Hunting Park Grizzlies

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billandkaren
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Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:50 pm

Hunting Park Grizzlies

Post by billandkaren » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:37 pm

Does anyone know the latest info on allowing grizzlies to be hunted outside the parks? I was just in the Tetons mid-October and had the privilege of watching 399 and her two cubs just being bears for nearly an hour. They were at a location near the park/national forest border boundary and it got me to thinking that if the hunting ban is lifted, 399, 610, and Blondie will likely be the first ones shot because they wander outside the park and have become so tolerant of humans.

That would be such a tragedy because these bears have brought such joy to probably thousands of people over the years. I have allowed kids and adults to see these bears using my binoculars and/or scope, experiencing firsthand the excitement of seeing their first grizzly. I know that hunters have a different perspective and I'm not trying to be preachy. But if the hunting ban is lifted, can't they at least provide a buffer zone around the parks so that the park bears can come and go without the risk of being shot?

Bill



Absarokanaut
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:19 pm

Re: Hunting Park Grizzlies

Post by Absarokanaut » Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:30 pm

I'm not trying to be preachy or a posterior orifice either but the issues of boars vs. sows with cubs and the hysteria over delisting aside why is a Bear or Wolf on Nationnal Forest Lands close to the parks more entitled to refuge than bears on the same National Forest but further from Park boundaries?

With all due respect and in my opinion however accumstomed to or habituated by humans "Park" bears are wild animals, not caged zoo specimens to become emotionally attached to. As much as they do indeed enjoy nearly 3,000,000 acres of refuge in the parks what is the actual ecological import of in effect extending park boundaries into the National Forests, BLM, etc? Why should we even begin to expect selective management like you propose?



billandkaren
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:50 pm

Re: Hunting Park Grizzlies

Post by billandkaren » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:05 pm

"I'm not trying to be preachy or a posterior orifice either but the issues of boars vs. sows with cubs and the hysteria over delisting aside why is a Bear or Wolf on Nationnal Forest Lands close to the parks more entitled to refuge than bears on the same National Forest but further from Park boundaries?

With all due respect and in my opinion however accumstomed to or habituated by humans "Park" bears are wild animals, not caged zoo specimens to become emotionally attached to. As much as they do indeed enjoy nearly 3,000,000 acres of refuge in the parks what is the actual ecological import of in effect extending park boundaries into the National Forests, BLM, etc? Why should we even begin to expect selective management like you suggest."[


My point is that it hardly seems fair for bears that learn that humans are not a threat to suddenly have the rules of the game changed. I am not a hunter, but if I were, I would want the playing field to be even for the hunter and the hunted. The park bears are not better than any other bear, but I've noticed a huge difference in behavior of park bears versus bears in the national forests where they are not nearly as accustomed to humans.

You do make a point that we should not emotionalize one bear over another. They are all doing what they need to do to survive. However, the "park" bears are much more visible to people who get a joy and connection with nature by just being able to see a bear in their natural environment. As you point out, they are not zoo animals and it brings much more joy to see one in the wild than in a zoo.

I do believe the park bears deserve special consideration because of the protection they have received over the years, their learned behavior which does not see humans as a threat, and the joy (not to mention the tourist dollars) that these bears bring to thousands of people over the years.



Absarokanaut
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:19 pm

Re: Hunting Park Grizzlies

Post by Absarokanaut » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:42 pm

However disagreeable I am I respect your point and appreciate the "debate." I love seeing roadside bears too but I'm not fond of the notion of redrawing decades if not centuries old boundaries to satisfy emotional attachments to individual animals in a broad ecosystem where their numbers have recovered far beyond the requirements of delisting. While 399's days are numbered as it is 610 and the other sows in the area are in far greater danger from boars killing their cubs to push them into estrus than they are from hunters that at best might be licensed to take a half dozen bears across the ecosystem annualy.



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