Blonde Bear

Discussion in 'Hunting North America' started by PHOENIX PHIL, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    No, this isn't a story of a successful hunt but wasn't sure where to place this. I just spent a few days escaping from the hell on earth otherwise known as Phoenix in the summer, camping with the family and checking the photos on our trail cams for my upcoming elk hunt. This trip yielded an unexpected surprise on one of our cameras, a very pretty blonde color phase black bear. I'm no expert on bear hunting, but I think this color phase is pretty rare. For those who know, please confirm.

    IMG_0165.JPG
     
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Well I have heard of color phase black bears in Arizona and New Mexico.

    Idaho has red, brown, black and blonde color bears...anything is possible. Some areas due to genes and breeding....there are more of one color.
     
  3. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Very nice bear. I am not sure if it would be called a blonde though (dirty blonde maybe LOL). We have the odd blonde bear here in alberta but they are usually as light as that with a yellowish tinge to the back and points. Either way that is certainly a rare color. In the best areas here for colored bears where 30-50% are brown or cinnamon, blondes make up just a couple percent of the population.
     
  4. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Thanks for the stats, I thought they were rare. The tree that's just to the left of the bear that's casting the shadow on the bear is actually where my bull elk made a mistake and stopped waiting for me to shoot last year. We had been all over that area the day before and found a lot of bear droppings. I don't know if it was the same or not. I think I'll be buying a bear tag here this year! I'd love an opportunity at him.
     
  5. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I think you would regret not having a tag in your pocket if he showed up on elk stand!

    I love Bear hunting. The nicest bear I ever saw was only about a 5 footer but was yellow on the back and slowly transitioned darker towards the points which were extremely dark brown, almost black. My buddy calls him the 2 tone bear. Unfortunately I was not able to close the gap with my bow any closer than 100yds.
     
  6. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I have seen Brown & Grizzlies Bears that look close to the color of your picture black bear.
     
  7. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Up here you had best know the difference between a young grizzly and a large blond black bear.
    Quite rare, some places have more than others for sure, as Diamond says.
    Maybe all that sun he got sun faded from black. :)
     
  8. Thunder head

    Thunder head AH Enthusiast

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    Cool pic Phil,
    Any pics of big bulls?
    The scenery reminds me of the time i spent climbing around oak creek canyon. Awsome area for sure.
     
  9. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    Lucky fella!

    Great luck to catch a pic. of that bear. On the subject of Black Bear color phases, they can be found in black, brown, cinnamon, blonde, blue-gray (rarest), or white. Now rarity, that is even more interesting.

    In western states like Arizona that have mountain meadows and open park-like forests, population studies have found that over half the black bears- ursus americanus are brown, cinnamon, or blond- ursus americanus cinnamomum. The general consensus is light colored fur reduces heat stress from sunlight and allows the bears to feed longer in open food-rich habitat. The lighter colored fur may also camouflage them in terrain with light/tan colors. Non-black- black bears with new dark brown fur can bleach to nearly blond by the time it is shed the next summer. So, blonde phase Black Bears are uncommon. However, rare would be sub-species with the blue-gray and white color phases.

    There are two sub-species of Black Bear, which developed due to isolation by mountain ranges, they are found in British Columbia and southeastern Alaska.

    In British Columbia the Kermode bear- ursus americanus kermodi- subspecies can be found on a few coastal islands. The Kermode Bear have a unique color phase trait where twenty percent are a creamy white. The Native Americans call them Spirit Bears?

    Farther north in southeastern Alaska is the Glacier Bear- ursus americanus emmonsii- subspecies. Most are black, but a few are é›»ark-bluish gray with silver-tipped guard hairs? It is now only semi-isolated from surrounding populations, as it integrates with surrounding populations, the dominant black gene will likely breed out the blue-gray/frosted color. This is the rarest color phase.

    Black Bear hunting is one of my most favorite, hunting Quail is second and Elk being #1. My interest in this is because I have had a long aspiration to hunt all of the Black Bear color phases & sub-species. In the area I hunt the brown phase is common, cinnamon being uncommon and blonde almost non-existent.

    PHOENIX PHIL, in one of your posts you mentioned seeing bear scat/spore, which means that is possibly a boar marking sight or corridor. If you get the chance I have no doubt you won't pass up an opportunity to bag a unique animal. Thanks for sharing.

    Best of luck this season.
     
  10. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    Lucky fella!

    Great luck to catch a pic. of that bear. On the subject of Black Bear color phases, they can be found in black, brown, cinnamon, blonde, blue-gray (rarest), or white. Now rarity, that is even more interesting.

    In western states like Arizona that have mountain meadows and open park-like forests, population studies have found that over half the black bears- ursus americanus are brown, cinnamon, or blond- ursus americanus cinnamomum. The general consensus is light colored fur reduces heat stress from sunlight and allows the bears to feed longer in open food-rich habitat. The lighter colored fur may also camouflage them in terrain with light/tan colors. Non-black- black bears with new dark brown fur can bleach to nearly blond by the time it is shed the next summer. So, blonde phase Black Bears are uncommon. However, rare would be sub-species with the blue-gray and white color phases.

    There are two sub-species of Black Bear, which developed due to isolation by mountain ranges, they are found in British Columbia and southeastern Alaska.

    In British Columbia the Kermode bear- ursus americanus kermodi- subspecies can be found on a few coastal islands. The Kermode Bear have a unique color phase trait where twenty percent are a creamy white. The Native Americans call them "Spirit Bears"?

    Farther north in southeastern Alaska is the Glacier Bear- ursus americanus emmonsii- subspecies. Most are black, but a few are é›»ark-bluish gray with silver-tipped guard hairs? It is now only semi-isolated from surrounding populations, as it integrates with surrounding populations, the dominant black gene will likely breed out the blue-gray/frosted color. This is the rarest color phase.

    BB.jpg BB- Brn.jpg BB- Cinn.jpg BB wht.jpg BB frost i.jpg BB frost ii.jpg

    Black, Brown, Cinnamon, White, Blue-Gray (in order from left to right)

    Black Bear hunting is one of my most favorite, hunting Quail is second and Elk being #1. My interest in this is because I have had a long aspiration to hunt all of the Black Bear color phases & sub-species. In the area I hunt the brown phase is common, cinnamon being uncommon and blonde almost non-existent.

    PHOENIX PHIL, in one of your posts you mentioned seeing bear scat/spore, which means that is possibly a boar marking sight or corridor. If you get the chance I have no doubt you will not pass up an opportunity to bag a unique animal. Thanks for sharing.

    Best of luck this season.
     
  11. jaeger

    jaeger AH Member

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    Nice bear! It's a bit like our badgers i reckon, they can be found in varying shades of colour from white though to red to the standard black.
     
  12. Blue Skies Hunting Adventures

    Blue Skies Hunting Adventures AH Enthusiast

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    Thought you would like to see this one we got some years back in Manitoba.

    [​IMG]
     

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  13. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    Nice bear pictures. If I am not mistaken National Geographic (magazine)just did an article on the blonde bears this month in canada. I was reading about them in the store last week. Awsome to have one on camera, but even better to have a shot at one!
     
  14. Xpraetor

    Xpraetor AH Senior Member

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    Awsome bear!
     
  15. Blue Skies Hunting Adventures

    Blue Skies Hunting Adventures AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks, this was the buckmaster team who was filming their hunt, they were quite surprised to say the least and there was no question that they were going to shoot this bear if they had the chance.
     

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