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Grizzly bear killed by hunters in front of 'disgusted' wildlife watchers in Alaska

A grizzly bear fishes in the Kenai River before being shot and killed by hunters. Hunters in Alaska appear to have exercised extremely poor judgment by shooting and killing a grizzly bear alongside Alaska's Kenai River in full view of wildlife watchers.

A lengthy account of the incident was posted today on the Redoubt Reporter website.

According to an eyewitness, about a dozen people were watching the bear swimming and fishing from various points on Sterling Highway.

After a while, two men got out of a car wearing  camouflage clothing and carrying rifles. They proceeded toward the bear.

Pamela Locke told the Redoubt Reporter: "The lady walking with me stopped them and said, ‘You’re not going to shoot that bear, are you?’ They were kind of smiling and laughing and said, ‘Yeah, we are, if it crosses the highway.’ And she said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.'"

Locke said the men shot the bear after it had crossed the highway, into legal hunting territory, as it was fleeing up a hillside. Hunting from or even close to highways is illegal, and the case is under investigation.

Larry Lewis, a wildlife technician with the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, said it is not illegal to shoot in front of other people, but he implied this seems to have been a clear violation of hunter ethics.

“In our hunter education program and in our general dealings with hunters, we try to discourage people from taking game in a manner that can disturb others,” said Lewis, who is also president of the Kenai Peninsula Chapter of Safari Club International.

Said Locke: “I’m just disgusted at the whole situation. My family supports ethical hunting, but this is anything but sportsmanlike. And any decent hunter knows if you don’t have a clean shot, you don’t shoot. It took at least five shots to put it down, aiming up the hill while it was running away."

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: A grizzly bear fishes in the Kenai River before being shot and killed by hunters. Credit: Pamela Locke

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Comments (27)

Bear meat tastes very good and is quite nutritious. Be sure to cook it well as bears carry trichinosis.

I have a couple things to say here. First off it wasn't even a grizzly bear. It was a brown bear. Second they are not a rare animal and are not struggling to survive. Hunting is part of Alaska, if you don't like it or can't accept it then don't watch it! For the last three years there has been 40 plus brown bears shot in defense of life and property every summer on the peninsula. (that's 120+ bears) There is still way too many! Why? you ask They are over populated on the peninsula, due to our cowardly fish and game department and poor game management. Look what happen in unit 16, save the wolves! Now due to that there is no moose left in the whole area, fish and game has had to issue emergency orders to control the predator population and try to restore the moose population.Brown bears have killed and mauled several people and attempted to do it to lots of others. Not just hunters either, joggers, people walking there dogs ext.. They have also cut are local moose population in half!! In Alaska it is NOT illegal to shoot near a highway or road. However you may not shoot on, from, across, or towards the drivable surface of a road. The only thing these men did wrong is there poor marksmanship. If you don't have a safe clean shot, don't take it! If I had one of the FEW tags given out, I would have shot that bear in a heart beat! In regards to P-CAT's comment keep your nose out of stuff you know nothing about!! Jay M and Dave M thanks for the support SSS boys! Now for kfgflynn I wish there was as many bears in San Diego as there is on the Peninsula, maybe there would be fewer people like you. Let me guess you think Mountain lions are endangered also? Hey Johnie White if you try to yell and scream in front of me while I'm hunting, there will be a tragic accident! You know nothing about Alaska, hunting, bears, and obviously have no common sense so do the world a favor and keep your trap shut!

The tobacco companies said the same thing when we pulled them out of funding big events in Canada. And yet, the events went on. No, if hunters didn't fund conservation, the rest of us still would. And I'm sure, since they're only keeping them around to shoot them, the wildlife would probably prefer they didn't anyway. I'm sure tobacco companies fund cancer research too.

Here is some info. on the economy of Alaska:

(from http://www.associatedcontent.com/):
"149,000 hunters and anglers in the state of Alaska spent an average of $1.8 million per day for a total of $662 million...The sports of hunting and fishing were responsible for 10,000 jobs in 2006 with salaries and wages totally $299 million. These hunters and anglers were also responsible for paying $65 million in federal taxes, $71 million in state and income taxes. This leads to a ripple effect of $962 million."

note that this is a lot, even though it is hunting and fishing combined. on the other hand,

"The state of Alaska had 496,000 wildlife watchers, 16 years old and older, in 2006. With 496,000 participants in this hobby, Alaska ranked 43rd in the nation. These 496,000 individuals spent $581 million in retail sales, $90.4 million in state and local taxes and $73.9 million in federal taxes as well as a total multiplier effect of $979 million. There were also 7,677 jobs and $498 million paid in salaries, wages and business owner income related to wildlife watchers."

Sorry I couldn't find anything more recent than 2006, and I'm assuming your taxes pay for wildlife conservation...but I wasn't about to spend all night on it.

Thanks, btw, for helping me exercise my research skills. Every time you make a claim, I look it up to see if you may be right. You should try it.

And I'm not "holding my nose" at hunters. Just at people who justify doing wrong by making claims they can't support.

Everytime I hear a story like this, a burning feeling of misanthropy swells up in me. The human is beyond redemption now. Hunting is the most disgusting thing in the world and I can only wish a similar end to every hunter who kills innocent animals.

Robin, a couple of things to clear up.
First about the original story, I have confidence that Alaska law-enforcement will sort it out and deal with it appropriately. They always are no-nonsense people, and it is unlikely that we heard the entire story here. Bust those guys down hard if they deserve it.
Next, the salmon issue IS my area of expertise, but we don't have time for that issue here.
However, I deal with "scientists" all the time who are biased and propagandists, along with more than a few people who view various things as "sacred".
You also are clearly "holding your nose" about hunters with sniping little remarks after you self-righteously said you would not insult me.
It's your right to feel that way, again stop pretending.
Robin, know this, if it weren't for hunters, there would be virtually no game left in North America.
Hunters conceived and PAID FOR just about all conservation as we know it today.

Actually, you're wrong, Bear. I have been camping in the Canadian wilderness since I was a baby, and yes, I have seen Bears and tons of other wildlife, right up close. I don't know what that has to do with anything. Also, I support ETHICAL hunting for those who enjoy it.

The articles I have quoted are from many different sources, including the Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun, Global TV, the UK Observer, and even the government of Canada; and not made up by Pacific Wild! I don't just get my information from one source and take their word for it. And nowhere on their site does it claim that hunting is the cause of the problem either. It was very clear to me that they believe the low salmon stock is the main cause in the Great Bear Rainforest. They just want the hunting to stop in that particular area until they know for sure how many bears there are, and WHY there is one bear this year in areas where there are usually 40. Did YOU read any of it?

The governments do not like to spend money or lose money, so they don't like to put an animal on the endangered list or stop hunting until the numbers are proven to be shockingly low, which also costs money to prove. I suppose you think they're lying too, about there being no bears in the prairies anymore?

There is not some kind of conspiracy going on against hunting. The people at Pacific Wild are scientists, not hippy protesters. They actually live in the wild and study wildlife all day, every day. They are biased, yes. But certainly not propagandists. It's a pretty convenient way to dismiss them, though, saying their lying. Reminds me of certain other groups who claim the holocaust never happened, or global warming is a myth. LOL

You can't have an intelligent argument if when I give evidence to my point, you simply say yeah well, they're lying. Go ahead and keep your head in the sand if you want to. Have fun shootin stuff.

Robin, did you even actually read PacificWild's website and mission?
They are unashamedly anti-hunting, it's right out there in front.
It is certainly their right to believe what they do, but don't try to pretend it is anything else.
There are many such groups in the US as well, they create an umbrella that brings in Vegans, animal-rights activists, exclusionsists, old hippies, you name it, but they are galvanized by an anti-hunting/anti-gun stance.
The easy way to spot them is when they disparage hunting groups that do real good for the environment, habitat, forage, pollution, etc. , and will lie about anything to get hunts stopped.
Again, it's their right to believe it, until they interfere with legal hunting by stopping with any means necessary, blaming hunters for population declines, and ignoring the real causes; usually themselves or their own ancestors.
I wasn't insulting you, just identifying you, and by your response I was spot on.
If you live in Canada, there's no excuse for not getting out in the wild.
I don't mean a zoo, or a national park, or an RV caravan; The WILD.
You might learn something.

Thanks for enlightening me, "Bear", I'll be sure to let Pacific Wild and other like organisations know that they are just wasting their time worrying about the "imaginary" declining grizzly population. They must be in on it with those "radical vegans" you talked about, with their "agenda" to spoil the hunter's fun. LOL

You sure jump to a lot of conclusions. I never actually condemned hunting. Nor did I claim that legal hunting is the CAUSE of the problem. Obviously not! I just don't think BEARS should be hunted, because they ARE disappearing, whether they are currently designated "endangered" status or not. This is based on the findings of the actual scientists who study them. Also see Environment Canada: http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca/search/advSearchResults_e.cfm?stype=species&lng=e&advkeywords=&op=1&locid=0&taxid=6&desid=0&schid=0&
where they are classified by COSEWIC as extinct in the prairies, and of "special concern" in all other areas of Canada. Note that the government won't do a new count until AFTER the fall hunt, despite scientists' concerns.

In my opinion, bears are sacred and beautiful and should not be slaughtered, besides the FACT that they are in constant decline. You can have your own opinion, and I won't feel the need to throw insults at you or discredit you(I assume that's what you were trying to do by calling me a radical animal rights vegan with an anti-gun stance??).

I have to agree with you about California though. Yuck!

Sorry Robin, you are dead wrong.
To quote CBC News: "Grizzlies are NOT 'endangered', or even 'threatened' in Canada".
There are some concerns about "Genetically Isolated" groups of bears that are cut off from the main population, why?, because of large cities, and YOUR home being built, and farms to grow YOUR food.
You Canadians don't have an environmental abomination like L.A. YET.
Yes, some bears are in trouble around the world, but NONE of those populations got that way because of legal hunting.
Nope, you are simply condemning hunting because you think it's "Not nice", and are either a radical animal-rights Vegan, or pretend the meat in Safeway magically dives under the plastic on it's own in the store's back room.
Also, from your response, I should add that another obvious part of your Agenda is an anti-gun stance.
And Alaska is not over-run with bears, it just has a healthy, well-managed population.
Have you ever even seen a bear in the wild?

Oh, and hunting by a highway ISN'T legal, Dave. It says so in the article. So Johnnie would not have been "interfering with a legal hunt".

1. I don't live in LA. I live in Canada, where there is absolutely a MAJOR issue with grizzly populations. http://www.pacificwild.org/site/press/1252587877.html
Bears are endangered in the WORLD. Which is, by the way, bigger than Alaska. Bigger, even, than the USA.

2. I'm not "hiding behind" anything. I'm standing for something. If I was gonna hide behind something, it wouldn't be an "agenda". It would be something more deadly, like say...a gun.

3. If you don't want grizzlies in your backyard, why do you live in Alaska? It's apparently overrun with bears!!

I will repeat, Robin, Grizzly Bears are NOT endangered, NOT threatened, or even listed as a species of concern in Alaska.
There is no issue whatsoever with their population in Alaska and most of Canada, where hunting is carefully controlled.
Only in the lower 48 states , where they are [rightfully] listed as "threatened".
Those who claim there is a bear population issue in Alaska are hiding behind an anti-hunting, animal rights agenda.
L.A. and California residents should face up to it, virtually ALL of the destruction of grizzly habitat and the grizzlies themselves was to create YOUR home, and farms to grow YOUR food.
Face it, the grizzly situation in the lower 48 is YOUR fault, not that of hunters.

Shooting a bear at all is in bad taste. They are an endangered species and a majestic animal and should not be hunted EVER.

The problem Lisa, is NOT too many people in Alaska, with only 679,000 in a state 3 times larger than California.
Legal hunting is closely controlled, populations monitored.
Waste of the meat is strictly illegal, and the meat is indeed used for food.
Bear meat tastes and looks like beef pot roast, and the same recipes work fine.
And for the Einstein Flynn who said that Grizzlies only occupy 5-percent of historic habitat, that's in the CONTINENTAL United States, NOT Canada or Alaska, with the largest portion of lost territory in CALIFORNIA!
The problem is all the people who procreated up to the staggering total of 35 million in a state only a third the size of Alaska.
There are thousands of square miles of prime grizzly habitat all over California, the problem is that it's under concrete and blacktop.
It's time that LA residents faced up to the great environmental disaster they live in and get out, or keep their mouths shut.

What there is too many of in Alaska Jay, is people. You are encroaching on THEIR space, not the other way around. Do the bears a favor and don't procreate. oh that means have kids.

Ethics definitely in Question

I hope I get the chance to drop a big game animal in front of a tourists. All u bunny huggers need to get over it

True, grizzly bears were extremely common in the LOS ANGELES BASIN through the middle of the 19th century.
They were killed off the create the environmental abomination that is the city of Los Angeles.
Those LA residents who think that because they recycle their bottles and cans that they are "environmentalists", PUH-LEASE.
Just by living there you are contributing to the continued catastrophe, probably the largest in the nation.
Move those 20 million people out, restore the habitat, restore the grizzlies and other species to their natural and rightful range, or SHUT UP.
Oh, and quit hiring "hit men" to kill your meat for you and put it under plastic on the shelf at Ralph's.
Alaska has tight controls on everything, even their Highway Patrol officers are also game wardens. Legally taking bears there does not harm the population in the least.

KFGFLYNN Do you even know what you are talking about!!! For One thing they had a permit to hunt this area and it was a LEGAL area!!! LOOK UP THOSE NUMBERS!!! We live in an area there are times you walk out your back door with your children and there are bears on your back porch!!! MOST people in alaska wouldn't just sit back and say WHAT WOULD PETA do they would shoot the bear... Can't wait for you to come to Alaska and meet face to face with a bear would love to see your reaction!!!!!

Now you can see why animals are going extinct: hunters with NO ETHICS. Like previous posters Jay M and Dave M.

First, grizzly bears now occupy about 5% of their historic range. These ignorant posters can't see beyond their own Alaskan back yards to see that in the big picture, they ARE endangered. Up until a century ago, we used to have grizzly bears all the way down here in San Diego. Thanks to people with attitudes just like theirs, they're gone now.

These posters are members of the Culture of Death. They have no regard for life beyond their own species.

Are you people serious. I have only one thing to say to the guys who shot the bear. NICE SHOOTING BOYS. Im glad these guys got a bear. To bad the bunny huggers think this is bad. They had a permit for hunting this area. Hope more hunters can shoot more of them before winter hits.

From one Alaskan hunter to another. Keep hunting. We have too many bears in the area right now anyway, lets thin 'em out.

Are you people for real? What a bunch of out of touch pinheads. You know nothing about Alaska or bears. Grizzly bears are not a rare animal. Hey little Johnnie White, you do realize that interfering with a legal hunt is illegal don't you? Probably not I guess.

What a jerk! The bear was doing nothing to hurt anyone. The sight seers were enjoying watching the bear. I wonder if they went home and told everyone how they shot the big bad bear!!! What heroes, gag me! How stupid to shot gun that close to sightseers It could have been a tragic accident, not if the bear had kill the idiot, but one of the innocent people. If I had been that woman I would have started screaming at the top of my lungs and they would have had a fight on their hands. They couldn't have shot the bear they may have shot me, but I would have been fighting with them to keep them from shooting the bear... I might have known the safari Club , sure they do,. Sure says alot about coming to Alaska for wildlife watching. What next how to shoot from a plane, gosh you'll really do your state a deserves

Why would anyone go visit a state to see rare wildlife if the ignorant redneck population is allowed to shoot them? Grizzly bears have struggled to come back from the slaughter of the 19th and 20th centuries and they kill them for fun?

Besides, I was taught that you don't ever hunt anything you aren't going to eat. So why are they hunting such a rare animal at all?

Hey, LA Times. Did you really approve GMED's comment about shooting Palin? Wow,, how professional.



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