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Hunters Kill 1,337 Black Bears


There are eight species of bear and six are vulnerable or endangered. All are at risk of extinction in some countries.
Bear is rarely hunted for meat or fur but rather for "sport" or trophy value.
A hunter may prefer to use a large bullet that will break the bear's shoulder and continue through the vital organs, leaving an exit wound large enough to leave a blood trail to assist locating the downed animal. The expression "loaded for bear" is no exaggeration.
Many animals suffer prolonged, painful deaths when they are injured by hunters. Many hunters often spend hours tracking the blood trails of animals before finding them. Many are never found by hunters.
Aware and living in a state of fear,
bears, in areas where they are
hunted frequently, move only at
Asian markets place a high value on the medicinal properties of bear gallbladder and the taste of bear paw. Since many Asian bear species are imperiled, the market now depends on Russian, Canadian, and American bears. The high price paid for gallbladders and bear paws provides incentive for hunters to kill bears. Cubs are worth as much as adult bears. Many bears are poached as a result.
Hunters tend to favor calibers large enough to inflict as much tissue and bone damage as possible, since bears can withstand a number or direct shots to the limbs or torso. To successfully kill a bear, one may have to shoot it several times, so as to leave wounds that will cause the bear to hemorrhage to death quickly.
The best meat apparently comes from young bears which eat more berries than fish.
People have been killed while unloading their guns into a bear which keeps coming at them.
Even when overpopulation occurs, is with a camera. and starvation and disease occur, these are nature's ways of ensuring that healthy, strong animals survive and maintain the strength level of the group.
Black bears can be legally hunted in 27 U.S. states. Many of these states allow spring hunts, baiting, hounding, and the selling and trade of bear parts. It is estimated that between 40,000 to 50,000 bears are legally hunted in the U.S. each year. Many more are poached.
Hounding involves using dogs to chase and tree bears to provide hunters with easy targets. Hounding often separates mothers from their cubs, leaving the young orphaned or caught and devoured by the dogs.
Some say the best way to shoot a bear is with a camera.
The balance of ecosystems ensures survival. Natural predators help maintain this balance by killing the sickest and weakest individuals. Hunters, however, kill any animal including large, healthy animals who are needed to keep the population strong. Elephant poaching is believed to have increased the number of tuskless animals in Africa, and in Canada, hunting has caused bighorn sheep's horn size to fall by 25 percent in the last 40 years.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that New York hunters killed 1,337 black bears during the 2012 hunting seasons, making last year the third highest bear "harvest" on record in New York.

According to DEC Commissioner Joe Martens, only the 2003 harvest, with 1,864 bears taken, and 2009 harvest with 1,487 surpassed last year's take.

"New York has excellent bear habitat and vast, accessible public lands that offer exciting opportunities for bear hunting," said Martens. "Black bears are thriving in New York, and they represent a great resource for all New Yorkers."

Hunters found greatest success during the early season, because, after a summer of low natural food availability, with a general lack of soft and hard mast like apples, acorns and beechnuts, bears were moving in search of food and were closer to human food sources.

Hungry bears found feeding in cornfields were easy targets for hunters.

Since 2005, DEC has expanded the area open to bear hunting in Southeastern and Central-Western New York and increased season length, more closely aligning bear seasons with deer seasons, affording hunters out for deer to kill a bear.

These actions were implemented to reduce bear population growth and range expansion and increase hunting fees for the state.




Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

Apr03, 2013