Six Reasons Why Bears are the Perfect Trophy

By Clay Newcomb

BHM Publisher


As hunters, we are truly fascinated by antlered game and rightfully so. Antlers are unique, one of a kind and make fantastic memory stimulators, i.e. trophies. Bears offer, however, as much or more “bang for your buck” (pun intended) than antlered game, just in a different way. Bears can be overlooked as amazing trophies, but with some enlightenment you’ll understand why. Here are six reasons why bears are a high-end big-game trophy that should rival your best whitetail.


Bear Mounts are epic:


Every red-blooded American hunter needs a full body black bear mount in their home or office. Many say they don’t have room, but with the new wall pedestal mounts they don’t take up that much space. Black bears are only found on the North American continent and their numbers are thriving. A bear mount is so different than the typical shoulder mount ungulates and it will add some diversity to your indoor tribute to nature. Bears in natural poses with the their mouths slightly open are very popular, but unique mounts like the one in the Bear Hunting Magazine office are pretty spectacular too. It’s not too late to regain your manhood – get a bear mount. 

tanned bear hides, clay newcomb, bear hunting magazine

Tanned bear hides and a bear mount at the Bear Hunting Magazine office in Arkansas. 

Bear skulls are amazing:


Bear skulls are like wine, to really appreciate the difference in them you’ve got to know what you’re looking at. Younger bears have sleek, smooth skulls with sharper teeth. Older bears have rough textured skulls with calcium deposits, holes and worn teeth. A well-finished bear skull is truly a work of natural art. It’s not as flashy as a set of antlers, but is a provocative wilderness icon. Its sheer “in your face” subtlety has grace, strong design lines, strength and is a powerful symbol of North American wilderness. A bear skull is a must for every outdoorsman.

bear skull, Bear hunting magazine

 Bear skulls are works of art. 



Have you ever seen a bear canine pulled out of the skull? They are about two-thirds longer than what you can see. If pulled out, they make a very interesting piece to be put on display as a stand-alone hunting artifact, sure to draw the attention and questions of anyone looking. They can be used to make jewelry or simply as a folksy pocket charm like a buckeye. Even if they are left in the skull, the canines are an amazing part of predatory anatomy that is to be respected. A bear skull on display with the canines intact evokes respect for the creature that grew them. Canines are cool and antlered animals ain’t got’em. Check out our partners at Rocky Mountain & Scrimshaw Art

clay newcomb, bear hunting magazine, bear canine

 Canines are about two-thirds longer than what you can see below the gumline. Click the pic to buy a BHM hat.



Every bear comes with twenty claws, so you’ve got some room to explore your options. Don’t be afraid to cut the best claws off your hide for use in other arenas – you won’t miss them. I cut the claw off my first bear and gave it to one of my best friends before his wedding. To me, it was a sign of ultimate friendship and camaraderie. I removed all the claws from a bear my father killed and made necklaces for my children. They wore them proudly for years telling anyone who asked that it was from a bear their grandfather had killed. If you’re an outdoorsman and you don’t have a bear claw on display somewhere, you’ve missed the boat, but there is still time to get back on.

bear hunting magazine, bear skull necklace

The author's daughter with her bear claw necklace from a bear killed by her grandfather.  



Bear hides are the pinnacle of the tangible trophy parts on a bear.  Need I convince anyone of how beautiful, rustic, nostalgic and interesting a tanned bear hide or rug is? At one time, a bear hide stretched out for drying on the barn wall was a status symbol. Bears were so valuable it was sign of prestige to have killed one.  I prefer to have my hides soft-tanned and hung on the wall. The pelt of a black bear is part of American identity and if you don’t have one, start making plans to now to get one. i.e. spring bear hunt in 2015.


Bear Baculum are truly unique:


Bears have a baculum, also known as a penis bone. Many other species of placental mammals have them, but no other big-game animal does. Baculum is an isolated bone, meaning its not connected to any other bone. The actual mineral density of the bone is less than other bones making it have more flex and less likely to break. It might sound odd, but on your next boar keep it.  Anyone with dermistide beetles can clean it up or you can boil it. Bleach it afterwards for a truly unique trophy certain to be a great icebreaker to any guest you need to embarrass.

bear baculum

Bear baculum or penis bone makes a unique trophy. This polar bear baculum has been carved into