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Thread: Color Phase Bears

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Default Color Phase Bears

    I was reading some writings from a gentleman that studied bears for a career. He pointed out something, that now seems so obvious but I had never really put together. That is that color phase bears, are more often found in habitat that is open or above the tree line. He said that his studies showed that pure black bears, even when on a good food source would only stay out exposed to the sun for short periods before they would seek shelter, while color phase bears would often remain in the open all day. He even confirmed this with tagged bears that were caught and implanted with the temperature transducers and with telemetry collars they could measure the body temps from a distance.

    I have never seen a color phase black bear in unit 6 in all the years I have hunted it, but they are common farther north were they eat berries out on the open tundra. Coastal Brown bears are also darker than the Toklat and blonde bears I see in the Brooks. It makes sense when you think about it that the dark color that absorbs heat, is a benefit in cold thick cover, but would cause over heating out on the sun baked hills and open tundra.

    So with bear season right around the corner, for those that want a color phase bear,, look for and focus your effort on habitat that is more open.

    Steve
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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Very Interesting thanks for sharing.

    I took both of my cinnamon color phase bears in unit 20E, although it was heavily wooded tree area, it wasn't too far from areas of vast open tundra. The area is very common for color phases.

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Must be different for SE bears. I took my cinnamon bear on a fiord, my buddy took his blackie in the same fiord. They were both shot at sea level on grassy flats between the water and the timber. And I've seen numerous cinnamon and blackies in the same area over the years.

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    I have lived and hunted bears in Valdez and PWS for the past 11 years. About 8 years ago I have a smaller cinnamon color phase bear come into my bear stand. Great looking bear but I passed one it because I wanted a bigger bear. The past three years there has been at least two cinnamon bears harvested around Valdez. Also the past few springs there has been a cinnamon sow and cubs that come out early above the duck flats. However, I seen many bears over the years in eastern PWS probably well over 95% of them are black in color. I would love to find a 6' plus color phase bear with the beautiful PWS spring bear hide to make the other one on the wall.
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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    I found black best hunting to be the best in the hottest parts of the day and slower during the cooler parts of the day. I've been amazed at the temps black bears will be out, I don't think their body absorbs the heat, I think maybe the fur does but that's as far as it goes. Drilled a lot of blackies in temps I didn't wanna be out in!!!
    On a side note I've seen two color phase bears, both at tree line and both are dead.
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    Member Kotton's Avatar
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    Interesting,was this on the net?Care to share the link if so?From were my dad grew up hunting in Northern California a black bear was rare,guess out of the 30+bears he has killed only 1 was a true black bear.Ive only laid eyes on two color phased bears up here,brother came home with a small cinnamon from Mcarthy area and me an lujon seen a big cinnamon down were we hunt them in unit 7.Been looking for that guy since we saw him would be a prize possession if I ever get lucky to tag one!!!

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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Ya but SE has more color phase bears than I've found anywhere and they are in the densest forrest. I see more black phase in Wrangell in a year than Haines in seven years.Wrangell has large open areas of muskeg and Haines has none than I found so SE is different than the rest of Alaska and its been said for years.
    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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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    As a side note everythings hair color is determined by the thickness of each hair and how much light can pass through it.Blonds have the thinest hair and black the thickest. All clouds are clear and turn white as they get thicker and as less light passes through turn black.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    Ya but SE has more color phase bears than I've found anywhere and they are in the densest forrest. I see more black phase in Wrangell in a year than Haines in seven years.Wrangell has large open areas of muskeg and Haines has none than I found so SE is different than the rest of Alaska and its been said for years.
    The 1st thing that entered my mind was the Kermode bears of SE Alaska and coastal BC.
    I am no longer surprised at what I am no longer surprised at ---Bill Whittle

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMCOD View Post
    The 1st thing that entered my mind was the Kermode bears of SE Alaska and coastal BC.
    Not sure, but I thought Kermodes were a subspecies, not a color phase.

  11. #11

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    Dominant bears breed , dominant color, may be more to it but always thought best predator color would win.

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Pretty sure any sexually mature boar will breed if given the chance.
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    Yeah, I saw a couple of really beautiful strawberry blondes in Tracy Arm when I wasn't on the hunt (of the bear variety!) Was about 10% colored, 90% jet black the whole spring/summer/fall.

    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    Must be different for SE bears. I took my cinnamon bear on a fiord, my buddy took his blackie in the same fiord. They were both shot at sea level on grassy flats between the water and the timber. And I've seen numerous cinnamon and blackies in the same area over the years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kotton View Post
    Interesting,was this on the net?Care to share the link if so?From were my dad grew up hunting in Northern California a black bear was rare,guess out of the 30+bears he has killed only 1 was a true black bear.Ive only laid eyes on two color phased bears up here,brother came home with a small cinnamon from Mcarthy area and me an lujon seen a big cinnamon down were we hunt them in unit 7.Been looking for that guy since we saw him would be a prize possession if I ever get lucky to tag one!!!
    This touches in the subject

    http://www.bear.org/website/index.ph...d=15&Itemid=38

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Also remember that almost every bear "fact" can be disproven by the next bear you see.
    Bears are probably one of the most misunderstood animals out there, lots of urban legends surround them. Such as plugging them selves up while denning, eating magic grass to clean them selves out, that they rut, sows in heat, poor eyesight and others.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    Also remember that almost every bear "fact" can be disproven by the next bear you see.
    Bears are .
    Or by the next "expert" you talk to... But yep people believe all kinds of things!!

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    Lol yep I don't think there is such a thing as a bear expert! Just people with a lot of different experiences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    Also remember that almost every bear "fact" can be disproven by the next bear you see.
    Do you mean like the "fact" that polar bears will all die off if we loose all the ice pack in the Arctic? Seeing that I've seen at least one pic of a polar/grizz that was killed, pretty much shows that rather than die off, polar bears will adapt to a more southern habitat.....imo. I doubt very much that polar/grizz was just a fluke, as I do recall I've heard rumor of a few more that have also been seen....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amigo Will View Post
    SE is different than the rest of Alaska and its been said for years.
    I doubt anybody here (I know I wouldn't) argues that a rain forest is FAR different than the rest of AK........lol
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  20. #20
    Member Roland on the River's Avatar
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    Back in the early '80s a friend drew a TOK Sheep permit. He asked me to go with him. Art Warbelow flew us up the Robertson river and we hiked and setup near the Glacier. After 2 days my friend said "that's it for me ". WHAT, you want to quit ? Yeah, yesterday I got scared in that climb. Wow, what a shock to me. Anyway, we might as well go back to the strip and eat well. the next morning I said "' I'm going hunting you in " What are you going to hunt ? Should be Black Bear down by those trees. So, off we go. We didn't go 1/2 mile when I said John, there;s one go get him. He;s too small he says. What, it's open country, nothing to judge size but I assure you he's big. Anyway, he stayed back (what a hunter ?) and I sneaked up on this low bush blueberry eating Bear and the 270 went bang and he flopped dead. Wow, John says he's big. Yeah, and look it's a Cinnamon.
    The biologist that sealed it asked if I got it in Montana. The Bear was 9yo and 6'1"

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