What is a Bear Skin Rug?

Nychole Price

A bear skin rug is one that is made from the pelt or a hide of a bear. Bear skin rugs can be made or purchased from the hide of a black, grizzly or polar bear. They are often found in winter cabins, as they add a woodsy atmosphere to the home. When purchasing a bear skin rug, there are several things you must take into consideration.

A black bear's hide can be used as a bear skin rug.
A black bear's hide can be used as a bear skin rug.

Only purchase a bear skin rug from a well known vendor. In order to sell animal skin rugs, one must have a CITES permit. Ask to see the vendor's permit and verify the authenticity. A seller without a permit, or a fake permit, may have killed an animal illegally. To verify a seller's permit, call (800) 344-WILD.

A bear skin rug might be the white hide of a polar bear.
A bear skin rug might be the white hide of a polar bear.

A quality bear skin rug is one that has been skinned and tanned by a professional. If it is legal in your state, look for one that has the claws intact. Also, verify that it has been padded for proper use. A bear skin rug, that hasn't been padded will tear quickly with average use.

Make sure the rug doesn't have any blemishes or scars. A quality rug will be free of battle wounds and bald spots. When purchasing an animal skin rug, try to buy it in person so you can see exactly what you are going to get for your money. Although you can see the rugs on the Internet, there is no guarantee that is the one they are going to send to you.

In some areas of the United States and Canada, you can hunt your own bear for meat and make an animal rug from the hide. You will first need to obtain a CITES permit from your local Department of Fish and Wildlife. After you have hunted the bear, you will must immediately remove the meat and freeze it. Scrape away the flesh and remove the foot pads and toe bones up to the claws. Then send the bear hide off to a taxidermist to be tanned.

While the bear hide is being tanned, you will need to order supplies to make the rug. A skull form is needed to keep the head intact. You can also order eyes, a nose and ear liners to complement your rug.

When your bear hide returns from the taxidermist, you will need to pad it with felt to prevent it from wearing out quickly. Insert the skull form and add the facial features. Stain the inside of the mouth and the teeth to give it a realistic appearance. Allow the rug to cure for several days before displaying it on the wall or floor.

Winter cabins are often decorated with bear skin rugs.
Winter cabins are often decorated with bear skin rugs.

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Discussion Comments


@Chmander - I'm confused by your question. Do you mean how much does a bear skin rug cost? If so, it really depends on your preference. The cheaper ones cost around fifty four dollars. However, the most valuable bear skin rugs cost closer to nine hundred dollars. It all depends on your price range, and more importantly, what you can afford. Sometimes, less is more.

@Viranty - While it's true to an extent, remember that bears aren't an endangered species. However, you're definitely right in a sense that it's been going on for centuries. Overall, bears will always be hunted for their fur (and meat). Is it right, or wrong? I'm hesitant to answer that, but I will say that there's a line that shouldn't be crossed.


I've always wanted a bear skin rug, but the more I think about it, the more disagreeable it all seems. Does anyone else feel that it's wrong to hunt bears for their meat and skin? I understand that people have been doing this for centuries (hunting elephants for their tusks being an example), but if this continues, doesn't it increase the risk of bears becoming extinct? It's certainly something to think about.


I'm surprised the article doesn't mention it, but how much does a bear cost if you plan on purchasing one?

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