look at its head, exspecially its ears, if his ears blend into his head and looks flat across the top its big bear, if its ears stick up like a mule, its small bear. Also like jason said take notice of its legs. Small bears look like they have long legs because theres no depth in its chest and belly, large bear they will look small cause the chest and belly will be deeper and blend more into the legs making him look more rounded.
And if you're glassing from afar.. Little bears look like spiders running from Left to right... Then back again... Big bears waddle !!! Don't be fooled by spooking one.. Cuz BIG bears CAN run VERY fast !!
Join the B&C club. The current issue of their Fair Chase has a really good section on judging bears. It's also a good hunting group. www.boone-crockett.org
Yesterday our Spring bear season opened and it rained all day. The sun came out today so I went hunting. At about 3PM I came across some tracks in the snow that were 5" across the pad, so I figured it could be a decent bear. A short while later I was 15 yards away from it and decided to shoot him. After the shot he ran down the hill and into a thick patch of bushes. I was feet away from him and couldn't see him. That's when he started to get really pissed off and growl.
...Scared the shit out of me. I backed up and waited a few minutes until he quited down, then crawled in and pulled him out. He's a really nice bear, my best one from MT. Very pretty, must have just came out of the den. No rubs, big, and dark brown. He's an old boar with some battle scars on his face. I took some pictures and should have them tomorrow.
I saw over 50 bears last year (counting cubs) and tried to get several of them, but no luck. I think I tried once to get this particular bear last Spring in the same exact place where I shot him today.
15 yards broadside, unalert. I debated on taking my bow, but took my rifle instead. Bummer, he would have scored well in the P&Y book.
Not much a play by play when you go hunting for one day and it's over. Here's the only bear I've seen this spring. When you guys go hunting with Casey, tell him thanks for the hat he gave me at the MBA Convention. Must have some bear hunting luck that came with it.
If you're hunting over bait, they often use a 50 gallon barrel as a container. If I remember right the barrel's height measures around 32" high. If the bear's shoulder is near or at the top of the barrel, he's a definate shooter.