5 Options for Your Spring Black Bear Hide

Video how to tan a bear hide

By Zach Lazzari

Hunters with Table Mountain Outfitters harvest some beautiful spring black bears every year on our guided hunts in Idaho. Due to the elevation, bears here rarely have rubbed hides. And the predominance of color-phase black bears is especially attractive for mounts and hide use.

After your meat is processed and the hide caped out and ready for transport, you’ll need to consider options for using your black bear hide. Freeze it or head straight to the taxidermist or tannery and make a decision. A black bear mount or hide is a wonderful addition to any house.

Shoulder Mount vs. Full Body Mount

Both are great options and it really depends on space availability. Shoulder mounts are great because they require less space but still represent your bear very well. The main issue with shoulder mounts is hide loss and loss of the back legs and paws which are really cool for viewing.

A full body mount takes more space but is a major addition to any trophy room or wildlife display. If you harvest a really unique and large bear, a full body mount may be in order. It all depends on how often you hunt bears and what you want to display at home. Regular bear hunters will be more discerning in their full mount choices while a single time hunter may want that trip of a lifetime on display at home.

Full Bear Rug

The full rug with head and paws intact is a great addition to any home or cabin. It can lay on the floor but also looks great on a wall or draped over furniture. The wall display is really fantastic and is easier to maintain than a floor rug.

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You will need to cut at the joint before the paw pads to keep the paws intact. You also must cape the skull, which allows you to bleach and keep the skull on display. Our guides will help with this process while field dressing the animal, depending on your preferences.

Throw Rug

A throw rug or round rug is among the most utilitarian options for a bear hide. The paws and head are not included and you are really using the bulk of the hide while stitching and reinforcing the edges for integrity.

A round or throw rug is perfect for draping on a couch or chair to add character and warmth. It displays nicely on a wall or the floor as well. You can essentially do anything with a throw style rug.

Simple Tanned Hide

Keeping it basic with a tanned hide is cost effective and versatile. Send your bear to the tannery and for a very reasonable price, it will come back tanned. Make sure to specify hair on to keep the hair intact.

Tanned hides are much like throw rugs. Drape it over the couch, hang on a wall or use at your design discretion. The tanned skin is soft and durable.

Clothing Options

Finally, coats and vests are great uses for a bear hide. The hide is often heavy but also very warm. Vests are ideal because they offer great insulation value around the core extremities without the weight of a full coat. Custom hats, gloves and other clothing items are also possible but less common with bear hides.

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Learn More About Our Spring Black Bear Hunts

If you’d like to learn more about guided spring black bear hunts with Table Mountain Outfitters, please visit our bear hunting page here. If you have questions or if you’d like to inquire about availability for an upcoming hunt, please feel free to contact us. We’d love to help you plan a spring black bear hunt!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>