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You shoot a Bear, Now What? Newbie Question

Discussion in 'MichiganBear.com' started by Deerslayer032187, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. Deerslayer032187

    Deerslayer032187

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    Hi guys,
    I'm new to bear hunting and hope to be drawn for the Newberry second hunt next year (5points). I've shot plenty of deer and have always processed my own. However, I've never done a bear before or even seen one skinned. I would like to do a shoulder mount if I get one, so I'm a little unsure about properly skinning one for that method. I've always heard to skin your bear out as soon as you can and cool it down. Would you skin it and then quarter it in a cooler that night? Ideally, I'd like to take it into a processor, but obviously most processors would be closed after I get the bear out of the woods. What do you guys normally do? Thanks in advance
     
  2. jr28schalm

    jr28schalm

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    dnr check station
     
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  3. sourdough44

    sourdough44

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    It depends, solo hunt? With a guide?

    I've seen stinky, rotten bears, come into a check station.

    We have the bear skinned & in the freezer within hours of harvest. One needs to have a plan, it may be 60 degrees, Bears won't cool well whole.
     
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  4. Deerslayer032187

    Deerslayer032187

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    My uncle and I will be doing an unguided hunt on public land. So, do we need to take the bear right to the check station or can we skin it out and quarter it before we take it there?
     
  5. hommer23

    hommer23

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    Have a cooler full of ice if your in a remote location. After you field dress the bear pack it full and get him in the shade. Then take it into a DNR check station to get you seal so a taxidermist and butcher can process it.
     
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  6. MISTURN3

    MISTURN3

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    There will be processors who are open after hours - we found one about 30 min from Baraga last time we hunted......they work the hours they have to, to get the business they need/want. do your research beforehand and all should be well.
     
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  7. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    Here's what I'd do...

    As soon as you possibly can, gut the bear, obviously. If you can skin and quarter it yourself and cool the quarters on ice (I try not to get the meat wet for any extended period). If you cannot do it right away, place the bear in the coolest spot you can and pack the body cavity with frozen ice jugs or bottles (a lot of smaller bottles fill the void better than a couple gallons). This is the best you can do without skinning/quartering and refrigerating.

    If you can skin it, just do it carefully with a very sharp knife. Those replaceable blade knives (surgical sharp) are great! If you're doing a shoulder mount, obviously don't cut all the way up to the throat when gutting. To remove the hide, cut from base of the tail up the spine to the base of the skull, and work the hide down around the legs until you get the whole cape off. Skin the legs right down to the "wrist" and cut the paws off (not the skin, just the bone). I'd suggest letting the taxi skin out the head and paws, unless you're really confident in your fine skinning skills around ears and eyes and nose. Yes, it can be done! The reason for this cut is the hair is dense along the spine and stitching is easily covered. Its a shoulder mount, too so the back isn't going to be visible. Google skinning dorsal cut for more info.

    I don't find butchering/quartering bear to be any different than deer. If you're comfortable with deer and can get it done yourself quick, go for it. Otherwise use a processor.

    You will need to take the head to the check station, so just leave it in the cape and take it that way. Keep it cold to prevent hair slip. You have less than 24 hours to get that hide off and cold before the hair will begin to slip. This is temperature dependent of course, and can be a shorter time.
     
  8. jjlrrw

    jjlrrw

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    If you have a chest freezer and a 2000w generator pick up a temperature controller that can regulate a temp between 30 and 50 degrees. Skin and 1/4 right away hang it in freezer, stop at a check station within the time limit, run the generator until you leave and on the way home, age the meat and cut it when home. I used this for deer and age the meat for minimum 2 weeks I have heard some age bear meat 3 weeks. No help on skinning
     
  9. DirtySteve

    DirtySteve

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    Skinning & quartering is quite easy. Bring a tarp and you can roll it around on the tarp to skin a large bear without hanging it.

    Do some research with local businesses. There are many places that will charge reasonable rates for cold storage during bear season. It is fairly common. If you find one within a reasonable distance of your camp you don't have to skin the bear immediately.

    Quartering and processing isn't much different than doing your own deer. The main difference is alot more fat and it is greasier to handle.

    I like the idea of the freezer and generator that was suggested. A small fridge would be no different. One time we put the quarters in rubber maid storage containers and put them in a refrigerator.
     
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  10. sureshot006

    sureshot006

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    If you take a refrigerator just make sure its big enough. A mini fridge won't cut it. Going to be at least an "apartment size" fridge.
     
  11. Nostromo

    Nostromo

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    I take a chest freezer along. It makes an excellent "Ice Box". If you have a generator all the better.

    If you are taking it to the taxi/DNR right the next morning you cab stuff the carcass with ice blocks and be ok. But you really shouldn't waste much time.
     
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  12. Luv2hunteup

    Luv2hunteup

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    You are doing the right thing by planning ahead. You have more than enough time to get your ducks in a row to either purchase proper equipment or make arrangement for proper handling.

    It may help if you post where you are planning to hunt since Newberry is a big unit.
     
  13. jasonmeekhof

    jasonmeekhof

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  14. Nostromo

    Nostromo

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    Nice video. But, nobody said it was difficult to skin a bear. They just offered suggestions on how to safely handle the fellows kill so that he can enjoy the fruits of his labor. Game bags are fine in cool weather. When it's warm then you need a cool/cold place to store your kill.
     
  15. jasonmeekhof

    jasonmeekhof

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    read the first link. the video is because knowing how to break down an animal is important.
    yes cooling down an animal is important. that doesn't mean you need a freezer. meat quartered and hung in game bags cools quickly and will develop a "skin" once to this point it is surprisingly resilient. keep in mind virtually every archery season elk or spring bear out west is shot in temperatures north of 50 even pushing 80+. Many of these are shot in places that will take 24 hours or more to get back to a trail head yet the meat is all fine. when dealing with things like this look at how animals are dealt with out west and don't think you need to bring an animal out in one piece. a backpack and a knife can help a great deal.