Video: Hide and Horn Auction puts the fur in Rondy

mtheriault@adn.comFebruary 23, 2014 

The top bid at Sunday's Fur Rendezvous Hide and Horn Auction: $2,500 for a grizzly bear hide.

"It was a big bear. Nine foot bear. Had good hair and stuff," said Richard Person of the Southcentral chapter of the Alaska Trappers Association.

The lowest: $50 bucks or so for some horns.

Each year, the auction is where the Alaska Department of Fish and Game disposes of the hundreds of animal parts it and the Alaska State Troopers accumulate.

Some of the hides and horns are seizures from illegal hunts or defense of life and property shootings that must be relinquished to the state.

Others come from salvaged roadkill or animals killed by state officials because they pose a danger or nuisance to the public.

This year brought a particular bounty of moose antlers. More than 60 sets were up for grabs, the result of a bunch of rural Alaska trooper outposts cleaning out their storage rooms at the same time, Person said.

Alaska Trappers Association volunteers run the auction, held in the shadow of the Ferris wheel and blanket toss on Third Avenue and E Street, for the department.

Sunday's lot also included "41 or 42" brown bears, a dozen black bears, eight lynx, a handful of Dall sheep horns and capes and a caribou hide, Some 153 lots were sold in all, said Lynn Keough, a volunteer.

The total amount raised by the auction hasn't yet been tallied, Keough said.

Fish and Game says "proceeds are applied against costs accrued in processing, preserving, shipping and handling" the items.

Many of the bidders on Sunday were tourists.

"It's a way to go home with a little piece of Alaska," Person said.

But not all of them: While the department tries to keep the stories behind the individual hides anonymous, occasionally someone will show up who has a history with a very specific animal.

"Sometimes they want the bear they interacted with," Person said.

Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at mtherialt@adn.com or 257-4344.

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