What does an average black bear measure?

Discussion in 'Bear Hunting' started by Tikkamike, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. Tikkamike

    Tikkamike Well-Known Member

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    What Size is an average black bear for the lower 48? Both body measurement and skull measurement? I see a lot of small bears being taken and a few that I would consider to be pretty big. Just wondering what you guys consider small average and big?
     
  2. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple taxidermist friends I stop in at so you get to see whats going threw. It is going to be very area dependent. For example MT has very few book bears and I would say it is not know for big bears.Seems like Penn. and Maine are known for some big ones sure others and of course AK.But where I live based on bears Ive seen a 5' type bear is often shot and Ive seen sows this size very square nice hide and 20 yrs. old. I think average hunter sees bear and pow.We have 6' type also and I have arrowed boars that where 5-6'' with a Pope skull and 6+ and skull was no larger.We have the very rare 7'.Where I live a 6'+ is considered a good one,that is about all Ill consider harvesting. I have seen a few local in the 20'' plus on skull and only one book personally.
     

  3. chesador

    chesador Member

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    Had an awesome hunt with Tim Picket / Southern Oregon Outfitters . Tim got me on a 500# 7'0" color phase monster boar... hunt and bear of a lifetime. !! I'd post pictures if I knew how.... sorry new to this !!!!
     
  4. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    I've only seen 2 sows that exceeded 6'. Even the ancient ones. my brother shot one that by all indication was deaf and blind, nothing left for teeth 5'4" if I remember right. I think a 6' boar is generally not fully mature. It seems to me at about 6.5' they start widening out showing more gut, hindquarters rounding, legs looking stumpy. A 7'+ bear is where trophy status seems to be universal. The folks I've hunted with in BC, like to shoot 6' plus. Last spring they had mostly return clients, and for the first time they tagged out 50 bear, all beat 6' 2 beat 7'. in a couple of decades of 40-50 bears a year, 1 21" skull is all they've taken. their bear density is high, 6-8 bears a day just driving clear cuts is usual. They have a huge area, with even more primitive area behind theirs to funnel kick outs into any space they make vacant. Berries everywhere, forest roads with a lot of clover, (seems like the roads are hydraseeded when loggers quit using them) and some salmon if they can stay ahead of the grizzlies. We don't get big skulls here P&Y is 18" a taxidermist claimed to have processed more than 10,000 skulls with only one exceeding 21". Older guys tell me the dump bears were bit bigger in the old days. The single 21" I kow of came from a bait on the back of someones property. That site was used for many years, and likely that bear was fed for a decade before being shot. My 7'3 bear went 19 11/16, and mid nineteen seems to be where we stop here. I'll drag out the B&C book if I get time and see what all time looks like here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
  5. HARPERC

    HARPERC Well-Known Member

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    Dropped a sentence, Most of our 6' bear seem to make the Pope and Young 18" mark.
     
  6. brentc

    brentc Well-Known Member

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    This year, I looked over some of the data from the last six years of spring bear hunting the AK coast and we've taken a total 35 bears, three of which were over 7' weighing approximately 400+ lbs, and six mid to high 6' at 300 to 350 lbs.

    Everything else was 5' to 6'4" up to 350 lbs. The 7' bears all measured between 19" and 20" on the skull and the high 6' bears were 18.5" - 19". An average bear for us up there measures between 5'10" and 6'4". These bears ranged from 16.5" - 18" on the skull. As an exception, two years ago my brother shot a skinny 6' spring bear that had the largest skull of any I've seen come from down there. It measured right at 20".

    We get some really nice bears with fantastic size and hide quality, but we've never seen anything close to an all time Booner skull.
     
  7. chesador

    chesador Member

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    Finally figured out how to send photos. Just open the attachment. Enjoy!

    20130530_202955_resized.jpg
     

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  8. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    AK doesnt equate to the lower 48,which is more what hes looking at. I hunted witha friend at a camp and most years the average bear was close to 8 yrs. and pope on skull.The campe we had took about 70 bears. Probably 1/2 doz. Boone and a friend of mine that is close to super slam, had the #3 at time pope at 21 13/16''. The area was know as one of the top in the world.Hard to beat fish diet and pretty long summers.
     
  9. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    Thats a great looking bear,love the color.What did the skull green score,looks like a whooper
     
  10. danj

    danj Well-Known Member

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    Nice bear, love that color . What state did he come from?
     
  11. chesador

    chesador Member

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    Thanks! Took him 5/30/13 in Glide, Oregon.
    Green score is 20 1/8" respectively.
     
  12. Bigcat_hunter

    Bigcat_hunter Well-Known Member

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    I hunted with Tim about seven years ago in Glide. Great outfit. He helped me get a 6' bear with 19" skull. I think it was 300 lbs if I remember right. I missed a bear with him that was a 500 lb bear like yours but I don't think they are that common here. Your bear is freaking awesome. I have only seen one more bear of that size since I have been bear hunting in Oregon. I shot him and lost him this may. It sucked.
     
  13. chesador

    chesador Member

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    Arrgh! That does suck!! Don't it seem like those rare badluck moments are the ones you remember the most. Have a couple that have haunted me for 30 years! Tims a great guy and as far as a guide he knows his stuff.
    Just picked up the bear steaks, salami, pep and jerky...can't wait to fire up the grill tommorrow
     
  14. angus-5024

    angus-5024 Well-Known Member

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    Im not in the lower 48, but up here in B.C anything under 6' is considered a "meat bear".
    over 6' is a decent one and 6'6 makes you happy. I have shot one that was 6'11" and I measured the skull (green) at just over 20". On Vancouver Island they get much better.

    I have never seen a chocolate bear that big! that's a real trophy!

    I haven't seen very many nice color phase bears that get big up here, but I'm sure they are here.