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Old 05-25-2020, 11:12 AM
Hunter3006 Hunter3006 is offline
 
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Default Average bear size

Hi everyone,
Just looking for some feedback. I am in the northern region of Alberta. As people have mentioned, lot's of black bears. Lot's of SMALL bears. We head out 4- 5 times a week in the evenings. We see 5 or 6 bears an evening, and I am sure none of the bears we have stalked have been over 120 lbs. What would you consider an average size bear?
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:41 AM
SouthWestRanger SouthWestRanger is offline
 
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Hi everyone,
Just looking for some feedback. I am in the northern region of Alberta. As people have mentioned, lot's of black bears. Lot's of SMALL bears. We head out 4- 5 times a week in the evenings. We see 5 or 6 bears an evening, and I am sure none of the bears we have stalked have been over 120 lbs. What would you consider an average size bear?
Sometimes size can be deceiving, weight and bear length donít always indicate a mature bear, head size is the key determining factor. Iíve seen bears in the spring over 250lbs that didnít make 18Ē and Iíve seen bears that werenít even 6 feet go well over 19Ē. If you see a bear with a big noggin and a crease in the forehead you are looking at a good bear but itís very hard to learn the identifying features of a good bear without seeing it in person. My personal rule is if I have to argue with myself whether itís a mature boar it probably isnít and should get a pass.
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Old 05-25-2020, 01:09 PM
Osky Osky is offline
 
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We hunt fall here. The state average age for a killed bear is just over 2 years so barely 200lbs at best. That leaves a lot of very nice bears for those with patience.
In my camp the rule is 300lbs or better, or your not coming back. Our state aging of all bear teeth is a great tool and shows that here in the heavy bush a bear makes a solid 300lbs around 8-9 years old. In the more crop laden areas they reach it sooner. A 300lb Bear here will be around 6í1 nose to base of tail.
Few sows ever reach the 300 mark here.

Osky
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:07 PM
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5 foot 180lbs avg at taxidermist.


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Old 05-25-2020, 03:27 PM
st99 st99 is offline
 
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I don't know about weight, but I'd say most (adult) bear walking around are between 5 and 5.5 feet. I usually consider 6' is big, 6.5' is very big and 7'+ is a monster.
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:31 PM
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I don't know about weight, but I'd say most (adult) bear walking around are between 5 and 5.5 feet. I usually consider 6' is big, 6.5' is very big and 7'+ is a monster.
This.
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:45 PM
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I don't know about weight, but I'd say most (adult) bear walking around are between 5 and 5.5 feet. I usually consider 6' is big, 6.5' is very big and 7'+ is a monster.
THIS We weighed bears 1 year at bear camp .they weigh a lot less then most people think.
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:06 PM
Hunter3006 Hunter3006 is offline
 
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Default bear size

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Originally Posted by SouthWestRanger View Post
Sometimes size can be deceiving, weight and bear length donít always indicate a mature bear, head size is the key determining factor. Iíve seen bears in the spring over 250lbs that didnít make 18Ē and Iíve seen bears that werenít even 6 feet go well over 19Ē. If you see a bear with a big noggin and a crease in the forehead you are looking at a good bear but itís very hard to learn the identifying features of a good bear without seeing it in person. My personal rule is if I have to argue with myself whether itís a mature boar it probably isnít and should get a pass.
I am thinking along these lines. I have see 2 dozen bears in the past 2 weeks. 2 of them were decent but were spooked as I got close. 2 others were big mamas with 3 cubs. All the others were pretty small and anything I was trying to figure out, I let pass. I figure if I see a big one, I should be able to recognize it. I was fortunate to harvest one last year, and thought he was a pretty good size. It was my first year, and shot at about 120 yards. He was only 150 dressed. With that said, I hunt for the meat and really enjoy bear. He was good eatin.
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:21 PM
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I don't know about weight, but I'd say most (adult) bear walking around are between 5 and 5.5 feet. I usually consider 6' is big, 6.5' is very big and 7'+ is a monster.

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Old 05-25-2020, 08:13 PM
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I don't know about weight, but I'd say most (adult) bear walking around are between 5 and 5.5 feet. I usually consider 6' is big, 6.5' is very big and 7'+ is a monster.
Another vote here.
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:00 PM
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all about the skull for me. I would take a 230 lb, 20" over a 400 lb 18.5" bear any day all day. less tanning costs too lol
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SouthWestRanger View Post
Sometimes size can be deceiving, weight and bear length donít always indicate a mature bear, head size is the key determining factor. Iíve seen bears in the spring over 250lbs that didnít make 18Ē and Iíve seen bears that werenít even 6 feet go well over 19Ē. If you see a bear with a big noggin and a crease in the forehead you are looking at a good bear but itís very hard to learn the identifying features of a good bear without seeing it in person. My personal rule is if I have to argue with myself whether itís a mature boar it probably isnít and should get a pass.
bingo!
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:02 PM
MooseRiverTrapper MooseRiverTrapper is offline
 
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Same as deer have to comb through a lot of ratty 100 pound bears or 110Ē 4x4 whitetail to find a good one. That is the size and age class that makes up the majority of the species.
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Old 05-25-2020, 11:40 PM
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I hung around a group of guys through the 90ís and we were all avid black bear hunters. We hunted the north end of Vancouver Island and the coastal inlets by boat. We only shot what we hoped were bears with big noggins on them and getting a good one became a bit of a competition amongst us. We didnít worry as much about weight since bears shot in the spring obviously weighed less than ones in the fall so we never weighed them. Plus some came out of areas where we could never have gotten them out in 1 piece.

Out of 30-40 bears over a 10+ year span a dozen or so went over 19 inches. Some just over the mark. We only had 2 over 20 inches. I shot one that measured after drying 20-3/16ď. It was a very old bear that was wider that most for skull measurement but relatively short in length. The skull was completely calcified and it was hard to see the lines between plates. Most of its teeth were worn down and in bad shape. It was what we thought was a very old bear with not great genetics. The bear squared out at 94Ē, so just short of 8 feet. I had a rug done that took up a whole living room wall in the small House I had at the time.

My brother-in-law shot one that was the exact opposite. His scored 20-6/16Ē. I remember his being a younger bear with what we thought was pretty good genetics. His wasnít as wide as the 20+ incher that I shot but it was quite a bit longer, the plates on the skull were easy to distinguish and itís teeth were in good shape. I always wondered what that bear would have made it to skull measurement wise if it had lived as long as the one I shot.

The bear habitat in the coastal regions is second to none. It was not uncommon to see 20+ bears in a day cruising the river/creek estuaries. We saw a lot of bears over the course of a year and very few were what we thought were shooters over 19Ē. Iíve now lived in Fort McMurray for the better part of 10 years and itís not uncommon to see a dozen bears a day while out for a quad ride in the areas I hunt. In that time Iím not sure though that Iíve seen a bear that would have got a second look back in the day. Great eaters with not having to worry about any of them being fishy but if you were after one with a big head it would be a tough go for sure.
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Old 05-26-2020, 04:20 AM
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Just a ballpark from seeing maybe 200 bears + trail cam pics. I'm a smoker but the wind blows the right way every set up once in a while.

15% -- 80/100 lbs

30% -- 110/160 lbs

25% -- 160/225 lbs

15% -- 225/275 lbs

10% -- 275/325 lbs

5% -- 325 +
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Old 05-26-2020, 09:57 PM
Chaoticelk Chaoticelk is offline
 
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I personally would t shoot a bear under 7 feet. Not hard to find a bear in Alberta least going for 7 plus is a challenge. 6.5 plus is a good bear none the less.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:17 AM
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You cannot correlate skull size to bear length. The best way I explain it to customers is it is genetic and they are like people. If you ever sat in an airport and people watched, you will see some really tall people with small heads and then you see some people who head are too big for their body, same goes for bears. As a taxidermist, you can really see this come true. Taxidermist as well measure bears nose to base of tail so hearing a fib of eight black bears is quite common. In 2013 I shot a black bear here in Alberta that measured 21 9/16 and he measured 5ft 10' nose to base of tail. People said he must have been 600lbs plus, no maybe 300lbs thats it and he was in good shape. So add in his back legs, he was maybe mid 7ft. All bears are different, just like people. As well, when you see that giant bear, you will just know it is, something about it tells you immediately on the spot that it is big. They walk different, they just look different. I have seen only a few giant bears in my life hunting and fortunate to get one of them but in all the cases, it was an immediate answer of yes it is big.
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Old 05-27-2020, 08:55 PM
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You cannot correlate skull size to bear length. The best way I explain it to customers is it is genetic and they are like people. If you ever sat in an airport and people watched, you will see some really tall people with small heads and then you see some people who head are too big for their body, same goes for bears. As a taxidermist, you can really see this come true. Taxidermist as well measure bears nose to base of tail so hearing a fib of eight black bears is quite common. In 2013 I shot a black bear here in Alberta that measured 21 9/16 and he measured 5ft 10' nose to base of tail. People said he must have been 600lbs plus, no maybe 300lbs thats it and he was in good shape. So add in his back legs, he was maybe mid 7ft. All bears are different, just like people. As well, when you see that giant bear, you will just know it is, something about it tells you immediately on the spot that it is big. They walk different, they just look different. I have seen only a few giant bears in my life hunting and fortunate to get one of them but in all the cases, it was an immediate answer of yes it is big.
Here in my area, being heavy bush, I see maybe one giant a year with 15 baits out in the fall. I do get plenty of bears between 3-400 lbs simply because this state has so many hunters who take the first bear in and done. Finding a 20 plus inch skull is very rare. Our new state record was shot near here and as you noted on yours it was not a huge bear at all. He just had a pumpkin head.

Another area I hunt with a good friend is in the agricultural areas in the northwest and overall those bears have bigger noggins. It's not scientific but I am convinced his bears leave the teat and find summer plenty, and then the fall crops put them in hibernation in terrific shape. This much food from such an early age sets the course for exceptional bone structure.
I also believe that bear are like we are in that after a certain point in life they lose bone structure and size. Older does not always mean bigger.

Osky
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:02 AM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
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I personally would t shoot a bear under 7 feet. Not hard to find a bear in Alberta least going for 7 plus is a challenge. 6.5 plus is a good bear none the less.
True 7ft nose to tail on the round exists but I would love to see anyone consistently take bears that size or even 6í6.

If you are measuring your beard on the round from tip of nose to tail I can confidently say a 7ft bear is not easy to come by. 6í5 is not easy to come by either. Put a tape on a lot of bears over the years between hunting and working in a BC taxidermist shop for a while. A shop that took in bears from outfitters well known for big bears and took in 200+ bears a year. Most bears did not break 6ft a true 7ft bear was rare and most years a bear under 6í6 was the biggest

We joked all the time when a customer told us the size of a bear they were bringing in that it would be a foot shorter and a hundred pounds lighter. It played true majority of times

Average bear you see in the bush is 5ft give or take 4 inches.

Measured lots of bears in the 5í9 to 6í2 that were 19Ē+ skulls
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:12 AM
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Here are two bears that measure just over 6í nose to tail on the round. They are boars taken just over an hour apart spot and stalk. I took the black one and my hunting partner (a taxidermist) took the brown. We have taken bigger bears, but this was a feat likely never to be repeated and we have taken oodles of black bear together.

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Old 05-28-2020, 08:28 AM
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Another 6í bear shot within 50 yards of the previous picture. A year or two prior.

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Old 05-28-2020, 06:00 PM
Smoky buck Smoky buck is offline
 
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Nice bears bears Chuck I am jealous of the last big colour phase that is something that has eluded me. Taken lots of nice black phase and only one mid size chocolate.

6ft+ are good bears and if a guy puts in his effort they are realistically around. Itís the magical 7ft bears that are way harder to come by then hunters claim. The exist but most diehard bear hunters will be lucky to take more than one in their hunting career
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:32 PM
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Thanks. Yes, Iím still looking for a 7í bear. Here is another colour phase I took this year. I didnít tape this one.

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Old 05-28-2020, 06:45 PM
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Great bears Chuck the browns are beautiful color , you just get them tanned or rugs
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:30 PM
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Thanks. Yes, Iím still looking for a 7í bear. Here is another colour phase I took this year. I didnít tape this one.

Looks like you have a good population of colour phase in your area

My buddy blew a chance on a true 7ft black bear last week in Valemount BC. He only has a few seasons bear hunting and passed on it thinking it might be a black phase grizzly. His hunting partner a good friend of mine is an experienced bear hunter. He confirmed it was a huge once in a lifetime black bear. He hung back on the stalk but had this bear in the spotter.

I have been teasing him with random bear pics quizzing him grizzly or black bear everyday since lol. But he did do the right thing and still got a good bear after passing on that one

I decided to take this spring off do to a new job eating up time and a 2week quarantine as part of the hiring agreement. So I am stuck looking at others success
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:08 PM
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Great bears Chuck the browns are beautiful color , you just get them tanned or rugs
Thanks. I just have them tanned.
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:09 PM
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Looks like you have a good population of colour phase in your area

My buddy blew a chance on a true 7ft black bear last week in Valemount BC. He only has a few seasons bear hunting and passed on it thinking it might be a black phase grizzly. His hunting partner a good friend of mine is an experienced bear hunter. He confirmed it was a huge once in a lifetime black bear. He hung back on the stalk but had this bear in the spotter.

I have been teasing him with random bear pics quizzing him grizzly or black bear everyday since lol. But he did do the right thing and still got a good bear after passing on that one

I decided to take this spring off do to a new job eating up time and a 2week quarantine as part of the hiring agreement. So I am stuck looking at others success
Yikes! I find if you wonder what you are looking at itís a black. A Grizzly looks like a Grizzly. :-)
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:33 PM
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Yikes! I find if you wonder what you are looking at itís a black. A Grizzly looks like a Grizzly. :-)
Oh he will be getting harassed for a long time

I was not there to see the situation so all I know for sure is he did not feel 100% confident so he passed on it.
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Old 05-28-2020, 08:57 PM
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Oh he will be getting harassed for a long time

I was not there to see the situation so all I know for sure is he did not feel 100% confident so he passed on it.
Which is fine. Though heartbreaking. :-)
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Old 05-28-2020, 09:46 PM
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Thatís pretty impressive chuck...looks like you got yourself some good areas for nice bears.
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