NAFA is a commercial market. It is only one source of buying/selling bear hides. There are auctions, I assume one could place a blackie hide in the Auction during the North American in Fbks.
Then there is the taxidermy market. Dorsal skin the bear, turn the feet, eyes, nose, ears, and salt. Might get a better price.
Perhaps the tourist shops will start selling bear hides. Hunters might be able to sell good hides to them.
Selling bear hides in Alaska is somewhat new, still. There isn't an established place to regularly sell and get a grasp of a "usual" price.
My previous post where I gave the recent prices at NAFA should probably be used as a base line, more or less a wholesale price guide. Like martentrapper pointed out, there are better avenues if you work at it a little.
Well, I'd say $50 a foot is fair! LOL, dude, you are lucky to get what you did, PWS is probably what sold it actually. Best hides around. Ya did good! Unless he talked you down. Granted your bear was around 5'6". Raw, w/ feet still in and nothing turned, I was suprised you got what you did.
I just bought two spring bears in Alaska. One 6' and the other 6'6". I paid $150 each from a guy that I know handles hides properly. They were fleshed, lips, ears and eyes turned and salted. One problem with buying raw fur is that you don't know what you are getting. The average guy doesn't know how to properly flesh and turn a hide. So the buyer is taking a huge risk unless he has done business with you before. Building a reputation and proving you have the skill to properly handle hides will get you a higher price. Here in CO., we have our fur auction every year and sell around 150 bears. They sell for $40-$200, average price around $100. But they are not the same quality as a spring bear from Alaska.
I took two 6+ spring bears early April with the intention of selling. There were no buyers for the green hides at a reasonable price. So I fleshed, turned, and rolled for taxidermy then salted and dried. My plan is to pay for tanning myself and see if I can get more from a finished hide. If not I'll just keep them. The time and cost of getting and processing the hides is not currently reflected in these prices. I'm pleased F&G lets us sell now but indeed the market is still new.
I've done up the front claws from a black bear from this spring, have no clue what they would sell for. I guess too it depends on size of bear, length of claws. But if there is a market for them, say even $10 each, right there that is a hundred for the front claws. Would seem to me any market for good spring black bear hides would be more for the fur and not for the rug with head and feet on, but again not sure on that either. It's great fur for making all kinds of things though, from mitts to mukluks, after tanning.
I haven't been looking for bear hides to buy, but taxidermy.net they tend to sell for between 150-250 (untanned) - size, quality, etc all play a roll. Color variations will get you more, maybe. Cinnamons are quite common in parts of the lower 48, as compared to AK. Of course a good glacier bear would go for quite a lot, I am sure.
As far as selling for taxidermy purposes, I like a well haired out spring bear or a well haired out fall bear. There is a difference in the finished product. A blown out bear, made into a rug, is flat as a pancake and the heads tend to look sleek, rather than fluffy and 'round'.
Guys I'll be in Alaska in sept on a moose hunt and was wondering if I wanted to buy a bear skin where would be the best place? If I'm successfull on my moose I'll have to get the cape tanned before being sent home to Australia so a green bear skin would be fine as I could have it done at the same time.