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Thread: Got my first bear.

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneerfreq View Post
    What do you think made the difference this year in tipping the scales towards success?
    Since I started only a couple of years ago I have had no problems bringing in bears to the bait (mostly pop corn based), but always had problems getting them in during daylight hours. Once it looked like three bears were coming in they looked like they were competing for the bait. That bear I took was the smallest and had decided to sneak in early and hit the bait before the big guys came in. As the season got towards the last two weeks they got earlier, maybe some locals had stopped baiting and they had no where else to hit for a feed. That small one I got had been hitting some bait as it had whole corn in its system.

    My dog passed away in June and I used some of the dog food bag I had left so they seemed to like that mixed with old cooking oil.

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellerivercrossbowhunter View Post
    My spring bear this season weighed in at exactly 209lbs on the game scale before gutting.

    Total edible deboned meat was around 45lbs and this is me taking my time to maximize the meat.

    So yep bears are mostly hide and bones. Not a lot of meat but it is some of the best meat you will ever eat if taken care of properly.

    Having butchered about 15 black bear now, I'd say 45 lb meat yield from a 209 lb live weight bear is crazy low. You should have had close to 65lbs of good edible meat. Another 10lb more if you really maximized all the meat scraps for dog meat and grind.
    If it was 209 live, then it would have been about 175 dressed. You should be able to get 33-35% of dressed weight in good meat.

  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenelon View Post
    You should be able to get 33-35% of dressed weight in good meat.
    The rule of 1/3 has been my experience with all big game when calculating how much boneless meat you will get vs live weight. My wife shot a 360lb bear. When we weighed the meat after butchering and wrapping, it was 120lbs.
    Focus on integrity and eventually your name will be its own currency.

  5. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneerfreq View Post
    The rule of 1/3 has been my experience with all big game when calculating how much boneless meat you will get vs live weight. My wife shot a 360lb bear. When we weighed the meat after butchering and wrapping, it was 120lbs.
    I guess it depends on how "anal" the butcher is about utilizing what's available on the carcass. I've seen yields of less than 30% on deer and moose when they were sent to a commercial butcher. I'd be livid if that's all I got back after waiting so long to get a tag. In fairness to the butcher, you will not make any money cutting game if you spend hours on an animals. I've seen bone-in butchers who don't even process the entire ribcage on the animal, and mainly use the bandsaw to section the prime cuts. I've self butchered close to 90 deer now and I kept yield records for about half of them. My range in yield on these animals was 47 - 54% of dressed weight. To me, dressed weight means guts, testicles and penis, and trachea/esophagus out. The carcass still has head, full hide, and all four legs. The yield included both sexes and fawn, yearling, adult age classes.
    I don't waste anything . Ticking meat and tallow fat is taken from the hide once skinned. Entire deer is done bone-out. Every scrap of meat is used. Anything with clot goes in the dogfood pile. Tendons go in the dogfood pile. All tallow fat is kept to feed the birds during the winter. It went above 54% on seven deer that we also kept the long marrow bones, for making a reduction stock. If you've never done this you should give it a try. Take the long bones out of the legs, I cut then longitudinally on a bandsaw so the marrow surface is exposed. Salt and pepper the bones. Some people also put garlic or spices on. Grill the bones on a cookie sheet for about 20 mins. Spoon the marrow into a stock pot. Add veggies. Some people use water but I use beef stock. Slow simmer for two days, adding more stock and veggies. Final boil down leaves the stock the consistency of thick jam. I froze mine in icecube trays then popped the cubes into ziplocks. Add these to soups, stews. Fantastic when added to crockpot recipes.

    I've never managed to get above about 38% yield for bear.

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenelon View Post
    I guess it depends on how "anal" the butcher is about utilizing what's available on the carcass. I've seen yields of less than 30% on deer and moose when they were sent to a commercial butcher. I'd be livid if that's all I got back after waiting so long to get a tag. In fairness to the butcher, you will not make any money cutting game if you spend hours on an animals. I've seen bone-in butchers who don't even process the entire ribcage on the animal, and mainly use the bandsaw to section the prime cuts. I've self butchered close to 90 deer now and I kept yield records for about half of them. My range in yield on these animals was 47 - 54% of dressed weight. To me, dressed weight means guts, testicles and penis, and trachea/esophagus out. The carcass still has head, full hide, and all four legs. The yield included both sexes and fawn, yearling, adult age classes.
    I don't waste anything . Ticking meat and tallow fat is taken from the hide once skinned. Entire deer is done bone-out. Every scrap of meat is used. Anything with clot goes in the dogfood pile. Tendons go in the dogfood pile. All tallow fat is kept to feed the birds during the winter. It went above 54% on seven deer that we also kept the long marrow bones, for making a reduction stock. If you've never done this you should give it a try. Take the long bones out of the legs, I cut then longitudinally on a bandsaw so the marrow surface is exposed. Salt and pepper the bones. Some people also put garlic or spices on. Grill the bones on a cookie sheet for about 20 mins. Spoon the marrow into a stock pot. Add veggies. Some people use water but I use beef stock. Slow simmer for two days, adding more stock and veggies. Final boil down leaves the stock the consistency of thick jam. I froze mine in icecube trays then popped the cubes into ziplocks. Add these to soups, stews. Fantastic when added to crockpot recipes.

    I've never managed to get above about 38% yield for bear.
    Pretty much conquer,for the whitetail deer.......... The % versus live weight(estimate)and true weight vs dressed weight is bang on.The carcass looks like a "licked "off museum species after i am done.


    With exception that i have no dog,so scrap goes back to the forest.
    I use no bone though,cut /saw no bone, no bone marrow ,blood shot meat around the wound is also left on the ribcage. All this due of CWD concers.
    I will consider the tallow for birds idea the next time........

    At the end-i always measure the meat for consumption-and try to estimate "backwards "what the live weight was potentially.

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbk View Post
    Pretty much conquer,for the whitetail deer.......... The % versus live weight(estimate)and true weight vs dressed weight is bang on.The carcass looks like a "licked "off museum species after i am done.


    With exception that i have no dog,so scrap goes back to the forest.
    I use no bone though,cut /saw no bone, no bone marrow ,blood shot meat around the wound is also left on the ribcage. All this due of CWD concers.
    I will consider the tallow for birds idea the next time........

    At the end-i always measure the meat for consumption-and try to estimate "backwards "what the live weight was potentially.

    If you come in our driveway in late November you will be greeted by two completely meat-stripped deer skeletons hanging in the trees. It's priceless to see the reactions from the Purolator and UPS folk. If I knew when they'd arrive I'd put some banjo music on as well. We leave the skeletons for about a month at the bird feeding station. Four species of woodpecker show up, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Crows, Ravens, Blue Jays, and even the odd hawk eat all the remaining tiny scraps of fat and meat. Our black Lab "Pig-Dog" has a morning routine to visit beneath the skeletons in hope of finding anything that fell off. He gets a sad look on his face, like he's been violated, when he finds nothing. After a month I dump the cleaned skeleton, head, and hide in the bush. I like to put it up a tree for the fishers, just to piss the coyotes off!

  8. #27
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    Hey Gilroy, what does it cost these days to get big game butchered?

  9. #28
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    Congrats Gilly. Enjoy the fine eats. Too bad you ground the whole thing - make some burgers with a good home made recipe - add bacon and cheese and whatever your like for garnish - you won't be disappointed. Bear roast done in the slow cooker with the right marinade is to die for and is more popular with my family at Xmas and Thanksgiving than the traditional bird is. Bear pepperettes are also another favorite - that's what we make with all the trim. Pretty sure my grandkids are the only ones at their school bringing them for recess snacks - citiots and the teachers are gobsmacked.
    Last edited by Species8472; June 21st, 2024 at 10:16 PM.
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  10. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenelon View Post
    If you come in our driveway in late November you will be greeted by two completely meat-stripped deer skeletons hanging in the trees. It's priceless to see the reactions from the Purolator and UPS folk. If I knew when they'd arrive I'd put some banjo music on as well. We leave the skeletons for about a month at the bird feeding station. Four species of woodpecker show up, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Crows, Ravens, Blue Jays, and even the odd hawk eat all the remaining tiny scraps of fat and meat. Our black Lab "Pig-Dog" has a morning routine to visit beneath the skeletons in hope of finding anything that fell off. He gets a sad look on his face, like he's been violated, when he finds nothing. After a month I dump the cleaned skeleton, head, and hide in the bush. I like to put it up a tree for the fishers, just to piss the coyotes off!
    How about reducing the skeleton for bone meal for the garden?

  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenelon View Post
    Hey Gilroy, what does it cost these days to get big game butchered?
    Well the fella called yesterday to say the ground was ready, $173.00, so $60.00 of that was for skinning. I did not skin it out although I could have easily, but the original butcher failed to get back to me for the cutting as he went away and left no notifications and I had left it on there because he prefers to skin out as he does not want the mess a lot of hunters make. He is generally $25.00 for skinning. He is usually $100.00 for a bigger deer and $75.00 for a smaller one.

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