Black Bear Field Care Guide
DO'S AND DONTS
DO NOT place your skin in plastic bags or other airtight containers!
DO NOT use rock salt - use a fine grain salt!
DO NOT delay in taking care of you trophy - IT COULD SPOIL
DO NOT drip dry your hide in the sun, do so in the shade
DO take plenty of photos!
HOW TO SKIN A BEAR FOR A RUG/LIFE-SIZE MOUNT
When you are first on the scene of the bear kill take all your photos first.
The following procedures will allow your bear to be made into a rug as welt as a life-size, it's very important to familiarize yourself with the bear's body, so look him over thoroughly before starting the skinning process, Areas to check: armpit area, groin area, inside the mount, stick your finger into the ear canal, and look at the bottom of the paws.
Starting at the vent, under the tail. cut forward towards the head, staying in the middle of the belly and chest. Make this cut all the way up through the neck. stopping approximately in line with the corners of the mouth. If it's a male bear, cut around the genitals leaving them attached to one side. DO NOT REMOVE any evidence of sex. This is required by Fish & Game. do not cut too deep, it causes excessive bleeding, do not cut too close, to avoid putting holes in the hide.
CUTTING THE FRONT LEGS
Starting at the paw, make a cut down the leg until you have reached the point of the elbow. Then aim your cut toward the center of the armpit, when you reach the center of the armpit, aim your cut toward the center of the chest, angling slightly upward. Make sure that each arm cut meets at the same place in the center of the chest.
CUTTING THE REAR LEGS
Beginning again at the paws. start at the point of the heel and make your cut down the back side of the legs Look toward the vent under the tail. Aim your cut 3 finger widths above the anus. This will give you plenty of skin on the side of the bear and rear end of the bear to make a nice rug. The cuts you make directly affect the shape of the bear rug. Do not cut to the inside of the leg or too far toward the groin area
BEGINNING TO SKIN THE BODY
Now that you have performed all of the necessary cuts. you may begin to carefully remove the skin from the carcass, It wilt be necessary to cut through either the ankle joints or toe joints of each paw to be able to get She skin off the body. Start with the rear paws, then the tail, and work the skin forward toward the head. You will remove the paws from the skin later.
HOW TO HANDLE THE PAWS
Depending on what you plan to do with your bear hide. you must make a decision regarding the bear pads (bottom of the paws) Bear Rugs - the pads of the bear paw are not required. Life Size - require pads to be left on. If Tanning only - usually leave pads on in case they are needed later.
TO KEEP THE PADS OR NOT
Once you have decided NOT to keep the pads, you may begin cutting the pad at the hairline continuing around the entire pad Pee! the skin forward until you reach the toe bones. You will sever the toe bones away from the foot. You will remove the toe bones later with the string trick. The above procedure will leave the entire pad on the bony structure of the foot There is no need to bring out the pads if you are making a rug out of your bear
KEEPING YOUR PADS
To keep your pads, start cutting at the hairline and cut only about 2/3rds of the way around the pad, leaving one side attached to the skin. cut under the pad and skin away from the bone structure. This procedure now gives you good access to the toe Joints for easy removal from the foot. The tone bones will be removed later.
SKINNING THE HEAD
I always start with the mouth, this helps later in the skinning process. Cut the lips away from the upper and lower gum line and skinning back toward the eyes. Cut through the nose cartilage and pull the nose back toward the eyes. Loosen the skin around the muzzle as far back as you can.
SKINNING BACK TO THE EYES
When skinning up to the muzzle of the face, you can only go up to the eyes. Always cut as close to the bone as possible.
STARTING THE BACKSIDE OF THE HEAD
Begin by pulling the skin toward the nose. The first obstacle you will reach is the ear canals- Stick your finger inside of the bear's ear with one hand and squeeze the earbutt with the other hand to feel your finger tip. Be sure to cut below the tip of your finger and this will make your ears long enough for your mount. Always cut close to the skull!
Getting to the eyes. Use your finger to feel around the inside of the eye orbit to familiarize yourself with the upper and lower eye lid. When you start cutting, always cut against the bone and into the eye socket. Do not trim off any excess skin around the eye openings. Cut very carefully around the eyes, this is where most mistakes are made.
Hnatiuk's Hunting & Fishing Ltd.
1107 Hwy#2, Lantz NS, B2S 1M9