MYTHS VS. FACTS
Taking Aim At Bear Hunting Claims and Separating Fact From Fiction
Hunting is an effective tool for keeping bear populations in check.
Bears possess a unique ability known as delayed implantation, which is nature’s way of keeping bear populations in check. When bears have an abundant food supply, more bears will be born. When food is scarce, female bears will not reproduce every two years but instead every 3-4 years. Hunting can inadvertently increase populations by leaving the surviving bears with more food. This phenomenon is known as compensatory reproduction, which causes the surviving bears to have an increased number of young. Compensatory reproduction is a documented fact known to hunters and causes drastic population fluctuations and instability.
Conservation is needed to protect and preserve America’s wildlife, lands, and natural resources.
Wildlife conservation was created for hunters by hunters, with the intention of promoting and protecting wildlife and land for human consumption. Conservation safeguards target animals and sustains these animals for future hunting opportunities. Hunting has been responsible for the extinction and the near extinction of several species of animals.
Hunting is ecologically necessary.
The U.S. Government's abuse of funds to cater to hunters harms ecosystems and abandons the public trust in the process. Many Wildlife Agencies are designed to work on behalf of Ranchers and Hunters. Predatory animals such as bears and wolves are targeted to eliminate threats to livestock and game animals. Hunting kills ecologically critical animals and does not serve to create an ecological balance; it serves to benefit hunters and ranchers.
Hunters are responsible for generating the most revenue to wildlife agencies.
In the past, this might have been true. However, today less than 5% of US citizens hunt. In comparison, the number of non-hunting outdoor enthusiasts is steadily rising. The results of a 5-year survey conducted by FWS and released in 2011 found that hunters invested 33.7 billion dollars into hunting, while wildlife watchers alone generated 54.9 billion. The decline in hunter generated revenue led to the Pitman-Robertson Act, which ties wildlife agencies to the firearms industry. The P-R Act allows for the misappropriation of funds. Hunters do not make up the majority of gun owners and people who purchase guns are often unknowingly supporting hunting.
If you see bears in your neighborhood, that means they are overpopulating.
Forests are being cleared to make way for the ever-growing human population. Housing, shopping centers, and roadways are responsible for the loss of vital wildlife habitat. We often don’t consider the effect this has on wildlife such as bears. Land development combined with bear attractants that are introduced in residential areas such as, unsecured garbage is most likely the cause of increased bear-human conflicts, not overpopulation.
Most hunters hunt to provide food for their family at little to no cost.
When you consider the total cost of hunting which includes some of the following; weapons, ammunition, licenses, transport vehicles, and gear it is evident that hunting is not cost-effective. Hunters despite hunting for "food" still shop at grocery stores, eat at restaurants, and visit the drive-thru of fast food chains. Most hunters are not killing for sustenance; they are killing for pleasure.
Killing bears will make them fear humans.
There is little to no evidence that supports the theory that bears become cautious of hunting, or that hunting bears, makes people any safer. Besides, this philosophy denies logic, how can a dead bear learn to fear humans?