Important Western Bear Foods

If you want to find bears in the west, look for their favorite foods.

Bears are bears are bears, they live for two primary reasons and the two are directly related. Studies by numerous state and federal agencies have concluded female bears that do not have sufficient amounts of the right foods may forego breeding some years or abort their young. It is also known it is not uncommon for both sexes to enter dens early if protein-rich late summer and fall foods are scarce and bears entering dens without adequate amounts of fat stores may have a difficult time surviving until green up once emerging in the spring. With all said and done, adequate food supplies are a major predictor of bear growth and reproductive success.
Whether archer, bearhoundsman, or just around camp in bear country, a potent handgun on the hip is so much handier than a nine-pound rifle over your shoulder.
One of the most asked questions I get when I come home from a bear hunt is, “What are you going to do with it? You’ve already got lots of bears.” My first response is usually aimed at making the person asking feel a little bit ridiculous. They act as if I haven’t thought this through, and naturally, I feel an obligation to make them reconsider their assumption. My next response is usually quick and blunted and often revolves around one of these five things to do with bear hide. Here are some ideas for your bear.
Shooting young bears isn’t just a “trophy” mishap, but it’s a conservation mishap. Targeting mature animals is best from a management standpoint as well. And even better, targeting older mature males is the name of the game, and if you can select the right one for harvest, everybody wins. Judging trophy bear is difficult, and many consider the most difficult big game animal to judge. Horned game is relatively easy compared to it. Here are five thoughts on judging trophy bear that didn’t come from surfing the internet looking for the traditional judging methods, but have come from personal experience judging bears all across North America.
After all the work of getting within shooting distance of a big bear this spring, you’ll need confidence in your ability to make a great shot. Bears are big, tough animals that are unforgiving when hit bad. Many new bear hunters carry with them shot placement and strategy derived from experience deer hunting. It’s similar, but different. Bear anatomy is slightly different, but more importantly, a bear’s body structure allows for some odd angles and considerations that the bear hunter must understand. Here are five keys to making a great shot this spring.
The most heartbreaking moments I have had in hunting involve making a bad shot and losing a bear. There's nothing quite like the sickening feeling of shooting something and not being able to recover it. I'm not an Olympic or champion archery shot by any means, and it's hard to blow a 15- to 20-yard shot on a bear. I have been fortunate that prob­lem shots I have been involved in are mostly not caused by poor shooting, but by a poor choice of a shot angle.
Bait, hounds, spot-and-stalk and sitting over water are the primary methods of chasing bears. Bear hunting is unique in the variety it offers hunters. All of these methods are exciting, but one method, not often utilized, provides the most heart racing excitement of all...calling. Using predator calls to call bears in close is not for the faint of heart, and if you’ve never tried it, this fall will be a great time to start calling.
Most hunters probably agree that the 7mm Remington Magnum and .300 Winchester Magnum are both fantastic choices for hunting a wide variety of big game, including bear. They’re both calibers able to handle the longer range shooting of hunting the big ungulates, but also the big body structure of bruins. However, many people get confused about the pros and cons of the two cartridges.
We’ve all played the scenario through in our minds. You’re walking through the woods and have a surprise encounter with a sow and cubs. The sow springs to an erect position with a loud “woof” as soon as you both see each other. Perceiving you as a threat, in an instant she dives into a full charge. You’ve got three seconds get your bear deterrent out and “fire” it at the bear. In your scenario, what are you carrying? Bear spray or a firearm?

As hunters, I think we often dismiss the threat of a bear attack because we’re hunting bear while carrying a weapon. However, because of our exposure in bear country we might be some of the top candidates for bear attacks. Here are some thoughts on whether you should carry bear spray or a firearm as protection.

Rinella on Trichinella

By Clay Newcomb

Trichnella is a roundworm parasite that is found in numerous types of wild animals including fox, skunk, opossum, raccoon, wolves, rats and bears. Trichinella is mostly known to be found in swine, but has for the most part been eradicated from domestic stock in the North America in the last 30 years. Today, around 90% of the cases of Trichinosis are contracted from eating black bear meat. In Bear Hunting Magazine we encourage eating bear meat, utilizing the fat and all the usable parts of a bear. Trichinosis is easily prevented by simply cooking it properly. The USDA suggests cooking meat to at least 160-degrees to kill Trichinella. Most of our food is cooked much hotter than this, and the parasite is actually killed instantly at 140 degrees. If the meat is brown, and not any shade of pink, it’s safe. Trichinosis is neither fatal nor serious and is easily treatable. Keep on eating your bear meat - just cook it.