I have a black bear in the freezer and after looking through the archives I have seen some peopl thaw them by just leaving them out for 18hrs to 3 days, some people hang them up and put a fan on them, some people use lysol and soak them ... and so on. Some of these posts in the archives go back as far as 2000. I have heard that lysol isn't as it used to be so it is not effective in preventing bacteria growth. Any current solutions for faster thawing? Could I thaw in water and stop-rot mixture. This is my first attempt at a bear any advice is appreciated.
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it's green or is it tanned? If it's green, then 24 hrs might be more like it, don't thaw in a real warm area, keep it cool. You could do it in a fridge, but that would take 3 days would be my guess...
Yes it it frozen green with the skull still in.
Its okay to thaw at room temp - just salt down the skin as you are able to peel it away. THe salt will keep the hide from going sour while allowing the rest of the bear to unthaw.
That's what I do with other small mammals, but I have read since bears take so long to thaw out that the ears and all actually thaw much quicker than the rest of the body exposing these areas to bacteria before the rest can be dealt with.
Do not soak the bear in anything.By far the best way is to get hold of one of the hind feet and hang it 6 to 8 feet off the ground by that foot.This way the weight of the head and hide gradually unravels the hide as each part begins to thaw-no fan.I hang a hide in the evening before going to bed.Small bears will be thawed by morning,large ones by lunch time.Then get on it and get it fleshed and salted.If you put a balled up skin out to thaw,it will take days and part of it will spoil before it is all thawed-or you can spend all day unraveling it as parts thaw.If you hang it,it will unravel itself while you sleep.If the paws are thawed before the head,go ahead and get those skinned while waiting on the head.You may have to set the bear out for a couple hours till it thaws enough to get a hold of the hind foot.When you freeze a bear remember to leave one hind foot accessible so you can hang later.A 50 to 70 degree room is OK,but don't have any heat source blowing on it.Get right on it when it is thawed and stay on it till it is salted.
It seems to be pretty clear that letting things thaw in it's own time is the way to go. Wonder why no one has come up with a "thawing agent" to increase thawing time and decrease risk of bacteria at the same time. Thanks to all that helped out!
I have dealt with many frozen bears and the most time it has EVER taken was 36 hours to thaw a bear. The shop I work at gets over 120 bears a year and we have never had any problem with slippage from thawing at room temp. IF a hide had a bad smell then we made sure to add salt as it thawed and worked it quickly to get it fleshed and salted.
if not your just looking for trouble.