Bear Hunting

  • Updated November 23, 2021
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“Anti-hunting protesters are entering a lottery to hunt 22 grizzly bears in Wyoming near Yellowstone National Park- hoping to take the spots of those who’d like to kill the animals” (Scotti). There was a grizzly bear drawing where 22 tags were won, “a federal judge has put a 14-day hold on the first public grizzly bear hunts in Wyoming and Idaho in more than 40 years, as he considers whether the government was wrong to lift federal protections on the animals” (Newsko). Grizzly bear hunting has been a controversial issue.

People are worried about the bears going extinct or think that they don’t deserve to be shot. The Grizzly bears have been on the endangered animals list but have now been taken off and a season has been opened for them. The game and fish gave the tags out but then the season was shut down by a federal judge in Montana. There should be a limited quota of 12 tags for hunting grizzly bears in Wyoming.

Opponents, however, believe that the grizzly bear is becoming a rare species and thus should not be hunted. If we hunt the bears, others are fearing that that will be the end to grizzlies. Hunters who have been out this season hunting deer or elk have seen or got reports of a grizzly in a nearby area. Michael R. Shea, author of “To Hunt a Grizzly,” reported that a hunter from North Carolina been up on a seven-day elk hunt. Michael stated that on this elk hunt “The Isaacson/Deming party saw more than a dozen grizzlies” (Shea 54). There for awhile the grizzlies were on the endangered species list but “the return of the Yellowstone grizzlies is one of the great American conservation success stories” (Shea 55). Hunters and the state of Wyoming have donated more than $50 million to the recovery of the grizzly bears. These bears have made a come back and are venturing outside Yellowstone National Park.

Additionally, bear encounters have become more frequent due to over population. This has led to the grizzly bears expanding even out into the big horn basin far outside the greater Yellowstone ecosystem. There was a grizzly bear and her two cubs that were spotted and killed in Byron, Wyoming, “the bears were put down Thursday (10/26/2018) near Byron in Big Horn County after initially being spotted feeding on a dead cow on a resident’s trail camera” (Rogers). The bears are getting closer to the small towns. The 30-year-old hunter that was in Wyoming on the seven-day elk hunt had a grizzly charge him. He was not alone, he had another hunter and a guide with him. They had shot an elk and was loading it onto a horse when the bear came in, the guide told Isaacson to do a warning shot but after that the bear charged. They ended up shooting and killing this bear (Shea 54).

There was another guy who was in a bear attack. He was in Wyoming in the Beartooth mountains. Him and three of his friends were headed out for a fishing trip. Brad Johnson was in the lead and a 400-pound bear charged and attacked him, leaving him with serious damage. He had wounds on his shoulder and back. By the time his friends got to Brad, he was “drenched in blood and crumpled behind a log, asked them to video him so he could say goodbye to his wife and three kids” (Dodd 75). There have been many more bear attack reports. Something must be done to keep the population of bears at a reasonable number and make bears want to run away from humans. Thus, it’s imperative that Wyoming reinstate the grizzly bear season.

Hunting the grizzly bears would also help maintain a relationship between bears and humans. Bears are no longer running away from mankind. The bears have no reason to fear us because we aren’t able to hunt them anymore. They have nothing to be afraid of. When a bear sees a human now-a-days, it’s seeing prey. It has been reported that “last year, Wyoming Game and Fish captured 31 grizzly bears in conflict situations” (Shea). Of the 31 bears captured the state killed 11 of them and “four people were injured in bear encounters” (Shea). Michael R. Shea, in “The return of Grizzly, and Bear Hunting, in the West”, stated that 29 grizzly-related injuries and five deaths in Wyoming and one in Montana have been recorded in the past 10 years. If we were to start hunting grizzlies again the number of bear attacks would go down.

Not only are bears harming humans, but they are also taking out the herds of other animals like moose, deer, or elk. The Game and Fish Department make a lot of money off the license that hunters purchase each season to go hunt these other animals. Hunter put out a lot of money to go hunt these animals too. Each year a hunter has to pay to put in for these tags, a moose tag for a resident in Wyoming is almost $600, an elk tag for a resident of Wyoming is about $60 (WGFD). The grizzly bears are feeding on these animals that you paid to hunt. With bears eliminating the herds, there won’t be enough animals to have a hunting season which would hurt the game and fish because that takes away a large amount of their profit.

My final reason for hunting grizzlies is that hunting is a crucial part of all wildlife management. Wildlife management keeps track of wildlife, the conservation of wildlife, and pest control. If the game and fish sold at least 12 grizzly bear tags and had a four to six-week hunting season, it would have little to no effect on the grizzly population. There are a few people who draw tags but sometimes they don’t always fill them.

There is a good chance that not all 12 tags handed out would be filled. The grizzlies have been reproducing making them over populated. If there was a specific amount of tags sold there would still be enough bears to reproduce more. On the off season the bears would have a chance to repopulate. It would be a continued cycle like hunting deer or elk. If the population of bears got too low again, they’d be moved back onto the endangered species list. There has already been work done to calculate the 2018 season tags.

In Michael Sheas’ article, “The Return of the Grizzly, and Bear Hunting, in the West,” A team of biologists discovered that 19 bears could be hunted and killed in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. They have come up with the strategy that since 58% of the bears live in Wyoming, Wyoming will receive 10 boar tags and 2 sow tags. The biologists have made clear that “only two tags will be released at a time, to ensure no more than two sows are ever killed by hunters” (Shea). The Wildlife management team would be in charge of keeping track of the numbers.

All in all, if we could get a limited quota season on grizzly hunting, there wouldn’t be so many bear attacks. People would be able to go fishing or hiking and not have to fear being bothered by a grizzly.

Cite this paper

Bear Hunting. (2021, Nov 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/bear-hunting/

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