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Old 03-25-2008, 09:24 AM
Beartooth Regular
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Hillsboro, Or
Posts: 160
Spring bear

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I got my spring bear tag and I just had a guy tell me that he got his spring bear last year and when he took the hide to the taxidermist he was told that a spring bear's coat is not worth preserving. Anyone hear that before? Is their meat any good after hibernating? I don't want to waste a bear for nothing.

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Old 03-25-2008, 10:45 AM
The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Mesa, Arizona
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When they first come out of hibernation and haven't been rubbing, the pelt is as fine as when first denning up in the fall. After they have been knocking around a bit and have big rub spots, then the hide isn't in too good a shape.

Never tried eating a spring bear, so can't tell you much about the meat quality.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:37 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Mesa, Washington
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The spring bear meat is definitly stringy, and tough. But when you are a starving student, it tastes pretty good. If you aren't a big wild game guy, or have had fall bear, you won't like it.
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Old 05-23-2008, 10:46 AM
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 11
Spring bear meat

Black bears in the fall are normally fat, ready for hibernation. Bears in the spring have come right out of hibernation, hence they've used all their fat over the winter. So, the spring meat "is" usually a bit tough and senewy. However, I've made excellent jerky and sausage from spring bears. Your choice of course, but I'd not recommend steaks, chops and roasts. My theory is: go hunting in the spring if you want - it's a great time to be out there - but resign yourself to bear jerky - it's great!
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:37 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Peck, Idaho
Posts: 12,619
Both the hide and the meat is the best on a fall bear. I simply don't hunt spring bears anymore. For meat I'd wait til later in the spring season, but you may or may not get a decent hide.

Spring bears are usually easier to hunt than fall bears if your doing the spot and stalk thing. I've killed a bunch just after they come out feeding on new grasses on clear hillsides.

Like Scotts said spring is a great time to be out in the woods.
Bob from Idaho
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Old 05-24-2008, 08:34 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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I've had great spring bear roasts that are very tender. I cook them in a pressure cooker with the meat covered in a heavy red wine. It's not elk, but it's a good meal.
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Old 07-18-2008, 07:01 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 23
I've had nothing but spring bear on the table for the last 10 years and as I only select a healthy looking two or three year old, the meat is great.

It is good ground in burger meat, roasts, stews, ribs, whatever you want.

The hide is fine early on, but I don't take it.
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