Oregon Spring Bear

orchemo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
378
I downed a smaller spring black bear last week, was probably 175 lbs. 40 yd shot. Bear was facing about 10:00 eating in some tall grass along a river bank. As she pulled a clump of grass, she raised her head, and I took a upper chest/neck shot. 200 gr E-tip from my 338 Federal and down she went. Waded across a stream river. Slow moving but up to about mid chest. Tied a rope around her back legs then pulled her back across the river.

As I was skinning the bear, I noticed that this bear had much more fat than the bears we had shot the previous two springs. Fall bears can have inches of fat, spring bears, not so much.

In Oregon, you are required to take the skull into the Fish and Game department, they pull a tooth to determine the age of the bear. The biologist guessed this bear was about 5 years old.

As the biologist was pulling the tooth, we talked about the extra fat I noticed on this spring bear. His comments were: During the winter and early spring (less active time) in Oregon, the bears consume about 2000 kcal per day and utilize their body fat. The bears in western Oregon add their weight in the late summer and early fall when the berries become ripe. During this time, the bears consume about 20,000 kcals per day (WOW - talk about a sugar high). This last summer, western Oregon had an early berry season that lasted longer than usual. Instead of a 2 month berry season, we had closer to 3 months of berries.

The biologist felt that this accounted for the residual fat still on this spring bear.

Next month I am headed to northern Washington for a coastal bear hunt. Should be much larger bears, but this was still had a good hunt, cold and wet weather, but better than a day in the office.

Cheers
 

orchemo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2009
Messages
378
Only picture I took was of the fat. It was dark and an iPhone picture. For a spring bear, that is a lot of fat compared to the last several we have shot.

 

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