Bears Are Safe in Connecticut For Now

As a longtime NJ bear protector, I have followed Connecticut’s defeated bear hunt proposal.

Twice I completed black bear field studies with Dr. Lynn Rogers in Ely, Minnesota. Dr. Rogers studied black bears for 50+ years and is the world’s foremost expert and researcher. Black bears are shy and skittish. Their survival instinct is to run away or up a tree at the slightest perceived threat (www.bearstudy.org and www.bear.org). However, more important, was learning the predictable political ploys behind instigating a bear hunt.

As a longtime NJ bear protector, I have followed Connecticut’s defeated bear hunt proposal.

Twice I completed black bear field studies with Dr. Lynn Rogers in Ely, Minnesota. Dr. Rogers studied black bears for 50+ years and is the world’s foremost expert and researcher. Black bears are shy and skittish. Their survival instinct is to run away or up a tree at the slightest perceived threat (www.bearstudy.org and www.bear.org). However, more important, was learning the predictable political ploys behind instigating a bear hunt.

Fish & wildlife agencies employ wildlife biologists who are hunters. Agencies are in desperate need for hunting license revenue and millions annually from Pittman-Robertson federal grants. In part, apportionment is contingent on the number of hunting licenses sold. More species in the game code equals more licenses sold.

Bear hunts restrict seasons and bag limits to ensure there will be bears for the subsequent years’ hunts. Hunters buy licenses when there is shootable surplus for likelihood of success. Selling licenses is fish and game’s covert goal.

Connecticut’s Lt. Governor, Nancy Wyman, deserves accolades for her deciding dissenting vote in the Senate. However, fish & wildlife agencies will persist to resurrect the proposed bear hunt by furthering public acceptance.
Connecticut bear protectors must prepare for the heightening of the bear-scare campaign. This biased agency collects/compiles statistics, and can manipulate, fabricate, conceal or reveal what fulfills its purpose. Most often, fish & wildlife agencies are autonomous and without constraints of accountability.

Unsurprisingly, fish & wildlife will publicize increased nuisance complaints, escalated bear-human interactions, supposed aggressive behaviors, bears visiting parks and schools, etc. The latter will serve to evoke fear in children, parents, and administrators. The agency will grossly exaggerate danger to children so politicians will look criminally negligent to not support bear hunts.
Bear protection activists should visit parks/schools in Litchfield County/bear country and photodocument the unprotected dumpsters that lure bears. Onus must be placed on school administrators/township officials for negligence in not deterring bear foragers – not the opportunistic bears who are just being bears.

 

Contrary to what was published in Connecticut, bears are one of the slowest reproducing species. Sows (females) first breed between three and eleven years of age and thereafter every other year. Cubs remain with their mother for 17 months before dispersing, when the mom is then able to mate again.
Bears, according to law, are a publicly owned natural resource, are indisputably a self-regulating species.

According to Dr. Rogers’ research, despite having mated, sow reproduction will fail if, when going to den, she is under 147 pounds. The sow would not be able to sustain herself and a pregnancy without food and water for five or more months of hibernation/torpor. Sows weighing 148-176 may have cubs but with higher mortalities.

This is a precise example of how population follows food supply. Less food translates to a lowered ability to reproduce.

Bear problems are human problems. Research by Dr. Edward Tavss, Rutgers University professor, proved hunting is ineffective in lowering bear complaints. Removal creates a vacuum whereby surviving bears fill in vacated territory and continue to scavenge for food. Human provided food/garbage, bird feeders, pet food left outside, etc. are invitations! Regardless of the population, bears will find the food sources in human environments.

Hunting a black bear who may be aberrant and dangerous is comparable to firing a gun into a crowd of people to kill a dangerous person who may be lurking within.

Connecticut’s increasing fragmentation of wildlife habitat brings bears closer to homes. Nonlethal bear management works at the core of the issue—removing the attractants that lure bears into human environments. In other aspects, people behavior affects bear behavior. Residents in bear country must enlighten themselves, adapt to coexist, and accept that bears are their other neighbors.

“Hunting is not for wildlife management; wildlife management is for hunting” (Humane Society of the United States). I hope that Connecticut’s animal rights activists persevere to keep black bears safe from what would be purely recreational hunts.
http://www.indianpointcamp.com/dryden-black-bear-hunting.htm

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Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting / C.A.S.H.
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