Bear Baiting..............banning

Neil Molendyk

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Same here in Idaho, no baiting or hound hunting in hunt units where grizzlies may be encountered. Been that way for years. Doesn’t stop the anti’s from exploiting any possible means to stop baiting, hound hunting, trapping, etc.
In Alberta there used to be a ban on baiting black bear during the spring hunt. Later the use of bait was allowed and there was a significant push back from the anti hunting folks, stating that they believed that the bear population would be under severe pressure and numbers would be severely reduced. But a strange thing happened, bear populations increased and in great numbers. A study done by the University Of Alberta (I think that's correct) discovered that by allowing baiting of spring bears, the bears that were taken were mainly old boars, probably some old dry sows. Sows with cubs are prohibited to be hunted. But because the old boars were the taken out of the population they weren't around in great numbers and as they were the main source of cub mortality, more cubs survived and hence the numbers increased.
 

flatwater bill

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Science and logic rarely influence a Snowflake........cancellation of major hunt shows in Alberta.....a Province with a great hunting tradition...are worrisome......FWB
 

Neil Molendyk

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Science and logic rarely influence a Snowflake........cancellation of major hunt shows in Alberta.....a Province with a great hunting tradition...are worrisome......FWB
Yes, cancellations are worrisome. But I think its more of an economic reality in the province as much as anything, thanks to our federal government and its anti oil policies. There is also a perception that hunting in Africa is only for the affluent.
 

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idk but i'm pretty pretty sure God said "kill and eat" acts 10:13

God also gave man “dominion over the fish of the seas, the birds of the air, and the beast of the earth” Gen 1:26. I think for most christians, like myself, who hunt and fish, we take the definition of dominion to mean not only for our use, but an inherent responsibility to conserve and preserve. A divine stewardship if you will.
 

OxfordTheCat

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God also gave man “dominion over the fish of the seas, the birds of the air, and the beast of the earth” Gen 1:26. I think for most christians, like myself, who hunt and fish, we take the definition of dominion to mean not only for our use, but an inherent responsibility to conserve and preserve. A divine stewardship if you will.

I mean they also said we shouldn't be wearing two different fibres of cloth and we should be busy stoning adulterers in our free time.

Forget biblical mores, let's just manage the bears in accordance with science and established wildlife management principles, if we could?


Once upon a time my province was advocating hanging baits, to assess whether a sow was nursing and might have cubs. I'm certain there is a much better solution out there.
 
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Alaska Luke

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The advantage of baits is you can get a good look at the bear before shooting. Often I see game camera pictures first. When I was new at hunting I'd have a friend look at them. I ended up killing only mature boars that way. My friend helped me identify the females that I did not want to shoot.

Alaska is different because its huge and there are a lot of special rules in special places. Of course the anti hunters misrepresent this to make certain things seem more common than they are.

For example they opened up baiting in a few National Parks. Not a big deal because the majority of bear hunting took place outside the park (where baiting was already legal). Of course that was played up as a huge dea that would threaten the bear population blah blah blah...

In another example there are a couple remote areas where killing bears in dens is allowed for subsistence. This exists to respect traditional native hunting practices. Of course the tree huggers played that up as if a bunch of rich city guys were killing sleeping bears for a rug and the article deceptively implied the practice was legal statewide. The reality is a bunch of wealthy city slickers were trying to ban an ancient hunting practice for natives. Natives who have gotten a raw deal from the government for generations, natives who often live below the poverty line while paying 2 to 4 times what most Americans pay for groceries. They were asking me for money to fight this. Seriously? In a world where human trafficking is a thing they want donations to stop some poor Native guys from hunting? Yeah that one annoys me.
 

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What's the average weight of a black bear killed in Idaho? What's the greatest weight of a black bear killed in Idaho each year? How many bears are killed in Idaho each year? Until those questions are answered I have nothing further to say. I can only say that where I live the season used to be 3 days long and during that season bears just under 900 lb would be shot. Then to generate more revenue for the state the season was opened for another week and then essentially another week or two and now the big bears shot weigh closer to 450 lb. They have never allowed baiting here just honest to goodness hunting skill (and opportunistic luck during the combined deer bear seasons that were bolted on to that original 3-day season). If I drop food in my backyard a 450 lb plus bear will show up within a half hour. There is no hunting skill involved with that if I shot it. What upsets me more is that with the earlier three day season only seasoned and or true bear hunters would hunt and have a chance to collect a true trophy bear. Now the age structure of the bear has been regressed and more people shoot younger smaller bears. Further bolstering the revenue comment by the state the number of bears killed each year is gradually decreasing which is not surprising. Just like the Caribou in Eastern Canada. People should have been hunting one Caribou not two it was an economic issue. I remember talking to a few bear hunting guides in the Salmon River area of Idaho and they were bragging that they could bring in a 300-lb bear. Most true bear hunters here would enjoy seeing them but would never shoot them. Some things to think about! Most people are resistant to change but occasionally change is better. Would you like to have more opportunities to shoot a bigger bear?
 
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Alaska Luke

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CW the size issue is interesting. Our black bears are smaller but they seem to be everywhere. The limit is 3 a year but I don't get the impression many people get that many. My friends put most of their time/money into moose and caribou (more meat) or sheep and goats (more glamorous).

I'm no expert but I think shooting a lot of big males increases the survival rate for younger bears. So you might get more bears but smaller ones. Which is better? Honestly I've got bigger things to fight over.

Of course an alternative theory might be that your huge bears got smarter. I'm sure there are a few out there. I have a game camera picture of a massive grizzly on a bait. I never saw him personally and I don't believe anyone else shot one that size this year. Assuming a bear that big is at least 8 years old he's survived 4+years as a "shootable" bear. He must have got clever.
 

C.W. Richter

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I for one definitely enjoy hunting on foot huge mature bears with the white v on their chest with huge heads like black shaggy 4x8s lumbering through the thick wooded swamps. When I see the little ones I think they are cute and cuddly and I would never think about shooting them as they are quite Young. There is a difference between shooting a bear and hunting a huge bear. I say this to open the eyes of the hunters in Idaho for the future possibilities.. as you know it's a great hunting state enjoyed by many! I guess to clarify what I've said is that if hunters are forced to stop shooting the young bears on the bait they will have to work harder as the age structure advances upwards and those who work hard at hunting will have a greater chance of collecting a true trophy black bear as they will be in greater abundance. We pretty much had the same issue here in PA years back where there was no restriction on antler size of whitetail bucks. Now restrictions have been in place for years and the age structure has advanced upwards and there are many more bigger bucks available to hunters again baiting has never been allowed excepting a few overpopulated suburban areas with lots of vehicle collisions.
 

C.W. Richter

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Just to clarify I'm talking about black bear here there's much less cub depredation in Black Bear population as they are much more herbivore than carnivore but they are omnivore and will eat anything that's easily available but again much less aggressive than grizzlies browns or polar bear. I call them raccoons on steroids. If Idaho would manage its bears better they would also collect more revenue from trophy hunters willing to pay the price. At this juncture why travel there when there are 600 to 800 lb bears elsewhere?
 

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As with any MSM or media pushed by the government I would tend to not trust it. Here in PA they actually fired the top expert on bear wildlife Management Gary alt PhD some years ago. Under his tutelage the population grew from about 4500 to 7500 and then the higher-ups with the desire for greater revenues took over. When the PHD biologist did not fall in line with their orders he was quickly dispatched. Sad but true. As I live in the wilderness when there was a shorter bear season I'd have about 40 sightings per year nearly missed one by motorcycle and hit another 500 pounder by truck. Now that they've extended the season it's more like four sightings per year. I have no agenda other than seeing and truly hunting big black bear. Don't trust government to make the best decisions for private citizens. Make your voice known.
 

jeff

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Black beats here in Idaho are not geneticaly large like bears in some states. We have taken two that were 18 years old and both were under 200 lbs. There are always some exceptions. The heaviest bear we killed was only 8
 

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What's the average weight of a black bear killed in Idaho? What's the greatest weight of a black bear killed in Idaho each year? How many bears are killed in Idaho each year? Until those questions are answered I have nothing further to say. I can only say that where I live the season used to be 3 days long and during that season bears just under 900 lb would be shot. Then to generate more revenue for the state the season was opened for another week and then essentially another week or two and now the big bears shot weigh closer to 450 lb. They have never allowed baiting here just honest to goodness hunting skill (and opportunistic luck during the combined deer bear seasons that were bolted on to that original 3-day season). If I drop food in my backyard a 450 lb plus bear will show up within a half hour. There is no hunting skill involved with that if I shot it. What upsets me more is that with the earlier three day season only seasoned and or true bear hunters would hunt and have a chance to collect a true trophy bear. Now the age structure of the bear has been regressed and more people shoot younger smaller bears. Further bolstering the revenue comment by the state the number of bears killed each year is gradually decreasing which is not surprising. Just like the Caribou in Eastern Canada. People should have been hunting one Caribou not two it was an economic issue. I remember talking to a few bear hunting guides in the Salmon River area of Idaho and they were bragging that they could bring in a 300-lb bear. Most true bear hunters here would enjoy seeing them but would never shoot them. Some things to think about! Most people are resistant to change but occasionally change is better. Would you like to have more opportunities to shoot a bigger bear?
Your understanding of Idaho and Idaho bears is totally off base .
We don't have the same genetics in our bears as you do. Your bears would never survive here. Their to fat and blubbery to make it in such rough country. A friend of mine calls ours, racing bears. The two biggest units that this ban will affect are unit 10 and 12. There are others, but these to are the big ones. These units alone would come close to covering you state in area. I live less than 20 miles from both units and grew up here and guided in both also. Once you enter unit 10 you wont see private property for over 168 miles in one direction and only 2 roads. Our bears here are over populated and under hunted that's why the season is a total of 3 month and you can take 2 bears per year. Imagine your state with only 2 roads in it and they are dirt roads . Now to size. Our bears have a very long hibernation period in these units. The growing season will be only 5 months or less in most cases. A 300 pound bear in these units is normally 18 years old or older. We are a check station for Idaho fish and game and all bears in Idaho must be checked after you kill one. Some bears are 150 pounds and have no teeth left in their mouth. Old old bears. So size of the bear has absolutely nothing to do with age. Why would anyone want to hunt bears in Idaho ? 1 for the adventure. Not everyone is after that biggest giant in the woods. 2 our bears have a much older age class than yours and way more real-estate to roam therefore more fun.
I believe our bears to be much harder to take than yours. Spot and stalk kills in those units were only 17 bears out of a total kill of only 279 bears. Incidental bears were only 4. That last one means that several thousand elk hunters roaming these units only ran into 4 bears with 60 days of open season for hunting . The bears are there but seeing one next to impossible in this type country. Typical bait here will bring in over 20 bears most very young . There coming from somewhere.
The guide you said was bragging about a 300 lb bears had the rite to. The 300 lb bears here are double the age class of your bears (at least )and sounds like a 100 times harder to kill than your bears. Bait is the only way to reduce our bear population. Study's have showed bears kill almost 80 % of our elk calves. Now throw in Mt lions and the devastating wolves, elk in these areas are at an all time low of 8 % of what they were in the 90 'S.
To finish I have a bear on bait now for 3 years. He's over 400 lbs. My guess is he's pushing 30 years old. He doesn't come in in daylight hours he knows better. I've tried a little of everything to change his ways. No luck in backpacking thousands of pounds of bait on my back and setting for hundreds of hours hes still winning the game . If I ever connect with him he will be one of my hardest, most rewarding trophies in my life and I've taken a lot of elk ,sheep , goats ,deer ,moose caribou and 5 trips to Africa. So your bears must be dumb if you can throw bait behind your house and a bear shows in a half hour. Or your hunting dumpster bears in your area. I have way more info but this is getting long. The only reason to stop baiting because of grizzly in these units it to stop all hunting in national forests here. More grizz are mistakenly or purposely killed here by general hunters hunting other species and not by bait. Baiting's just a good place to start because it divides hunters. Hope this gives some real incite into Idaho bears.
 

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You raise an interesting point re: bear having to live in/climb mountainous areas. While i live in a mountainous area (w/ 600-<900 lb'ers around), it's only 1,600ish elevation and on a plateau with thick, wooded swamps (it's an easy walk for big bear-also plenty of rain/abundant water so the natural ground cover is blueberry and many other natural foods all spring/summer/fall long.) In the higher mountains to the north, the "big" ones are typ in the 450-600 lb range (but with some exceptions of course.) They still have great chow, but have to work harder to live. Just roughing it, we have about 10,000 bears (primarily in the top 2/3 of the state, so lets say in 30,000,000 sq mi.) I know most of ID is rural (and it's 80,000,000 sq mi.) What's the estimated population? Is the density lower due to somewhat poorer chow in the mountainous areas? (making the baiting attractive there) Although they exist in the lower elevation farm country here, the densities are much lower in those areas relative to the mountains. Plenty of closeby Canadian provinces allow baiting and they have somewhat smaller (450'ish) bear in thick wooded swamps with a much shorter warm season. It's an industry there (just like the one that got caribou hunting shut down.) :(
 

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As a P&y measurer I have kept track of bear ages and it on average takes a bear a minimum of 8 years to squeeze it to the record book. By the time a bear is 8 he has had a lot of life experience and is hard to fool on a bait to get him to come in daylight hours.
 

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Just remember that the anti hunting thing is also a part of the larger anti gun thing.
They definitely go hand in hand.

The banning of lead ammunition for hunting statewide and the imposition of background checks on any ammunition purchases in California are widely viewed as a way to push casual hunters and gun owners out of the sport.

This, of course, benefits both agendas.
 

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You raise an interesting point re: bear having to live in/climb mountainous areas. While i live in a mountainous area (w/ 600-<900 lb'ers around), it's only 1,600ish elevation and on a plateau with thick, wooded swamps (it's an easy walk for big bear-also plenty of rain/abundant water so the natural ground cover is blueberry and many other natural foods all spring/summer/fall long.) In the higher mountains to the north, the "big" ones are typ in the 450-600 lb range (but with some exceptions of course.) They still have great chow, but have to work harder to live. Just roughing it, we have about 10,000 bears (primarily in the top 2/3 of the state, so lets say in 30,000,000 sq mi.) I know most of ID is rural (and it's 80,000,000 sq mi.) What's the estimated population? Is the density lower due to somewhat poorer chow in the mountainous areas? (making the baiting attractive there) Although they exist in the lower elevation farm country here, the densities are much lower in those areas relative to the mountains. Plenty of closeby Canadian provinces allow baiting and they have somewhat smaller (450'ish) bear in thick wooded swamps with a much shorter warm season. It's an industry there (just like the one that got caribou hunting shut down.) :(
In the areas that they want to close have very high bear density's. Probably more that 10,000 bears in 2 units, their impossible to count here . The country doesn't lend it self to seeing or hunting bears its to brushy and thick and way to big . Some of our canyons here if you can shoot a bear across it say 4 or 5 hundred yards, it may take better that 5 hours to hike to your kill. Its vast country with canyons that are deep and rugged and layered with down falls. That's why the baiting is so important. Places that are more open like Hells Canyon you can spot and stalk bear efficiently. But remember Hells canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon, so you will pay the price to hunt there.
 

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