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I'm helping someone put together a garage sale of fly tying materials.   Sort of an estate sale with a lifetime's collection of stuff, including thousands of old Mustad hooks and ........... more or less everything.  Including a 12" cube cardboard box stuffed with hanks of Polar Bear Hair.

 

I think it's illegal to sell polar bear hair--new stuff anyway.  Is old stuff grandfathered?  What is it worth?  I can find illicit feathers for sale on EBay but I came up short searching for Polar Bear hair.  Must be 50 small square hanks of it.

 

 

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In the US its not illegal to buy or sell if it was harvested prior to 1975, or whatever year CITES was adopted.  Not sure what constitutes proof of year harvested, but send me a patch and I'll do my best to find out.    

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The marine mammal act of 1972 made it illegal for non-native people to buy, sell, trade or barter any parts of marine mammals after, 1972 including parts of polar bears. So, we need to be able to demonstrate that your animal died before 1972. It could be as easy as a dated bill of sale, or a picture of the guy using the material, and that same box, dating prior to 1972. It could be a family member stating that "So and so got his PB hair on his trip to Alaska in 1968", or whatever it was. The affidavit needs to be signed, dated and have contact info.

This is all called provenance and the more the better. You really don't want to fake the stuff cuz the USF&W Service is pretty serious about it. I deal with marine mammal act stuff in my business all the time.

If you can't substantiate it's origin, you really can't sell it. The USF&W service will tell you the only legal thing you can do with it is surrender it to them.

Boone Trading Company has some certified "OLD Stuff" for sale, you can check with them to get a value.  There is definitely the high end price.

If you like, PM me and I can help you more.

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Better verify when the polar bear was taken and can be documented and verified by a notary. Uncle Sam is very strict on taking certain critters.

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18 minutes ago, salmobytes said:

ok.  Hmmm.  Perhaps.... we'll give it away.  

I would not be hasty in giving it away. I would also take Mark up on his offer to help, if you haven't already.

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hell i'll buy some of it

its gotta be better than the shit boone trading company sells. ask me. i know

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If youare giving or selling please keep me in mind - but I'd prefer to buy it.

Kim

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Just so everybody is clear, if he does not know the origin of the polar bear, it's not legal for him to sell it. This has been on social media where everyone can see it. There are people watching whose job it is to watch social media for just these kinds of things. I do not suggest anybody buy it unless he can get details on it's origin. I'd hate to see anyone get into trouble over a silly thing like a few patches of hair.

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Whatever its worth it’s peanuts and not worth the hassle of establishing provenance just so you can prove later on that it’s legal fur. I have no clue what the value is but to me it can’t possibly be enough for the headache of having to prove my innocence. Perhaps it’s best to just use it for personal use and not fart around with selling, trading or battering. 

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Sounds like a plan, but DO check the (potential) value before you decide.  You may find that it IS worth the hassle!  Otherwise, have fun with it - the WORST THING that could happen is that it go to waste!  Always when I hunt I like to get the most value for the animal to best honor it's death!!

Kim

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A well known tier and fly shop owner went to jail for improperly buying Polar Bear hair. This is a little different situation, a box of hair from an estate vs a commercial interest. But it's still wise to be careful. If the provenance can be proven, I'd be interested. Or just send me whole box for disposal. 

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Why not use something else? The yellerhammer fly of the Smokies was a real successful fly. It is now illegal to possess the feathers of that particular bird so alternate feathers are used. The fish don't know the difference.

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That polar bear has been dead for at least 50 years, his hassle is over, LOL. 

But for $15/square inch, I'd try to find a way to prove it's provenance if possible, and use it instead of a substitute.  On the other hand, I'd make sure that proof was pretty solid before I used, sold, or bartered it and keep things on the up and up.  If I recall correctly, Herter's final demise had something to do with being caught selling illegal feathers, so you can never be too careful.  Failing any proof of provenance, I'd stash it away and keep it from the revenooers.  .

 

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