a large bear.

It sounds like a job for at least one partner. I've been in the Cascades, but not in the high country. Perhaps the terrain might be suitable for those roll-up poly sleds? They don't need snow to slip along.

09-26-2005, 02:51 PM
Bushcraft, since you got close enough to see the rounding of his incisors, you should have just slapped the 'cuffs on him and gone for help.

But seriously, that must have been quite the sight to get that up-close and personal. If it had been me, I would've probably taken the shot and then regretted it for a few days, I applaud your self-control and level-headedness.

Dale Lindsley
09-26-2005, 03:10 PM
I second what Smokeploe says about self control.

09-26-2005, 04:07 PM
ditto that. NOT taking the shot is a sign of a true hunter.

William Clunie
09-26-2005, 04:49 PM
The average bear in Maine only weighs 150lbs. The largest one was closer to 700lbs. Sounds like in the area you are describing that you would need to skin and quarter it, and make plenty of trips back and forth to get the animal out. Bear meat needs to get cooled as quick as possible.
I've shot bear here in Maine in temps around 50 degrees and had the beast in the cooler in 2 hours. Ice it during transportation and get it skinned as soon as possible.
Nice of you to hold off on the shot until making sure of things. You should have asked us about this stuff before you went out. How did you get such a close look at his teeth? How did you get him to show you his teeth?
William Clunie

Woodland Girl
09-26-2005, 05:37 PM
The friends that I know who have taken bear, quarter it up and take it out in their packs. It's a bit more challenging to tag quartered, but any "nosey" Wildlife person will get their hiking in if they want to see the gut pile to be sure!

09-26-2005, 05:42 PM
How did I get him to show me his teeth?

Well, he was a little angry at me... /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

Alright, alright, in all seriousness I was close enough that he more than filled my scope cranked up to full power. Knowing that I was headed for some long-range country I took a rifle with a 6X18 power scope. (.30-06 Remington 700 pushing 180 grain Nosler Partitions at 2880fps zeroed for 250 yds.) Now, don't anyone jump me for having and carrying around an "over-scoped rifle"...I put this scope on the rifle about 5 years ago as kind of a joke for shooting jack-rabbits at the ranch and have been loath to change anything on the gun since it prints very tiny groups...and has hammered the jacks, coyotes, deer and elk I've shot with it quite effectively. I carry it on the lowest power setting and shoot "both eyes open"...quickly acquire target with left eye, superimpose reticle with right eye over target, switch focus to reticle on target, squeeze the trigger. Anything out to 300 is meat on the table, baby!

Anyway, during the course of watching his every move as he casually picked through the berries I could make out the canines being markedly shorter and "duller" than I had seen on any other black bear. That, in combination with the whitish snout and widely offset ears made me think that he was quite an old feller. He looked like an old, incredibly rotund, stub-tailed, big-headed black lab. After he ambled away, I descended to where he had been grazing next to a small alpine tree. I'm 6'1", the tree was a couple inches taller than me and the bear's rump was about halfway up the tree. Using the tree for a reference, I concluded that he was pretty big.

John Havard
09-26-2005, 05:54 PM
The last black bear I killed was quite a few years ago, and it squared six feet. The hide and skull were a full and demanding pack (for me). I'd guess the green hide and skull weighed around 80#. I did not harvest any of the meat, but I would estimate there would have been around 160-170# of boned-out meat. If your black bear was a fat six-footer you would probably have had about that much meat to carry out.

09-27-2005, 01:10 PM
Sounds to me like a minimum of 3 trips back and forth. The hide will dam near fill a LH skull in , and maybe a front qtr. that leaves the other 3/4 to be brought out in 2 more loads possibly a 4th if the terrain is as rugged as you make it sound.I have come to the conclusion for myself atleast that if I need repelling gear to get to an animal you can pretty much guarantee he will see the light of another day.Being solo , one must be realistic and conservitave. Repelling with a heavily loaded pack is no joke . Not knowing your level of expertise in repeling leads me to say BE CAREFULL it may be more than you want to handle.Wise choice the first time.

09-27-2005, 01:38 PM
Being something of an outdoor enthusiast I've got all the climbing gear and necessary know-how to go with it. Additionally, the terrain to drop into the basin in question is not vertical enough to really warrant rappelling and ascending gear...more "insurance" than anything.

So, I've got the weight of hide and skull pegged. I pretty much figured that this would be one load. The number I'm most concerned with is the weight of the meat (sans bones). I'm not hauling bones out of there! I can't imagine the flesh weight to be much more than 150-170 lbs.

So, three loads?

09-27-2005, 03:37 PM
" I'm not hauling bones out of there!"

Bush, There is one bone worth haulin' out......
Its called the baculum, or oosik. Or in cowboy terms, the good ol' weener bone. For no more work than it takes, its always well worth its weight in conversation piece value.......Also known as the Idaho toothpick /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif . Don

Kevin B
09-27-2005, 03:44 PM
bush, I'd have to assume that the general math for most medium large game, rough butchered, stands. 1/2 body weight = meat. More the bigger they get less the smaller and of course, depending on how nifty a carving job you want to do. Sounds to me like a heavy 3 trips not being too finicky about the boning. Or, based on where you were, I'd sure want a pard with me when I let one fly.

09-27-2005, 06:03 PM

Are you trying to complicate already weighty guestimates by bringing up THE part of the anatomy that ranges in size the most? /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

09-27-2005, 06:17 PM
Aw heck, Its only the size of a AAA maglite.....Fit in the pocket easy and prolly weighs less.... /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

09-28-2005, 08:28 AM
Bushcraft- I packed a what I thought was a big bear out of the Trinity Alps Ca. when I was younger (much!) My estimate was about 300 lbs. on the hoof. I did not have the luxury of a Kifaru pack just an old external frame job. It took me 3 full days 1 each for the meat (each load 75+ lbs) and one for the hide and skull (which I cut loose and fleshed as best I could). The hide load was a back breaker, heavy, bulky and unwieldy. It would be a real job for me now, better gear/ worse back. My attitude is shoot then do all that it takes whatever it takes to get the critter out. Sometimes this policy has gotten me into some very long hard adventures but I have always gotten the job done and felt good about it (usually a few days after). Good luck

09-28-2005, 09:37 AM

Does your state require you to pack out bear meat? Idaho started requiring folks to pack out bear meat about 8 or 9 years ago. (Alaska, where some common sense still prevails, does not require hunters to pack out the meat of a bear, only the hide and skull which are the two most desirable items in my opinion) Until that time, I never packed the meat out. Even now, if I do pack out the meat, I throw it away once I get it out. Sometimes I give it to other folks who really like it. I've eaten some very good bear meat, but just the thought of what bears eat, turns my stomach. BTW, I've had some real bad bear meat a time or two also.

09-28-2005, 10:35 AM
I hunted with a guide over bait on private land in Wyoming. We didn't take the meet. I killed him on June 1 and he was eating the maggots off a horse carcass when I shot him. Wasn't particularly appetizing that part of the year. My guide said in the fall they usually aren't bad to eat (although pretty greasy), but he didn't recommend it in the spring.

09-28-2005, 10:36 AM
I disagree with hunting for trophies. Eat the meat or don't kill it. I don't expect this post to change anyone's ways, but that's just how I feel. Also keep in mind that doing otherwise gives hunting a bad name. Ever seen Dances With Wolves? With all the carcasses left behind by the whiteman? It's just not right.

09-28-2005, 10:49 AM
State of WA Big Game Hunting Seasons and Rules
Tagging and Transportation (page 19)
Use of Wildlife
#2 Waste of wildlife
You may NOT allow game animals or game birds you have taken to recklessly be wasted.

I've only eaten bear on one occasion. Other than being a little stringy and tough, I found it to be pretty decent and have heard from a number of other hunters that it can be delicious - most likely depends on what the beast has been eating. I imagine having the better stuff turned into breakfast sausage could be right tasty. In any event, I'm going to try and drop the hammer on this big boy the next time we cross tracks.

I suppose one could make the decision after cooking some up on the spot as to whether it would be worth bringing home.

09-28-2005, 06:24 PM

We are not talking about tasty buffalo meat here. We're talking about the meat from a predator/scavenger that eats things that would kill a human. Bears may be listed as a big game animal in your state, but just because beurocrats list them as a big game animal, does not put their meat on par with an ungulate. Bears are pretty much big rats that run around in the woods. However, the hide and skull can be pretty neat.

Back in the days before PC. It never gave hunters a bad name to shoot a bear and not eat the meat. There are some who are unwittingly caught up in PC that do not understand the true nature of what a bear is and or isnt.

09-28-2005, 06:27 PM
US Issues Bear Meat Warning Over Trichinosis

USA: July 16, 2004

ATLANTA - U.S. health officials warned hunters and consumers yesterday not to eat raw or undercooked bear meat and wild game following an investigation into a handful of trichinosis infections in New York and Tennessee.

Two cases of the parasitic infection, also known as trichinellosis, were confirmed in a Tennessee couple who ate bear steaks at a barbecue last summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report.
The meat, which was taken from a black bear shot in Canada during a hunting trip, was cooked medium rare.

Another case surfaced at about the same time in a New York man who ate approximately two pounds of nearly raw bear meat purchased from a custom slaughter house, the Atlanta-based agency said.

The three people suffered from fevers, muscle weakness, facial swelling or other symptoms of the disease, which is spread by roundworms that live in meat-eating animals such as bears, pigs and dogs.

All have made a full recovery.

Robert Kenny, assistant director of public affairs in the New York State Department of Health, said awareness of the need to properly cook wild game, including bear meat, was the key to keeping a lid on the disease.

Trichinosis can be prevented by cooking meat to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Freezing kills the parasite in pork but not in wild game.

"Wild game should be cooked well-done," Kenny said.

Traditionally linked to consumption of infected pork, trichinosis has declined in the nation since the 1940s due largely to government bans on feeding untreated garbage to swine as well as the practice of widespread freezing of pork.

A total of 72 cases were reported to the CDC between 1997 and 2001. Bear meat was the most common known source of infection.

The CDC, however, said the disease might rise due to the combination of an increase in local bear populations and the popularity of bear hunting in the northeastern United States and Canada.

About 1,850 bears were reported killed by hunters in New York last year, a record number for the state.

Story by Paul Simao


09-28-2005, 07:10 PM
Oh yeah I forgot to mention that wolves dont really dance with humans either. It a Hollyweird image only--not real life. Thought I better be clear on this too.

09-28-2005, 07:12 PM

Protecting yourself or your property from a predator is different from hunting. Controling vermin is different from hunting. Killing an animal solely for its antlers, hide, or skull is trophy hunting. It serves no purpose other than for egotistical chest thumping. There is nothing wrong with hunting an animal, being proud of your accomplishments, and appreciating a trophy. But if you dont eat the meat, then its just trophy hunting. PC has nothing to do with it. PC only enters into the picture if you care about our sport and want to make a good or bad impression on those who dont understand what we do. People say hunters need to take action to protect our sport against the antis. Well trophy hunting IMO is a step backwards. This thread was about killing a bear, while hunting, in the wilderness. Killing it for no reason, other than to gloat about the skull on your wall is not hunting. Thats just killing. And its all about ego. If the bears are a pest, fine, let the lead fly. But up where he was... there's no reason to kill it. Unless you are going to eat it. Then the hide and skull are an added bonus. And yes, in that case they are very nice.

09-28-2005, 07:13 PM
"With all the carcasses left behind by the whiteman? It's just not right."

Come out to Chugwater Wy., I'll show you what the Indians did to the bison-

09-28-2005, 07:16 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by Sundles:
Oh yeah I forgot to mention that wolves dont really dance with humans either. It a Hollyweird image only--not real life. Thought I better be clear on this too. </div></div>There was this guy who used to go up to Vermont hunting moose. One day, scratching his head he said, used to be I could kill 100 moose a year up here, wonder where they all went?

I dont care what they called the movie, the point is the same. The bison were slaughtered.... and wasted.

09-28-2005, 07:20 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by anthracitic:
"With all the carcasses left behind by the whiteman? It's just not right."

Come out to Chugwater Wy., I'll show you what the Indians did to the bison- </div></div>If they did the same thing, I disagree with that too. What's your point?

09-28-2005, 08:35 PM
i just got in from bagging a young bear fat from a summer full of berries, and just like all game, the time of the year, what the animal has been eating, shot placement, and proper handling and processing of the carcass all play an important role in the quality of the meat. but to label bears as scavengers and not worthy of eating is a waste. if you are queasy about eating scavengers maybe you should stop eating chicken and pork, or better yet, don't go by any feed lots or slaughter houses. bear fat renders into pure, white, creamy lard. the meat makes very good burger and the hams, when properly smoked, are one of the finer game delicasies. we'll be busy tomorrow as i was on the way in from packing in a nice elk when i walked into the bear tonight, but the freezers are full early this year!

09-28-2005, 09:23 PM

Eat all the bear you want. I've eaten my share and they aint bison. I kill bears because I enjoy hunting them and because thier numbers have brought about serious elk population declines when combined with wolf predation. That makes bears a pest in my book and Idaho allows us to kill up to three bear a year in certain units because they are a problem. I dont mind you having your opinions, but I do disagree with your take on a few things in this thread such as you word "gloat"--it is telling of what you think. Enjoying the hunt, the hide and skull is not gloating, but if you can only see it as gloating, then it is gloating to you and that is a reflection of your thinking, not mine.


Like it or not, bears are a scavenger and I agree with you about eating beef and pork or chicken that is commercially pumped full of unatural foods and growth hormones and steroids. However, none of that changes my opinion of bears and what they are. I've had very good bear meat. I know all about it.

Ever wonder why AK has never required hunters to pack out the bear meat? Ever smell bear meat from a bear that has been feeding on fish, or dead animals? Yum, yum. Idaho didnt start requiring hunters to pack out bear meat till a few years back--they admitted to requiring it because they didnt want any more heat from the anti hunters and that is totally PC. I'm sick of regulations that are founded in PC--it will be the death of liberty if it continues. Now that Idaho requires us to pack out bear meat, the anti hunters are just as anti hunting and unhappy as they were before--it didnt change a thing and caving in to thier PC never will.

09-29-2005, 06:33 AM
Sundles, I'm not claming that you are a gloating trophy hunter. But I know many people who are. It's the trophy hunting mentality that I am against. Not trophy hunting per se. And promoting killing for heads and hides only furthers the problem.

I've seen people take unethical shots in an attempt to get a rack, only to wound and lose the animal. I have also found carcasses with no head. And I'm not talking about predators, these are deer and elk.

My problem is that people put too much value on a trophy. Because the guy with the big one, or his name in a record book gets a lot of attention. He gets bragging rights. And his ego boosted. And it "can be" at the expense of an animal's life. These people will claim to love the outdoors and Nature, then turn around and abuse it for ego. I am not against keeping a record of magnificent animals, but I believe the practice encourages bad ethics.

In your last post, you explained your reasons for wanting to control the bear population. Which is entirely different than this post in which you might have misrepresented yourself:

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by Sundles:
Bush, Does your state require you to pack out bear meat? Idaho started requiring folks to pack out bear meat about 8 or 9 years ago. (Alaska, where some common sense still prevails, does not require hunters to pack out the meat of a bear, only the hide and skull which are the two most desirable items in my opinion) Until that time, I never packed the meat out. Even now, if I do pack out the meat, I throw it away once I get it out. </div></div>I understand your wolf crusade. I hunt Idaho every year (nearly) with a friend of mine who lives in Boise. And I've seen the elk population get decimated over the years in the area you live in. So much so that we question whether it's even worth our while to try anymore. And with bears helping make a bad situation worse, then I can understand your point. Although I don't think the bears were an issue before the wolves, but that's a different story.

Either way, your plight against predators is applicable to you and your situation. The trophy hunting, or should I say, killing for heads, issues I speak exist everywhere else. What you are doing in your back yard vs what you are telling people to do elsewhere, appear to be two different things. Saying it the way you did to Bushcraft however, makes it seem like you are promoting the killing for heads across the board.

09-29-2005, 07:12 AM
Not to alter the direction of this thread, but does anyone know where I can get a GOOD, DESCRIPTIVE book on "how" to bone out and take the hide off a bear.

As I understand it, these animals require different techniques than deer.


Kevin B
09-29-2005, 07:30 AM
copper, I've not done it but I've seen it in writing and talked to a guy who has a couple mounts.

If you are wanting a rug, cut the belly to brisket. You then cut down th inside of each leg toward the paw. Before you get there, peel the hide away from the bone near the paw back up the leg (all with just the one long incission line). When you can get a saw through under the skin and abvoe the leg, cut the paw off as low as you can. Do this on all four. Peal him from but to head and clip the head laeving it attached to the fur. You should have the entire hide with head, paws and 5 incissions, belly and 4 legs.

If you want a shoulder/head mount, not much disimilar from a deer cape.

I'm plenty sure there's some shortcuts and "oh by the way don'ts" but I'll have to discover those in the field.

09-29-2005, 07:52 AM
I was taught that you always bro®ght out what you shot and you consumed it. There have been a few things that once tried were disposed of. A few ducks didn't get past the cooking stage because the smelled so bad fromd what they were eating and where they lived (another story). I will say that I would at least try it in sausage burger or something spicy before I disposed of it. On a lighter note anyone eat lobster, crabs, catfish, or sturgeon. Not a pleasant thought to think about what they eat but they're good!

09-29-2005, 10:53 AM

Elk depredation aside, many folks dont believe that bear meat is worth eating. I'm one of those people. So, all politics aside, if I hunt bear, it is for the hunting, the outdoors, the hide and the skull. Also, I have no problem with trophy hunting (may vary depending on the definition used) provided folks dont waste the meat of an edible game animal. To me bears are no more edible than grasshoppers or snakes or rats, all of which are edible to some folks, just not to me.

The good news is that I rarely have any problem giving away bear meat. It may not be as easy as giving away elk meat, but I can normally find some one who wants it.

09-29-2005, 01:10 PM
When are we going?

I say screw the self-control. It's a bear. The hide IS the primary item--no dishonor in that. There's no law saying you have to take every last scrap of the thing out. Since when is hide-only not sufficient? For some animals it's meat-only and the hide is commonly left behind. You were the one who philosophized well on the issue of a kill is a kill.

What's the worst waste that could happen? Maybe not all the meat gets used.

Once it's boned, the hide will be the heaviest part. This time you'll have to remove the skull to save weight. Take the canines.

09-29-2005, 03:04 PM
I wish I had nothing but time on my hands. Id go bear hunting with whomever wants to from this board and give you a first hand lesson on skinning a bear for a rug. I was taught how to do it in AK by an old bear guide as we skinned out my first Griz. when I was in my early 20's. Then he gave me more practice on a very large (sqared 8'2") black bear I shot with him the next year. Both bears are life size mounted in my house.

Then I would let you guys pack out all that beloved meat:-).

BTW, if I was starving, Id be real happy to have bear meat.

09-29-2005, 04:25 PM
Well, I am in the camp of those who do not kill unless they are going to eat the meat, BUT, the ornery ol' curmudgeon Sundles is right about this as quite a few bears are inedible. We have so many bears in B.C. that I wish the gov't. would open the season to American hunters to hunt here w/o a guide; there are far too many of them...bears that is.

Two weeks ago, I encountered a huge Blackie, one of the two or three biggest I have ever seen and I had both .338 and tag ready. He was facing me, uphill at 75 yds. and I decided not to shoot him because I hate skinning bears. This guy would have easily gone over 400 lbs., maybe made 500 and had a fabulous, lustrous, black coat, but, since he was in the Coast Range, I doubt that his meat would be fit for dog food.

I have eaten bear and would again, but, I hate killing the little ones as I love bears and the big guys are too rank and tough for me, each to his own. BTW, I prefer Elk hunting to almost anything on Earth, but, I don't really like the meat from the 6-points that we must shoot here in B.C. Now, that doesn't mean I won't shoot one, but, I prefer to eat Elk venison from a dry cow.......I never shoot them because it's not as much fun, so, who's right?

09-29-2005, 05:07 PM

09-29-2005, 05:17 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by Ksnake:
I disagree with hunting for trophies. Eat the meat or don't kill it. I don't expect this post to change anyone's ways, but that's just how I feel. </div></div>:D

09-29-2005, 05:22 PM

Does this rule apply to rabbits, coyotes? What if you came across a jackalope with a tremendous rack?

09-29-2005, 05:23 PM
Fair enough-

Just wish we could get a season on grizz here-
Desperately needed!

09-29-2005, 05:40 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by Bushcraft:

Does this rule apply to rabbits, coyotes? What if you came across a jackalope with a tremendous rack? </div></div>I might change my mind if I saw a jackalope. I dont think there are many left, and I want to get one or two before they are gone! /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

09-30-2005, 03:33 PM
I took this picture in Idaho last year. Headless elk. Stuff like this disturbs me.


09-30-2005, 03:56 PM
I have no problem with trophy hunting per se. The best trophies are usually near the end of their normal lifespan and death by a well-placed bullet isn't a bad one. Bob Ruark writes in one of his books about an old lion being slowly eaten alive by hyenas, too weak and sick to defend himself (Ruark shot the poor beast). A year earlier that black-maned lion would have been a magnificent trophy and would have died quickly. As it was he ended his days in misery.

As for leaving carcasses in the wild, well, scavengers have to eat, too. If the critter had died naturally, he would have lain there until consumed. It always surpises me how few dead animals I've encountered, and most of those in the form of a few scattered bones. The cleanup crews get moving pretty quickly.

I know what you mean, Ksnake, that photo bothers me, too particularly since there is little doubt the meat would have been quite edible, but a few days later I doubt there was much left.

09-30-2005, 04:27 PM

Thats NOT trophy hunting. Thats poaching. Big, big, big, big difference.

09-30-2005, 05:09 PM
Maybe the hunter didn't like bull elk meat...

09-30-2005, 07:30 PM

Eating predators/scavengers meat is a whole different matter than eating ungulates. But I thought we had already discussed that.

10-01-2005, 06:06 AM
SUNDLES, what I heard you say (which I've found is not necessarily the best way to communicate sometimes) is that you didn't like bear meat. In fact, you said you didn't like older bull elk meat also. You prefer a dry cow... What I'm trying to say is that maybe you should be pickier about what you SHOOT. While there may be many maggot infested dead horses in Salmon, ID, I've never seen one in the Kootenais. The bears I observe usually are living on roots, berries, and ants. A young fat bear that has been eating berries has good meat and lard. My PERSONAL opinion is that you shouldn't bother to shoot it if it is leaing you and yours alone and you are not going to eat it. Of course, maybe the difference is that you are from Idaho and me from Montana. See, we would have taken the dead horse as an oppurtunity to celebrate being able to stay in the wilderness a bit longer - and EATEN him!

10-01-2005, 06:26 AM
Hah!!! Another Kootenay speaks, with the words of wisdom typical of our kind!

My attitude to this is exactly the same, but, we have so many Black Bears in the Kootenays as well as the rest of B.C. that it is probably good for the populations of other game animals that quite a few of them are shot. Since some bears are pretty rank, I do not have a problem with leaving the meat for the Ravens, etc.

The photo of the Elk is typical of what is happening here in B.C. and there are two ethnic groups largely responsible for this, as investigations by the Conservation Officers have repeatedly demonstrated. My opinion is that anyone who does this should suffer exactly the same fate and I would volunteer to do it, free of charge.

Eating maggot-infested, dead horse meat....now, THAT is one tough hombre!!!

10-01-2005, 08:07 AM

I wasnt the person who posted about shooting a bear off a maggot infested dead horse.

Actually I posted that I have had some very good as well as some very bad bear meat. Even the good bear meat makes me queezzy though--weak mind I supose.

Its what the bears eat that I dont like (elk are grass and bush eaters) as they process that crap into themselves. Even where you live, which I doubt is any different than here, bears eat anything they find, which includes the good stuff you mentioned as well as any dead/rotten animal or other rotten things. I've personally smelled and handled bear meat that was not fit for human consumption even if you cooked it for days in a crock pot. I'll keep on shooting those bears if I please as I see nothing wrong with not eating some things that I shoot, such as bears, rattle snalkes, chipmunks, crows, etc. (I know, I know, chipmunks, rattle snakes and crows are illegal to shoot in Idaho, but they shouldnt be)

10-01-2005, 09:09 AM

Was there a bullet or arrow hole evidence in the carcass? Did you report this?

10-01-2005, 11:04 AM
Yup, I agree as many of the Blackies here eat crabs on the beaches and even maggot infested horse meat is better than that, the stink is just gross. Now, ya old curmudgeon, do you find the .500 S&amp;W or the Linebaugh better for them savage Chipmunks......note, I have shot them, squirrels and gophers when they got into one of my lookout buildings in very hot weather as the urine stench within three days would choke a liberal politician.....well, almost! Maybe a .340??? /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

10-01-2005, 01:22 PM

Actually I dont shoot chipmunks, but I do not beleive our government should be in the business of making laws that says we cant shoot chipmunks.

The last chipmunks I shot was with my sons several years ago. The only reason I shot some was because it turned into a competition (you know, when the kids start saying stuff, like "I can shoot better than dad")and I wanted the youngsters to see that the "old man" could not be beaten, at least by them:-).

10-03-2005, 02:58 PM
Sundles, There may be a difference between hunting and poaching, but there is no difference in the mentality of people that hunt for heads. To them, the result is the same. When the head carries more value than the meat, situations like this happen.

DP, It was already infested with maggots and the smell was intolerable. That was as close as I could get. And no, it went unreported.

Ralph, It was already a few days later, and the only thing feeding on it was maggots ... just what we needÖ more flies. And for what it's worth, I find stuff like this a lot. I love bushwhacking so I cover a lot of ground that most people don't see. And I know that if I am finding some carcasses, there are many that I don't see. I have no problem with an older animal dying and melting into the earth, or being taken by (non-dumped) predators, including humans, but I hate to see them wasted just because someone thinks it would look good on his wall.

10-03-2005, 05:31 PM

You've made it clear how you FEEL. I've made it clear that I dont see it the same as you. I've spent most of my life hunting for heads first and meat second. Some times I hunt for meat first, but not usually.

10-03-2005, 05:34 PM
Sundles... Would just like to as this... Why?

Dave R.
10-03-2005, 05:42 PM
Ksnake...I'm a meat hunter too...I love venison...but remember that for thousands of years, maybe millions, the badest dude in the tribe was always the trophy hunter, the hunter who slayed the majestic beast...he was the one who helped the tribe survive and live another day...


10-03-2005, 05:46 PM
Dave R, all well and good... but they weren't under the anti hunting microscope. If we weren't either, I doubt I would say anything. To each their own. But that is not today.

Dave R.
10-03-2005, 07:08 PM

I agree with you that times have changed. But does that mean that what used to be true is no longer true? Or is "it" still true and the culture is out of sync with the truth? I suppose that's a question for the political board....we were batting that idea around over there when we were talking about constructionists and deconstructionists.


10-03-2005, 07:18 PM
OK, here's another log for the fire.....

I have a deer head on the wall in my living room. It's a whitetail buck, weighed 150 lbs. cleaned, and I hauled it out 4 miles, whole (that's the law in VA, you've got to check them in whole).

I've had people (my wife's friends) walk into my house, wrinkle their noses, and make snide comments when they saw the deer head. They have no idea whether I ate the deer meat or not (I did) nor do they know what kind of hunter I am. But they put me under the "anti-hunting microscope" anyway.

So here's the question--why should I give a flip what they think? They have no clue how the deer head came to be on the wall, yet they judge me, in my own home no less.

Some of these folks think putting a head on the wall is wrong, even if you eat the meat. Should I care what they think?

Make no mistake, I do concern myself with the opinions of anti-hunters and especially non-hunters, because I know that their opinions could affect our freedom to hunt in the future.

Here's another question: I didn't eat the meat from the buck's neck (too tough) and didn't bone out the ribs (not worth it IMO). Some people would fault me for that.

Should I care?

10-03-2005, 08:56 PM

Ok you asked a fair question. You asked why trophy hunt?

Answer: Because I really like to hunt. If I go out and kill the first bull or buck I see, the hunt is over. If instead, I hunt for the smartest most experienced monarch of the species, it becomes a test of skills--mine against his. This is what I like about trophy hunting. I dont normally want to kill a witless spike, I want to out think the old monarch.

I've spent many a 3 week long hunting season looking for one specific bull and never found him, during the season. He lived and I went without meat, but I got more out of that hunting season than I would have if I had shot a spike on opening day. It made me a better more experienced, smarter hunter. I like the HUNT, much more than the KILL.

I believe you are making a HUGE miscalculation by trying to appease or not anger the anti hunters, cause anything short of stopping hunting all together will never make them happy. Never. Instead, you are giving in to them and only losing moral ground, modifying your actions and possibly giving up hunting rights in the process. I dont let what the antis think, control my choices.

10-04-2005, 03:06 AM
Even stopping hunting completely will not make the anti-hunting crowd happy. This group truly believes that everything on earth is superior to man - being more "natural" and that man has no right to be here. I'm not going to speculate about the psychological makeup of people who believe so.

First, they want to stop hunting, next they want to remove man from the wilderness, finally, they want to remove man (presumably excluding themselves) from the planet.

Even then, I doubt they would be happy. Please understand these are not happy people.

10-04-2005, 03:07 AM
SUNDLES, I'm a fan of yours and your products and use them quite regularly. Used to shoot Garrets rounds but when you came on the block I shoot your ammo exclusively in 44mag, 45acp, and 45-70. Thinking about trying new calibres too! For me the anti-gunners have nothing to do with it. I'm actually more concerned with you shooting chipmunks with your son because he taunted you. What are you teaching him that way? See, I believe all life on this planet has something special... I believe spilling the bllod of God's Creation should never be taken lightly. That's it in a nutshell. My belief system, doesn't have to be yours. Do I respect your right as an American citizen and citizen of the great state of Idaho to trophy hunt? ABSOLUTELY. See, blood has been shed to purchase that right and it is the most sacred of all - human. The blood of our children. So, have fun! I'm actually struggling with the issue as I've got a nice fat herd of elk pegged with a 7X7 bull that would actually look quite nice on MY wall!

10-04-2005, 03:55 AM
wow, this has turned out to be quite a thread. I had almost asked the question earlier of 'why dont people pack out bear meat?' (excess weight or poor taste). but that seemed to be covered pretty well. The old saying (said here a few times) it's all how it was raised/what it ate... so very true. Fortunately, where i live the begining of bear season is just before the corn comes down, and you can be sure they are corn fed. We could argue about what goes into the corn and then into the bear, but i'll tell you that i have had some good bear cause of that. now your situation out west is totally different and I respect that.

ralph said:
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> This group truly believes that everything on earth is superior to man - being more "natural" and that man has no right to be here. </div></div>couldn't agree more, this group to me is just as bad as purdue chicken. what do I mean by that? by taking/making believe man is aside/outside of nature, i think you are less likely to see or understand the consequences of your choice in food source.

I have a question about bear, wolf, and elk populations.
what is driving the increase in predator populations and decrease in elk (in the areas you folks has mentioned)?.

10-04-2005, 05:30 AM
I had a bear tag this year, for rifle in Sept. here in Colorado. The DOW keeps talking about the rising bear populations. But thanks to game management by vote we can no longer bait or run hounds. Colorado's bear harvest rate is around 4%. I didn't contribute to the successful harvest rate this season, in part because, bear are considered a big game animal, and I really didn't feel like eating bear meat. I view a bear tag as a good opportunity to scout for elk, and hump a rifle around. If I could harvest a bear, and not legally have to consume the meat, I would I be more to take bear season more seriously. While I am sure that under certain circumstances I would gladly consume a bear, right now I ain't hunkering for bear burger.

I firmly believe that hunting strictly for meat isn't the only reason for hunting. While I have eaten a lot of game in my life, and will continue to do so. There are animals I don't feel like eating that I have and will continue to shoot.

A much more pressing topic, to me seems to be the fact that if you want decent "trophy hunting" it is costing more and more for the opportunity. The cost is either in time or money. While here in Colorado cow tags are abundant, I welcome all who don't have a freezer full of elk, to apply for left over cow tags. I like the late cow season, it helps keep hunter density down during the regular seasons.

All said I do want a nice bear rug; it would give the pad a kinda of Daniel Boonesque feel. I know my wife would really appreciate the touch as well. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif

10-04-2005, 05:46 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by tree_entz:

I have a question about bear, wolf, and elk populations.
what is driving the increase in predator populations and decrease in elk (in the areas you folks has mentioned)?. </div></div>Tree:

I think if you do a search on "wolves" or "grizzlies" on the politics forum, you will find more than you can read in one day, this subject has been discussed pretty extensively over there.

10-04-2005, 05:49 AM
Sundles, I think you miss my point on the anti's. I am not modifying my actions. And I hunt for the same reason as you (well not the chipmunk part). And there is nothing wrong with your reasons for trophy hunting. In fact, I think that's perfect (as described in your last post).

I'm talking about the guy that looks up to someone who hunts like that. Someone with no skills who sees that head on someone's wall and hears the stories of how great of a hunt it was. And he looks up to the great hunter in awe and wants to be like that guy. But finds out that he cant do it. Then one night, after a couple beers, he jacks a big one with a flashlight, takes the head, leaves the carcass to rot, and makes up a great story just so he can feel like a great hunter. Or even worse, brags and laughs about what really happened without a care in the world. And I have to ask, what did that animal die for?

Antis donít have a chance with taking away your right to hunt if everyone hunts like you. But they do have a chance if they can document all the losers that have zero ethics and abuse animals.

I'm not trying to appease the antis, I'm just trying to not give them any more ammunition. Does that make sense? You see, their major angle is that animals shouldnít be killed for no reason. I say, we have a good reason, the meat! End of conversation.

As for blowing away chipmunksÖ there ya go again, giving them ammunition. And like KOOTENAI said, what are you teaching your kids by doing this? In a nutshell, you are teaching them that this is ok to do. And they psycle continues.

10-04-2005, 05:52 AM
Smokepole, I hear ya. I donít buy into that crap either. People can "assume" whatever they want about me, as long as I know the truth and as long as I'm happy with that truth. If they care to listen to the story behind the head on the wall, I'll tell them. If they don't, I don't care what they think. They are the ignorant ones, not me. It's human nature to judge people, you cant change that. But you can change how it affects you. Personally I donít buy into it.

10-04-2005, 06:09 AM
Dave R.

People have created religions to help control how people treat other people. Humans will kill, rape and steal from each other if they donít have any morals. And they will still do it if they donít have laws saying they cant. And then, they still do it anyway. So I ask you, is this right? Just because people did it before laws, and even before religion, doesnít mean it was right. I donít think it was right then, and I donít think it is right now. Its just that now, our culture has evolved to recognize that fact. Similarly, I donít think it's right with animals either. We just don't look at animals the same way as we look at people. So those morals have not evolved yet. But I donít see why they cant.

This makes me ask, why is that? The problem here is that the most dominant religion in this country doesn't teach morals for dealing with animals, so they are lacking in my opinion. We've talked about this before. I believe that its because Christianity has a superiority complex. They believe we are better than animals, and they preach that we can use them how ever we see fit. I think religions should teach people to respect animals. Use them as needed, but respect them at the same time. Note, that's "use", not "abuse".

10-04-2005, 06:12 AM
Ksnake and Koot,

It is OK to shoot chipmunks. My kids picked up needed shooting skills and had fun and quality time OUTDOORS with their dad at the same time. YOu cant get that good with a 22 by shooting at stationary targets. IF your good with a 22 offhand, you aint that far from being good with a hipowered rifle--which was my purose in taking them out shooting chipmunks and squirrels.

Chipmuncks are little rodents. Get over it.

Personally, at my age, I dont like to kill chipmunks. The little buggers are cute, BUT I DO NOT WANT MY GOVERNMETN BEING SO OPPRESSIVE THAT THEY MAKE LAWS AGAINST SHOOTING CHIPMUNKS!!!!! We could send every kid in Idaho with a 22, into the woods and have him shoot a chipmunk a day and it would not put a dent into the chipmunk population.

I do believe that God designed and made all life forms and one reason he put chipmunks here was for kids to shoot at.

As far as some one wanting to emulate me as a hunter and therefore turning to poaching, I'll get over that too. It isnt remotely my fault if some moron poaches in order to keep up (in his mind) with my hunting skills. That is absurd reasoning and could be applied to the enth degree with everything in life as if we are responsible for every wrong deed done by others, cause we are not.

10-04-2005, 06:19 AM

It is mostly politics that have caused bear and wolf numbers to rise dramaticaly. Bear baitng and hound hunting has been outlawed in most states do to the anti hunters and the PC of our politicians. The wolves, on the other hand, were dumped (reintroduced) on us by the federal government and are strictly protected and since they breed and kill in packs, their numbers have exploded. Guess what happens to the big game when predator numbers explode?

10-04-2005, 06:25 AM

If you kill that 7X7 with BBA ammo, I would love a photo.

Thanks for using our products and I'm glad you like them. Most of those products were developed by myself and my hunting partners after shooting numerous heads of game with prototypes.

10-04-2005, 06:43 AM
Sundles, I'm not saying you are to blame, so I'm not sure why you are taking it personal. I think you miss the point again. If you remember how this thread got hijacked in the first place (sorry bushcraft) you might remember that my point was that it's the trophy hunting "mentality" that is the cause for other's bad deeds. People think itís the head that is important, not the hunt. That's the point. And that is what is taught to the youngsters. Every TV show, video, magazine etc, focuses on the rack. And I think they are giving the wrong message in doing so. I would love to see a show that shows the hunt you described. Where it's the hunt that matters most. And the head is just a bonus, and a reminder of what you accomplished. I wish the term trophy actually meant something. IMO it's lost all it's meaning.

10-04-2005, 08:33 AM
I'd agree with your point there, Ksnake, especially in cases where some guy plunks down $6,000, goes out on a ranch, does exactly what the guide tells him and kills a nice animal through no effort of his own. Hardly gets out of the truck. Then thinks he's a great hunter and brags to his friends. He got his "trophy" but he missed the whole point.

Which is the opposite of how the trophy hunters on this board would operate. Maybe you're both right

My deer head has a fist-sized patch of hair missing on the chest, from dragging it. The taxidermist asked me if I wanted him to repair it, and I said "hell no, leave it there as a reminder of how hard I worked for that deer."

By the way, who needs tobacco?

10-04-2005, 09:29 AM

What on earth made you think I was taking it personally? Cause I wasnt. I think you and I speak a different language--at least when it comes to writing on the internet.

10-04-2005, 09:49 AM
Smokepole, exactly!

And you are right... I'm not dissing the style of trophy hunting done by most people here. There are many stand up hunters here with some nice trophies on their walls.

I love your concept of leaving the drag marks on the mount. Very cool!

10-04-2005, 09:51 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by Sundles:
It isnt remotely my fault if some moron poaches in order to keep up (in his mind) with my hunting skills. That is absurd reasoning and could be applied to the enth degree with everything in life as if we are responsible for every wrong deed done by others, cause we are not. </div></div>You sounded as if I was talking about you specifically, and this sounded defensive in that respect.

10-04-2005, 09:58 AM
Like I wrote before, you and I speak a different language when it comes to writing on the net. WHen I wrote the above statement you quoted, I saw it as logical, not at all defensive.

10-04-2005, 10:17 AM
It is logical /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Kevin B
10-04-2005, 11:52 AM
just a point ksnake, I'm NOT a hardcore religious person whatsoever, but:

You should preface when you say "religions are created to control how people treat other people", that that is a POV not a fact. Most anyone of strong faith believes their religion exists in perpetuity and wasn't "created" as a falsity to provide a construct to be good. They think goodness exists and their faiths are to something from wence it comes. That also can be considered a POV, I'm not advocating.

Second, would you let me know where Christians have a faith that either advocates or condones the waste of animals? Dominion, sure. Waste? Nope. I'm not aware of anything in Christianity other than stewardship and dominion but waste would be inherently frowned upon. Dominion does not imply the right to a wanton or reckless treatement, only a hierarchy of relative status.

10-04-2005, 12:58 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by Kevin B:
just a point ksnake, I'm NOT a hardcore religious person whatsoever, but:

You should preface when you say "religions are created to control how people treat other people", that that is a POV not a fact. Most anyone of strong faith believes their religion exists in perpetuity and wasn't "created" as a falsity to provide a construct to be good. They think goodness exists and their faiths are to something from wence it comes. That also can be considered a POV, I'm not advocating.
</div></div>As far as this thread is concerned, it doesnít matter how religion came up with the concept of do unto others etc. People are generally good to each other, as taught mostly by religion. It doesn't matter how people get to that point, as long as they do. If I need to be religiously PC, then fine, insert POV as needed. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by Kevin B:
Second, would you let me know where Christians have a faith that either advocates or condones the waste of animals? Dominion, sure. Waste? Nope. I'm not aware of anything in Christianity other than stewardship and dominion but waste would be inherently frowned upon. Dominion does not imply the right to a wanton or reckless treatement, only a hierarchy of relative status. </div></div>I think you might be misunderstanding what I'm saying here, or I just didn't do a good job of explaining it. I posted this thought process once before. Maybe it will make more sense if you check out the way I worded it last time. If not, I'll try to tackle it once again. Topic: Jim Beers - WHY I HUNT (http://forums.kifaru.net/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=2;t=000341)

10-05-2005, 09:48 PM
This is GJZ/GREG I've been telling my good friend TC from Lewiston Id. about Kifaru and wanted to help introduce him to the message board I hope he likes it. He is an avid hunter and has taken bears in MT, ID, WA, and AK. While visiting with his nice family we heard a about a freshly killed bull elk 5X5 that was found in a ditch along the road that was goard to death by another bull all of the vitals were damaged the archer that found the elk tagged it and boned it out.
I am flying into the Selway with TC Thursday and just wanted to say hello, talk to you again.

10-10-2005, 12:34 AM
I,m disapointed-we just returned from our trip and TC wanted to see if anyone responded. It looked like this thread turned into a boxing match taking jabs at each other. I'm not the most articulated writer and maybe it wasn't the best way to help a new Kifaru message board member get started jumping in on Bushcraft's thread but we were short on time. TC and his family are avid hunters (his wife just made us some excellent Tacos from their last elk)and I thought he would be an asset to the hunting forum.

it looks like everyone missed your question I hope this helps.
check out:
<a href="http://www.ussportsmen.org" target="_blank">http://www.ussportsmen.org (http://www.ussportsmen.org)</a>
click on: bear hunting
" " bear hunting books videos and dvds
" " field care of your bear video
Good luck with your hunt

if anyone is interested our trip was short but worth every minute. the flight into the wilderness was awesome, we saw a mountain goat, a couple of nice black bears (the closest at 944 yds. across the river canyon on the oppisite mtn.), whitetail does at the airstrip and mule deer does way up in the high country. I don't want to mislead anyone the game was hard to find and discouraging at first we had to work for it, at times it was more like Selway boot camp (very steep and agressive country) but like I said worth every minute we had a chance to really put some Kifaru gear to the test. We backpacked out of our base camp and set up a spike camp on top of a mountain for the night, sorry to say we never heard any elk but we did hear a pack of wolves the next morning, we hiked down to a creek bottom dropped our packs loaded up the day pack off of the long hunter and headed back in, we did get into some elk signs but ran short on time and had to head back. Although we didn't bring back any game this time (thats part of hunting) it was a great trip into a new area and we know where to start next time.


10-10-2005, 12:44 AM

<a href="http://www.ussportsmen.org" target="_blank">http://www.ussportsmen.org (http://www.ussportsmen.org)</a>
scroll down and click on bear hunting
then click on PRODUCTS
then click on bear hunting books, videos, dvds
scroll down and click on field care of your bear video

The Spirit of the Wild is Alive and Well