What are some tips for field dressings a bear? Most bears are large heavy animals, and like all large heavy animals the hard part of hunting them starts after the animal is down. Here are a few tips we have found important in our hunting experiences.
- Think safety. Be extremely careful when approaching a "dead" animal. There have been numerous cases in the past of a hunter approaching an animal they think is dead and it jumping up to attack them when they start working on it. Approach it from the back and ensure it is dead. It may sound bad, but poking the creature in the eye is one test for life, if it is stunned but alive, it will react in some form.
- Tag animal immediately. Make no mistake, put the tag on now so you do not forget it, or get interrupted by a conservation officer and get fined for not having it tagged. It may sound basic, but mistakes are made all the time, and fines can be expensive, and you can also possibly lose hunting privileges.
- Take great care not to puncture internal organs. When cleaning your bear do everything in your power not to puncture internal organs in the process. This can help keep meat spoilage to a minimum.
- Never use water to clean internally. Water will wash away natural juices which when dry form a protective barrier inside the carcass. It can also introduce microbes itself. Wipe the internal carcass with clean toweling, or dry grasses.
- Use of rope or partners helps the process. Having another pair of hands is very helpful when working on a large animal such as a bear. If you do not have that luxury rope can help you hold open the carcass. Use rope tied to legs and trees to help hold it open while you work.
These are a few tips which should help you in cleaning your bear. The process is not easy, but is important to do properly to preserve the meat properly.