Got first bear, now what?

hobbs27

Senior Member
Thread starter #1
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?
 

jbogg

Senior Member
#3
I will do a rug when I get a nice one. Check out nuggetcompany.com. Their prices for tanning a bear hide look reasonable.
 
#4
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.
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
#5
If it was me, I`d go to the meat market, get some pork brains, and braintan that skin myself.
 
#6
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.
 

meatseeker

Senior Member
#7
My 2 cents. If it’s that special go for it. And with critters a quality specimen makes the best mount not the size. If it’s 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. She’s a beaut. She’s not huge but man she’s eye appealing.
 

hobbs27

Senior Member
Thread starter #8
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.
 

hobbs27

Senior Member
Thread starter #9
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.
 

hobbs27

Senior Member
Thread starter #11
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.
 
#13
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.
 

Nicodemus

FREELANCE ADMINISTRATOR
#14
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.
 

hobbs27

Senior Member
Thread starter #15
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?
 

deadend

Senior Member
#17
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.
 
#18
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.
 

DannyW

Senior Member
#19
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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