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Black Bear Fur Prime #7319653
08/02/21 08:56 AM
08/02/21 08:56 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
V
vermontster Offline OP
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vermontster  Offline OP
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V

Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,141
vermont
Our bear season starts on September 1 here in VT. I have harvested 11 bears so far but never before mid October. I am just wondering when do Black Bears fur become prime here in New England? I don't hunt for bears in September because it always seems too warm to me and don't want to loose my meat or hide to warm weather.


The bitterness of poor quality last a lot longer than the sweetness of low price
Re: Black Bear Fur Prime [Re: vermontster] #7319718
08/02/21 10:15 AM
08/02/21 10:15 AM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 7,027
Maine, Aroostook
Posco Offline
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Posco  Offline
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Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 7,027
Maine, Aroostook
I'm going to say toward the end of November. Guys shoot bear here as an incidental during our November rifle season on deer. As far as baiting goes, the actual hunting season is during the month of September. Bear can be trapped through October but I have no experience with that and have never seen a hide taken during that month.

My preference is spring bear but they did away with that in Maine decades ago.

Re: Black Bear Fur Prime [Re: vermontster] #7319742
08/02/21 10:39 AM
08/02/21 10:39 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 32,904
james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Online content
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Boco  Online Content
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james bay frontierOnt.
Bear hides are prime for a short time in spring right after they come out of hibernation before they start to rub.
When a bear goes into hibernation in late fall he normally has a thick layer of fat under the hide.Over winter the fat is used up and the fur continues to grow thicker and longer.By spring very little fat is left,if any,and the fur is long and thick.
I have harvested a lot of spring bears and I could tell by the hide on a spring bear if they had any fat left on them.
Big bears often had some fat left under their hides in spring and their hides were not wooly like some smaller bears who often had no fat left at all.
Smaller woolly type bears would start to rub right away since the wooly underfur was likely bothersome in the warm spring sun.
Larger bears with some fat reserves had silkier pelts and they held up better a lot longer into spring than the smaller bears with thick woolly pelts.

Late fall bears are nice hides but much shorter fur than a spring bear.

Last edited by Boco; 08/02/21 10:41 AM.
Re: Black Bear Fur Prime [Re: vermontster] #7319775
08/02/21 11:07 AM
08/02/21 11:07 AM
Joined: May 2013
Posts: 4,461
Northern Michigan
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J.Morse Offline
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J.Morse  Offline
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Joined: May 2013
Posts: 4,461
Northern Michigan
^^^^^
This. Our season here starts in mid'ish September. It is over by the last of October. I have seen bear shot in Sept that had hair like pig bristles......1/2 inch long and stiff, without any underwool that comes much later. I have never shot a November bear here. The Lower Peninsula lost it's bear-during-rifle-deer season in 1965, and the U.P. lost it in 1980 if memory serves me. I have skint, butchered, and worked on quit a few November bear that were either poached or were road-kills. There is the same difference between Sept and Nov bear pelts as there is between Sept and Nov 'coon pelts. No comparison whatsoever. A good spring bear is even that much better than a November bear if not rubbed.

Those August Ontario bear that you see are even more skimpy in the pelage department. A fellow taxidermist friend of mine has had locals show up with August bear they'd shot in Ontario, and they actually believed their outfitter's that told them those pelts would "prime up" if they stuck them in a freezer for a while after they got home.


Re: Black Bear Fur Prime [Re: Boco] #7319789
08/02/21 11:19 AM
08/02/21 11:19 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6,265
Alaska and Washington State
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waggler Offline
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waggler  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6,265
Alaska and Washington State
Originally Posted by Boco
Bear hides are prime for a short time in spring right after they come out of hibernation before they start to rub.
When a bear goes into hibernation in late fall he normally has a thick layer of fat under the hide.Over winter the fat is used up and the fur continues to grow thicker and longer.By spring very little fat is left,if any,and the fur is long and thick.
I have harvested a lot of spring bears and I could tell by the hide on a spring bear if they had any fat left on them.
Big bears often had some fat left under their hides in spring and their hides were not wooly like some smaller bears who often had no fat left at all.
Smaller woolly type bears would start to rub right away since the wooly underfur was likely bothersome in the warm spring sun.
Larger bears with some fat reserves had silkier pelts and they held up better a lot longer into spring than the smaller bears with thick woolly pelts.

Late fall bears are nice hides but much shorter fur than a spring bear.

This.
Lobby your State for a spring bear season.


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