Colorado bans hunting of denned bears

Outrage from killing 703-pound denned bear sparks new regulation-

Last November Richard Kendall of Craig shot a black bear that was a state record, but the bear was in its den. A lot of folks didn’t like they way he got the record bear. As a result, the Colorado Wildlife Commission unanimously approved a new rule last week to restore fair chase by banning hunting or harassment of black bears in their dens.

Colorado officials unanimously approve regulation banning the hunting of denned bears. LA Times.

71 Responses to “Colorado bans hunting of denned bears”

  1. SBH CLAY Says:

    I’m happy for this unanimous decision and for the public pressure that sparked the bill. But that doesn’t make hunting any more palatable to my sense of justice and my concept of how to create a peaceful world.

    This short essay by an American writer sums up how I feel about the fraudulent activity called “sporthunting”:

    People who enjoy killing animals have long tried to disguise their barbarity in a cloak of respectability they call “sporthunting.” The fact is, sporthunting does not exist. It never has.

    All sports share certain conditions to ensure a sense of fair play and create equal opportunity for all participants. What the animal killers call sport hunting meets none of the conditions of real sports.

    Let’s take a look at some of the criteria that define sport
    and why so-called sporthunting fails every one of them.

    Willingness to Participate

    In any sport, all participants choose to be there. Both boxers want to be in the ring that night, the players on both football teams want to be on the field that day, and both tennis players agree to meet on the court at that time. Sporthunting fails on this point because the animal is never a willing participant.

    Knowing When the Contest Will Start

    All basketball players are aware of the starting time of the game, giving them time to prepare. Golfers know what time they will tee off. Wrestlers know what time the match will start. They don’t expect their opponent to break into their home and hurt or kill them while they are sleeping or having breakfast with their family, which is what happens to animals because this sporting condition is not met.

    Even Chance

    All participants are given the same equipment with which to play the game. Both boxers have equally weighted gloves and protective gear, as do football and hockey players. Bowlers are only allowed to throw one ball at a time while all rowers use the same numbers of oars. Sporthunting fails here also because the hunters have airplanes,
    automatic weapons, high-powered scopes, steel traps, etc., while the animal has only the equipment it was given at birth.

    Equal Prize

    The criterion here insures the same prize is awarded to whichever team or player wins the contest. The prize itself may be a trophy, belt or an award, but the commercial and athletic value of that prize is the same for each potential winner. Sporthunting fails miserably on this point because the prize is life itself, but it is not an equal prize. The hunter can only win or draw while the animal can only draw or lose. The hunter wins by killing the animal or draws if the animal manages to escape. Conversely, the animal draws by getting away or loses by being killed. The animal cannot win. Some hunters say that once in a while the animal wins by killing the hunter but that only happens on rare occasions with all the odds stacked against the animal, who is never a willing participant anyway.

    I have heard some hunters say that hunting is not about the animals at all. It is, they insist, an awareness of self. Once and for all, let’s not buy into their facade.

    Sporthunting is not a sport. It is simply an excuse for unhappy men and women to go out and kill. How do I arrive at the fact they are an unhappy lot? Look around you! Happy people do not take time away from their happiness to go out and kill something.

    The real shame is that sporthunters pass this travesty onto their children who will come to believe that killing is a sport.

    ~ The Big Lie (1996) by Dino DiGiacomo

    • Nancy Says:

      SBH Clay – thanks for posting this🙂

      • jon Says:

        Hands down the best post I’ve seen on here since I’ve been on here.

        “I have heard some hunters say that hunting is not about the animals at all. It is, they insist, an awareness of self. Once and for all, let’s not buy into their facade.

        Sporthunting is not a sport. It is simply an excuse for unhappy men and women to go out and kill. How do I arrive at the fact they are an unhappy lot? Look around you! Happy people do not take time away from their happiness to go out and kill something.”

        I couldn’t agree more!!!

    • dave Says:

      Great essay, but I’m afraid even I can find at least one situation where “sporthunting” might be justified (and I am generally opposed to pleasure killing of wildlife). It’s the white-tailed deer population explosion in some areas of the U.S. In many places the deer population has drastically altered the forest flora to the extent of practically extirpating some species of plants. I guess I would make an exception to my opposition to sporthunting in this case. I would be happier witnessing natural predators doing the job instead of sporthunters, but in populated areas, unfortunately, that’s just not practical.

      • william huard Says:

        Remember this law change probably wouldn’t have come about if it wasn’t for the jackass posing proudly with his 703 lb trophy that he killed after tracking the bear back to his den. If these wildlife agencies were really concerned about the public’s support of hunting then there would be strict fair chase rules.

      • Elk275 Says:

        How stupid can hunters be. He should have just kept his mouth shut. It is not unethical to track a bear and then the bear went into his den and reemerged before he shot. From what I read he did not chase the bear out of it’s den but the bear come out of the den. Once again how stupid can hunters be, kept your mouth shut.

      • jon Says:

        If the hunter kept his mouth shut, killing of bears in dens in Colorado would not be banned today. I’m glad the hunter opened his mouth. Now hopefully, hunters won’t kill anymore bears in dens now that it’s made law.

      • Salle Says:

        So how about curbing human expansion to relieve the loss of habitat stresses on wildlife?

      • vickif Says:

        I agree, and then you look at states with this issue, such as SD…they actually increased cougar tags. Kind of counter productive in a state that has a huge deer population issue.

      • Elk275 Says:

        ++The United Nations said Monday that a ship carrying 600 refugees from Libya sank off the country’s coast on Friday, with an unknown death toll. ++ from the BBC

        ++So how about curbing human expansion to relieve the loss of habitat stresses on wildlife?++

        Salle is this curbing human expansion? I hope that I am never in a position to make a decision of whether to help them or not. You are very right the human population is going to alter everything we hold dear. I will be dead by 2050 when the world’s population becomes 9 billion and that is a number, that I would rather not see.

      • SBH CLAY Says:

        Sorry to churn out quotes, but I think going to the source of factual information is the best way to educate ourselves, so we won’t just have knee-jerk reactions. Here’s what I found on deer hunting from the website Responsible Policies for Animals:

        http://rpaforall.org/wildlife.html

        HUNTING IS AN INEFFECTIVE METHOD FOR REDUCING DEER POPULATIONS.

        “The most visible weakness in the assertion that hunting is necessary to control deer populations is that it has largely failed to do so over the last two decades. … Just because deer are being killed doesn’t mean that deer populations are being controlled.” ~ Allen T. Rutberg, Ph.D., “The Science of Deer Management: An Animal Welfare Perspective,” in The Science of Overabundance: Deer Ecology and Population Management, William J. McShea, H. Brian Underwood, and John H. Rappole, eds. Washington & London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997.

        “As we have seen, wildlife biologists have been nurtured on the hunting philosophy and have been taught that ecosystems can be improved by manipulation. Unfortunately, the more man tampers with Nature, the more he must rely upon ‘management’ activities to maintain a semblance of ecological balance; and these activities are harmful to established ecosystems. Hunting, whether in the presence or absence of large predators, is no guaranteed annual ‘check’ on deer populations.” ~ Ron Baker, The American Hunting Myth. Vantage Press, New York, 1985.

        “A quick surge in a deer population can occur if hunting is implemented where it hasn’t been before. In any event, if hunting is started, it’ll have to continue.” ~ Thomas Eveland, Ph.D., “Why Killing Deer Makes Poor Park Management,” public presentation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 15, 1998.

        WILDLIFE MANAGERS CLAIM HUNTING IS EFFECTIVE WHEN IT IS NOT.

        “In my experience with wildlife managers, a hunt that is followed by a reduction in deer population size is considered effective; a hunt that is followed by a stabilization in deer population size is considered effective; and a hunt that is followed by a rise in the deer population size is considered effective because, the rationalization continues, without the hunt the population would have grown even more. Under these rules, failure is impossible.” ~ Thomas Eveland, Ph.D., “Why Killing Deer Makes Poor Park Management,” public presentation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 15, 1998.

        ELIMINATION OF PREDATORS DOES NOT ACCOUNT FOR LARGE DEER POPULATIONS; SUBURBAN SPRAWL, OVER-FARMING THE LAND, AND DEER MANAGEMENT FOR HUNTING DO.

        “Scientists believe that the increased density and the shift in distribution are attributable to large-scale changes in land use. For example, logging and the conversion of forested lands into agricultural, suburban, and other types of developed landscapes created favorable deer habitat with year-round, reliable food sources that allow deer populations to flourish.” ~ Michael A. Coffey, Wildlife Biologist, Natural Resources Management Division, National Park Service, White-tailed Deer in National Parks (National Park Service factsheet).

        “We often think predators control prey, but that is rarely the case.” Prey controls predators; predators diminish as prey declines. It is not the case that removing wolves, cougars, and other predators causes deer to increase. ~ Thomas Eveland, Ph.D., “Why Killing Deer Makes Poor Park Management,” public presentation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 15, 1998.

        “[G]ame managers rely on a few specious ecological arguments to justify hunts and other lethal [deer] reductions. Probably the most widely used of these myths is that presettlement populations of deer were controlled by predators, removal of predators ended natural control, and, consequently, hunters are needed to control deer populations. … [Deer] populations are regulated through a complex interaction of food availability, predators, and other variables.” ~ Allen T. Rutberg, Ph.D., “The Science of Deer Management: An Animal Welfare Perspective,” in The Science of Overabundance: Deer Ecology and Population Management, William J. McShea, H. Brian Underwood, and John H. Rappole, eds. Wathington & Londdn: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1997.

        “[W]ildlife managers who promote deer abundance through the creation of edge habitat are responsible for the effects of these animals on the landscape.” ~ William S. Alverson, Ph.D., Donald M. Waller, Ph.D., Walter Kuhlman, J.D., Wild Forests: Conservation Biology and Public Policy. Washington: Island Press, 1994.

        TO PROTECT VEGETATION FROM DEER, KEEP DEER AWAY FROM VEGETATION AND WORK TO RESTORE NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS AND REVERSE SUBURBAN SPRAWL AND OVER-FARMING.

        Deer kills rarely if ever destroy all of the deer in an area. Surviving animals continue to reproduce. More immigrate from outside of a territory where a population has been significantly reduced. The most killing deer can do to protect vegetation is to reduce for a short time the number of deer feeding in an area. That does not protect any particular plant, group of garden, farm, wildflower patch, or plant species.

        Durable, long-lasting deer fencing of many kinds is available. Fencing can be installed in all terrains and over areas large or small. Driveway guards and gate systems designed to keep deer out are also available. [There are] books on fencing and other methods [of controlling deer damage].

        Deer prefer to eat some plant species over others. Their preferences vary over geographical regions and can be affected by drought and other environmental conditions. Some plant nurseries and landscapers are glad to recommend garden and landscape plantings less preferred by deer. Some offer printed lists.

        Vast portions of our country consisted of mature forest and would over time naturally revert to forest ecosystems if allowed to. Turf grass is non-native, ecologically unsound in many ways, and covers many millions of acres of U.S. land — it is often called “green concrete.” Grass lawns are a popular but misguided fad whose time has come and gone. Trees are just about the only landscaping item that appreciate in value over time.

        So the crucial steps we must take as a society are obvious:

        ~ create landscapes that increasingly come to resemble forest;
        ~ avoid occupying more land than we need;
        ~ plant and nurture trees and avoid removing trees wherever possible;
        ~ avoid removing trees or establishing turf-grass expanses when building homes and other structures;
        ~ establish incentives to reverse suburban sprawl and over-farming;
        ~ support and promote the New Urbanism architecture and urban-planning movement to ensure that most people live where most needs can be met within a 15 minute walk of home;
        ~ support efforts that help people switch from automobile driving to mass transportation;
        ~ oppose efforts to widen roads or build new roads;
        ~ support efforts to protect natural ecosystems;
        ~ support efforts to minimize or eliminate mineral, oil, gas, timber, and other “resource” extraction;
        ~ support efforts to reuse, recycle, and otherwise conserve materials rather than further disrupt ecosystems to produce or extract more materials;
        ~ teach and practice minimal use of materials in all activities, including foods that involve the least land, water, and energy use — plant foods — since we must eat every day and have no need of animal-derived foods that cause poor land use that ensures large deer populations;
        ~ work to reform the 1937 Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson Act), which increases deer populations by ensuring state wildlife agencies manage deer for hunting and provides incentives for increasing the number of hunters demanding deer to hunt.

        The more rapidly we learn to take these constructive steps rather than attack deer or members of other species for engaging in their natural behavior, the sooner the war cry of the frenzied deer hater — “We’ve got to do something!” — will vanish from the landscape, the sooner the constant roar of engines, air pollution, and car-deer collisions will go, and instead we can hear the birds and other wildlife who used to exist in our regions in far greater number and variety.

        Deer kills harm efforts to protect forest and other natural ecosystems, reverse suburban sprawl, and develop humane ways to live with wildlife. So when it comes to preventing deer kills, animal activists are the true environmentalists and conservationists.

        People concerned about propensities of large human-generated deer populations to eat large amounts of vegetation, potentially affecting low-nesting birds, forest regeneration, groundwater, and other aspects of ecosystems should make common cause with animal activists.

        Promoting deer kills is contrary to conservation and environmental values. Every deer kill is another green light for people to keep harming the environment by destroying forest, expanding sprawl, and over-farming the land.

        Most people think protecting and restoring natural ecosystems are the objectives of conservationists, environmentalists, and open-space activists. Opposing deer kills and insisting on true environmental approaches will show that that is correct.

    • wolf moderate Says:

      The reason we are quickly being surpassed as the greatest superpower the world has ever known. I respect your viewpoint even though I nor 95% of Americans see things as you.
      Heh🙂

      • Steve C Says:

        China is becoming a bigger superpower than us because people with consciences have problems with killing animals for fun instead of for food? I don’t really see the connection. I doubt 95% of americans agree with you.

      • Mike Says:

        In addition, national parks have set records in attendance the last few years even with crazy gas prices. Meanwhile, hunter numbers are dropping. This puts a big hole in the theory that peopled are ignoring the outdoors. They’re not. What they’re ignoring is HUNTING. And of course, many organizations think you can’t enjoy the outdoors without a gun. So these groups release articles and there’s this big panic that we’re “losing our outdoor heritage”. But this is baloney. National Park visitation proves otherwise.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      I can identify and argue the points that both hunters and anti-hunters believe in about the morality or ethics of hunting.

      That aside, hunting is never going to be ended in the United States. Public opinion is quite strongly on the side of hunting, although many have no opinion. Those folks who hate hunting would do well, if they want to have an effect, to try and curb the unpopular aspects of it such as this case in Colorado.

      As many hunters point out, hunting organizations are responsible for much wildlife conservation, especially, in my view, in days gone by.

      The downside of hunting is that it drives government interest in wildlife at the state level into support for a limited number of species. Non-game wildlife gets the “short straw.”

      In addition, hunting groups rarely view large predators as anything beyond competitors for game, even when predatory mortality is mostly of animals that would die anyway rather than of those that would live.

      • william huard Says:

        The problem has become whenever groups challenge unethical hunting practices from hunters groups like the NRA mobilize the fear card and the assault on “Hunting”. SCI has used that excuse for years. Look at the resistance to the ban on lead ammunition as an example

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        Willliam Huard,

        You are right about that. Yes, they will call any reform “anti-hunting,” but there are times it is a credible argument and times it isn’t, such as a ban on shooting hibernating bears.

      • jon Says:

        Basically if you disagree with hunting or certain hunting practices like using dogs to tree animals and kill them or use bait to lure animals in so they can be shot, you are labeled an anti-hunter.

      • Mike Says:

        I don’t buy into the “hunter conservationist” theory. Sure, a long time ago some hunters got together and said “let’s stop killing all the game” and they preserved some. Ok, they were the ones that killed most of it off. They should do that. In the meantime, local hunters have fought against such things as national parks, wilderness areas, endangered species, and so forth. Many hunters belong to the NRA, an anti-wildlands group that fought the roadless rule. Most hunters see predators as “the enemy”, and hysterical hunters the last few years (many of them poachers too, I’m sure) ramped up a fake wolf controversy and blamed wolves for a decline in elk when it was over- hunting that caused any issues (see SW Bitterroot elk herd).

        Sometimes I frequent places like Outdoor Life to see if they’ve come around, and their site has users with names titles like “Elkslayer”.

        Am I against hunting? No. But I don’t buy into this mythical image of the hunter that many seem to propagate. The hunters I see and run into today drive around on quads, hate all predators, lack a basic understanding of the ecosystem and use technology that removes the “sport” from hunting.

        No activity is static within the current of time, and many, many aspects of hunting have aged poorly. And let’s be honest, the wilderness isn’t what it is. Most of the land in the lower 48 is developed, and people are everywhere on their machines. There’s almost no place for wildlife to escape and be left alone unless you’re in the west, and even then people are all up in their grill with guns and motors. This mythical image of the great hunter walking into the sunrise with a mountain backdrop might have applied 75 years ago, but now it’s a guy puttering along on a quad, ripping up vegetation with a smoke hanging out of his mouth and a loaded weapon jostling around on a rifle rack with several thousand $$$ in equipment used to ascertain his location and the animals. Tack on the likely anti-predator bumper sticker and the donations to “sportsmen” groups that fight against wilderness protection and “big guberment”, and you get the complete picture.

        Society moves on, and activities should mold to current acceptable standards. Hunters ranks are dwindling by the tens of thousands every year. There’s a reason for that. You don’t need to kill stuff to enjoy the outdoors. Society has moved on. And calling it “tradition” doesn’t make it right. The only kid who wants to blow away prairie dogs or coyotes for no reason is the kid who heard his old man ranting about the worthlessness of animals. Everyone else knows better.

        This is what hunting has become.

        I’m sure a few people will chime in with “but license tags pay for a lot of wildlife stuff.”

        Well, no kidding…they SHOULD pay for it because they’re the ones killing it and removing it from the ecosystem. Of all the people who enjoy the outdoors, hunters actualy take physical objects from the environment. It is the highest possible impact and they should pay for such activities. A birdwatcher shows, up, doesn’t spew toxic lead everywhere, doesn’t take a huge elk, and leaves.

      • JimT Says:

        Ralph, I suspect the biggest influence on the decline in hunting numbers is the insidious influence of the “plugged-in” generations that are coming up behind all of us. They simply don’t have a connection to the natural world, no matter if you favor hunting, hiking, fishing,etc. It doesn’t bode well for the future because the pressures from the traditional extractive industries in the West will never cease until the last penny of profit is wrung out.

      • Salle Says:

        Killing for sport is a product of the military industrial complx, they promote the necessity of guns in the hands of everyone and since they can’t convince everyone of this need for home/self protection, hunting becomes the bread and butter of the gun manufacturing cabal ~ though home/self protection now surpassed hunting given the rampant violence in the last few decades, which I feel was a manufactured circumstance via the NRA.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        JimT

        I think you are right. In fact I woke up this morning thinking how the number of people interested in outdoor activities is declining because people are on-line or absorbed in other indoor, electronic activities like playing games.

        We can see it in the shape of people’s bodies 😦

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        JimT,

        Rocky Barker opines on this very subject today.

        Rocky Barker: Getting kids outside transcends politics. Idaho Statesman blog.

      • Elk275 Says:

        Jim and Ralph

        I have notice on a weekend afternoon the number of people who post on this site, including me, who should be outside skiing, fishing, hiking, boating, hunting or watching wildlife, but everytinme we post we leave our tracks not in the wilds but in the electronic world. Our generation is wired to the Internet the same as the up and coming generations. It is addictive for all ages.

      • vickif Says:

        I have long said the key to fixing what is wrong with the wild, is getting the next generation to go out in it! They learn to love the outdoors-then you have an entire generation dedicated to saving it.
        I frankly think kids spend too much time indoors, and there should be a national push towards mandatory outdoor ed and conservation classes.
        I would rather spend money educating the masses to love the outdoors than buying into the tech movement.

      • JimT Says:

        Elk 275,

        Unfortunately, those of us who work are hamstrung by the practices and demands of the employers, clients, etc. Everything is geared these days to electronic contact, not human. My younger brother, a VP at a environmental controls design company, gets emails from the guy in the office next to his. I am beginning to believe that while I spend too much time in my home office, I am not hardwired to need it. I think those generations that grew up with “connectedness” from the age of 10 are afraid to be unconnected for any period of time. Hence the hikers in Indian Peaks Wilderness here that have earpods in their ears amongst some of the most spectacular environs in the Rockies. Go figure.

      • Ralph Maughan Says:

        elk275,

        I can track the hits the bog gets by day (and other ways too). There is always a drop off during the weekends, with the highest number of users most often on Mondays.

        This pattern suggests that many of the people here do something else on weekends, such as visit the outdoors.

      • JimT Says:

        This is just pandering beyond belief to the anti wolf forces everywhere. I know Salazar’s political history whereever he has held public office has been anti ESA, but this is just bullshit of the lowest levels, even for him…

        From the link that Ralph posted on kids getting outdoors comes this nugget….

        salazar used the occasion to propose delisting in the western Great Lakes and to unveil a national strategy for wolf recovery that wildlife groups have been pushing for many years. That strategy is bold and challenges the way many people have looked at the issue in the past.

        The biggest change is that gray wolves that wander into 29 eastern states no longer will be protected by the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s scientists determined that gray wolves, canis lupus, never really lived there.

        Instead, the agency will begin a status review of the wolf they say did live there, the canis lycaon, or eastern Canadian wolf. This smaller version is similar to red wolves that have been reintroduced the Southeast. Some scientists say this subspecies used to live in Maine, the Adirondacks and even the Catskills, famous for Borscht Belt comedians like Henny Youngman who might have said, “take our wolves — please!”

        The Service also will do a status review in the Pacific Northwest to determine if the Rocky Mountain gray wolf should be protected when it moves beyond its range, now expanded into eastern Oregon and eastern Washington. The agency will be looking at a reclassification of wolves throughout the West to determine where the gray wolf and the Mexican wolf belong or don’t.

        Read more: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/05/09/1642032/getting-kids-outside-transcends.html#ixzz1LsKMOYBm

      • Immer Treue Says:

        The fewer people hunting/utilizing the great outdoors is manifesting itself in the Boundary Waters. Sort of a baby Boomer phenomena. As the Boomers have aged, they are less inclined to take those sorts of trips, and as mentioned above, for whatever reason, their kids have little interest in this type of activity.

        The whole C. lupus C. lyacon thing is, in my way of thinking, just plain goofy. Slight regional variations, largely dependent on prey populations(Great Lakes region wolves are very capable of killing moose, although smaller deer are their main prey)), and perhaps, just perhaps slight color variation, yet the wolves I have observed in the Boundary Waters have ranged in color from very light colored to black, just like the western variations.

        I think what is more distinguishing is the size differential between western and eastern coyotes. With the lack of an apex predator (wolves) in most of the East, and a surplus of deer due to farms (lotta free food there and great amount of agricultural damage) and no apex predator (wolves), nature has been slowly selecting larger Coyotes because of the obnoxiously large deer population.

      • JEFF E Says:

        Immer,
        I will have to disagree here with you on c.lycaon and the c.lupus being essentially the same beast. they are not.
        It would be like saying that grey seals and common seals are the same beast. true their range overlaps, their habitat overlaps, their food sources overlap, but they are a different beast. (and actually c.lupus and c.lycaon did not overlap much except in the north of the great lakes area due to a little geographical feature called the Mississippi. that is also where the term Timber wolf came from. Most do not understand that east of the Mississippi was essentially a continuous forest clear to the Atlantic ocean from Hudson bay to the gulf of Mexico. that is why they were called timber wolves. Conversely the wolves west of Ole Miss’ were called Plains wolves, or, because of the primary prey animal, buffalo, buffalo wolves. generally speaking, wolves were ignored and just considered part of the landscape for the first half of the 18 century, then the Livestock industry arrived. also taxonomists started to try to classify everything under the sun. The more (((different))) species or (less exciting) sub-species that were identified, the more recognition that could be gained, and the better able to command research funds from whatever source.

      • Mike Says:

        I also disdagree that hunting is declining because of a “plugged in” generation. These are not stupid kids. They’re absorbing far more information in much shorter time spans than you and I did at their age. Kids can learn about wilderness and the environment from incredible web sites with all kinds information. They don’t hunt because they know better. They know that you don’t have to blow something away in order to enjoy going outside. They probably learned this early on, admiring photos of wildlife when they do google searches, or many other places across the web.

        Nothing is static. We are all moving towards a better result or position. There is no doubt in my mind that as the decades progress, there will be fewer and fewer hunters (we’re seeing that now) because the “plugged in” generation knows better. These are smart kids. And it’s no surprise that people who do not hunt are far more likely to support endangered species and wilderness protection, which is real conservation.

      • Mike Says:

        In addition, national parks have set records in attendance the last few years even with crazy gas prices. Meanwhile, hunter numbers are dropping. This puts a big hole in the theory that peopled are ignoring the outdoors. They’re not. What they’re ignoring is HUNTING. And of course, many organizations think you can’t enjoy the outdoors without a gun. So these groups release articles and there’s this big panic that we’re “losing our outdoor heritage”. But this is baloney. National Park visitation proves otherwise.

      • Immer Treue Says:

        Jeff E,

        We can agree to disagree on the C. lupus vs. C. lyacon designations for the reasons I, and you have put forth. Regional variation, nothing more, nothing less. Wolves travel. I could use bits of the Mech article, and so can you to defend your argument. It’s like saying “Eskimos” and Australian aboriginines are different species.

        http://www.wolf.org/wolves/news/iwmag/2011/spring/canissoupus.pdf

    • jon Says:

      Hands down the best post I’ve seen on here since I’ve been on here.

      “I have heard some hunters say that hunting is not about the animals at all. It is, they insist, an awareness of self. Once and for all, let’s not buy into their facade.

      Sporthunting is not a sport. It is simply an excuse for unhappy men and women to go out and kill. How do I arrive at the fact they are an unhappy lot? Look around you! Happy people do not take time away from their happiness to go out and kill something.”

      I couldn’t agree more!!!

    • Dan Says:

      Whoever said anything about hunting be sport….We hunt to feed our babies…my babies, Katie (9) and Emily (6) and soon to be Ella (due May 16th). Hunting the game in Northern Idaho has assured they get a lean organic source of protein I can afford. I know it is genetically unaltered and never given steroids. I know it is cooled correctly and handled in the strictest of ways. My babies get to enjoy all the cuts from hamburger to tenderloins (which I could never afford at $10plus a pound for beef). For white meat they enjoy grouse…a real pleasure to have with wild rice grown locally…and to top off an average dinner in my house hold we have huckleberries (picked in local mountains) over homemade sweetbread. Hunting for me and my brothers, sisters, parents, aunts, uncles, neighbors etc. is not sport at all…it’s a wholesome dinner.
      On another note…Contrary to a lot of opinions expressed here, we do not hate wolves….We simply see them as competitors for the food we feed our babies….

      • Immer Treue Says:

        Dan,

        No argument from me.

      • Nancy Says:

        Dan – you seem to have a decent attitude when it comes to hunting, providing etc. so I’m curious about your thoughts when it comes to all those predators competing for the same food sources?

      • JimT Says:

        Dan,, that is a pretty good insight into predator based hunting…have no issues with that at all….

      • Dan Says:

        Nancy…I guess it’s like anything in nature..it depends on the extent of the overlapping niches…

    • Dino DiGiacomo Says:

      Thank you for posting my article entitled “THE BIG LIE.” Hunters have long made up excuses on why sporthunting is a sport and I am glad to see I have so many supporters.

  2. wolfsong Says:

    Elk – He waited outside for the bear to come out, when the bear didn’t come out, he went INTO the den and shot the bear.

    • Elk275 Says:

      Then that is wrong and stupid.

      • wolfsong Says:

        Yep, it was both! Luckily the CDOW didn’t like what the guy did and agreed with us that it was wrong😉 Now if we can just keep them from overturning the 1992 voter ban on Spring Bear hunts we will be doing good.

    • vickif Says:

      Salle,
      I usually agree with you. However, hunting for sport has been around far too long to blame the military’s influence (or atleast the military in the last 150 years).

  3. Larry Thorngren Says:

    I would like to see the use of bait banned in the hunting of bears. Shooting a bear with his mouth full of week old donuts just doesn’t fit my definition of “fair chase”.

    • Ralph Maughan Says:

      I agree. There is no chase at all.

      The argument in favor of baiting is that the “hunter” might get a chance to look at several bears before he or she chooses one to kill.

      • JimT Says:

        Me thinks that argument smacks too strongly of self interest. Baiting is disgusting, period.

      • JEFF E Says:

        How do you “relocate” a mouse in your pantry?

      • jon Says:

        I just don’t buy that reason at all Ralph. I think most people know that is hogwash and the real reason behind baiting is making it easier to kill a bear. The same thing with using dogs to tree mt. lions. Rather looking for the bear yourself, make the bear come to you and when you get a shot, shoot it. Baiting is for cowards in my opinion. It’s things like this baiting and using dogs to tree animals to kill them that makes people not think very highly of hunting.

      • Savebears Says:

        I have hunted over bait in Canada, I don’t hunt bears any longer, but the one thing that it did allow was to make sure you were not shooting a sow with cubs, often times when the sow would come in, it would be several minutes before the cubs would come in, the guide told us when a bear comes into the bait, don’t shoot right away, give it at least 15 minutes to make sure it was not a sow…

        Once a bear comes into the bait, it will hang and eat for quite a while. I can say, it was not a chase, and I spent far more time sleeping in tree stand, than I did watching bears, I can also say, on the stands I hunted in a 2 week period, there was 11 sows with cubs that came into that bait stations and none were shot.

      • Immer Treue Says:

        Save Bears,

        Not for the sake of argument, so here comes the tough question… how many others do you feel would display your discretion?

      • Elk275 Says:

        If the law says no sows with cubs, which all bear hunting states have a similar law, then everyone better have the same discretion. Futhermore if one is hunting black bear whether by bait or spot and stalk they better be able to tell a boar from a sow. I can tell the difference in the field. If you can not tell the difference then the bear is to small to shot or you should not be hunting black bears. A big boar will have a small head in relationship to the body; it is apparent.

      • Savebears Says:

        Immer,

        I would hope the majority display this level of discretion, it is illegal to shoot a sow with cubs in just about everyplace I know in North America.

    • wolf moderate Says:

      I don’t view it as hunting either, but it is an effective and cost effective way to “manage” the populations of bears. Same goes with using hounds for hunting cougars/bears. There is nothing wrong with using these tactics imo. Is where I draw the line is when these morons whine and cry when there precious hounds die at the claws of the animals that they are hunting. They are wild animals, if you are going to use hounds, expect there to be some casualties…Here’s yer sign!

  4. Mike Says:

    What took so long?

    A civilized society should’ve already nipped most of these antiquated rules.

    • Jon Way Says:

      I agree Mike. But the problem is the “do-ers” (and their buddies) are basically the ones making the laws. It would be like a bunch of smokers consisting of the Surgeon General Warning and us expecting a change in smoking regulations (on the aside: it is a completely diff’t experience for me to go into a bar and not have that nasty smell of smoke on my clothes when I leave).
      There must be a federally mandated change in the composition of wildlife agencies and especially the commissions. It is absolutely antiquated. I have countless stories myself. Nobody in power has the spine to effect change b.c it is a self serving system. If congress can waste all of our time with indicting baseball players due to steroids, they can do it with wildlife..

      • Elk275 Says:

        Kept the damn federal government out of it. It is a state’s right and part of the 10 th amendment. It is always non residents, whether they are non consumptive users of wildlife or non resident hunters who want federal intervention. State wildlife commissions do not work perfect but it is better than federal over site, there is no other state commissions that citizens want federal intervention. Jon, what you envision is western fish and games that are made up citizens form all over the USA. That is Bullshit.

      • JimT Says:

        Elk 275.

        1. I do think that the regulatory bias in favor of ranchers when it comes to public lands input needs to be brought into line with the current science on land management and ecoystem effects. I find it objectionable that one user group has so much power over how FEDERAL lands are used and impacted. As a general aside, most of the land management statutes have been biased towards consumptive uses, and certainly the regulatory practices by the adminstrative agencies of BLM ans USFS have shown that throughout the decades. With recreational use now the single fastest growing use of Federal lands, those voices need to be added to the process in an official capacity, and not dependent on litigation to be **effectively** heard.

        2. I don’t think Jon envisions someone from NYC opining from there on grazing impacts, but I do think that FEDERAL land policies and practices need to take a more generalized approach than just parochial interests who just happen to be adjacent to Federal lands. I am not surprised at all by your statement that state wildlife commissions want to keep the status quo; they have the power, and the traditional voices they pay attention don’t like to share power and control of input. That doesn’t mean the process works in the Federal lands and species management best interests; in fact, I would submit those interests are usually subsumed in a human benefit biased decision making process. My interest and opinions on Federal land management are just as meaningful as yours, no matter the location. And I would urge you to read about the 10th Amendment and interpretations of the limits in judicial decisions; it is not this “if-then” analysis by any means.

  5. vickif Says:

    I won’t argue the necessity, or contributions of hunters and anglers. Their contribution is not just historical, but current.

    I will say that Colorado also had the issue of a spring bear hunt, which I disagree with. It is not possible for hunters to distinguish a nursing sow from a male at any safe distance. There in, the spring hunt would place cubs in peril. Bad idea scientifically, for maintaining populations.

    I also think if you hunt, do it without dogs, dens, or bait. (Dogs retreiving birds may be an exception). Treeing, killing in dens and baiting is not hunting—-it is no different then putting an animal in a cage and shooting it with an automatic weapon. Not to mention baiting can lead to habituation-bad again. Choosing one bear leaves several others that have now learned to equivilate human scents with a free meal.

    • JimT Says:

      I agree. I do find it interesting that in conversations with hunters on nearby property that was posted in Vermont, they were waxing righteously about tradition, and the need to preserve the old ways….all while clutching their brand new assault weapon-like hunting rifles with scopes that you can see to the moon with, or compound bows that look like something out of Buck Rogers than the 18th century. I guess traditions only went so far when it comes to some things..;*) If you hunt, get out there and walk, stalk and shoot, and leave the 21st century technologies at home, for pete sake.

  6. JimT Says:

    The state of Colorado is trying to figure out a way to get the deer population around Boulder down to manageable numbers, meaning their plan numbers. Thing is, with the scattered mountain development in these areas, hunting makes residents uneasy, and understandably so…No easy solution, especially with no effective canine predator here. The coyotes are generally too small to bring one down, and the lions are too few in number to be an effective control. Don’t know what the answer will be….

    • Immer Treue Says:

      Jim T,

      The deer numbers in the N Great Lake States also pose this type of problem. At least as some perceive, the wolf is/has been a solution. Not to make short of the occasional dog and livestock losses, I would think that the Wisconsin wolves have more than paid for themselves in terms putting a dent in deer agricultural damage and deer/auto collisions.
      Over the last 15 years or so, Michigan averages over 62,000 auto/deer collisions. This includes ~ (5,000) 12% of such collisions, in the UP, where wolves are present, and human population densities are much, much lower.

      • jon Says:

        Thank you immer. I see you bring up this information to that poster reality22 all the time. Having wolves thin the deer herds is actually a real good thing. More deer wolves kill, less deer that cause auto/deer collisions with people.

      • Immer Treue Says:

        Error:

        That 12% should be about 8.1%. If my other stats basd on Michigan deer and human populations are correct…in the UP, 1of every 63 drivers will hit a deer. In Lower Michigan, 1 of every 163 drivers will have a collision with a deer.

      • JimT Says:

        Ironically, this pattern of fragmenting woods environments into these nice grazing areas (lawns and gardens) and protective woods, coupled with lack of effective predator numbers, makes deer a huge suburban interface problem IF you care about your landscaping…and auto accidents. :*) Don’t know what the solution is, to be honest. And no possibility for a canine predator for the deer here, sadly.

    • jon Says:

      Reintroducing wolves there should be an option.

      • JimT Says:

        Not around Boulder….no habitat. Only possibly feasible place for reintroduction is Rocky Mountain National Park at the moment, and that is a dead issue given the politics here, and the lack of leadership on environmental issues from our two Senators here in Colorado. I know that there are research projects going on in the East where the white tail problem is huge with a focus on birth control….good luck with effective implementation there.

      • Paul White Says:

        Jim: it’s been almost a decade since I lived in Clear Creek County, but at the time it (and lots of the Front Range) had plenty of undeveloped habitat…please tell me it isn’t all built up?😦

  7. Craig Says:

    I didn’t read all the posts but if you go in and shoot Bears in the Den you are a loser! That is not Hunting that is just killing for a Trophy. If that’s what you do to hunt you are a loser. I would rather not shoot a record book Bull Elk or Deer if I knew it was trapped. There is no fair chase in that and that is wrong. And as a Hunter I do not think it should be legal to bait bears or any other animal! It’s not right, just and flat ass wrong! If you want to hunt go one on one we have enough advantages and the good thing is the prey has the advantage. Leave it at that and just enjoy the experience of being in the wild for a week!

  8. Phil Says:

    This is great news, and one of only a handful of great news for wildlife lately.


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