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California bear hunting: Stop proposal to expand bear hunting!

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 at 6:52 am in Black bears, Hunting.

Photo by Flickr user brownpau used under a Creative Commons License
black bear brownpau

Help save California’s black bears!
From Big Wildlife, Los Padres Forest Watch, and The Humane Society of the United States:

“In January, the California Department of Fish and Game unveiled proposed changes to bear hunting regulations that would: allow an unlimited number of bears to be killed across California during the trophy hunting season; permit the use of high-tech global positioning equipment and “tip switches” on hound collars to make it easy to locate and kill a bear; open the first-ever bear hunting season in San Luis Obispo County and expand the trophy hunts in Modoc and Lassen counties; and significantly expand the hound training season, allowing hounds to harass bears nearly all year long.”

Photo by Flickr user brownpau used under a Creative Commons License
black bear2 brownpau

No, no, no, no! The California Fish and Game Commission should NOT allow this to happen.

*** Here’s Why: http://www.bigwildlife.org/releases_contents.php?id=70

*** A letter to the California Fish and Game Commission from a coalition of nearly 70 organizations urging the Commission to reject the DFG bear-hunting plans:
http://www.bigwildlife.org/documents/CAbear%20_030110.pdf

What are they trying to do, get rid of all the black bears in California? /Gary

Big Wildlife: http://www.bigwildlife.org
Los Padres Forest Watch: http://www.lpfw.org
The Humane Society of the United States: http://www.humanesociety.org

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8 Responses to “California bear hunting: Stop proposal to expand bear hunting!”

  1. laila Says:

    This is ridiculous. Is there a way we can help to stop this and save the bears?

  2. Stephanie Woodyard Says:

    April 1, 2010
    California Fish and Game Commission
    1416 Ninth Street
    P.O. Box 944209
    Sacramento, CA 94244-2090

    Via email: fgc@fgc.ca.gov, Director@dfg.ca.gov, eloft@dfg.ca.gov

    Dear California Fish and Game Commission:

    It hurt me greatly to hear of the proposed changes to expand black bear hunting. Our planet ‘s
    environment is so precious and we need not cave in to the twisting of arms by those with hunting
    interests and those who have mega bucks to exert coercions on others in office to make changes
    in the current black bear hunting rules regarding hunting season, expanded numbers of bears
    that can shot and killed and the allowance of devices and dog tracking devices that makes hunting
    no longer a sport – but a kind of “let’s go shopping for a bear.”

    I oppose the California Department of Fish and Game’s (CDFG) proposals to expand
    black bear hunting. The agency recently unveiled plans to: allow an unlimited number
    of bears to be killed across California during the hunting season; permit the use of high-tech
    global positioning equipment and “tip switches” on hound collars to make it easy
    to locate and kill a bear; open the first-ever bear hunting season in San Luis Obispo
    county and expand the hunts in Modoc and Lassen counties; and significantly expand
    the hound training season, allowing hounds to harass bears nearly all year long. I
    urge you to reject these proposals because they are scientifically indefensible,
    unnecessary, and environmentally harmful. Specifically, I contend the Commission
    should oppose CDFG’s plans for the following reasons:

    The agency has not demonstrated any need for these regulatory changes other
    than to placate hunting interests, nor does the CDFG provide sufficient
    information to assess the detrimental effects these changes may have on bears.
    According to CDFG data, the number of bears killed legally by hunters has steadily
    increased well beyond the agency’s own 1,700 annual season limit. Yet, the CDFG
    has yet to analyze how these dramatic increases have affected state and local bear
    populations, behavior, social structure, reproduction, and cubs. Increasing the quota
    or eliminating the cap altogether will further stress the state’s bear population and
    put some local populations at risk.

    2. There is no guarantee that expanding hunting into San Luis Obispo, Lassen, or
    Modoc counties will not adversely impact the black bear population in those
    counties. The CDFG has not conducted specific research in these counties to
    determine the size, distribution, or demographics of the populations to assess
    whether these local bear populations can withstand an increase in hunting activity.

    An expansion of bear hunting will place additional pressures on bears, who face a
    host of threats from poaching, habitat alteration, human encroachment into wildlife
    areas, aggressive government lethal control programs, and climate change.

    State wildlife officials have failed to assess the impacts of poaching. Illegal killing
    of bears has increased world-wide, fueled by a booming market, for bear parts,
    especially bear gallbladders used in traditional Asian medicine and bear paws,
    considered a delicacy in soup. Bear gallbladders can go for $5,000 a pound.
    Poaching of wildlife has become epidemic across the state. Violations rose from
    6,538 in 2003 to 17,840 in 2007. The illegal sale of California wildlife and wildlife
    parts generates an estimated $100 million a year, second only to the illegal drug
    trade, according to CDFG officials. Yet, the state has fewer than 200 game wardens
    patrolling 300,000 square miles of land and water. It makes no sense to expand bear
    hunting when state wildlife law enforcement capabilities are so crippled. Permitting
    hunters to use GPS devices on hounds will only exacerbate poaching.

    Trophy hunting ignores the ecological value of bears. Apex species, such as bears,
    cougars, and wolves, play critical roles in maintaining ecosystems. Black bears often
    scavenge for food, playing an important role in recycling carrion. Bears also help
    transport berry seeds. Along salmon spawning streams, bear scat and the remains of
    fish carried into the woods contribute to the long-term nutrient cycle in old-growth
    forest. Even cambium feeding by bears, which sometimes kills trees, creates widely
    scattered snags that benefit other species of wildlife.

    Hound hunting of bears is unsporting, unethical, and environmentally harmful.
    In California, bears can be legally chased by hounds, treed, and then shot by
    hunters. Hounds have been known to pursue bears with cubs, increasing the risk
    that cubs could be separated from their mothers, then orphaned. It is not
    uncommon for hounds to maim bears, especially cubs, and even more common for
    bears to maim or kill an entire pack of hounds. In addition, hounds may pursue
    non-targeted animals, including imperiled species, putting additional stress on
    those species. Allowing hunters to place GPS devices and tip switches on hounds
    will inevitably make it much easier for hunters, as well as poachers, to kill more
    bears.

    Hunting does not reduce conflicts with bears. Trophy hunters target the largest
    bears who may look good on a wall or as a throw rug, not the young males who are
    primarily responsible for conflicts. Furthermore, hunting takes place far from
    homes, while so-called “problem bears” usually live in the urban-suburban
    interface. Shooting bears at random is as effective at reducing conflicts as shooting
    into a crowded room is at reducing crime. And using hunting as an aggressive and
    expansive lethal control of bears ignores the root cause of bear-human conflicts.
    Most encounters with bears are the result of irresponsible human behavior (e.g.
    landowners who refuse to depose of garbage properly).

    Hunting of bears puts the public at risk. California is densely populated state and
    many people recreate in bear country. Since hunting hounds are usually off-leash,
    3 packs of hounds may trespass onto private land, harass companion, farm, and ranch
    animals, and destroy private property. The presence of packs of hunting hounds
    also disturbs the peace and tranquility of those who recreate in the backcountry.
    I therefore urge you to reject the CDFG’s proposals to expand bear hunting in
    California.

    Sincerely,

    Stephanie Woodyard
    Sierra Club Member
    Email: stephanie.woodyard@pamc.net

  3. Kari Hohne Says:

    If you are a member of Facebook, use this link to join the cause on Facebook, recruit your friends and educate others about CA Fish & Games Proposal. We started a similar cause for a sea turtle nesting area threatened by development in Mexico and actually were able to stop it.
    http://www.causes.com/causes/468303?m=f35d0ccf

  4. S. Smith Says:

    It is great that the tragic proposal has been withdrawn. It is a testament to all the people that cared enough to oppose a wrong. Maybe there is hope for people? Well, some people anyway.

  5. David M. Says:

    If they were proposing such a plan, there is no way it would be done in malice. Wildlife departments don’t set regulations in attempts to punish wildlife, despite what you may think. You blindly wish for things to be fair, but that will never when it comes to humans and wild animals. This is because we are the dominate species and have higher functioning brains… well, most of us. If a plan like this came up, it is simply due to something such as overpopulation or bears wondering into areas inhabited by humans. Although they look cute and cuddly, bears are very dangerous animals and can be extremely harmful to humans and property. I realize that many of you bleeding hearts would give more rights to wild animals than to human beings, but in no way should an animals rights be placed above the safety of any human, even ones such as yourselves, despite my better judgment. Maybe you should find yourselves with a wild bear in your backyard while your children play. Maybe that would alter your ultra-liberal perception.

  6. a Says:

    wow you people are so stupid. try pulling your head out of your ass and realize that if bear hunting is gone whats stopping mr 500 plus lb bear from walking in and killing someone huh exactly

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  8. jake k. Says:

    I stumbled upon this sight by accident and am disgusted by all the stupid activists saying how this is animal cruelity. If it werent for hunters then a big 600lb. bear could come walking up and kill your whole fasmily in a second. Get your head out of your freakin asses and actually think about something before you go about protesting for the stop of bear hunting.

    P.s. does anyone know what caliber they got this bear with and what bullets?

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