posted by Jim on Jan 31
“When he stands, he can look into a second story window!”This guy shot a 2,000 pound Grizzly!”" The bear’s claws were 13 inches across!”
I have personally read the above mentioned quotes and others like them in publications and on the internet. While they make for interesting reading, much of what you read about brown and grizzly bears is absolutely false. In the past 10 years I have spent over 300 days guiding for brown bears and grizzly bears in
Myth: Grizzly bears and Brown bears are completely different bears.
Truth: A grizzly bear is a brown bear that lives further inland. A brown bear lives near salt water and feeds primarily on salmon. A grizzlies’ diet often contains fish, but usually caribou, moose, rodents, berries, roots, and grasses are at the top of the menu. A “Kodiak” brown bear is just like any other brown bear, but it lives on
Myth: Grizzly bears are the biggest bears in
Truth: I would estimate that a mature male Alaskan brown bear boar weighs about 2,000 pounds in the fall of the year. (Bears typically lose up to 30% of the body weight by spring.) The average weight of adult male grizzlies that my hunters have taken is 500-600 pounds. Often time’s interior grizzlies are forced to hibernate over 2 months longer than their coastal counterparts. This is also a large factor in the size difference. If you don’t eat, you don’t grow. However, “coastal grizzlies” are often as big as a brown bear; this is because they are basically brown bears. They live in similar environments, and have diets like that of a brown bear, but they are classified as grizzly bears by some record books for various reasons that I am unable to understand. In these areas an average bear will meet or exceed most record book minimums. This is the reason why the price tag for one of these “coastal grizzlies” is so high. I have heard many different reports on the size of Polar bears from many clients and friends in the hunting world. I have gathered that polar bears are typically longer in body size and often “square” more than a brown bear, but in general brown bears weigh slightly more then a polar bear.
Truth: Most people (every Alaskan guide I know) “square” a bears’ hide using this method:
1-Lay the skinned bear hide out on a flat surface.
2-Pull the nose until the tail moves and lay the nose down.
3-Measure from the tip of nose to the end of tail.
4-Pull one front paw until the other moves and lay that paw down.
5-Measure from the longest claw to longest claw.
6-Add measurements and divide by two.
This gives you the “square” of the bear. A 10’ bear will typically measure 11’ front claw to claw, and 9’ nose to tail.
Truth: Grizzly bears have earned their reputation for being mean. Though they are smaller, they are typically more aggressive. Because grizzlies live further inland, they have longer, colder winters and thus require more fat to survive the winters. For this reason grizzlies are more opportunistic hunters. Usually a brown bear won’t even look twice at a caribou or moose, because they have an abundance of easy-to-get salmon that provide much more fat and protein than any ungulate. Any living creature is viewed as food to grizzly bear. Though they are smaller, I am much more wary in grizzly bear country than I am when in the coastal, brown bear country. Read the rest … »