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California bear-hunting season closes with quota met

A black bear sits in a tree.

California's black-bear-hunting season came to a close Wednesday when the annual hunt quota of 1,700 adult bears was met.

The season began in late summer and closes on either the last Sunday in December or when the quota is reached.

According to the California Department of Fish and Game, data indicate that the state's bear population has increased in recent years, and that the animals are being observed in areas where they were not seen 50 years ago along the Central Coast and some mountain ranges of Southern California.

The department maintains that bear hunting, like deer hunting, is a necessary management tool and that its annual quota does not jeopardize an estimated state population of 25,000 to 30,000 animals.

Not surprisingly, wildlife protection groups such as Big Wildlife continue to denounce the hunt.

"It is terribly sad that more than 1,700 bears lost their lives in California simply for 'sport,'" Brian Vincent, communications director with Big Wildlife, told Outposts. "There is nothing sporting about chasing down bears with packs of dogs, running the terrified animal up a tree and blowing the bear away so some hunter can have a throw rug in front of the fireplace."

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: A black bear. Credit: Michael Seraphin / Colorado Division of Wildlife

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Comments (13)

Nice picture of a FAKE Black bear. Nice try Seraphin but you can't fool me!!

Yes it's true, they are "cute and cuddly"(not so sure I want to cuddle one though). However have any of you anti hunting activists ever heard of conservation? If no one hunted bears or any other animals for that matter there would be even more that starve to death than harvested. Not only would there not be enough food but there is also disease that would spread due to over crowding. Hunting fees go to the study of wild life, their habitats, life and death. The amount harvested is controlled by the government directly from these studies.There is a balance maintained by this. So you are welcome for our services . Oh, when that bear is chewing on your leg or your kid I bet you won't think it is so "cuddly" anymore.

I'm not a hunter, but I have no problem with bear hunting. Much of today's human-wildlife problems are a direct result of such wildlife losing what used to be a healthy fear of humans who would hunt them.

Take for instance Yosemite, where the black bears have no fear of being hunted and will often break into cars for unnatural food sources. Sometimes park rangers will fire rubber bullets or paintballs at them, but that's nothing compared to actually putting them down. Compare that to other places with black bears where I've camped. In one place (the Olympic Peninsula coast) I was informed that because there is a legal hunt in the nearby national forest land, the bears tend to avoid people and one could just store the food inside one's car in plain sight.

By the way - the source of the bearskin hats worn by the Queen's Guards are American black bear.

I've personally seen black bears with no physical barrier keeping them from approaching me if so inclined. I personally never sensed any danger, although I was always cautious.

Yes, far, far in the future, the Eloi will contentedly chew the tofu cakes that are provided for them, contemplating what brutes we used to be, and how everything is now as it should be.
And then the sirens will sound...................
Do you have any idea the environmental holocaust that is going on right now, bringing water south, so that you can swim in L.A.?
And EVERY time you flush your toilet in Los Angeles, another fish dies, both upstream in the Delta, and in the ocean at the outfall.

such a sad time to be living in. makes me ashamed to be a human. when our society becomes intelligent enough to realize that it is wrong to kill animals for any reason, people will look back at the avant garde animal rights activists of the 20/21st century as heros for a moral cause that makes absolute and perfect sense. remember when it was legal to own a negro? this country/world as a lot of evolution left to go.

I can talk. Don't shoot me.

Bears are cute and cuddly?
City dwellers get everything they know about wildlife from Disney and TV.
Cartoon bears are cute, but you do know that bears can't really talk, right?
Beef pot roast isn't everybody's cup of tea, but who are we to say what is tasty and what isn't?
I use the example of hunters gifting their meat only to illustrate that waste is illegal.
I occasionally donate the contents of my freezer to a local homeless shelter, they never complain.
Los Angeles residents, remember that every time you flush your toilet, a fish dies.
Less than 150 years ago, the abundance and variety of wildlife in the Los Angeles basin was among the world's finest.
Blacktop is the true killer.

J.R. Absher:
Yah you're right. He does look like my uncle. hahahaha. But seriously, I used to hunt pheasant, quails and rabbits, but bears... I don't know. Never cross my mind, hey I want bear meat tonight. I don't think I would hunt bears, they are just too damm cute and cuddly. It would be like killing poo bear or gentle ben.

I say if you kill it, you have to eat it. Don't kill the bear and give it away. When I go hunting or fishing I always eat my kill.

Anti hunters are the picture of hypocracy and ignorance.
Bears are indeed food, bear meat looks and tastes the same as beef pot roast, and the same recipes work great.
It is in fact highly illegal to allow the meat to be wasted, and the few bear hunters who do not eat it themselves take great pains to get it to someone who does.
There are more black bears in California than at any time in history.
Most likely the "antis" believe that the meat at Ralphs dives under the plastic on its own, and probably try not to think about the fact that just by living in the great environmental disaster that is the city of Los Angeles, they are contributing to one of the largest land AND sea kill-offs in history.

Good grief. Could you have found a more anthropomorphic black bear photo to illustrate this piece? I don't think so.

What's the animal/human compassion ratio at nowadays? Brown(not tanned) skinned humans, I mean.

I know minke whales are more important than Iraqi or Afghani civilians by about 4/1, based on the number of posts made on any given Captain Kangaroo Watson article versus a car bomb exploding in Kabul. Deer and bear seem to be worth more than minorities in L.A. by a fairly wide margin, as well. Was just wondering what the going rate was??

Rich, tell your nonsense about hunting to the frightened bear being pursued by a pack of radio-collared hounds. And tell the cubs, who sometimes get ripped apart by dogs or are left orphaned, that hunting bears is some "holy pact." This isn't about killing "game" for food. Bear hunting is a blood "sport" where men, insecure in their manhood, have fun by chasing and murdering bears for trophy. There is nothing holy about it.

BTW, some dogs live to fight too. Bet you don't approve of Michael Vick's dog fighting ring, though, do ya?

It's a shame Outposts only mentions hunting in order to provide a bandstand for animal rights/anti-hunters. Yet the fellow from "Big Wildlife" is right -- hunting with dogs is not sport, it's seminal. Dogs live to hunt, it's in their being. The partnership we made with dogs ages ago to track down and kill game for food is an ancient, almost holy, pact.


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About the Bloggers
Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.