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Thread: Son's first bear (Just a little guy???)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Son's first bear (Just a little guy???)

    Since this was our son's first bear and his first bear hunt ever, I thought it would be an interesting post. Many young hunters and less experienced bear hunters can probably relate to his situation and may find some helpful tips/info in their future endeavors.

    Although my son has taken numerous deer, (mule and whitetail) with both rifle and bow, he has never hunted bear before. On the other hand I personally have taken many bears over the years, but have never taken him on those hunts. Just moose and deer hunts.

    This spring, he approached me and asked if I would like to accompany him on a bear hunt, as he wished to hunt bear this year. I declined saying that I still have lots of bear meat in the freezer from last fall. But, the truth was that I wanted him to venture this one on his own. I was confident in his ability to do so, safely. But a father always feels a little apprehension, you just never know.

    We did a little scouting together the latter part of April in an area that I suggested would be a good spot. We parked the truck along the beginning of the forest road and walked from there on for a good ways. I prefer to walk as I can look for sign/clues as to if and where to hunt. There was still patches of snow on the road in shaded areas, and not much greenery as yet. But there was one small south facing open meadow that was starting to green up nicely. I suggested to my son then to concentrate his attention here as I believed this is where early season bears would hit first. I also suggested that the first week of May would be a great time-frame as has been the case for me in my area over the past decades.

    The last weekend of April he began his hunt. He went in a different area this time, and came across numerous fresh bear scat along the road but did not see any bear. Saw a bull and cow elk and numerous mule deer, which he appreciated.

    The following weekend (May 2nd) he went in the same area as last weekend, but found no sign of bear, He then proceeded to our original area and found nothing there as well. At the high point of the mountain, feeling a bit disheartened, he decided to slowly drive his truck downward the mountain on his way home. It was 11 am and figured to head home for lunch and maybe come back for the afternoon. As he was about half way down the mountain, up ahead a good ways, his eyes caught movement just along the side of the road. BEAR. not one but 2 BEAR!!!.

    Immediately stopped the truck and shut it down. Grabbed the binos and observed the 2 bears feeding along the side of the road. Now the one chocolate colored bear was smaller than the larger blackie. His heart sank as his thoughts were, sow and cub. Since he was a good distance away, he thought he would just watch these 2 bears for awhile and not disturb them. After carefully watching the bears feeding for about 30 minutes, he began to question his original conclusion. Maybe this wasn't a sow and cub after all.

    Still while keenly looking for clues as he did not want to shoot either bear, if sow and cub, a strange thing happened. As the smaller brownie approached the larger blackie, the bigger bear quickly chased off the smaller bear. This was what he needed to see. He then took out his rifle support as the range finder indicated 152 yards and carefully aligned the cross hairs of the rifle scope on the sweet spot of the larger bear.

    The moment of truth had finally arrived. One last long relaxing breath, and slowly squeezed the trigger. At the sound of the bark of his 30 06, the bear dropped like a stone.
    After a moment to reflect and gain back his composure, he drove the truck down to where the bear lay just a few yards form the road. "Oh boy" he thought. "Better go get Dad"

    After picking me up at my home only a short 15 minute drive from my home, we zoomed back up the mountain. He recounted the story in detail how if unfolded and emphasized that he was not sure if the bear was big enough. He did not want to shoot a bear which would be too young to be legal. I just thought, well........we will see.

    As the truck approached to where I could see the bear and still a good distance away, I remarked immediately "That's no little bear!!!"

    Hopefully, I can manage to post the pictures and you guys can judge for yourselves.
    Always EXPECT the UNEXPECTED!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Lumby BC
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    Re: Son's first bear (Just a little guy???)

    Always EXPECT the UNEXPECTED!

  4. #3
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    Nov 2003
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    Prince Rupert Again, Formerly Fort Nelson
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    Re: Son's first bear (Just a little guy???)

    That is awesome!!
    "Dy'in ain't much of a livin' boy"

    "There is NO Keyser Soze"!!!!!!

    "Do cow moose have white inside their ears"?!!!!!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Victoria
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    11,442

    Re: Son's first bear (Just a little guy???)

    Wow that thing is a pig! Congrats to your son..
    Yup, it's easier to manage hunters (LEH) than it is to manage wildlife. And, generally, LEH satisfies the Guide Outfitter because it limits the number of hunters in their area.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Re: Son's first bear (Just a little guy???)

    Finally figured out how to post picture. I'm a bit challenged when it comes to this stuff

    In this picture, notice the deep scar on the underside of the one toe. Fight, sharp rock, barbed fenced ??? Interesting just the same.

    Always EXPECT the UNEXPECTED!

  7. #6
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    Feb 2017
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    Cariboo
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    Re: Son's first bear (Just a little guy???)

    Great story, thanks for sharing. That’s gonna be a tough act to follow, very nice.

  8. #7
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    Jul 2005
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    The Black Hole!
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    Re: Son's first bear (Just a little guy???)

    Amazing Bear!!

    Congrats to the shooter!

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    5,491

    Re: Son's first bear (Just a little guy???)

    Awesome.....congrats.

  10. #9
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    Mar 2011
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    okanagan
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    Re: Son's first bear (Just a little guy???)

    Wow! Nice bear! Congrats to your son!

  11. #10
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    Sep 2011
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    Re: Son's first bear (Just a little guy???)

    Very true. It will be a tough act to follow. However, our family's first priority in hunting is to provide great meat for our consumption. So, as my son has stated to me again after the fact, that he would have been happy to take the smaller chocolate bear. He just wasn't sure on how to judge a bear's size from a distance. So he took the larger bear to be sure it was legal.

    So, on the topic of field judging a bear from a distance. Here's some pointers for the less experienced bear observers out there. When observing a bear from a distance, focus mainly on 3 things in order to determine the size and maturity of a black bear.
    1- the ears
    2-the legs
    3-the midsection or belly

    When a bear gets to a certain age, yet still a younger bear, the ears essentially stop growing in size, while the head and body continues to grow with age.
    So, while observing the bears head, if the ears appear to be fairly large, this is a younger bear, If the ears appear quite small, you are looking at a mature bear. That's because the head continues to grow and will get much larger but the ears will not, giving the appearance of small ears.

    Concerning the legs. If the bear appears to have long/tall legs, this is a younger bear. Again the legs will not get much taller/longer at a certain younger age, but the body of the bear will get much larger (fill out) and also longer. So a younger bear will have the appearance of longer/taller legs, while a mature bear will appear to have short stubby legs.

    As to the body. As the bear matures and his main body increases in size the belly will be much closer to the ground. This is a mature bear. My son remarked that he noticed the big guys belly as he walked, almost touching the ground.

    These are the 3 main things to look for when field judging a bear for size/maturity from a distance. Of course, these observations are all subjective. That is you still have to observe numerous bears of different sizes in order to get the memory bank needed for this judgement. Put the time in folks! It will pay off.

    One last thing. Body size/composure does not always easily tell the difference between the sexes. I have taken very large female blacks with massive heads and body. They were certainly dominant in their behavior/walk, In this case, the difference is the length of the body. A female will have a shorter body length than a large male. I can tell the difference between the sexes, but most can't. Again, put the time in folks. 50 years hunting for me.

    Also, a female can be as much as 40 percent less in body weight as a male of same age class.
    Hope that helps some..........Don
    Always EXPECT the UNEXPECTED!

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