I am likely to attract an entirely new group of readers with this post and I suspect that many of them will not be fans. But I have to ask, what is the sport in setting out bait for black bears to draw them to a spot where a hunter can wait and shoot the bear coming to feed?
Recently a large black bear was shot near Hudson, Wisconsin, and it made the news with all sorts of excitement about the hunter’s skill and good fortune. Really? I don’t want to take anything away from the hunter. He seems genuinely grateful for his success, but I have a hard time understanding the sport of setting up a hunt this way.
There are many bears in the woods. We have property in northwestern Wisconsin and bears have always been in the area, but in recent years the numbers seem higher. A game registration station down the road from us always records many large bears taken by hunters each fall, including some near-records.
It never occurred to me, however, that hunters would spend months training bears to come to a location so they could then be shot when hunting season opened.
Several years ago country music entertainer Troy Gentry caused an uproar when it was disclosed that he killed a “tame” bear at an enclosed game farm in Minnesota. Apparently that sort of hunt is illegal, at least in Minnesota. I’m not sure there’s much difference between Gentry’s hunt and what happens in the woods legally every fall. What is the difference? Isn’t training a bear to expect food to be provided for it in essence taming the bear?
- Hiker mistakenly slain by bear hunter, officials say (bendbulletin.com)
- Hunter may have shot bear made famous by Internet (seattletimes.nwsource.com)