And I can see that, for sure. You get any real distance from the vehicle, that could turn into a couple days of work, maybe?
So let’s say you’ve hiked in a couple of hours or more. How do you handle a bear carcass in the field so as to take home the good stuff without beating yourself down to where you’re too zapped to enjoy the rest of your Elk hunt?
I’m thinking Step One is probably to not shoot too large a bear in the first place, but then what?
How do you cool the carcass of a bear in September so the meat won’t sour?
How do you divide things into loads, and how do you prioritize the order for getting those down?
Anything else a person ought to know that makes a bear a different project from a deer or Elk?
Other than that, just a critter. Don't forget the swizzle stick.
With a 35% meat yield on a bear. That’s only in the 100 lb range for a 300 lb bear. If your by yourself that is what 2 trips with meat and hide? Not sure how much weight you like to pack.
As said above. Get the meat off the animal, air it out, pack it out and get it in a cooler with ice. I like to use caribou game bags.
Besides, my brother has called in several while cow-calling, so a guy could probably hunt the two at once.
Makes a lot of sense to treat meat like meat, but I think it’d be foolish to not ask about the differences, especially if you were to get into one with a real good layer of fat already on it…
And is there a good reason to not go with a gutless approach on a bear? Seems like if there’s a lot of fat under the hide, you might have to gut it as your best/quickest/only option for cooling it down.
And yeah, it’s true that a bear tag is more expensive than bear spray, but it’s probably also much more effective at keeping them far, far away, and you don’t have to fumble for the trigger on the tag.
Meat care same as anything else, skin and debone into game bags promptly. Both my bears were NM in early Sept and had surprisingly little fat. Nothing compared to what I'd expect a cold-weather northern bear to have put on. It took me 1.5 days to get meat packed out and on ice, so if you can't afford that time on an elk hunt, don't hunt bears. And that was with immediate kill, no extended blood trailing, etc., so a bear hunt could turn into a longer detour if everything doesn't go smoothly.
And based on my limited experience...yum!
1. A bear is like any other animal. Skin it, take the 4 legs off, get all the other meat off the carcas. Divide into 4-6 pillow case sized game bags. The warmer the temps, the more bags i like to split the meat into. 2. Once you skin a bear out, and get it deboned you get WAY less meat than people think. I have shot some pretty good black bears, and the most meat that I have got that i weighed with a scale when i got home was 86 pounds.
3.I cool bear meat the same way i would cool any other meat in September
4. I split the loads up like any other animal
5. The only difference for me would be on a really nice bear, I may skin the entire thing out for a rug/lifesize. If you do a really good job on the skinning, not leaving a bunch of meat fat on the skin the entire hide with the skull still in it will probably be 65ish pounds. Most people leave about a 5 gallon bucket of fat and meat on an entire bear hide. That is a lot of xtra weight!
If not saving the hide, most bears are going to be more like dealing with a deer, not an elk.
But yeah, I would rather take the time to scrape off a bunch of fat than carry it off the hill. And is it just me, or can carrying a pound or two of salt UP the hill save you from carrying a much heavier amount of water back down??
Get the hide off quickly and you'll be fine. Last year took my bear it was in the 90's. Had to wait til following morning to get it to processor. Took 4+ hours to get out after immediately skinning, then packed with ice packs til morning.
My deal is, I am planning to hunt OTC Elk with my brother and our nephew, but those two are mostly limited to weekends, so I may hit an alternate area with few Elk and more bears for a couple of days earlier during the week. That’d keep me from harassing the Elk without them (not that there won’t be plenty of other guys doing it), and I could mitigate the risk of blowing up my weekend Elk effort by being smart about where/when I take any shots at bears… Might have to rest up on Mondays, hunt high on Tuesdays, low on Wednesdays and go fishing on Thursdays and Friday mornings….
I was elk hunting in NM, and found a wallow area Where I climbed a tree with my saddle. The spot was torn up for about 30’ with tracks and a couple wallows. It was a bit of a trek to get to, no trail to speak of down in a bit of a nasty spot…so read, not the easiest place to pack a critter out of solo.
I would have just built a GB but the wind swirled bad in that spot and guaranteed the elk would have winded me so I packed my Saddle in there and one stick.
I no longer get set and in comes an awesome bear with blond head and paws with the rest being a rich chestnut brown- super cool color. It starts to tear apart a stump a layup distance away for my recurve-15y.
I thought about shooting it- for about 30 seconds then changed my mind- long pack for a bear and I much prefer elk meat….plus; dang it will seriously screw up this good elk spot.
Right about that time 2- 50# cubs come strolling in and there was no second guessing my decision.
No elk killed in that spot…even in the tree I think they were winding me.
I think you’re Not Wrong, because I don’t think that you get any break for the second fishing license if you buy 2 tags in a year….