How To Field Judge Trophy Black Bears

How To Field Judge Trophy Black Bears

How To Field Judge Trophy Black Bears



With the spring black bear hunt quickly approaching in Idaho, it seems like a good time to briefly discuss field judging techniques.  I’m sure there are a lot of different opinions out there, but my most reliable cues to a bear’s size all revolve around one trait,  large head equals small bear, small head equals large bear.  Let me elaborate…..

A great way to judge a bear’s size is to imagine how many of his own heads will fit in the length of his body.  Most of the time a two year old bear’s head will look large, but when you compare it to his body you’ll find the body only equals  2 1/2  heads in length.  This is of course a small bear.  When a bear’s body equals 4 or more of it’s own head in length then you’re starting to talk about a big bear.

Other characteristics of the head size will tip you off as well.  Usually large ears belong to smaller bears.  My personal, can’t miss, characteristic of a large bear is they tend to have big, stove-pipe type neck that seems to be as big around and as long as the head itself.  In my experience, if you see this, you’ve got a monster bear without question!

Good luck in finding that monster bear this spring!


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