STATE BY STATE
Hunting Methods Fair Chase - No Hounding
Bear Hunting In West Virginia
The State of West Virginia has allowed the hunting of Black Bears for decades. In the last five years alone, the reported harvest of bears during the hunting season has been 14,407 total. Now, with the proposal of State Bill 416, West Virginia wants to legalize the baiting and killing of Bears on one's private property.
Baiting for bears is illegal in many States, and for a good reason. Because the bait used for bears ranges past just corn and grains and also includes grease and sugary foods and candies, any spoiled bait can be toxic or even fatal to many different animal species, including bears. It can aid in the spread of disease, such as rabies, and of parasites between animals. Conclusively, bear baiting can lead to orphaned cubs who won't stand a chance without their mother.
Ironically, in 2018, West Virginia saw a huge depletion in White Oak acorn production, which is a large part of a bears Fall diet before hibernation. These bears are hungry as it is, scouting for any food source. Baiting and the luring of bears onto private property will potentially cause them to better associate humans as being a source for food. That may mislead more bears to more homes in search for food, resulting in an uproar of human/bear interaction or conflict, putting more bears at risk of being killed.
Together, we must stand up and keep this from becoming legal. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and members of the Senate think this is the way to control "nuisance bears" but it will only result in the exact opposite. If this bill gets passed, the lives of hundreds to thousands of more bears are at risk. Let the State of West Virginia know you are against SB 416.