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Thread: Black Bear. Male vs Female

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Lowermainland
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    Black Bear. Male vs Female

    Okay fellas spring bear is coming up . Could you more experienced Black Bear hunters post up your tips to avoid taking a female that could possible have Cubs . Characteristics of Males vs Females
    If you have photos of each that would be even better . I would imagine patience is key as the Cubs could off a bit from the Mother
    Thanks
    Arctic Lake
    Member of CCFR and BackCountry Hunters & Anglers Would encourage you all to join both today !

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Kamloops
    Posts
    539

    Re: Black Bear. Male vs Female

    Very difficult to tell sometimes as they are never staying still and often at odd angles. Best piece of advice, be patient and watch every bear through optics, look around, get different angles, play where waldo the cub.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Williams Lake, BC Canada
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    12,582

    Re: Black Bear. Male vs Female

    Hmm different characteristics of males versus females..however small younger maless mimic females..
    Females heads appear to be attached to body..males have necks
    Females heads will be narrower..longer slender snouts males have square shorter noses squareish..small boars noses are still narrow..
    Females wI'll not exhibit that muscle crease on the forehead.
    Females rear ends are bigger....
    Females will have tapered front legs..so will smaller boars..
    Femaless and small imature boars will have front wrists..,..big boars have Popeye front arms..stove pipes from elbows down to pads..
    Hard to tell quickly small young boars from females..
    On occasion I have spent 20 minutes trying to tell ..only sow keep looking back to treeline..or Cubs show up..
    It can be very very difficult..ensuring it's a boar ensures there are no Cubs nearby up a tree..
    Srupp

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Langley
    Posts
    5,094

    Re: Black Bear. Male vs Female

    I've been hunting bears for 7 years and I am still not certain. I just guess at a lot of things.

    Hips and shoulders are the first thing I take in. If it looks wide at the back more narrow up front, I start thinking sow.

    Most important for me is less how it looks and more how it acts.

    Sows walk more straight legged. Boars often walk with a swagger as if they are over exaggerating the size of their package.

    Sows are often more cautious about entering a feeding area, often sticking close to cover. Boars often just walk in like they own the place. I'll hear the crash-crash-crack-crash-crack getting louder and louder and he walks right out to the middle of an open area, starts munching or ripping apart logs/stumps.

    Sows seem more calculative in their movements as well and remind me of some kind of weird slinky when they go from a blob to stretching out.

    Anyway, I know this probably doesn't help a heck of a lot. I can pretty much guarantee you there are seasoned guides who have been involved in 100+ bear hunts that occasionally misjudge a boar for a big old sow.

    So far my guess work and gut feeling has done the job. I've harvested 7 bears and passed on probably 5x that (though only a half dozen of those were because I was suspicious it was a sow, there are many other reasons to pass) ... end result is that I have shot 0 sows.

    I think once you see enough bears, you just start to "know", kind of like you would (most of the time hopefully) with humans if all guys/girls had the same hair cut and dressed in a winter coat with a scarf.

    I wouldn't be hard on myself if I mistook a sow for a boar, as long as it didn't have cubs. That is another thing though. I always figured in the spring the cubs stuck fairly close by. For the most part, I imagine they do, but they could also be 20 yards back in the treeline way out of sight while the sow is feeding 10 yards outside the treeline. That was actually my "ah hah" moment one evening. I watched this bear I figured was a sow feeding for a couple hours in the corner of a little meadow with WAY better grass if she would only just come out another 10 yards, so it didn't make sense. My gut didn't even let me consider shooting, even when I walked right by her (10-15 yards) on my way out. Next night same thing... watching her feed in the little corner. This time about an hour into it, I caught a glimpse of the little fur balls messing about pretty far back in the treeline. I was a bit more nervous walking by her last light. Oh yeah (almost forgot) I shot an old boar in the same spot the next morning. Turns out she was still there too, just inside the timber. Spent the next hour clacking at me while I took care of the boar. I still have no idea if he killed either of the cubs. I don't think I ever saw them again.
    Last edited by caddisguy; 03-24-2021 at 01:23 PM.

  6. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: Black Bear. Male vs Female

    Thanks very much for the detailed replies fellas !
    Arctic Lake
    Member of CCFR and BackCountry Hunters & Anglers Would encourage you all to join both today !

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Williams Lake, BC Canada
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    Re: Black Bear. Male vs Female

    Hmm if in doubt..pass..
    Srupp

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    1,512

    Re: Black Bear. Male vs Female

    [QUOTE=srupp;2242476]Hmm if in doubt..pass..
    Srupp[/QUOTE

    X2

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    kamloops
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    3,226

    Re: Black Bear. Male vs Female

    Black bear boar swaggee is like a coke head at closing time at the bar big arms im in charge..sows have a heart shape to them..and a juvenille in the middle of a cut can be hard to tell..bit if it looks like muscluar bear not just fat should be good if your in the lml i can tell you where to go view bears.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    kamloops
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    3,226

    Re: Black Bear. Male vs Female

    I drive as fast as i can looking at poop once i find pooh with hooves i found my target bear...

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Central Island
    Posts
    431

    Re: Black Bear. Male vs Female

    Just sneak up on them and lift the tail and give a little tickle. 100% I.D.
    Last edited by finaddict; 03-24-2021 at 10:08 PM.

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