May 11, 2016 · Black bears can be notoriously tough to field judge for size, trophy quality, and gender. It does take looking at quite a few bears to get the hang of it, but it can still be tricky. I’ve had bears that had significant ground shrinkage, as well as a few that were bigger than I initially thought. By Jim Shockey, an excerpt from A Boone and Crockett Club Field Guide to Measuring and Judging Big Game, 2nd Edition. Though some may disagree, black bears are one of the most sought after of all the big game species. Who hasn’t desired a black bear rug?
Bears have definite hierarchies and pecking orders, just like deer herds. Older bears are cool, calm, and plodding and often act as if smaller bears around them don’t exist. Eventually, through experience and studying photos and DVDs, you’ll learn to judge bears just . The squared measurement of the hide is a second way to judge bears. Measure the width and length, divide by two and you get the squared size of the bear. Black bears squaring 5-6 feet are about average. A bear over 6 feet is excellent. Seven-foot bears are trophies of a lifetime, likely 400 pound-plus animals.
Beyond simple hunter excitement, Stone adds, the fact is that black bears are among the hardest animals to judge for size, especially for the newbie hunter. So I asked Stone and another veteran bear guide what their advice to clients is, especially when hunting over bait . Over time bears have been seen as huge monsters that eat kids and stand 12 feet high. (well, not really). These are embelished stories possibly referring to grizzlies. The truth is black bears are not that big at all. A mature black bear may not get much over 3 feet high at its back.