Q: My father passed away and he had a tanned bear hide that my mother no longer wishes to have around the house. Dad got it in the early 1970s on a deer/bear licence. What are my options for getting rid of it? Can I sell it, or do I have to give it away?
Kirk Gowdy, Bowmanville
A: You give the bear rug away. Generally, bear rugs that hunters have made from bears that they harvested cannot be sold. For a black bear rug to be lawfully sold today, the hide (untanned and untreated skin) of the bear would have had to first been lawfully bought or sold (for example, by a hide dealer), then tanned and made into a rug. Depending on when the hide was sold, the buyer would either have to have been licenced as a hides and cast antlers dealer, or would have had to have kept records of the purchase. The bonus of proving that the hide was lawfully bought or sold, then tanned, rests with the person selling the hide today.
ANSWER BY: David Critchlow, Provincial Enforcement Specialist, MNRF
Originally published in the July 2021 issue of Ontario OUT of DOORS magazine. Ask a CO is also a regular feature in the print edition.