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Avoiding Ground Shrinkage

Discussion in 'MichiganBear.com' started by TrailMarker, Jul 20, 2017.

  1. TrailMarker

    TrailMarker

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    I have never shot a bear, just trying to avoid some of the issues I have had with small deer, like: great shot bud, but it's a little small.

    I get it, if the bear is 400 lbs I shouldn't have a problem, but if it's a 200 lb or less, I think it's going to be tough depending how long I have to make a decision.

    Any insight?
     
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  2. SMITTY1233

    SMITTY1233

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    If you think its big it probably isn't... If you first see it and go ooooooo then you know... Judging bears in low light situations is tough. Run trail cameras and try to identify certain bears with some experienced people weighing in. Thing you got to remember 200lb bear in Michigan is above average. Set realistic harvest goal.
     
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  3. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    Private property? 55 gallon drums are good reference for size. If you can't do that use some other known height/length object.
     
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  4. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    There are lots of articles on the net that can give you an idea of how large a bear is. Here's one.
    https://www.grandviewoutdoors.com/b...ways-to-judge-bear-size-and-age-in-the-field/

    Another thing to consider is shot placement and anatomy. Lots of bears are wounded and not recovered because many new bear hunters are deer hunters. Behind the front leg on a broadside bear could lead to a long track job. Wait until the front leg is forward not vertical.
    http://www.ballistics101.com/images/bear_images/bearshotplacement.pdf
     
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  5. red wolf

    red wolf

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    Just be happy with the opportunity.
    If you like what you see shot it.
    Big or small. It's your hunt
     
  6. ART

    ART

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    Best way to avoid that issue is to hang out with better people.
    Hunting bear is different than deer- success rate is lower, and 400 pound bears are less common.
    Don't hobble yourself on your first bear- if you like it, shoot it- don't worry about if it meets anybody else's standard.
     
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  7. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    Gotta agree with smitty. You should see what you've got on camera and get opinions. Shouldn't be difficult to identify size classes assuming you'll be baiting. They're pretty much all black though lol... So it may be tough to determine if the one you are looking at is the one you had on camera.

    If it doesn't look like you could fit it in a 55 gal drum, it's a shooter IMO and I don't think you'd be disappointed.
     
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  8. sourdough44

    sourdough44

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    Your 1st bear? If so, that 180 pounder will be in jeopardy when it comes in.

    The camera will tell you what's going on, usual times too. If no 400 pounder is coming in, it's highly unlikely one will show up all of a sudden while hunting.
     
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  9. Neubys

    Neubys

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    Lots of good, solid, advice here from others. Here's my 2 cents.

    If you are not using 55 gal drums to bait then try tying survey tape on limbs or ferns around your area. Place them 3 foot above the ground. If a bear is on all four and it's back is at that height it is definitely a shooter. I did this for my buddy once who was against me tying up the ribbon and it saved him from shooting a tiny bear.

    From my personal experience in Michigan? Be realistic on your expectations! Most bears are around 150-200 lbs. There may be some bruisers taken each year but not the norm. Trail cameras will really help with knowing what is coming. I finally tagged my first bear 3 years ago and now I am waiting to get another tag. It was a small bear, but it took me so many years to succeed it's a trophy for me! It takes about 3-4 years to pull an opening week tag where I go.

    I agree with Luv2hunteup on shot placement. Study, study, study shot placement ahead of time. I'm a good shot with my bow and it is my dream to take a bear with my bow. But I blew it and ended up wounding a bear some years ago due to shooting in the wrong spot. For me, there's nothing worse than not recovering an animal. Now we only gun hunt by the landowner's rules.
     
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  10. Joel/AK

    Joel/AK

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    Look at the ears. Easiest way for a mature bear. Bigger ears, close together equals a young bear. Small ears far apart equals mature bear.
     
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  11. Biggbear

    Biggbear

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    Last year was the first time I scouted, baited, worked my butt off, set stands, drove up every weekend for a month, and hunted all by myself. Had several bears on camera, a couple were huge. On the third night I took a bear that dressed at 190. Wasn't the biggest bear I have taken, wasn't even the biggest I had on camera. But it is the bear that means the most to me of the handful I've been lucky enough to get. Easiest way for a beginner is to look at the ears as suggested above. But above all, be as thrilled after the hunt as you were just before you pulled the trigger, that's what it's all about in spite of what your "buddies" have to say. Good luck and please post pics of your Bear!!
     
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  12. sourdough44

    sourdough44

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    '1st time bear hunting'? Not saying you have to shoot one, but nothing wrong with the legal, 160lb bear.

    Again, one will normally know what's going on with the game cam pictures. Those pictures and times can be used as a guide, toward IMG_0284.JPG expectations. As posted, the ears are a clue, a saggy belly another. If in doubt, it's probability small.
     
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  13. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    But don't hold your breath for one like that ^^^!!!
     
  14. Joel/AK

    Joel/AK

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    That is a nice bear. You see a belly dragger like that and it's a shooter. Juvenile bears aren't built like that.

    Mature bears are more cautious, even with food. They will still come in but slower. Juniors haven't been shot at yet and haven't learned. Juvenile bears will come in faster and be more stupid I guess in simple terms.

    My last bear I shot I didn't think I was gonna get. Finally got him at 80 yards. Squared 6'2" with a skull around 18.5". Not sure on weight since we skin them in the field but he was fat.

    Shot a bear once north of Valdez on a memorial day camping trip. This young bear was in camp for 2 days scampering around. He would run off when yelled at but would come back. Finally I got sick of it cuz of the kids and us. Punched him with my .338. he went about 5.5' and if I had to guess maybe 125lbs.

    Young ones haven't learned fear and old ones are that way for a reason.
     
  15. Joel/AK

    Joel/AK

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    I want to touch on shot placement. Everybody has there ideas on it and none are wrong.

    Remember that a bear can slow it's heart beat to 8bpm , normally during hibernation but they can control there heartbeat.

    I like at least 1 bone breaking shot. Prefer a front leg , through some vitals and out.

    Breaking a bone slows them down if you can't drop them. Bigger the hole the better.

    I prefer more of a solid banded bullet like Barnes but killed a few using partitions. Shot one using a 35whelen with I believe it was 225 gr partition and it just detonated on impact. Killed the bear but it went a ways. Good shot in the chest since it stood up and perfect shot plus where entrance wound was.
     
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