September 22, 2017

“Bear Populations Are Very Hard To Manage”

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A former New Hampshire conservation officer recently said:

Bear populations are very hard to manage with just casual take by hunters on foot. In fact it can’t be done. Truth be known, trapping (often with live traps to allow release of females with cubs), allowing hunters to use bait and using hounds to tree the bears are the most efficient and actually more humane ways to keep bear populations within the carrying capacities of their environment.

And here is a typical statement made by those who actually hunt bears in the woods and not fall in love with them from their Washington, D.C. air conditioned offices:

A friend of mine has spent 5 decades hunting in Maine. He bow hunts. He hunts with guns. He hunts before work and after work. He hunts weekends. He takes his vacations during hunting seasons. He gets deer every year. He hunts rabbits with his beagle. He bird hunts. He’s hunted moose many times. He hunts all over the State. Some would say he is obsessed with hunting. He shot 2 turkey just this morning…..He told me in all those years, only 2 times has he a legit chance to shoot a bear. This “fair chase” bear stuff wont cut it.

In Maryland, a four-day bear hunting season just closed with harvest numbers disappointingly lower than was hoped for. 1,061 bear hunters checked 69 bears; about a 7% success rate. (Bear populations are hard to manage.)

One the first day of the bear hunting season, law enforcement handed out 6 hunting violations – all for hunting with bait. I wonder why they needed bait?

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  • somsai

    I sure do wish we had more bear taken out here. Our Wildlife used to issue bear tags with ever elk tag. Now they try to make the extra $40 and there is less incidental take. A buddy saw one just last week. Our country is more open and we glass a lot. I bought a bear tag for my 4th season hunt. Hunt is only 5 days long, and the only reason I could get it was because I already had a deer tag for that unit. I Like the fact that we have cougar and bear but I’d wish for smaller numbers of them. We don’t need maximum carrying capacity to appreciate them.