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Moab, UT

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    Where’s the sport in bear hunting?

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    Editor,

    Here are a few interesting facts about bear hunting from the Humane Society of America.

    Hunting and pursue of bears with hounds: “Collared hounds pursue bears until the exhausted, frightened animals seek refuge in a tree where they are shot or turn to fight. Injuries or death to both bears and dogs leave bear cubs vulnerable to mauling, orphaning and death.” “The orphan cubs under a year old will likely die from starvation and predation. Hunters frequently fail to check for presence of young in tree, which could alert the hunters that they are pursuing a mother bear.” “Hounding makes bears expend energy that they need in order to survive hibernation, and disrupt feeding regimes.”

    Hounding is unsporting and lacks fair chase stated in this article.

    PETA states “that the hunting hounds are often kept chained or penned. Some are turned loose at the end of hunting season to fend for themselves and may die of starvation.”

    The bear hunt starts March 30 thru May 31, which is considered spring hunt totaling 62 days. The summer hunt has a lay over. May 25 through June 28 totals 35 days. Fall hunt Aug. 10 through Sept. 22, totalling 42 days, and Nov. 2 through Nov. 14, which is 12 days. This is 151 days for bear hunting. Oh but wait, they have now incorporated a spot and stock to make sure there are no bears left in the La Sals. The dates are Sept 25 through Oct 27; this is another 33 days.

    They are pursuit hunts, which is the way hunters train their dogs and locate the bear for the hunt.

    Looks like the bear are hunted or pursued eight months out of the year. When do they simply get to live? Good luck getting a camp spot. Out-of-town hunters have taken over our mountain. There are hounds barking from dust to dawn or gun shots being fired. It’s not a family mountain. It is not for hikers or campers. We have lost our mountain.

    I contact Governor Herbert every year and the hunting just gets worse. Utah has lax rules for hunting so hunters from out of state migrate here. Many states do not allow hounds to hunt. Colorado has one hunt in the fall without hounds, and officials state they can manage their bear population. Division of Wildlife stated that you cannot manage bear without hounds. Where’s the sport? Send many hounds after one bear, tree bear and drive up on your side-by-side and shoot. Wow, what skill!

    –Vicki Honour
    Moab

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