December 16, 2018

Odd Way of Selling Bear Hunting

It seems that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is on a bit of a promotion kick attempting to convince more Mainer’s to take up bear hunting.

Maine has too many bears – or at least anyone with any sense at all realizes that – and not enough hunters to control the growth. Or, it could be that the MDIFW is too tightly controlled by the guides and outfitters who dictate to them when, where, how often, how long and what bag limits will be on black bear. Then again, maybe two seasons for bear would work but you still need hunters.

Several articles have appeared in newspapers of late encouraging people to take up bear hunting with the MDIFW expressing thoughts of how the population of bears keeps growing while the population of bear hunters keeps shrinking.

Perhaps an actual change in attitude and presentation of propaganda at the department might help in that way. MDIFW is pretty quick to relate stories of their great bear management activities, cuddling up with bear cubs during the winter surveys and sharing stories of “named” bears as though they were a member of the neighborhood instead of potential table fare.

Some people (potential bear hunters) would prefer to see statistics from bear harvests to determine whether making the effort to take up bear hunting or come to Maine for a visit and do some bear hunting is worthwhile. To a bear hunter, cute and cuddly bear cubs all snuggly-wuggly into the jacket of a bear biologist isn’t what excites a bear hunter.

So here’s a suggestion. To help generate a bit more interest in bear hunting, MDIFW could at least pretend they give two rat’s patooties about bear hunting and see if they could publish the bear harvest results for the previous bear hunting season before the next one begins. Maybe they could even run a few more bear hunting reports in those same newspapers they like to publish cute bear pictures in.

But now that MDIFW has announced that they are no longer all that concerned about game populations and will focus more on health, counting and producing data is a thing of the past. It’s also a convenient way of ensuring there is no accountability.

Well, here’s a thought. If MDIFW is pretending to be recruiting bear hunters (more precisely they are recruiting revenue to pay the retirement pensions) but at the same time changing their focus to the health of game herds instead of population numbers, then history tells us that soon MDIFW will have their hands full of taking up the chore of dealing with all the diseases that come from overpopulations of any animal.

Health focus they want? Health focus they will get!



Black Bears, Mange, Climate Change Nonsense, Emotional Ignorance

In a report filed in the Washington Post and reprinted in the Bangor Daily News, bears in Pennsylvania, along with neighboring states of New York, West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland, are suffering from mange.

The article states that Pennsylvania, “seems to be the epicenter of an outbreak that scientists don’t fully understand.” Mange has been a problem since the 1990s.

And because biologists “don’t fully understand” the reason for the outbreak, they make sure they insert their favorite “go to” excuse of Climate Change.

When these clowns blame climate change, we know that what they are referring to is a warming of the climate that brings events that scientists “don’t fully understand.” If this was true, then it seems feasible that black bears living in the southern states would be suffering from mange on a regular basis, but that evidently is not the case. But it’s easier to blame Climate Change.

While it might not be explained how the bears contracted this kind of unusual for bears mange, might it be possible that it is spreading from the “epicenter” at quite an alarming rate, or so it appears, because of a large population of bears (20,000) and one that is “a record number for the state.” Mange is spread through contact and with increased populations of bears the chances of contact with other bears increases. Makes sense.

If 20,000 bears is a record number, and Pennsylvania has a bear hunting season, then it certainly appears that despite the hunting the population continues to grow. Either Pennsylvania is deliberately attempting to grow the bear population or bear hunting alone doesn’t seem to be able to keep the population in check or to reduce the population. Many other states are suffering the same dilemma – too many bears and no way of controlling the populations. What waits on the horizon for all these states with black bears?

Most people don’t have knowledge of real wildlife science and depend on their favorite form of Scientism to give them the fabricated talking points that make them feel like good pals with animals such as bears. They don’t want to believe that bears, or any other animal, suffers when populations get too large. Instead, they want to just blame the existence of men and of course all forms of hunting.

In a recent Letter to the Editor of a Maine newspaper, one such person blames the continued growth in Maine’s black bear population on hunters being allowed to hunt over bait. Pennsylvania does NOT allow hunting bears over bait and yet their bear population continues to grow at about the same rate as Maine.

It can be argued forever whether or not artificially feeding bears effects the rate of reproduction. But there are some facts that should be looked at but seldom are when emotional clap-trap Scientism is the driving force behind the obvious hatred toward hunting and hunters.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) has stated repeatedly that when natural food is readily available, hunters have a very difficult time to successfully lure a bear to a bait station. Bears much prefer their natural food over man-made bait.

Those opposed to hunting, and more specifically bear baiting, claim that baiting bears causes the increase in reproductivity of black bears. There are far too many influencers on bears that any study can definitively say more food, or baiting bears causes an increase in population.

But even if it was an accepted fact, at what real impact does a bear baiting season have on population growth?

Maine has an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 black bears. According to MDIFW’s bear harvest report for 2016, 2,859 bears were taken during the entire hunting and trapping seasons. Of those 2,859 harvested bears, 1,936 were taken over bait. It can be safely stated that all of Maine’s 35,000 bears don’t live adjacent to the handful of bait stations hunters employ.

The overall success rate of harvesting a bear in Maine runs about 25%. We could play around with some math here but the bottom line appears to be that even with the baiting, bears being affected, if at all, by bait is but a drop in the bucket compared to the overall population of bears in the state of Maine. Consequently, any change in reproductive rates would certainly appear to be insignificant.

For Maine residents, including the ones making claims that baiting is the driving force behind an ever-growing bear population, the question of concern should be, will Maine bears begin suffering from mange? And if so, what is the plan of attack should it strike?

The trend in this country today is disturbing from a wildlife management perspective. More and more people are perversely in love with all animals and want them all protected. To go along with this unnatural love affair with animals and the brainwashing of our children in schools and in the media, there are fewer and fewer hunters every year. This combination spells disaster in wildlife management. With little or no tools available for wildlife population control and management, our forests and fields will become chaotic “natural balance” as the Environmentalists scream for. With that chaotic approach, we can expect continued “unusual” outbreaks of life-destroying diseases which is how Mother Nature deals with it.

It appears the only way we can learn the truth is to let it happen and clean up the mess later.


Is It Possible MDIFW Will Actually Do Something About Reducing Bear Population?

This just might be so! According to George Smith, the group that is working on devising game management plans for bear, deer, moose and turkeys, voted, in a split vote, to consider implementation of a Spring bear hunt.

As the old Maine saying goes, “Hahd tellin not knowin,” the Smith article mentions no other options than a Spring bear hunt for the purpose of reducing bear numbers. I have been calling for real action for some time now to reduce the bear populations, especially in areas were the deer herd is suffering, in order to give the herd a kick start.

Crickets! But excuses.

In this article, in discussing the ups and downs of a Spring hunt, head of the Maine Guides said, “…guides and sporting camps felt they would not get more hunters, but their expenses would increase in order to offer both spring and fall hunts.”

I don’t like that the Maine Guides wield so much power and control over the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDFIW) but I do want them to be able to take full advantage of the cards they are dealt…just like the rest of us. Therefore, I’ll repeat what I have said before. There has been so much negative press on a Spring bear hunt, and if it is true that the Maine Guides wouldn’t benefit the most from a Spring hunt, then why not double up the bear bag limit, for a season or two, for the late Summer, early Fall hunt? Aren’t there things MDIFW can do within the scope of a Fall bear hunt that will both reduce the bear population AND accommodate the guides and camp owners? – lengthen the season, increase the bag limit, gag some environmentalists, etc.

At least it appears suggestions are being made and seriously considered for doing something about getting the bear population under better control, while at the same time maybe helping out the deer herd.

Way to go! Don’t stop now!


I Hope, Want, Encourage, and Prefer More Bear Hunters Will Take More Bears

I couldn’t help myself and keep from laughing as a read an Online article about bear hunting in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont for this fall bear hunting season. The person sending me the link to the article pointed out the use of such terms as “hoping, encourage, prefer, want” when discussing game manager’s goals for harvest to bring it in line with population targets.

According to the article linked-to, the Maine bear biologist said she “was hoping” for more bear hunters this year, “prefer[ring]” to reach bear harvest numbers at around 4,000 instead of 3,000. She also said, “We’re trying to encourage deer hunters that when they are scouting for deer, they have the opportunity to take a bear.”(emboldening added)

Reading all this, and hearing it all before, one must ask what it is that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is doing besides hoping, preferring, and encouraging to bring bear harvest numbers in line with goals. This is especially true since the article starts out by stating that this year’s bear hunt is “especially critical” in controlling the bears. Especially critical? Then biologists and game managers must have made some serious changes to get bear numbers under control.

Over the past few years, it appears to me that what the MDIFW has done to “encourage” more bear hunters is to find a way to charge them more money to bear hunt. Where once a hunter could buy a “Big Game Hunting License” and hunt deer and bear, now, if you want to hunt bear outside of deer hunting season, you have to buy another license. That move is sure to “encourage” more hunters and cause managers to wish, want and hope even more.

In the meantime, the Maine camp owners and guides, control all aspects of the bear hunt because they believe that it belongs to them because they make money from it. I wouldn’t think to prevent any guide from making a buck (no pun intended) or two, but when it is described as “especially critical” in controlling bear populations, needed for public safety and reducing depredations of livestock, one has to wonder if the MDIFW is being responsible stewards to the game populations or to the Maine guides?

A Spring hunt, one would think, would help in reducing bear populations…combined with getting rid of the extra bear hunting license and fee. But, we are told, that the Maine Guides do not want a Spring hunt. I guess then, that the Guides get what they want.

Reducing bear numbers certainly would help in trying to boost some deer numbers. Question: Is it that Maine guides don’t make as much money from deer hunting as bear hunting? Even though managers mouth that bears may be more critical toward deer fawn survival than coyotes/wolves, they have strange way of showing it. I don’t even know if MDIFW has even considered that an “especially critical” bear population might be having a negative effect on the dwindling moose supply. And yes, I get it! It’s the damned global warming causing too many ticks. What else could it possibly be?

I’m sorry but I’m not jumping on the band wagon that flies the banners for wishing, hoping, preferring and encouraging, when nothing constructive is being done to alleviate that “especially critical” bear population problem. Maybe the terms wishing, hoping, preferring and encouraging are acceptable, non threatening terms the environmentalists can plug into the social tolerance algorithms, and then feed the results back to MDIFW so they will know how to manage bears.

Bear managers at MDIFW are quite adept at studying bears and collecting data. Perhaps their “understanding” of bears is greater than any place on earth. But that does not translate into being excellent bear managers. They know what needs to be done, scientifically, but they don’t know how to accomplish it – from what I can gather, due to social demands and tolerances.

I’m sure hoping that bear managers will be encouraged to prefer that something other than global warming and magic, will be suggested to reduce bear populations.



Nuisance Bear Hot Spots in Maine

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) provided followers on Facebook with a map that shows locations around the state that they deem to be “Nuisance Bears Hot Spots.” The comments left by followers range from ignorant to showing side effects of total lobotomized brains.

According to the majority of those who left comments, the solution to “nuisance bears” is to kill humans. But that’s nothing new. Animal perverts are animal perverts because they hate humans and prefer animals for all their pleasures in life.

But there was one comment that was so completely ridiculous, someone would have to actually think about what would be the biggest lie they could tell….Nah, I change my mind. That would actually require a brain. This person has none. It’s nothing but nonsensical, emotional drivel – the result of romance biology and Voodoo environmentalism. Here’s what they said: “…there use to be 100 times more bears only half a century ago and now they are actually at a low population because mankind built cities, harvested forests, and hunted them down. This is the truth and not an illusion of public safety, if at all they should be fearing us for being the cruelest living beings on earth.”

We see the hatred toward mankind along with delusional babbling from someone incapable of any sort of rational thinking. According to the MDIFW, bears range in numbers from 24,000 to 36,000. If 50 years ago there were, “100 times more bears,” then Maine had between 2,400,000 and 3,600,000 bears. Not only is that biologically an impossibility, it is an utterly ridiculous statement to make. According to another website, there’s barely over 500,000 black bears in the United States and that includes the estimated 200,000 in Alaska.

50 years ago, I was a teenager living in the rural countryside of Western Maine. I was in the woods as often as I could be and began hunting before the age of 10. I can honestly tell you that Maine did not have 3 million bears. As a matter of fact, also according to MDIFW (not human haters) the estimated bear population of Maine in 1955, 61 years ago, was between 5,000 and 7,000 bears. In 1975, 41 years ago, the estimated bear population was between 7,000 and 10,000 bears – a far cry from the “100 times” bears spoken of above.

Due to the lack of bear management, it is said that around 1,900 most of the bears in Southern Maine were gone, leaving bears to roam only in Northern Maine in limited numbers. Once a management plan was put into place, based upon the North American Wildlife Conservation Model, Maine now sees 24,000 – 36,000 bears statewide. With this kind of continued growth, I fail to see how man is doing anything else but responsibly managing the animals.

Instead of hating on man and call for his mass murder so animals can live without man’s influence, perhaps some of these fools should do a little bit of reading and research to discover some truth for a change. As much as these animal perverts don’t want to recognize it, both men and animals have always shared this planet and always will. Pretending that somehow man can be erased from the equation (which prompts me to ask just what species it is these people think they are) probably isn’t going to work.

For the most part, men have done a remarkable job of preserving animal species – in some cases perhaps too much so. Get over it and get on with life.

Geez! I can tell you for a fact (wink, wink) that there are 100 times more ignorant people today than a half-century ago!


Maine Has Too Many Bears – Problems Forthcoming

A “cute” story is found in the Bangor Daily News of a “picturesque” and a “beautiful” bear’s den just 80 yards from a home and a residential neighborhood in the Bangor, Maine area. The “picturesque” and “beautiful” den had a mother bear and two yearling cubs living in it…BUT WHY?

We don’t often get wildlife managers even hinting at management issues, but in this article we read a very large hint as to why these bears decided to den-up in humans backyard. Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) bear biologist, Randy Cross, told reporters, “…with the range expansion that we’ve seen over the past 20 or 30 years, there are not a lot of places that you could say, in the whole state of Maine, ‘I don’t have to worry about bears here.’ A lot of places are low-risk, but they still have risk.””

We are repeatedly told that bears are more scared of us than we are of them. Evidently there is little fear in bears that choose to crawl under a stump for the winter adjacent to a house and subdivision. Cross told readers that his investigation showed the bears had not been eating human-resourced food – their scat was full of remains of apples. So, the bears didn’t opt to camp out in the backyard because they knew food was in somebody’s garbage or bird feeder.

There is usually a good reason bears get this close to human-settled landscapes. Both reasons are mentioned in this article but presented in ways that don’t really drive home the importance. One reason is habituation to human-sourced foods and the other because there are too many bears with not enough room to roam. These conditions, coupled with a year with a shortage of natural food, and Maine residents will be in store for a record-breaking year of bear/human encounters. Let’s hope nobody gets injured.

MDIFW must find better ways to control the bear numbers. It would seem intelligent (yeah I know) to add another season, and/or up the bag limits. Bears prey on deer and moose fawns in the Spring and both of those species have growth and sustainability issues. Isn’t it about time?

Or, maybe MDIFW is scared that killing more bears will convince the perverts another lawsuit or referendum is in order. They haven’t figured out yet that lawsuits and referendums are in order no matter what MDIFW does in their management schemes. Get over it and get on with it!



Maine Hunting Camp: Why Bother?

As each year passes, I continue to ask myself, why bother? Why bother to go? There are very few deer, as has been the case for going on two decades now and nothing is changing in the woods…nothing.

I just completed my 40th year at a Maine hunting camp – the same family hunting camp I have written about for many years. I saw nothing – Okay, I saw three partridge and a woodpecker on my camp bird feeder.

This morning I was reading The Gun Nut at Field and Stream. He had been in Wyoming on a whitetail deer hunt where he took a 12-point, 200-pound buck. He writes, “At the moment I pulled the trigger, there were six other bucks in the field.”

Then he wrote, “Then I went to Maine, and spent 5 ½ days in an elevated stand waiting for a whitetail. I was in the stand from 5:45 until 4:30, and the only thing I saw the whole time was a coyote, whose furtive existence I terminated. Our party was 15 people more or less, ten of whom are geezers like myself and have 50 years or so of whitetail battles in their past, so when they don’t see deer, it means there are no deer.”

For 40 years I’ve hunted the same lands and have seen it all. Excuses be damned…there just aren’t any deer and I hold out little hope that by doing nothing except wishing and hoping, anything is going to change.

The poor excuses are old to me and worthless. Putting it all together, we see that it appears deer managers don’t know what’s really going on and with each passing year, I am left wondering if they really care. Maybe they care about pensions and benefits, but the excuse making is so poor, some of us have discovered that the managers tell it both ways. Here’s a bold and ridiculous example of what I mean.

The moose population is shrinking. Even though the moose managers keep echoing the fact that the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is in the middle of a multi-year moose study, we know they recognize a dwindling moose herd because they keep cutting back the number of moose permits to be issued during the lottery.

The convenient cover for poor management is winter ticks, which they hide behind by saying the increase in winter ticks is caused by (and we don’t even have to wait for it anymore) climate change. To be specific, the climate change in question happens to be warming. Wildlife managers, evidently without so much as a courtesy glance at any existing science on Demacentor albipictus (winter tick), it’s easier to copy and paste, and/or repeat, what the last guy said.

So, now, we are all supposed to fall to our knees and self-flagellate as a show of mourning for the moose and eagerly swallow the explanation of what is happening to the moose. I believe! I believe! Are you going to pass the offering plate?

Even if we pretend that a warming climate is to blame for the winter tick-caused mortality of moose, what about the whitetail deer?

Of course, all of us must realize that habitat is always a safe bet when a deer or moose manager needs to cover their assets, even though no explanation can be given as to why, if loss of habitat accounts so dearly to deer loss, there’s acres and acres of prime deer habitat where there are no deer. One would think that as habitat supposedly disappears, more and more deer would be crowded into smaller and smaller places. Such is not the case. The woods are empty…PERIOD.

If you haven’t figured out yet where I’m going here, it’s time I told you. Deer managers tell us that there are no deer because of back to back severe winters. That was like 7 or 8 years ago. Without even discussing what constitute a “severe winter,” I don’t even need a brain to figure out that if severe winters are killing off all the deer, then how can, at the same time, on the same landscape, from the same officials, they tell us warmer than normal winters are what’s causing winter ticks that kill moose? Where did you say that bridge was you wanted to sell me?

I laugh until I nearly fall out of my chair, when I hear of some calling for the State of Maine to spend gobs of money they don’t have, in order to market Maine as a destination hunting mecca. This has to be someone’s idea of a bad joke. Because I grew up in Maine and lived there for 47 years, still have a camp there and have gone to the same deer hunting camp for 40 years, I go back each Fall. Each year it’s harder and harder to justify spending the $116.00 for a piece of paper that gives me the privilege of walking in the woods. Without the connections, I would not go. I would not spend $50.00 or $20.00 to travel the 1700 miles to deer hunt in Maine.

Deer hunting in Maine is the biggest draw the state has for hunters. When they lose that, a lot of people and animals will suffer. If MDIFW actually cares about saving the species and the sport, which equals a sizable income to them and the rest of the state, something must change. MDIFW cannot continue to be dictated to by the Maine Guides. Bear play a prominent roll in killing deer. There are too many bears and yet, because the guides don’t want anybody messing with their bear guiding business during the early Fall hunt, managers refuse to implement a spring bear hunt or even to double-up on bag limits.

When you combine this kind of approach to wildlife management with fear of lawsuits from animal rights perverts, there is little hope of anything changing. We see how MDIFW caves in to the public demands to have more moose to view from automobiles. When the day arrived that game managers put more emphasis on social demands than scientific fact, failure was eminent. We are now reaping that harvest.

Maine deer hunting? Why bother?


No taste for bear hunting

The head of the FWC says a hunt is the only way to manage the population and keep the bears in check.

The anti-hunting group, who spearheaded a failed effort past year to curtail bear hunts in Maine, terms the potential Florida season a “trophy hunt” and has vowed to stop its implementation.

Protests are expected to take place Monday, in Ocala, and all around the state, ahead of this week’s bear hunting vote by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Opponents to hunting have advocated non-lethal means to reduce human-bear conflicts such as attacks and traffic collisions.

Source: No taste for bear hunting | Rapid News Network


The Legacy of One Bear – Sara (ID #225)

Written by Randy Cross, Biologist

Wildlife biologists have been monitoring black bears in Maine since 1975. Over the course of this monitoring program, a few bears have been monitored for over 20 years. This is a short account of the legacy of one of those bears – Sara (#225) –who started her life in January 1972.

Sara was born in a warm den in January, just as hundreds of other bear cubs are born in Maine. This den would be her home for 3 months, where she would nurse, gain strength, and develop from a 12 ounce, nearly hairless creature; into a bright-eyed 8 pound miniature bear. When she left the sanctuary of her den that spring, she would follow her mother throughout the summer and den with her again through the next winter. Most likely, in June of 1973, weighing only 30-40 pounds, she left her mother for good and took on the challenges of surviving alone in the vast forest lands of northern Maine.

At the same time Sara was becoming acquainted with the woods of northern Maine, efforts were being made by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (MDIFW) to start a research project to gain a better understanding of bears in Maine. The section of woods that Sara bear was born into was chosen to be one of the study areas for the bear project. Biologists began capturing bears to monitor their survival, general health, and reproduction in 1975. MDIFW used this information to develop a bear management system and a monitoring program that is still used today to monitor the status of Maine’s bear population.

Although MDIFW wildlife biologists began capturing bears in 1975, Sara managed to escape capture until August 11, 1980. On that day she was captured with a cable foot restraint, given the study identification number of 225, and named Sara. She was the 225th bear captured since the study began. By this time, Sara was eight years old and had grown to 150 pounds. She was fitted with a radio collar that emitted signals that could be used to locate her either from a plane or on the ground. From this point forward, Sara, as well as many other female bears, would be visited in her den each winter by biologists who would document her successes and failures at producing and raising cubs.

The following winter (February 19, 1981), researchers found Sara with two offspring just over a year old (yearlings) that had been born in the previous winter’s den. . In the 1980’s, bears in Northern Maine typically didn’t begin having cubs until they were 6 years old and then continued to have cubs every other year thereafter. So, this was likely Sara’s second litter of cubs. One of these yearlings was a female (ID 236) who weighed a remarkable 63 pounds, which is strong evidence that natural foods for bears were in great abundance during the preceding summer and fall. This yearling received a radio collar of her own so that when she left her mother in June, she could also be followed through her life, contributing valuable information to the monitoring project.

The next summer and fall (1981) was not nearly as productive for natural bear foods in this part of Maine. At this time, beechnuts were a very important food source for bears in northern Maine in the fall. Unfortunately, the nuts were not abundant that year, forcing bears to den very early and in poor condition. When biologists visited Sara in her den in March of 1982, they found her to be very thin, weighing just 100lbs and had no cubs with her. At 10 years old, Sara was entering the prime years of her life. Other mature females were experiencing similar struggles. Very few cubs were born this winter in the forests of northern Maine.

Bears are well adapted to being able to survive lean times and take advantage of plentiful food sources when they are available. As is often the case, the extremely lean year of 1981 was followed by an extraordinarily bountiful year for these bears. The next fall, they foraged on an abundant crop of beechnuts late into the fall and entered dens in remarkably good shape.

When recaptured on March 24, 1983 Sara had nearly doubled her weight in the year since she had last been seen in the den. Snuggled under her were 3 healthy female cubs Clara (Id 454), Belle (ID 455), and Karen (ID 456). All 3 were radio collared as yearlings the following winter and a matriarchal dynasty began to take shape.

Karen and all her cubs were studied over the next 20 years until 2003 when her radio signal failed due to a faulty battery connection installed by the manufacturer. That was a tough loss to the research team and efforts to recapture her the following spring were unsuccessful. She may still be roaming those woods at 32 years old.

Karen’s sister, Belle (ID 455), gave birth to her first litter of 2 cubs in 1989 when she was 6 years old. One of these cubs was a female, Josie (ID 1048). This bear, the granddaughter of Sara, has provided reproductive information the next 26 years of her life. By the time she was in her teens, Josie grew to become the largest female bear in the study area. The biologists were able to document 11 of her litters, including one male (ID 3390) this winter (2015), setting a record for the oldest female to give birth in the study (a record previously held by 2 females at 25 years old).

Over 3000 research bears have been handled between the time of Sara’s first capture and when Josie and her young male cub were handled on March 20, 2015. Sara had 11 offspring which produced 18 “grandchildren” (2 are still being monitored); 32 great grandchildren (5 are currently being monitored); 31 great-great grandchildren (7 are currently being monitored); and 13 great, great, great grandchildren (2 of which are being monitored). 105 different bears have been tagged that are direct descendants of Sara, representing 6 generations of bears. Sixteen of these, now equipped with radio collars, are providing reproductive information in this study area. Unlike males, who instinctively will roam many miles from where they were raised, females reside very close to where they were born. All of these females in this family line live within a few miles of where Sara was first captured back in 1980.

Click her for a chart of Sara’s family tree:


Will Florida Bring Back Bear Hunting?

According to Field and Stream:

“Early next month, members of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC), a seven-member panel appointed by the governor, will consider whether reinstating a bear-hunting season after a 20-year absence can help address the growing number of bear-human conflicts throughout the state. A story from the Sun Sentinel says the FFWCC expects the notion to be controversial, especially because the move for public safety and wildlife management involves an animal that stirs sentiment from both hunters and non-hunters. If the hunt gets a thumbs up, discussion of how many permits to issue and location of hunting boundaries will take place in April.”<<<Read More>>>