Black Bear Management for Increased Killing

Avid readers of the C.A.S.H. Courier are well acquainted with how deer are managed into overpopulations.  In case you’re not sure, please read Janet Piszar’s article in this issue on page 4.

We were fortunate to have the management plan for black bears from no less than the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), which spells out in detail their plan to keep bear populations up to the level that they will be tolerated by the public.  Apparently, the public is quite tolerant, according to them, since the population has been skyrocketing.
Keep in mind that game agencies are always in need of a reason to kill, so once they pump up populations, public intolerance is a perfect excuse.  Of course, the big secret is that they are the ones pumping up the populations.

To build the populations they established national forests and parks to shelter and protect the bear population.  They made sure that adult females could not be “harvested.”  They say there are nearly a half million acres of bear sanctuary in TN.  Of course, this is mixed with the positive aspect of protecting habitat from farming and development.

Radiotelemetry established that pregnant females den much earlier than males.  So after reproductive females had moved to dens, they changed the hunting schedule to make sure that only the males would be “harvested.”  As males are larger anyway, they make for a better “trophy.”

They said that poaching is quite common so they have cracked down on it.  The bear population thrives according to them thanks to sportsman license dollars.  They point out that since bears have home ranges that overlap state boundaries, they have engaged NC, GA, and VA in a commitment to “protecting bears” for a continuing increase to be able to sustain bear hunting and ensure a continuing supply of bears for hunters to kill and exploit for body parts.

They confess at the end of their self-praising report that “As human and bear populations increase, and more people move near public lands, bear-human interactions will undoubtedly increase creating potentially dangerous situations for the public and for bears.”  Now, if it’s dangerous, then pray tell, who is to blame?

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