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  #1  
Old 12-27-2017, 08:15 PM
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Default Got first bear, now what?

I've wanted to take a bear for several years now. I have read tons of opinions, walked many o ridges, had several close calls over the last couple of years, but finally got enough figured out I started seeing bears regularly. Finally took a 200 lb. Sow early in the season.

I have her fully caped and in the freezer, so here is the question. I'm sure I will kill bigger in the future, but this one is kind of special, so do I take the plunge on a full body mount, or save that for a bigger one? What do you suggest on your first bear harvest?
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:18 PM
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I would go with a rug................
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:33 PM
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I will do a rug when I get a nice one. Check out nuggetcompany.com. Their prices for tanning a bear hide look reasonable.
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Old 12-27-2017, 08:53 PM
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First, congrats on your first bear!

Second, I wouldn't go counting my chickens just yet. I believe the overwhelming majority of bears killed here in the mountains are under 200lbs. You might get lucky and kill a 400lb bruiser next season, or you may have just killed your all time best.

It's your first, therefore special. If its got a good coat, get the mount you want.
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Old 12-27-2017, 09:02 PM
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If it was me, I`d go to the meat market, get some pork brains, and braintan that skin myself.
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Old 12-27-2017, 09:26 PM
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Originally Posted by northgeorgiasportsman View Post
First, congrats on your first bear!

Second, I wouldn't go counting my chickens just yet. I believe the overwhelming majority of bears killed here in the mountains are under 200lbs. You might get lucky and kill a 400lb bruiser next season, or you may have just killed your all time best.

It's your first, therefore special. If its got a good coat, get the mount you want.
Yep! Ive seen between 200 to 250 bears and only a very small handful of them have been over 300lb. They are out there but are rare. You could at least do a skull mount if you don't do something with the hide, or I've seen some shoulder mounts that look good also.
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Old 12-27-2017, 10:03 PM
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My 2 cents. If its that special go for it. And with critters a quality specimen makes the best mount not the size. If its got a really good coat it will be worth it. A 365# boar with thin hair will not be as impressive. A thick shiny coat will make a trophy. I caped my first out to mount and ended up giving it away. It was a boar with a thin coat. Two years later killed a 260# sow with a beautiful coat and mounted her. Glad I did. Shes a beaut. Shes not huge but man shes eye appealing.
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Old 12-28-2017, 09:48 AM
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If it was me, I`d go to the meat market, get some pork brains, and braintan that skin myself.
I'm trying to talk my squaw into chewing the hide for me to soften and stretch it, with little success so far.
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Old 12-28-2017, 09:55 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions, and congrats. I'm definitely hooked now. My wife prefers the meat over deer, and the shot experience was awesome.
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Old 12-28-2017, 10:01 AM
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My wife prefers the meat over deer
Most people won't believe that, no matter what you tell them.
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Old 12-28-2017, 10:33 AM
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Most people won't believe that, no matter what you tell them.
I know... What really surprised me was some of my friends and in-laws that are OK with me killing deer and hogs, actually made snide remarks about taking a bear. I slipped bear meat into our holiday gatherings though. Haha.
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Old 12-28-2017, 02:46 PM
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If money is no object go for the mount. Have you priced them?? Whew doggies they ain't cheap!
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Old 12-28-2017, 03:18 PM
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Do the rug. You will get a bigger one in the future. I see pretty large ones all the time. I hunt the southern zone.
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Old 12-28-2017, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbs27 View Post
I'm trying to talk my squaw into chewing the hide for me to soften and stretch it, with little success so far.


There`s no chewing the hide involved in brain tanning.

There is some work involved, but with less than $5 worth of material you can have a superior finished product.
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Old 12-28-2017, 05:59 PM
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If money is no object go for the mount. Have you priced them?? Whew doggies they ain't cheap!
Money is always an object, but rugs are high as a cats back too from what I've seen. Is there someone around that does a good rug for a decent price?
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Old 12-28-2017, 06:05 PM
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Quote:
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Money is always an object, but rugs are high as a cats back too from what I've seen. Is there someone around that does a good rug for a decent price?
Nic.....................
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Old 12-28-2017, 11:53 PM
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I have one shoulder mounted. Looks great and reasonably priced. Rugs are ridiculously expensive. Having the hide tanned is not too bad. With a property tanned hide you can get a rug made later.
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Old 01-09-2018, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
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There`s no chewing the hide involved in brain tanning.

There is some work involved, but with less than $5 worth of material you can have a superior finished product.
I'd love to learn the old tradition of brain tanning a hide. I think I'd enjoy the process and time spent for the finished product.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:56 AM
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Just a suggestion...maybe you don't care about it but I always regretted not keeping the skull when I had a rug made with my hide. I think it makes a neat display piece. I just didn't think about asking the taxidermist to return the skull when I dropped off the hide.

And yes...rugs are expensive. But do you really want to learn about tanning hides with your first bear? Unless you have someone guiding you step by step, as in physically standing beside you and teaching, I would suggest that maybe start out by doing a deer hide or two first. If you make a mistake on the bear hide you won't have a rug or a mount.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northgeorgiasportsman View Post
Most people won't believe that, no matter what you tell them.
I have never understood it.
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  #21  
Old 01-13-2018, 11:08 PM
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I talked to Chris Carter from Trophy Taker taxidermy here in NE GA the year before last. I told him I never wanted a rug. I just don't like them. But if I ever killed a 400+ lb bear, I might have a fur-on skin made. He said he outsources the skins, and ships them off somewhere or another. But he said a fur-on skin like that would probably go $400-$500 from him. Way more reasonable in price in my book compared to a rug. I just don't like the felt, the always seemingly growling appearance of the head. I don't need the paws. I always just wanted a good fur-on skin for a man cave chair throw or something. $400-500 fits the bill for that. Even thinking of paying $500 for a skin makes me cringe though. I may never have one done just because I just don't have expendable cash to justify one.
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:02 AM
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Even thinking of paying $500 for a skin makes me cringe though. I may never have one done just because I just don't have expendable cash to justify one.
You only live once, Kyle.
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:35 AM
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This is true! Maybe it could be dual function, and they could line my casket with the fur. That would be....unique! Haha!
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Old 01-14-2018, 10:25 AM
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Name:  Bear Mount.jpg
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Name:  Bear Mount #2.jpg
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Size:  193.0 KB

Not my bears,but these two were done by my Taxidermist -- don't know what the cost was ??
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