Bear Hunting 2017 – Putting Meat on the Table

Bear Hunting 2017 – Putting Meat on the Table

Bear Hunting 2017

Soooo…here we go. Don’t leave! I’ll handle this topic as honestly and sensitively as possible. Bear hunting. This is an old-time skill that was on the decline for many years. The number of women who hunt is increasing and we’re teaching this skill to children. For many of us, we know too much about factory farming, wildlife conservation (population management, for example) and eating a natural diet. We are, after all, animals. We’re animals. We’re part of the food chain and if  you take our weapons away, we’re not at the top. I’ve written more about Why I Hunt so I won’t continue with that right now.
bear huntingA common question when I talk about bear hunting is “do you eat it?” We do. It’s similar to pastured beef. Bear Stew is one of my favorite dishes. I’ve written tips for cooking bear meat. Steve broke last year’s bear into quarters for me and I did the butchering myself. I was more careful than I needed to be since all of the meat was going to be ground but it was worth the time to learn about muscle mass, how muscles run through the body, and how I’d be making cuts if I were cutting it into chops, roasts and steaks. This bear hunting thing – it’s a lot of work but it’s time well spent.

Bait Sites

We have three bait sites. I don’t expect any bears at the site I harvested my bear last year. The area has been logged and there are a lot of other sites around. My bear was the last bear in; not a single other bear came to the site after we left with mine.

A bait barrel is the equivalent to a feed trough in a factory farm. These animals have a choice. They don’t have to eat. They can walk away without as much as a sniff, and that’s what happened the first week of the season at Steve’s site. A mature bear walked by, was there two seconds according to the game camera, and hasn’t been back. These bears have complete freedom. They bait is there to give us time to bring the bear into a clearing (they’re almost impossible to see otherwise) and give us time to assess the animal. Sow with cubs? Pass, we don’t shoot them. I passed on my 2014 bear but when he came back to the site and I saw that he was mortally injured, I took him.

Today we’re talking about the new site, behind our house. We set it up last year with a five gallon bucket. No bears. This year, one week after it was set up, this boar showed up. He’s new to this site, the first bear at this site, but he’s definitely not new to bait barrels. He handled it like a pro. This bear is the right age to be one of the triplets I watched from an old site nearby. It’s also old enough to be the yearling Ava made “friends” with last year. There’s nothing timid about this boar.

Bear Video

Thanks to game cameras, here’s what happens when an experienced bear visits a bait barrel for the first time. This barrel has crushed cookies, granola, mixed nuts, and a half-gallon of donuts.

He’s about the size of the injured bear I harvested in 2014. He was 148.5 pounds.

I’ve been harshly bashed and my life threatened because I hunt, mostly when I wrote a blog for Bangor Daily News. People have been 99.99% polite and willing to learn here in the blog. I’m willing to explain what I do and answer all questions honestly. I appreciate that here in the blog we’re respectful and polite even when we don’t agree. That means a lot to me.

12 thoughts on “Bear Hunting 2017 – Putting Meat on the Table

  1. Thanks. I’d love to be able to bait but have too many competing priorities. Maybe one day. Enjoying your adventures. Keep the posts coming

    1. Thanks Jeff! It’s time consuming. We’re not at the point of having to check daily but if it gets that busy it gets to be a drain. I do enjoy it though!

  2. Thank You! for sharing our knowledge. I have just been bashed because we grew and harvested chickens. Chickens!!!

    Love the camera videos. Really life in the wild.!

    1. Oh for goodness sake. :/ We have a neighbor who thinks we’re terrible for killing chickens we know. She prefers factory farming in all ways. Good for you for taking on the responsibility!

  3. Hunting is part of my heritage & I have been poor enough at one time growing up that I don’t turn away meat. Like, ever. You go Girl!

    About being villified: my own SIL and my sons’ gf have little freak out fits that we raise & eat rabbit.
    “Rabbits are too cute to eat” Bullshit, say I. Veal, piglets, and baby chicks are also cute, but they still grow up to be FOOD.
    SIL even had the nerve to sniff food suspiciously & ask what it was – it was chicken. I told the brats that I wouldn’t WASTE good meat on people who don’t appreciate it.
    Funny, we also raise pigs & miniature Hereford cattle for consumption – they don’t have any problem with that…

    1. They’re all cute at least when they’re little. The adorable piglet grows into a 300 pound pushy hog. Chicks grow up, feather out, eat mice and stop being cute. I’m always ready for whatever it is we’re raising to go into the freezer when it’s time. They serve a purpose. If we didn’t raise them to be eaten they’d never have a life.

  4. So glad I can say I went bear hunting with you and my other friends in 2015 for lady’s week!!

      1. Berry are just now beautiful, I expect bears any night. Hunting deer and just picked up a great crossbow today. First shots all kill shots. Thinking I’m some how I will have some organic meat in freezer!

  5. We did a bear hunt in Canada and I’m hooked. Everyone said the meat would be horrible, but I drug it home despite the challenge of keeping it cold for 16 hours. I’m glad I did. We ate every bit of it. Our guide told me to render the fast and it is the greatest! We were amazed at how much better things tasted with Bear grease. I butcher my own meat and love knowing exactly what I am eating.

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