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Discussion Starter #1
Well,this may sound stupid but if i dont ask,i may never know.
When does a black bear reach maturity? In other words,at what age/point does his skull reach its maximum size.Im sure his skull doesn't continue to grow thru his entire life,or does it.Human skeleton growth continues until about 16 to 18 yrs of age.What about bears ? any biologists out there care to take this on ? I mean,if you passed on a big bear this season,will his skull measurement be larger next year or in the future ? :sniper:
Shooter
p.s. my 2 cents worth on front paw size vs overall bear size.I dont think one can acurately judge a bears size by his front paw pad width.My 200 lb boar had a very big paw.Much the same with humans,average size men can have bigger than ave hands.Im 5'11" 225 and have very big hands but dont consider myself that big.
 

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:shock: shooter, I have shot bear that were as old as 14 that had small skulls,the largest was 6 years old and had a skull that made the record book in michigan , combined measurements was 21, I guess it depends on genitcs as sex dose on always determin skull size.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
skull size

Thanks for the input Samson.My bear hunting buddy live in Mich ! He lives near Deerborn Heights.Used to work with me at IBM till our 1993 layoffs.Now he works for EMC.We went twice for bear.Once in New Brunswick Canada-1991-we both got skunked(ripped-off) and this 2nd time in Maine when i finally scored on a 200 lb boar.Looks like we may be going back to Maine next fall.We'd try Mich if it wasnt a lottery system.
Shooter in NY :toast:
 

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Shooter
You should have pretty good bear hunting right there in NY. When I lived there we used to hunt the area between Stillwater Mountain and the Stillwater Reservoir, sort of a combined deer/bear hunt, with good success. A lot of maps don't show it but there's a road between Big Moose and Number Four that provides access to the area. Cheaper license for you than Maine or New Brunswick.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
jim and kathys...next year

Well,i was considering their outfitt very seriously but after kathys postings regarding hunting bears with pistols i regret that i had to inform her in these posts that she lost my business.Also,her posts regarding bear hunting with dogs kinda tweeked me.She has valid points about some local slob hunters leaving their dogs in the woods or using her occupied baits to strike off with dogs isnt right.But,im interested in a bear with hounds hunt and using my 45 colt blackhawk...guess that rules them out.
shooter :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
jjhack reply on skull size

jjhack,
thanks for the very userful info regarding skull size vs bear weight etc...It would be interesting to know how big the skull is on the 663lb bear i just reported,also its age...
shooter
 

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shooter said:
Well,this may sound stupid but if i dont ask,i may never know.
When does a black bear reach maturity? In other words,at what age/point does his skull reach its maximum size.Im sure his skull doesn't continue to grow thru his entire life,or does it.Human skeleton growth continues until about 16 to 18 yrs of age.What about bears ? any biologists out there care to take this on ? I mean,if you passed on a big bear this season,will his skull measurement be larger next year or in the future ? :sniper:
Shooter
p.s. my 2 cents worth on front paw size vs overall bear size.I dont think one can acurately judge a bears size by his front paw pad width.My 200 lb boar had a very big paw.Much the same with humans,average size men can have bigger than ave hands.Im 5'11" 225 and have very big hands but dont consider myself that big.
i hunted up in aroostook county maine...symrna mills to be exact with Jerry Thomas outfitters.....I had a great time up there for a week, and managed to come home with the biggest bear in camp....on a side/size note, she was 260lbs, and had small paws....my guess is that its all about genetics.
 

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A black bears skull will usually be around 18" at 2-3 years old. At 5 years old it will likely be near maximum size. At just about the 7-8 years mark the lenght and width due to actual skeletal growth will stop. However the bone will still gain mass and weight as the bones continue to get thicker with age. A Black Bears skull will often be as much as a 1/8 longer and 1/8" wider at 12 years old then it was at 8 years old just because of bone density. Not from growth.

This may sound confusing but the actual skeletal growth as in over all height will be finished at about the 8 year mark. If you were to some how be able to weigh the same bears skull at 8 years old and then again at 12 years old the 12 year old skull would only be a hair larger in score but significantly heavier due to the thickness and mass of the bone. This will change again around the 25-30 year mark depending upon the diet and genetics. The bone will start to atrophy and actually break down a little bit. The tooth sockets will deteriorate and the age will show in the jaw hinge and over all mass will likely be a bit reduced. Over all size does not really change just the bone mass. Black Bears over 30 are a very rare situation. They usually have had an easy life with long hibernations and sometimes near human sources of food like agriculture.
 
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