Forum Index » Chaff » 300 Black Bears killed so far in Ca. hunting season?


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Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
300 Black Bears killed so far in Ca. hunting season? on 10/14/2009 09:13:39 MDT Print View

A man was mauled in Tahoe NF yesterday-I fill sorry for him and his family...But what about 300+ bears being slaughtered.. A "Top of the food chain" predator is just being wiped-out..So if there are any hunters on the website and I think there are a few...Can you explain to me why we still hunt bears? I am not looking for a fight are a huge debate...I just want to be educated on why we still hunt bears...Is it for food, fur,eating to much of our garbage are sport?

Edited by Creachen on 10/14/2009 20:51:06 MDT.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
i live in mn but... on 10/14/2009 09:27:42 MDT Print View

Isn't it because the population is growing exponentially? Bears near towns/suburbs turn into giant raccoons pretty much. And that cannot lead to good things for bears or for humans.

I don't think there is problem with harvesting bears as long as the meat is eaten and hide is used. Respect for their life. My friend bow hunts problem bears in the BWCA and he loves bears more than anyone I have ever met.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: 300 Black Bears killed so far in Ca. hunting season? on 10/14/2009 09:41:53 MDT Print View

Personally, I'm not into the idea of hunting bear.
However, according to DFG statistics, the populations are large, growing, and perfectly sustainable even with hunting.
That is, if you believe their science. I'm sure many here will debate it.

Some numbers:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/bear/harvest.html

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/hunting/bear/index.html

1,700 bear tags are issued each year. Bear hunting season ends when 1,700 bears have been killed or we reach Dec. 27th, 2009, whichever comes first.

Despite the enormous amount of tags purchased each year, very few people who buy them actually kill a bear. And from what I understand, the 1,700 bear limit is rarely reached- season usually closes on Dec. 27th first.

If 1,700 seams like a huge number (I certainly think it is), keep in mind the last DFG estimate I heard was that there are 25,000 to 30,000 black bears in California.
Habitat loss surely poses a greater threat than hunting ever will.

As for why? Meat, bravado, trophies, all of the above....none of the above...talk to a bear hunter.
As for whether or not it's right...that's a whole new bag of worms.
I don't like the idea of killing bear; I think they're too cool. But what about big bucks? Elk? Quail? Native salmon? Wild trout?
They're all really beautiful, amazing, unique animals....
So what should we be hunting then?
Should we even be hunting?
Should we even be eating meat?

A giant bag of worms indeed....


EDIT:
Oh, and one more number to throw in (if it matters):
The CA success rate for hunting bear is around 7%...that is, only 7% of all hunters who pruchase tags actually kill a bear.

Edited by xnomanx on 10/14/2009 09:48:03 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: 300 Black Bears killed so far in Ca. hunting season? on 10/14/2009 09:42:53 MDT Print View

Jay,
The hunters will have lots of interesting reasons.

But the answers you seek really come from the Department of Wildlife (or whatever its called in California).

Somehow they have to balance revenue, sustainability, and safety. Hunting is a source of income, and it is a means of 'culling the crop'. It is also a means of managing the social and political demands for 'protecting the public'.

When the crops exceeds carrying capacity something has to give.

I would not want to be in their shoes.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: 300 Black Bears killed so far in Ca. hunting season? on 10/14/2009 09:44:44 MDT Print View

"Orr said the group cornered three bears in a tree with the help of hunting dogs, when a hunter in the party hit one of the bears with a non-fatal gunshot. The bear then came out of the tree and began to "claw and bite" Sanders, Orr said, with Sanders putting his arms over his face for protection. Sanders sustained bites and cuts to his arms, the most serious of which broke a bone in his wrist, Orr said. Following the attack on Sanders, Orr said the bear proceeded to attack another hunter in the party. That hunter shot the bear with a rifle, Orr said, instantly killing the animal."

Can't imagine why the bear attacked.....

I hope this isn't reported elsewhere, or via word of mouth, as an unprovoked attack. An no, my comments are NOT an indictment of the hunters in any way, shape or form.

As far as 300+ bears killed, the story says "Hunting season for the approximately 35,000 black bears in California typically runs from late September until mid- to late-December, depending on the number of bears killed. Once 1,700 bears are killed, hunting season closes."

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
300 Black Bears killed so far in Ca. hunting season? on 10/14/2009 09:47:49 MDT Print View

Probably not making a dent, or even slowing down the population growth of black bears. Guess it would be more noble to let them starve, it is, after all, nature's way. Friends tell me bears are tasty. I've found bear tracks while elk hunting, and wondered if the bears had the same thoughts about me.

I predict this will be one of those 40 page threads, where everyone ends up mad.

Edit - found a LA Times article, hunting obviously isn't making a dent - The state Fish and Game Department estimates that 33,260 black bears inhabit California today -- up from roughly 4,000 in 1984. Hunters have been taking about 1,800 animals annually in recent years, compared to about 1,000 per year 20 years ago, according to the department.

Edited by skinewmexico on 10/14/2009 09:59:17 MDT.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: 300 Black Bears killed so far in Ca. hunting season? on 10/14/2009 10:01:00 MDT Print View

"A man was mauled in Tahoe NF yesterday-I fill sorry for him and his family...But what about 300+ bears being slaughtered.. A "Top of the food chain" predator is just being wiped-out..So if there are any hunters on the website and I think there are few...Can you explain to me why we still hunt bears? I am not looking for fight are a huge debate...I just want to be educated on why we still hunt bears...Is it for food, fur are sport?"

Bears have doubled in number around Tahoe in the last few years, and also are some
of the biggest in the country now due to the feeding they
get from peoples garbage etc. Some are up to 600 lbs
which is huge for a black bear.

On the other hand, the
Mule deer populations are dwindling as that species does
poorly with the pressure of increase building into their
wintering and summer habitats.

Young bear tastes good, about like pork. Older bears can
be not so good. People hunt bears for the reasons you
mentioned, food, challenge of getting close enough to
one to take it, also it keeps them wild and wary of humans so they cause less trouble.

The game department has a quota of how many bears can be
taken in a season. When that is reached they close the season.

In terms of adequate numbers of bears there are plenty.
One broke into my friends house recently in Truckee (an
82 year old widow while she was having her morning coffee).
The LEO shot at it with a rubber bullet, but it has since
broken into several more occupied homes.

Once one bear learns where to find human food, they other bears will follow the smell of that food in the first
bears urine back to the source and you end up with even more
problem bears. Problem bears are not relocated but eventually killed.

So to maintain public safety and bear safety their needs to
be proper management and public awareness.

IE
Do not provide food sources for bears-bird feeders, garbage
cans left out, pets fed outside etc.

Chase bears off your property when you see them.
Dogs and paintballs are often used.

Hunt a certain number to keep the population in check so
they aren't forced to find food in urban settings.

Edited by oware on 10/14/2009 10:05:12 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: 300 Black Bears killed so far in Ca. hunting season? on 10/14/2009 10:12:24 MDT Print View

"...the other bears will follow the smell of that [human's] food in the first bear's urine back to the source..."

David,
Thank you for this insight. I have wondered how the "education" process occurred. I have always assumed mom taught the youngsters, but couldn't quite figure out how the others got tuned in.

Edited by greg23 on 10/14/2009 10:14:20 MDT.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
hunting. on 10/14/2009 10:14:38 MDT Print View

i'm pretty sure having dogs chase an animal into a tree and then shooting it with a rifle doesn't qualify as "hunting."

Paul Smith
(ingoti) - F

Locale: MN
300 Black Bears killed so far in Ca. hunting season? on 10/14/2009 10:17:49 MDT Print View

I grew up hunting and learned to respect nature while doing so. Most hunters are good caretakers of the environment and we have a great deal of habitat set aside due to hunters efforts.

Top of food chain hunting needs to be watched very carefully but I have no problem with it as long as the animals numbers continue to grow. Habitat loss is the real issue.

That being said, I am no longer a hunter or a meat eater. In fact, I believe that anyone that is against hunting but continues to eat meat is quite hypocritical. At least animals in the wild have a fighting chance and get to live as nature intended.

Don't give me that "a cow is different than a bear crap". Everyone is outraged when Michael Vick hurts a dog but can easily turn a blind eye to where their dinner comes from.

Know what you eat, a little research could be enlightening. Sorry for the rant but I could see where this was going and anti-hunting stuff chaffs my ass.
-p

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: hunting. on 10/14/2009 10:17:59 MDT Print View

The euphemism of the day is 'harvesting'.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: 300 Black Bears killed so far in Ca. hunting season? on 10/14/2009 10:20:39 MDT Print View

"...but I could see where this was going..."

Don't worry, you Will get what you expect to see.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: 300 Black Bears killed so far in Ca. hunting season? on 10/14/2009 10:25:05 MDT Print View

"I predict this will be one of those 40 page threads, where everyone ends up mad."

Not me Joe! I'm a happy guy! LYOL :-)

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: hunting. on 10/14/2009 10:25:57 MDT Print View

If you haven't tried hound hunting, you won't know how challenging it is. Probably only less of a workout than
mountain goat hunting.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
yeah. on 10/14/2009 11:10:59 MDT Print View

yeah... i'm sure that (83-year old) guy was resolutely chasing the dogs on foot, across hill and dale, only to finally catch up with the treed bear to (attempt) to dispatch it with one trusty shot.

(we love our the Department of Squish and Maim.)

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: yeah. on 10/14/2009 11:23:43 MDT Print View

Here it comes!!!!....3....2.....1......

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
chaff. on 10/14/2009 11:34:55 MDT Print View

is it 7% historically?

is this just a banner year for shooting bears, if 300/1700 = 18% (and rising until the end of december)?

no doubt there are 300 happy guys with OHVs, beer, goatees, big n' tough trucks, and great True Tales of Adventure to tell their buddies (whilst awkwardly high-fivin'!) out there so far!

i love overpopulating the state with people, then deciding what the "carrying capacity" of the environment is for bears (i.e. how much room do ya get). and if you are a "problem bear" (i.e. dog food tastes good when you put it out near my ex-habitat), you get whacked.

moderator, please move this to Chaff (oh wait, it's already here.)

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: chaff. on 10/14/2009 11:42:07 MDT Print View

Dave,
This is why we need a Hunting Forum. Especially if the IT guys/gals here add the 'Exlude/Include' function to the 'Recents Threads' search.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
ignorant blathering on 10/14/2009 12:14:49 MDT Print View

go ahead, make my day

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: chaff. on 10/14/2009 12:17:12 MDT Print View

I'm agnostic on bear hunting in California.

On one hand they're not in any way endangered and I accept the idea that a WELL MANAGED hunt might perhaps instill some amount of aversion to people--which is how I prefer bears to act! I don't know whether a hunt is supposed to replace some missing predator, since the only black bear predators are other black bears and back in the day, grizzlies. Bold bears, of course, will remain widely available in our National Parks, swattin' at our canisters.

I would be a stronger hunt supporter if the fees went directly to anti-poaching enforcement, which is an entrenched problem here (in part to feed the illicit gall bladder trade).

I have not the feeblest spark of support for either using dogs or baiting bears. And after what became of the poor slain hiker in Washington last year I have no support for kids out bear hunting, supervised by other kids.

Regards,

Rick

Edited by halfturbo on 10/14/2009 12:18:39 MDT.