The Ultimate Bear Hunting Quiz

LIFESTYLE

3 PLAYS

By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Black and brown bears are common big-game hunting prizes, and it takes both skill and luck to bag a real trophy. How much do you know about bear hunting?

Which type of bear is most common in North America?

In the United States, black bears are the most numerous species. They're also the most common targets of bear hunters.

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Bear baiting is legal in all states where bear hunting is allowed.

In some states, baiting is entirely illegal. And even in places where baiting is allowed, many hunters frown upon the practice as unsportsmanlike.

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When do bears have the thickest coats in the best condition?

Many hunters want bear coats that are thick and in the best possible condition -- and that's in springtime, shortly after bears have emerged from hibernation.

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What's the typical disposition of black bears?

Many people think that bears are vicious. But in the wild, they are mostly gentle creatures. If you get between a mother and her cubs, though, watch out.

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Most black bears killed by hunters weigh about how much?

Black bears generally aren't huge, and the ones taken by hunters are mostly between 125 and 300 pounds. If they weigh more than 300 pounds, they are exceptional animals.

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Bears have very good eyesight.

Bears don't have very good vision. However, their sense of smell makes them very hard to surprise.

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If you want to hunt brown bears, where would you go?

Brown bears don't like civilization. They thrive mostly in the wilderness, which is where you'll have to go if you want to hunt them.

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A large brown bear might weigh how much?

Most males weigh around 1,000 to 1,200 pounds. But big, well-fed specimens might weigh as much as 1,600 pounds.

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How does bear meat appeal to people who eat it?

Bear meat is known for its greasiness and chewy texture. Some people enjoy it -- many do not.

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What's the most common bear hunting method?

Most hunters use a stand and binoculars to scan the area for animals. Once they spot a likely target, they slowly stalk the bear and get into position for a shot.

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When you select a spot to scan for bears, you should be especially observant of what?

Because bears have incredible noses, be sure the prevailing wind is blowing your scent away from the animals. Otherwise, you'll spook them long before you ever get close.

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You can distinguish a black bear from a brown bear by its color.

Black bears are renowned for the many different hues that their fur exhibits depending on the location and season. It takes more than simply color to identify black bears from brown bears.

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What are male bears called?

Male bears are called boars. Trophy hunters are always out to bag the biggest boars they can find.

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Brown bears are bigger than polar bears.

Polar bears are often huge. But brown bears, particularly those with fattening coastal diets, are even bigger than their white cousins.

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If the animal's ears are smaller and seem to stick out from the sides of its head, what does it mean?

On younger bears, the ears tend to seem closer together and they point up. On older bears, the ears seem smaller and they jut out from the sides of the bear's skull.

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Grizzly bears are the same species as brown bears.

Grizzlies and brown bears are indeed the same species. But the word grizzly is used for inland brown bears. They are often a third smaller than coastal brown bears, which are larger because they have an easier time finding food.

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What time of day is best for bear hunting?

Bears are early risers and in some cases, nearly nocturnal. In some places, that means you have to be up and hunting before the sun rises.

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Big male brown bears have a head that is what shape?

Big boars have huge, blocky heads. And their bodies are often twice as large as those of sows.

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What color is fresh black bear scat?

Fresh black bear scat is green. If you find scat, poke it with a stick -- the more green color it features, the more likely it is that the bear that dropped it is nearby.

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Bears have better noses than bloodhounds.

Bloodhounds have truly incredible noses. But bears put them to shame. By some estimates, bears have 50 times better scent-detecting ability than the legendary dogs.

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If you're using a rifle to hunt large coastal brown bears, what's your minimum bullet weight?

You need heavier bullets with a powerful punch to take down huge coastal browns. A 300-grain bullet is often the minimum.

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What should you do before you ever even attempt bear hunting?

Bear hunting involves serious physical exertion, often far from civilization. Don't give yourself a heart attack -- get into shape before you go.

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Because wounded animals are dangerous, it's best to shoot bears from long range.

You really want to make a sure kill when you shoot a bear, ideally through the heart or both lungs. Long-range shots make good shots difficult, and bears that are merely wounded will wander off, making them difficult or impossible to recover. Get close and make the best shot possible,

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What's the average length of a brown bear's hibernation?

Brown bears don't hibernate, and they are light sleepers. In other words, they are grumpy for a reason.

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For large brown bears, you should opt for a bow that has at least what amount of kinetic energy?

For large browns, you want a powerful bow that's capable of at least 65 ft lbs of kinetic energy. Less than that and you might simply wound the bear.

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How long does it take black bear boars to reach maximum size?

Male black bears grow and grow. In places where they have steady diets, they keep growing for up to 12 years before their weight plateaus.

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Both fall and spring are good seasons for grizzly hunting.

In spring, bears are active because they've just emerged from their winter stupor, and in fall, they're active, too, as they prepare for winter. Both seasons are well-suited to grizzly hunting.

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If you shoot a big brown bear, what should you immediately do?

Keep shooting. You want to make sure you've incapacitated the bear. If you're shooting for a real trophy, try not to shoot the skull, because you'll need it in one piece to qualify for a record.

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If you want to take a Boone & Crockett black bear, what's the minimum skull size?

The minimum skull size for a Boone & Crockett-qualifying black bear is 21 inches. For a Pope & Young, the minimum score is 18 inches.

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All truly wild black bears are scared of humans.

Black bears are unpredictable. Some avoid people at all costs. Some exhibit very little fear of humans. Keep that in mind as you stalk them.

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