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So I am off on my first bear hunt this weekend and just want to make sure I take good care of my bear hide (if I am successful) I plan on doing a rug with it and from what I have found online it looks like I need to skin it out and get it salted as soon as possible. Do I need to try and skin out the skull or will most taxidermist do that for me? Also if I shoot one the first day should it be put on ice in a cooler or hung in a tree until we leave or do I need to just drive it out that day?

Also any suggestions on a good taxidermist that does bear rugs in weber/Davis county?
 

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Some recommendations from my former employer:

http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=bearbaiting.care

Time dictates what you do. IMO, the hardest part for people to skin out is the skull, mainly the lips, eyelids, and turning the ears. I've done it a few times for people who were afraid they'd mess up (payment required in the form of adult beverages :mrgreen:).

If in doubt, ask your taxidermist whether they would prefer you do it or they do it. If he (or she) prefers to do it, leave the skull, salt everything, and get it to the taxidermist quickly. If they'd prefer you do it, take your time and be thorough.

I don't have any recommendations on a taxidermist. There are others way more knowledgeable than I am on that topic here.
 

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I figure let the taxidermist do his job. Both bears I've shot, I made sure to skin out as well as I could, but I let the taxidermist do the work on the paws and head. I'm sure they are expecting to do it anyways.

Good luck on the hunt! Spring bear season is a blast!
 

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Just curious what people do with bear meat? I know blackies are eatable if cooked like pork, what about brownies?


-DallanC
 

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Don't salt it unless you have properly fleshed the hide, removed the toes, tail and skull, turned the ears/eyes/nose/lips. If that doesn't makes sense then don't salt the hide.

You should skin the bear (belly cut- mirror your incisions centering them to produce a uniform rug), remove as much fat as possible from the hide, and get it cooled/frozen asap. You can leave the skull and feet in the hide. Bear hair is temperamental, especially this time of year as they forage on anything they can find- some of which contains loads of bacteria which can cause the hide to spoil faster.

No recommendation on a rugger up North. Have fun on the hunt.
 

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Just curious what people do with bear meat? I know blackies are eatable if cooked like pork, what about brownies?

-DallanC
Very few eat brown bear (maybe 10% of all harvested). I've eaten brown bear 6 times. The only one I've had that was somewhat decent was a spring bear harvested soon after emerging from the den. In my experience, most fall bears, especially ones that have been feeding on fish, have a bit of a smell and taste even worse.
 

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I am no expert and it has been a number of years since I took my bear, so here is what I remember. I shot mine in Idaho. I packed it full of ice and brought it home. My taxidermist opted to do all the skinning. He was in the Layton area. Sorry, I don't remember who it was as my aging mind seems to be on vacation most of the time anymore. He did a great job and got the rug back to me in just a few months. If you do salt it, use un-iodized salt. Not sure why, other than back when I used to have all my deer and elk hides tanned by Fox Tannery in North Salt Lake, this is what they told me to do. My bear was a 2.5 year old and was actually quite tasty (good). My youngest daughter was attending Viewpoint High School at the time and used some of the meat in a cooking class to make bear taco's. It was a big hit with her class mates. My wife's cousin, who invited me to hunt and also an avid bear hunter, said bears will vary in taste. Most he said are not good to eat. I don't kill anything unless I eat it, so I tried it. All in all, it was good.
 

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Just curious what people do with bear meat? I know blackies are eatable if cooked like pork, what about brownies?

-DallanC
My favorite thing to do with bear is to make chili. The fat on a bear for some reason lends really well to making chili and tacos. Easily the best chili meat around IMO. We make a pretty good amount of salami and jalapeno sticks as well.
 

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Here's a tip. When you're skinning the head, start from the mouth and work back until you get just past the ears. Then finish coming up from the back. It's so much easier and you won't slice the lips, eye lids and ear canals. Also, while boning the paws, leave the last two knuckles on the hide. Once the hide's off, tie one end of a cord to a tree and the other to a knuckle. Now pull on the paw as you carefully cut around the bone to the joint that the claw hooks to. You can do a toe every one to two minutes.

Just curious what people do with bear meat? I know blackies are eatable if cooked like pork, what about brownies?

-DallanC
All the fall brown bears (3) I've tried were nasty. The spring bear (1) I tried was OK. All of the black bears I've tried were very good especially in the crock pot.
 
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