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Location: Kalispell, Montana
Joined: 11/21/2007
Posts: 3
Griz Or Black bear? Need opinions!!!!!

Hi everyone, I need an opinion. I recently took the online bear identification test and came upon a picture within the test that is a bit controversial. I believe 100% it is a grizzly bear. I work with several avid hunters and they all agree with me. However, the man that headed up the bear identification test disagrees with me. When I confronted him with my opinion, he told me over and over it was a black bear. I showed him how I identified it as a grizzly, and he adamantly replied that it was a black bear. I then asked him how he determines it is a black bear and he said "It's a black bear, I know that for a fact". I would greatly appreciate it if you all here could take a look at this picture (it's the actual one from the identification test) and tell me what your opinion is.

Is this bear a grizzly bear, or a black bear?

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Moderator
Location: Kentucky/ Colorado
Joined: 06/23/2005
Posts: 1740
Griz Or Black bear? Need opinions!!!!!

AmyT, First of all Welcome to BGH! Big smile

IMO That is a Black Bear.

It lacks the hump of a Griz

It lacks the Dishpan face of a Griz
and has short claws.

It has the color of some grizzlies but other than the color everything else is Black Bear.

bitmasher's picture
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Moderator
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2973
Griz Or Black bear? Need opinions!!!!!

No shoulder hump. No grizz.

The ears don't look quite right either, but it is harder to tell due to the angle of the picture.

That being said it is a challenging picture. If I were glassing this bear afield I would want to watch him for awhile to get a better look at the shoulder hump or lack thereof.

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Location: Idaho
Joined: 06/01/2004
Posts: 1068
Griz Or Black bear? Need opinions!!!!!

... at first look I was drawn into thinking griz by color and orientation of shoulder - but then it became obvious to me (though not sure how) - it's a blacky.

Besides - its front feet are on higher ground - elevating the shoulders.

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Location: Kalispell, Montana
Joined: 11/21/2007
Posts: 3
Griz Or Black bear? Need opinions!!!!!

Here's why I think it's a griz:

It does indeed have the dished face. It has very, very large claws, and the rump is lower than it would be if it were a black bear. The hump is misleading, but it's there. In fact, this bear appears in two different pictures on the test, and they tell me the other picture is a grizzly and this one is a black bear, even though it's the same bear in both pictures. I only know that because it just so happens that a friend of the one of the guys I work with took all the pictures for this test.

Plus, if that's a black bear, it's the biggest one ever seen in Montana. That's about a 500 pound black bear right there. They just don't get that big here.

More comments are appreciated, and thank you all for your input.

Alamosa's picture
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Location: Southern Colorado
Joined: 03/25/2005
Posts: 245
Griz Or Black bear? Need opinions!!!!!

Great picture and question.
Thanks for posting it.

I guess griz but I wouldn't really know.

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Location: Lenexa, Kansas
Joined: 01/02/2007
Posts: 145
Griz Or Black bear? Need opinions!!!!!

I would just guess Black because of the lack of a hump(only way I know how to identify black and brown bears).

What is the site you were taking the test at?

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Location: Montana
Joined: 10/24/2006
Posts: 448
Griz Or Black bear? Need opinions!!!!!

Its a black, and the picture is taken from the Montana bear identification test one must pass to get a black bear liscence. 300 to 400 isnt uncommon and one did come in at 800 pounds. The 2 keys to THAT perticular bear picture that should tip a guide or hunter off is not the hump, ihave seen lean grizz with no hump at all and fat blacks that had enough fat it was tough to tell.
First is the ears and second is the muzzle. That bear is what we call a Cinnimon black , also known and a Sugar or Honey bear. It IS a really nice speciman of one too. By looks of the surrounding s its probably late fall early winter and the feller is good and fat.
The test when I took it for guiding a person needed 80%, i think its same for liscense as well, I had to take it twice and scored 100% both times which some suprised me because pictures can be misleading ofcourse I had a grizz come within 20 yards of me while tracking a elk and last thing ran through my mind was to study on it lol It stood there long enough I named him george and got real acquainted much to my dismay

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Location: Peyton Co
Joined: 01/22/2006
Posts: 90
Griz Or Black bear? Need opinions!!!!!

My guess would have been a black bear based on looking at head and ears. However, looking at just he picture I would have said grizz based on size and color.

I'm glad I wasn't taking the test!!

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Joined: 01/15/2007
Posts: 30
Griz Or Black bear? Need opinions!!!!!

Geese Amy,

I've seen grizzlies that looked like blacks and blacks that look like grizzlies but this one isn't even close to being a problem, just a cute little blackie.
cheers
tz

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Location: Kalispell, Montana
Joined: 11/21/2007
Posts: 3
Griz Or Black bear? Need opinions!!!!!

Good enough.

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