Grizzly bear hunts

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
I can live with it. Mankind used to travel on foot with spears and shields. In groups for safety. If people can't handle bears, we have to ask if natural selection comes into play? Most of my long distance hikes have been 6 people, or solo and armed. No bear is going to take on 6 people. Give or take my harmless ''campground'' black bears that are used to people.

Want to hike in the woods defenseless and naked, go for it. It's your choice.
 

Dalko43

Explorer
Way back when brown bears were given Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections, there were recovery goals that were set, as there are for all species given those protections. The recovery goals lay out the conditions (numbers, geographic range, ect.) that would need to be met for de-listing to take place. Those recovery goals were met all the way back in 2008-2009, and in fact the Fish and Wildlife Service tried to de-list the brown bear in certain western states but ran into legal challenges. The FWS was finally able to de-list the species in 2017 and certain states had planned limited hunt for 2018, though a Federal judge temporarily barred that hunt (the legal justification for said ruling is debatable).

Regardless of your stance on whether the brown bears should be hunted, the fact is recovery goals were set and have since been met (and in fact exceeded).

Some stupid arguments that people like to put out there:
1) Brown bears have only recovered a small portion of their historical range and therefore their population isn't strong enough to be hunted. Well elk used to inhabit much of the eastern US ( a few pockets still remain in certain places like PA and KY). Should hunters in Montana and Idaho not be allowed to hunt elk simply because the animal no longer inhabits NY and ME?

2) Brown bears haven't actually recovered in western states where hunting is being proposed. Not true. Go look at the original ESA listing literature and the recovery goals that were laid out and agreed upon by state, federal and NGO advocacy groups (to include certain animal rights groups that are now challenging the de-listing)...those recovery goals have been met and then some since 2008-2009.

3) ESA de-listing means brown bears lose all their legal protections. Again, not true. The way wildlife management/conservation works in the US is that most species are regulated and managed at the state-level. The main exception to that would be animals on the ESA list and certain migratory waterfowl and birds. De-listing the brown bears in western US states does not mean that they can be hunted willy-nilly until they are extirpated for several reasons, first among which is that the states themselves (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming) have a long and established track record of managing and rehabilitating their native species with long term viability in mind. If anyone questions a state's ability to manage its own wildlife, its because that person is ignorant of what states have been doing conservation-wise over the last few decades. Go read up on the recovery of sage grouse and the big-horn sheep...states have been heavily involved in those conservation efforts. Moreover, when wolves were finally de-listed and opened to regulated hunting in certain western states, a lot of the same voices complained that wolves would be wiped out from state mismanagement...several years into state management and the wolf population out west is doing just fine. These hunts are regulated in order to ensure animal populations are not extirpated.

4) Brown bears don't need to be hunted. Well this is subjective. Not everyone who hunts does so purely for the trophy aspect. Bear meat can in fact taste good if the animal hasn't been feasting on salmon. Keyboard warriors and people residing in a nice, plush suburban neighborhoods may see bear hunting as atrocious. Someone running a ranch in western Wyoming who has daily run-ins with said bears or a state wildlife biologist who actually tracks and surveys the animal's numbers may have a very different perspective on that issue. Even if you personally see no point in hunting a bear, you should at least appreciate that people living on the ground with these animals may have a different view and there may be some very good justifications for said view. At a certain point, the bear numbers will exceed the region's biological and social carrying capacity, at which point wildlife biologists will likely deem that a hunt of some sort will be required.
 
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Joe917

Explorer
If the population science calls for a cull then its hard to deny issuing tags, the problem is the politicians will always try to twist or ignore the science. I have hunted plenty of white tails and consumed all the meat. I am strongly opposed to trophy hunting. Good points Dalko43. I hunt bears with a camera._X7A4568 - Copy.jpg
 
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plainjaneFJC

Goofball
Way back when brown bears were given Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections, there were recovery goals that were set, as there are for all species given those protections. The recovery goals lay out the conditions (numbers, geographic range, ect.) that would need to be met for de-listing to take place. Those recovery goals were met all the way back in 2008-2009, and in fact the Fish and Wildlife Service tried to de-list the brown bear in certain western states but ran into legal challenges. The FWS was finally able to de-list the species in 2017 and certain states had planned limited hunt for 2018, though a Federal judge temporarily barred that hunt (the legal justification for said ruling is debatable).

Regardless of your stance on whether the brown bears should be hunted, the fact is recovery goals were set and have since been met (and in fact exceeded).

Some stupid arguments that people like to put out there:
1) Brown bears have only recovered a small portion of their historical range and therefore their population isn't strong enough to be hunted. Well elk used to inhabit much of the eastern US ( a few pockets still remain in certain places like PA and KY). Should hunters in Montana and Idaho not be allowed to hunt elk simply because the animal no longer inhabits NY and ME?

2) Brown bears haven't actually recovered in western states were hunting is being proposed. Not true. Go look at the original ESA listing literature and the recovery goals that were laid out and agreed upon by state, federal and NGO advocacy groups (to include certain animal rights groups that are now challenging the de-listing)...those recovery goals have been met and then some since 2008-2009.

3) ESA de-listing means brown bears lose all their legal protections. Again, not true. The way wildlife management/conservation works in the US is that most species are regulated and managed at the state-level. The main exception to that would be animals on the ESA list and certain migratory waterfowl and birds. De-listing the brown bears in western US states does not mean that they can be hunted willy-nilly until they are extirpated for several reasons, first among which is that the states themselves (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming) have a long and established track record of managing and rehabilitating their native species with long term viability in mind. If anyone questions a state's ability to manage its own wildlife, its because that person is ignorant of what states have been doing conservation-wise over the last few decades. Go read up on the recovery of sage grouse and the big-horn sheep...states have been heavily involved in those conservation efforts. Moreover, when wolves were finally de-listed and opened to regulated hunting in certain western states, a lot of the same voices complained that wolves would be wiped out from state mismanagement...several years into state management and the wolf population out west is doing just fine. These hunts are regulated in order to ensure animal populations are not extirpated.

4) Brown bears don't need to be hunted. Well this is subjective. Not everyone who hunts does so purely for the trophy aspect. Bear meat can in fact taste good if the animal hasn't been feasting on salmon. Keyboard warriors and people residing in a nice, plush suburban neighborhoods may see bear hunting as atrocious. Someone running a ranch in western Wyoming who has daily run-ins with said bears or a state wildlife biologist who actually tracks and surveys the animal's numbers may have a very different perspective on that issue. Even if you personally see no point in hunting a bear, you should at least appreciate that people living on the ground with these animals may have a different view and there may be some very good justifications for said view. At a certain point, the bear numbers will exceed the region's biological and social carrying capacity, at which point wildlife biologists will likely deem that a hunt of some sort will be required.
Well said Dalko.
 

Mike S

Sponsor - AutoHomeUSA
I live in a rural location in the northern rockies and I mean this respectfully: if you are commenting against the grizzly hunt and don't live in WY, MT, ID, (or aren't a wildlife biologist focused on grizzlies, etc.) your comments and recommendations are going to have as much local "ground truth" credibility as mine would if I were to posit theories on how to return the letter R to New England speech, clean up urban gun violence in Chicago or secure the Mexico/US border (go ahead, ask....simple solutions from my perspective but I bet local "ground truth" opinion would differ from mine, so I keep my mouth shut and trust the locals and experts will figure it out). If we want more grizzlies in the US, in order to create a truly healthy North American grizzly population, we need to start new populations in other states (+1 f350joe) and give these nascent populations support, oversight and protections against hunting for a few decades at least. I'm not buying the false idea being promulgated that there's no room, no habitat, etc. and everywhere else but Yellowstone is too overpopulated and overdeveloped to support new grizzly populations. I'd start in WA, OR and CA and other prior habitats and put a big effort into creating wildlife corridors to link these populations over time....developing and patiently achieving long-range 25-50 year goals would be novel. Instead we have a hackneyed, made-for-hollywood face-off: shrill environmentalists and pamphleteers spouting a confusing melange of accurate&biased statistics and knuckle-draggin', tobacco-spittin' good ole white boys hell bent on putting yogi, mama bear and their cubs in their reticles. It's actually a lot more nuanced if you live here and truly, most scientists and hunters get along pretty well and there are plenty them who go both ways. Similar to regions of Alaska/Canada, the grizzly population in Yellowstone ecosystem is dense enough to support a limited hunt. The money it brings in will help support more bear-related programs and awareness. It is funny to watch EVERY issue in the country become a highly politicized and polarizing event; anyone else sick of the fact that every American issue has only two sides, the outcome is essential, and no solution in sight? Ultimately, the only way we're going to save the grizzly is by creating new habitat in other states....or we can continue to have the "Yellowstone Grizzly Zoo" (and I'd recommend building a wall around it in that case, but that sounds like another polarizing media issue). Yellowstone has a growing grizzly population that is being hemmed in by even faster growing mountain west population-building-road growth: the bears are squirting out chaotically and running smack into human development. Hunt or not, without planning you're going to see more and more bear-human conflict and read about more illegal/self-defense/accidental killings of grizzlies result if we keep our heads in the sand relying on simplistic, short-sighted "NO GRIZZLY HUNT, NEVER!" vs "KILL EM ALL!" sloganeering and media melodrama.
Well said. In NW Montana grizzlies are spreading out from the mountains on to the plains and are seen even near Great Falls. They have, in some cases, become habituated to farmers' corn and grain fields. They have not been seen in these areas for as much as 100 years.

I think that given a chance and some habitat, that they will spread out across suitable areas. Parts of Oregon and Washington - the Blue, Ochoco and Wallowa mountains, Snake River Canyon and breaks, and other Western areas might also be suitable. California once had a huge grizzly population, but it is gone and there is no hope of rebuilding here, even if people wanted it. As mentioned, Yellowstone populations are disadvantaged - hemmed in by developed areas and surrounded by the 'New West'. I have been in the mountains with grizzlies in Canada and Montana. It is great to see their big tracks in the muddy trail in front of your horse, the trees gouged with their claw marks, and maybe even see a bear far up a slide doing what bears do. I hope that they endure. But we have to stop taking entrenched positions and consider exactly what the bears need and what accommodations we need to make to ensure that they persist.

I also support the idea of sport hunting grizzlies when populations warrant or require it. It may surprise many people here, but hunters have been primary advocates of wildlife protection for more than a century in the USA, and have provided the bulk of funding to make this a reality.
 
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