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Small bear criticism

Ithaca 37

New member
Mar 4, 2001
Home of the free, Land of the brave
I was disappointed to see Gato's topic criticizing me for letting 14 year old J.R. shoot the small bear was deleted.

I thought it had turned into a good discussion of what a trophy is and how kids should be taught about hunting. Maybe after the last time I checked it somebody said something that caused a moderator to delete the topic, but I thought it was going well. Strong opinions, but backed up with some good reasoning and some real interesting points were made by lots of posters.

Should we let a kid on his first hunt for a species harvest anything that is legal? I'm certainly in favor of it, if that's what the kid wants to do. They have plenty of time to work out a value system later on as they learn about biology and game management and decide what kind of hunter they want to be.

I know if my first buck had been a small spike I would have been just as excited as if it had been a huge old buck.

I applied for a doe permit this year that will allow me to shoot a doe in addition to a buck or doe on my primary tag. The does where I hunt need to be thinned out for good buck/doe ratio management and I hope to help.

Hunting isn't just about shooting trophies, sometimes it's a management tool and I think we should be willing to help. I won't need the meat from a second deer so it will go to a needy family.

Maybe this kind of discussion is better suited for Sportsman's Issues and if a moderator wants to move it I wouldn't object, but it started here in the Bear section.

How do you guys feel about what I've posted?
I agree with the remarks concerning children and their first hunt and kill of any species.

And as I stated in the deleted topic, in most, if not all, states a bear of 75 lbs is legal to shoot.

I have taken several of my friends children deer hunting over the years and it is one of the best feelings in the world to see the look on their face and in their eyes when they make that first kill.

One in particular stands out more so than the others. He was 11 yrs old. We sat down next to an oak tree and wasn't there maybe 45 minutes and a doe walked out about 45 yards away, he looked at it then looked at me and said, "should I shoot it," I said it is up to you, this is your hunt and before I finished the last word of that sentence, KA-BOOM. I will never forget that day nor will he. And now 9 yrs later he is an avid deer hunter that hunts regulary with us.

I would not trade any of the juvenile hunts I have participated in for anything or any "trophy" animal for myself for anything in this world.
Ithaca I understand about your doe hunt...I have been on a few myself...I have always took a "dry" doe.....under most doe hunts I have been on anything is legal as long as it don't have horns nor spotted fawns..all the doe hunts I have been on were early to late fall, of course most the fawns are starting to be weaned, occasionally you still see a few sucking and also they have lost there spots. You say you are for letting kids kill legal game of do you condon letting kids shoot wet does and fawns? If you are what are you teaching them by letting them do it? My father always taught me to hunt for the dry does, did yours teach you the same or what? When the kid shoots a "wet doe" and you teaching him to gut it...what are you going to say when he has to cut her bag off and its still full and asks questions about it? Just because under game laws these animals are considered legal game...should you harvest them? Even though it maybe a managment tool to help control #s, does that overweigh the fact of what maybe ethical? I used deer as an example but I imply this to many other species myself...including bear and yes you already know my thoughts about the bear in question.
Gato, If I were with anyone that was about to shoot a doe that I thought had a nursing fawn I'd try to advise against it. But if I knew someone that did it I certainly wouldn't do anything to make them feel bad about it. I'd be careful to pick an old dry doe for myself. For management purposes I wouldn't object to someone shooting that year's fawn because they have a high winter mortality rate, but I wouldn't do it myself because I'd rather not shoot a buck fawn. Sometimes it's possible to tell which fawn is a doe, and I might shoot one if I was sure it was a doe. I don't think that's a bad management policy. I never discussed shooting does with my father, but I'm sure he would have advised trying to pick an older one.

I think it wouldn't be practical for F&G to specify which kind of does were legal to harvest, but I think hunters who are going to participate in a doe hunt should try to educate themselves about management and try to make a good management harvest choice.

Judging what others shoot and, especially, being critical of it is real dangerous territory to get into. We usually don't know the circumstances and feelings can get hurt real easily. I always try to think of something nice to say about anything a hunter or fisherman gets. I can get into real serious discussions with friends about trophy quality or anything else, but I try not to be judgemental about their harvest choices.

I'd never do anything to make anyone feel bad about any legal harvest. And in the case of a kid or a new hunter I'd always be real complimentary and encouraging about anything they harvested.

You had real good points about bear harvesting decisions and that's one of the things I really like about hound hunting---the chance to educate people about a bear or lion in a tree and talking over whether to shoot it.

As far as bear management goes; once a young bear has left the sow and is on it's own I don't see the difference between shooting a one year old or two year old bear. I don't think there's a biological reason to differentiate. I see it like shooting a one year old or two year old deer.

My own preference is big old boars, but I can't object to someone who wants to shoot any legal bear. Once a hunter gets the first bear kill out of their system I like to think most of them get more particular.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 06-13-2002 22:55: Message edited by: Ithaca 37 ]</font>
Gatoman... check this out.. and the hunter isn't even a youth. Damn unethical slob anyway! I buy all the extra doe/fawn tags I can and I will go for the fawn every time. Talk about good eats.

And you know what? I could care less what anybody else thinks of it. If I remember right, there was a little milk wiping in a few cases.

That little fawn pronghorn with the arrow in it was standing right next to an easy P&Y qualifier buck, but I shot the fawn instead.


Sorry, I never saw any pictures of you like this before and look at the last picture, its wierd looking. Are you making up this stuff or do you really shoot that stuff too?
Why would you shoot a fawn instead of a P&Y buck? Please explain. Its not a complete story just saying that and doesn't make much sense.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 06-14-2002 08:59: Message edited by: Tom ]</font>
What's weird looking about it Tom? It's a dead fawn antelope I shot with my rifle last fall. What's wrong with that? Fawn meat ROCKS! When I have a either-sex tag and a doe/fawn tag and I shoot a nice buck and a fawn. The reason I didn't shoot that P&Y buck is because it doesn't take much of a buck pronghorn to qualify for P&Y and he wasn't big enough for my buck tag... but the fawn looked good enough for my doe/fawn tag. Boy, that probably confuses you I bet.
Gato, I agree. Once an animal is legal it's a matter of personal opinion whether it should be harvested or not.

Just for my own curiosity; what are your standards for harvesting a bear? Do you let hunters shoot sows? How do you differentiate between a ten year old sow and a twenty year old. What size boar will you allow to be shot?
That makes sense, get a bigger buck later but take the doe now, I can see that.

Where I hunt, we have 2 deer doe tags and 2 buck tags per year. If I need meat, I'll take a doe and/or a spike buck early and then save my last buck tag for the rest of the season looking for a good one.

What do other people do with spike buck whitetails?

We actually have a special season for them in many counties here. I guess I should ask that in the deer section if I really want to know.
Ithaca my standards for harvesting a bear is pretty simple sows are left for seed, and only what I consider a true trophy boar 300+ pds thats worthy of a wall,will be taken by myself and after the fact I doubt I would have the desire to ever shoot another. I hunt mostly in controlled areas 22-31 but usually buy a general tag because in order to run spring bear you have to have a kill tag, and since the draws are so late in ID for 22-31 I don't bother putting in for it, because I would loose a couple months of spring hunting. I have caught several bear worthy of the wall during training seasons in 22-31 but when it comes time for kill in the fall I have to move to a different unit. I have caught several bears in general kill season but none what I would consider killing. I have never pulled the trigger on a bear personally. I have always figured for every bear you kill theres one less track you can run tommorow. I have more fun catch and releasing bears then anything else, I shoot them with a cammera instead of gun. I have taken a few people along with me, but they understand my views and either agree to my standards or they can stay at home and let some other idiot go catch them a 100 pd sow for there wall. I don't know of anyway to judge age on a bear while in a tree, I will tell you this though I remeber one of the first bears they caught up little weiser during there bear study was a 23 yr old 127 pd sow. That bear would'nt have to worry about me, but maybe the guy coming up the road behind me like you she would. I took Moosie lion hunting this winter although we never cut any tracks I left him saying I would call him if I ever cut anything worth getting a closer look at I would call....I never called him. I never caught or cut a lion track worth killing all winter long. I think hound hunters have been given a black eye from media mostly because there are a few bad apples that kill anything that climbs a tree but for the most part the guys I hunt around are some of the most respectful and conservative hunters towards the game they hunt then anyone I know. Its the only true form of catch and release hunting there is. Greenhorn if you get off on killing fawns thats your own perogative, the way I was brought up and raised I was told that killing fawns is not sportsmanlike, therefore I could never call you a sportsman, maybe a killer. I am sure you like the label killer better though.
Gator.. haha. You crack me up. Get off your high horse. How's the view from up there? Stick your thumb up your butt and tell me if it smells. Or doesn't your shit stink either? I shoot fawns because they taste great and I enjoy the hunting. If you don't like it that's your problem. I suppose some folks think shooting something out of a tree is "unsportsmanlike".

I think it takes a real Dickhead to make fun of a youngster's kill. Just my opinon.
Ive hunted with alot of kids.. My own and lots of my friends kids. They shot doe's bucks bulls and cow's and I have never heard a kid complain or ask any question as to "should I have shot a bigger one" or "maybe I should have shot her because she could have had more babies".... The only thing you see and hear is a bunch of hooting and hollering like " I GOT ONE " "COOL" "DID you see that shot" and the best one " I knew I HIT IT"

If its leagal and the kid takes it great.. if its not leagal dont let the kid shoot it... Kids are not stupid and they dont worry about little things...

Ithaca you made a kid very very happy for that bear hunt... He will remember that for years and I bet he wont even question the size of it....

As to Gatos comments.. He asked a question. There was not anything wrong with it. Some might not have liked it, But its not wrong for anyone to ask.... I know guys that would have said the same thing gato had.

I saw it when it was locked then hit refresh and it disapeared. I didnt get a chance to read everything....

Ithaca I look at bears as being the old man on the mnt, I have alot of respect for them..they by far have the longest life span and average longest lifespan of any other biggame animal we hunt. They sexually mature slower then most of the game we hunt, and they reproduce slower then other game we hunt. Killing a young/small bear like that is like picking a flower that has'nt bloomed yet to me, its pointless. You may not agree with me on the issue and thats fine, its just a matter of ones opinion versus the others
Sure looks like somebody has been messing with your pictures, the doe has a straight line of grey right by your hand and a fuzzy neck, the last of the three has a messed up head and fuzzy back of the neck. Just thought I should answer what looks wierd.

Do you really watch Beevis and Butthead or what?

When is your spring bear season over? Good luck on that.
I suppose your chitt don't stink either Greeny, your ego is much larger then you, I have seen your pictures and its easy to see your febile little body could'nt carry a bucket of my sweat up the hill. The only person your in competition with is your ego. You want to take this thread into calling names so be it. I think your a spineless POS that ain't got the gonads to tell me what a dickhead I am in person,.....if you do why don't you prove me wrong. Allen Kemble, 1355 Anderson Corner Rd Parma ID.....bring your little sheep ******* carcass down here you mother ******.I'll stick my foot up your ass and let you smell your own chitt.
Ha Ha!
Nice post there Gatoman.:rolleyes:
Hey Greeny, my standards for bear size just went down to 75 lbs. I've always thought a stuffed cub would look really cool in my reloading room.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 06-14-2002 14:17: Message edited by: Weekend Warrior ]</font>
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