Hunting Washington Forum

Big Game Hunting => Bear Hunting => Topic started by: funkmasterfresh on June 18, 2020, 12:46:45 PM

Title: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: funkmasterfresh on June 18, 2020, 12:46:45 PM
This is my first time I'm hoping to go out hunting. I'm planning on scoring a deer/bear tag and bagging whatever I can find, if anything.

I'd really like to stick to the peninsula if I can. I like the idea of hiking the forest and being a bit more in the thick of things. It's way more my element and it's what I grew up in. Not to mention it's closer to me currently.
My boss told me to stick to east side for bear though. He said bear on the east feed on berries whereas west side bear typically go for fish. You can apparently taste the difference.

I believe him, I'm just curious how much of a difference it actually makes. Am I going to be severely bummed out trying to stomach my first bear if it came from the peninsula?
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: TooTallMike on June 18, 2020, 01:56:33 PM
I got my bear last year in late Aug on the west side... Was eating berries when I spotted it.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: WSU on June 18, 2020, 02:13:36 PM
Westside bears eat berries too.  Find a big patch of ripe berries and look for bear poop. 
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: opdinkslayer on June 18, 2020, 03:35:40 PM
 :chuckle: Bears will eat almost anything they can get their lips on. Grass & skunk cabbage in the spring transitioning to popping stumps & berries closer to season. I know plenty of people that eat west side bears and really like it. Logic would say that the higher elevation bears taste better due to feed.🤷‍♂️
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: Mtnwalker on June 18, 2020, 03:45:09 PM
Last bear I killed was 10 miles from salt water. He was delicious
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: 1Guy on June 18, 2020, 04:18:05 PM
Smoked bear ham one of the best things I ever ate  :tup:
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: Slow-drifter on June 18, 2020, 05:38:42 PM
Lived on the peninsula my whole life, and can honestly say I've never seen evidence of a bear eating fish, unless it was pre-ban and someone was putting carks in a stump. Every one I've killed has been delicious.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: funkmasterfresh on June 18, 2020, 07:37:42 PM
Far out. That gives me some confidence in my decision.

I know people like to keep honey holes in general, so I'm not looking for any specific spots. But I'm scouting X-Maps for GMU 638 and 636 seeing what areas I want to scout out, are those units even worth my time? I saw low hunter numbers in the harvest reports but also decent success rates. Is it just because you have to hike past a lot of the logging gates?
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: RobinHoodlum on June 18, 2020, 10:38:58 PM
Ditto what slow-drifter said. Not a lot of fish or garbage Bears in Washington. Bear meat is generally excellent table fare. Not saying you won't have a tough one from time to time. But, a lot of misinformation regarding bears being too gamey, fatty or only good for pepperoni. Just need to care for it properly and get rid of excess fat.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: funkmasterfresh on June 19, 2020, 09:18:31 AM
My dad swears bear is the worst meat, but from what I've been reading (scored Steve Rinella's big/small game books) and the general consensus from talking to others so far is it's great, you just have to be a smidge picky on what you bag. And to ensure you freeze it whatfer trichinosis.

In all reality I'd rather bag a blacktail, but the skills to bag them seem much higher, and restrictions seem much lower on bear so I'll I'm going to focus on that front.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: JimmyHoffa on June 19, 2020, 12:44:44 PM
I think bear is pretty good.  Only a few rivers where bear seem to get into fish anymore.  And most of those are near or after bear season closes. Aug/sep/early oct the rivers are usually pretty low. The pinks spawn low in the rivers so not really a problem.  The kings come back in such low numbers I doubt the bears are getting much. I see the silvers start to move in around late oct or early nov and dependent on rain. Then the season is nearly over.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: WSU on June 19, 2020, 02:22:25 PM
The only bad bear I've had (it was really BAD) was one that I took to a butcher straight from the field because it was August and I wanted to cool it down.  Probably should have bought coolers and ice.  I assume they ground it fat and all.  It was eating berries but about every 3rd bite would make you want to puke.  I assume that is from lack of trimming the fat but I don't know.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: Bango skank on June 19, 2020, 02:26:38 PM
The only bad bear I've had (it was really BAD) was one that I took to a butcher straight from the field because it was August and I wanted to cool it down.  Probably should have bought coolers and ice.  I assume they ground it fat and all.  It was eating berries but about every 3rd bite would make you want to puke.  I assume that is from lack of trimming the fat but I don't know.

They charge by the pound.  Of course they just ground all the nasty crap into there.  Bring coolers full of ice, bone that sucker out and remove fat, get meat on ice.  Butcher at home.  Save money, far better product.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: dilleytech on June 19, 2020, 03:23:08 PM
The only bad bear I've had (it was really BAD) was one that I took to a butcher straight from the field because it was August and I wanted to cool it down.  Probably should have bought coolers and ice.  I assume they ground it fat and all.  It was eating berries but about every 3rd bite would make you want to puke.  I assume that is from lack of trimming the fat but I don't know.

Bear fat is delicious. And butchers generally suck.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: dilleytech on June 19, 2020, 03:27:15 PM
My dad swears bear is the worst meat, but from what I've been reading (scored Steve Rinella's big/small game books) and the general consensus from talking to others so far is it's great, you just have to be a smidge picky on what you bag. And to ensure you freeze it whatfer trichinosis.

In all reality I'd rather bag a blacktail, but the skills to bag them seem much higher, and restrictions seem much lower on bear so I'll I'm going to focus on that front.

Bear meat is great. But remember itís the cooking it well done to 165 thatís Important not the freezing part. I have come to the conclusion everyone who says bear meat is bad made that decision because someone else said it was bad. ďItís bad because everyone know bear is badĒ old wise tails kinda things. All my life I have never had bad tasting meat..

Maybe a coastal brown bear living off salmon is a different story or something..
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: Pegasus on June 19, 2020, 03:35:28 PM
The only bad bear I've had (it was really BAD) was one that I took to a butcher straight from the field because it was August and I wanted to cool it down.  Probably should have bought coolers and ice.  I assume they ground it fat and all.  It was eating berries but about every 3rd bite would make you want to puke.  I assume that is from lack of trimming the fat but I don't know.

Bear fat is delicious. And butchers generally suck.

My Dad used to use bear fat as a hair loss treatment. Mom quickly put a stop to that nonsense so my Dad, unfortunately, ended up looking like a cueball.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: Angry Perch on June 19, 2020, 04:10:06 PM
My dad swears bear is the worst meat, but from what I've been reading (scored Steve Rinella's big/small game books) and the general consensus from talking to others so far is it's great, you just have to be a smidge picky on what you bag. And to ensure you freeze it whatfer trichinosis.

In all reality I'd rather bag a blacktail, but the skills to bag them seem much higher, and restrictions seem much lower on bear so I'll I'm going to focus on that front.

Bear meat is great. But remember itís the cooking it well done to 165 thatís Important not the freezing part. I have come to the conclusion everyone who says bear meat is bad made that decision because someone else said it was bad. ďItís bad because everyone know bear is badĒ old wise tails kinda things. All my life I have never had bad tasting meat..

Maybe a coastal brown bear living off salmon is a different story or something..

I agree on cooking vs freezing for reliably killing trichinosis, but you don't need to get near 165.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: Wanttohuntmore on June 19, 2020, 08:38:28 PM
Was hoping freezing would work but the CDC disagrees.   Just cook it well.   https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/gen_info/faqs.html#:~:text=Curing%20(salting)%2C%20drying%2C,C)%20to%20kill%20any%20worms.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: 7mmfan on June 19, 2020, 09:33:29 PM
I killed my first bear last year. A west side berry fed bear. It was some of the finest game meat I've ever eaten. I trimmed the fat entirely and cooked the backstraps to 165ish. Delicious. Late August is when black berries really start to ripen up in logging country. Shoot for that time through mid September for your best opportunity at a berry fed bear here. 
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: dilleytech on June 20, 2020, 09:12:35 AM
My dad swears bear is the worst meat, but from what I've been reading (scored Steve Rinella's big/small game books) and the general consensus from talking to others so far is it's great, you just have to be a smidge picky on what you bag. And to ensure you freeze it whatfer trichinosis.

In all reality I'd rather bag a blacktail, but the skills to bag them seem much higher, and restrictions seem much lower on bear so I'll I'm going to focus on that front.

Bear meat is great. But remember itís the cooking it well done to 165 thatís Important not the freezing part. I have come to the conclusion everyone who says bear meat is bad made that decision because someone else said it was bad. ďItís bad because everyone know bear is badĒ old wise tails kinda things. All my life I have never had bad tasting meat..

Maybe a coastal brown bear living off salmon is a different story or something..

I agree on cooking vs freezing for reliably killing trichinosis, but you don't need to get near 165.

Some places state 160, some 165. Itís not the same trik your hoping to kill in pork.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: GASoline71 on June 21, 2020, 12:59:14 PM
In all the years I've hunted the west side (40+), I've never seen a bear eating fish.  Only berries and stripping tree bark, or tearing apart stumps.  I've hunted along rivers and streams, and have seen Black Bears near the water, but only drinking it or wading through, or swimming in it.

Hoping for a berry fattened west side bruin this year myself.

Gary

Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: dilleytech on June 22, 2020, 11:29:17 AM
In all the years I've hunted the west side (40+), I've never seen a bear eating fish.  Only berries and stripping tree bark, or tearing apart stumps.  I've hunted along rivers and streams, and have seen Black Bears near the water, but only drinking it or wading through, or swimming in it.

Hoping for a berry fattened west side bruin this year myself.

Gary

I see them eating fish along the banks of drano in southern wa in the summer time often. But I canít hunt those bears so I canít comment. The bears I have eaten are mostly eating berries or fruit and they all tasted the same.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: Turner89 on July 13, 2020, 11:06:24 PM
The first bear i shot was November 5th on bear creek . He was eating some nasty spawned out salmon. He stunk so bad it was hard to get him cut up. I took it to the butcher. That thing was awful. I figured that would be my last bear because there was no way i was eating that again. About 5 years later I helped a friend get his bear out of the woods. This one was up higher and eating black berries. I noticed he didn't stink at all. I took a steak home to see if there was a difference.  It was great.  I went out and got a tag and try to get one every year now. I like it as much as venison and sometimes more.   
  That fish bear was the last animal I took into the butcher. Not because I doubt there work, just enjoy cutting them up myself.   

 Don't hunt the river for bear when the fish are spawning.🤮
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: Skyvalhunter on July 14, 2020, 05:52:53 AM
It didn't taste like fish?
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: Sundance on July 14, 2020, 09:41:28 AM
In August I've seen bears within a few miles of the salt at seas level and as high as 3000-4000'. I've never really noticed an issue with them eating spawned salmon until the chum salmon run. Anything after late October would be my only concern and if that were the case I'd just stay away from the rivers.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: konradcountry on July 16, 2020, 08:01:11 PM
The trick with any game meat is to eat canada goose first.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: duckmen1 on July 16, 2020, 08:09:42 PM
The trick with any game meat is to eat canada goose first.

If cooked properly it is amazing. Most overcook it and in my opinion that drastically changes the flavor and makes it disgusting. Yes I'm off topic I'm talking about goose. Medium to medium rare.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: dilleytech on July 20, 2020, 09:30:28 PM
The trick with any game meat is to eat canada goose first.

Thatís not fair.. goose is great.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: huntingaddiction on July 21, 2020, 01:03:55 PM
Just don't shoot one next to a river with salmon running up it.  Hunt clear cuts with berries in them.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: konradcountry on July 21, 2020, 02:32:36 PM
The trick with any game meat is to eat canada goose first.

If cooked properly it is amazing. Most overcook it and in my opinion that drastically changes the flavor and makes it disgusting. Yes I'm off topic I'm talking about goose. Medium to medium rare.

Amazing? Ok send me a recipe. I've had it cooked medium rare and it was just OK. Better than farm goose, I'll give it that.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: huntingaddiction on July 28, 2020, 06:01:01 AM
The trick with any game meat is to eat canada goose first.

If cooked properly it is amazing. Most overcook it and in my opinion that drastically changes the flavor and makes it disgusting. Yes I'm off topic I'm talking about goose. Medium to medium rare.

Amazing? Ok send me a recipe. I've had it cooked medium rare and it was just OK. Better than farm goose, I'll give it that.

I mostly get my bear beat done into summer sausage and breakfast sausage.  Burger isn't bad either and I know people who love to do bear hams.  Honestly, you have to be careful how you cook bear which is why I do this.  Eating raw bear can give you trichinosis.  I wouldn't do it.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: Onewhohikes on July 28, 2020, 06:05:03 AM
I like to add several different spices to my bear beat.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: konradcountry on July 28, 2020, 07:21:58 AM
The trick with any game meat is to eat canada goose first.

If cooked properly it is amazing. Most overcook it and in my opinion that drastically changes the flavor and makes it disgusting. Yes I'm off topic I'm talking about goose. Medium to medium rare.

Amazing? Ok send me a recipe. I've had it cooked medium rare and it was just OK. Better than farm goose, I'll give it that.

I mostly get my bear beat done into summer sausage and breakfast sausage.  Burger isn't bad either and I know people who love to do bear hams.  Honestly, you have to be careful how you cook bear which is why I do this.  Eating raw bear can give you trichinosis.  I wouldn't do it.

Oh I was talking about cooking goose medium rare.

I was joking that any game meat tastes great compared to Canada goose.
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: wannabhntr on July 28, 2020, 07:28:43 AM
No bears on the East side
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: huntingaddiction on July 28, 2020, 01:04:16 PM
The trick with any game meat is to eat canada goose first.

If cooked properly it is amazing. Most overcook it and in my opinion that drastically changes the flavor and makes it disgusting. Yes I'm off topic I'm talking about goose. Medium to medium rare.

Amazing? Ok send me a recipe. I've had it cooked medium rare and it was just OK. Better than farm goose, I'll give it that.

I mostly get my bear beat done into summer sausage and breakfast sausage.  Burger isn't bad either and I know people who love to do bear hams.  Honestly, you have to be careful how you cook bear which is why I do this.  Eating raw bear can give you trichinosis.  I wouldn't do it.

Oh I was talking about cooking goose medium rare.

I was joking that any game meat tastes great compared to Canada goose.

You're not really wrong! lol
Title: Re: West Side vs. East side Bear
Post by: huntingaddiction on July 28, 2020, 01:05:01 PM
No bears on the East side
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