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Thread: Are Black Bears Black?

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Default Are Black Bears Black?

    I ask because, recently I have draped my old bear hide over a stair rail. I've had this hide since 86' and until now, to look at it at almost any direction you would think it is as black as black can be. But now there is a window in front of it, and when you look at it from behind, with the light from that window skating along it, kind of like your eyes skimming lengthwise along its surface, there is a very distinct brown sheen to the whole thing. Don't get me wrong it is far from a cinnamon phase bear, and again, to look at it from nearly any other direction it's completely black.

    So thus is the question, is a black bear hide actually so dark brown that it appears to be black? Has anybody else noticed this with their black bear hide? Or are most blackies just plain black.....no if's ands or buts about it? Maybe try and look at yours with different vantage points of natural light and see what you see?

    Just curious I guess......

    Thanks.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  2. #2

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    This kind of sounds more like a metaphysical question to me. Kind of like if a black bear whose nose does't work, farts in the woods and nobody is around to smell it, does the fart really stink?

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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Could time and exposure to light have lightened the hide? Even only slightly?

    I've never really pondered it. If the bear appears black than it is black. If not, then it's in one of the other color phases.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I think they are all different. Some are darker than others and yes I think some are actually black.
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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik in AK View Post
    Could time and exposure to light have lightened the hide? Even only slightly?

    I've never really pondered it. If the bear appears black than it is black. If not, then it's in one of the other color phases.
    Actually, over the years, I've never really exposed it to direct sunlight in any way. It wasn't even on display for quite awhile. I imagine you'd probably actually have to see it to know what I mean.....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Black bears come in a lot of shades of black. I've seen several that were a really dark chocolate looking brown and a bunch of true "black" along with the cinnamon phase bears.

    I thought I even recall seeing pictures of a blonde one with dark legs on here a couple years ago very similar to a Toklat griz.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    4mer I know exactly what you are talking about I have one I killed over 20yrs ago and and have noticed in the sun at the right angle it looks brown. But that bear is black as night unless it's in direct sunlight and you look just right

    Sent while hiding from the boss

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    Member cjustinm's Avatar
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    i've seen lots of color phase black bears. i've shot a dark brown (not black at all just chocolate) and a blonde phase with reddish legs (kinjda looked like a little griz) and have seen a true cinnamon (pretty much redish from a distance). It possible maybe your was just a really dark chocolate bear. most blacks that i have seen up close (after they had been shot) even out in the sunlight were truly black. so many variations in black bear color its hard to tell. whats interesting to me is in some states its almost 50% color phase bears but in others almost all the black bears are actually black. i wouldnt doubt it at all if yours has some brown in it.

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    As the hair ages it get thinner allowing more light to pass through it changing what humans call color. All clouds are white and the thicker they get the darker they look.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member akrstabout's Avatar
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    The guard hairs are probably a little matted, so you are seeing the under underfur, which is brownish/reddish in color. Or the underfur is "glowing" more and deadening out the black. My rug on my pony wall looks black from far away, yet closer you can see the under fur with more of a stare and not a quick glance.

  11. #11
    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    Black bears come in a lot of shades of black. I've seen several that were a really dark chocolate looking brown and a bunch of true "black" along with the cinnamon phase bears.

    I thought I even recall seeing pictures of a blonde one with dark legs on here a couple years ago very similar to a Toklat griz.
    Yes, chocolate is what I would definitely call it rather than brown.......almost coffee colored.
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  12. #12
    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    I've shot a cinnamon, a blond, a blond with brown leggings, and several "black" phase bears. Only one of them was "truely Black", or even just one color to the eye. And he had a brown eye/nose patch. I believe our "black" bears have enough genectic divirisity to have any and all hair color options. (Just like Humans)I have seen one with curly hair also, (Taken by a mechanic in Fairbanks- bear's fur was dry, not matted- just "curly")Hope our answers here have either answered your intial question, or have pipped your interest in harvesting more bears so you can see more of nature's wonders in hair color.Me personnally, I love color phase bears. (term used to describe non-standard variations in coat color.Chris

  13. #13

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    I think this thread is racist. .

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