Washington State Bear Hunt Cancelled 2022

By FarWide December 13, 2021
Black Bear
Bill Pennell – Unsplash

As an American, I proudly support the freedom of speech. But unjustified, emotionally based, closures such as this are a cause for concern among hunters everywhere. It seems sometimes the loudest voices are those with the most emotional attachment to the cause and not the ones that make decisions based on fact and biological recommendations.

Washington State Wildlife Commission

Washington state wildlife commission has tided in a vote over the spring bear hunting. The vote of 4-4 has led to the cancellation of the 2022 spring black bear hunt. This after the hunt was still recommended by WDFW (Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife), and backed by biologists.

It seems like being a hunter has become work, and not just to find and harvest an animal. But because getting the tag for hunts has become more difficult or more expensive. I am proud to be a hunter and actually work for the meat I bring home. Not to mention it’s also much better quality than the stuff that comes on plastic or styrofoam.

Why Was There A Tie…

So wait, in order to have the spring bear hunt, there must be a majority vote in favor of the hunt?

That is exactly right and to keep from having a tie there are supposed to be 9 members on the commission board, yet one chair has remained empty. As stated in this Outdoor Life article “By law, the game commission is to have three representatives from eastern Washington, three from western Washington and three at-large commissioners.” and of course the seat that remains empty should belong to an eastern Washington State member.

Reason For Canceling Hunt

The reason for the spring bear hunt to be canceled is because they claim that bears are too lethargic when emerging from their dens come springtime. Sure the data does indeed say that bears are lethargic when they emerge from hibernation, but as any hunter knows, you still have to find a bear.

It is still hunting. You still have to put in the work. There is no guarantee that you will get a bear just because it’s springtime. Not to mention that only about 5%-10% of the tags are given during spring.

Another reason they claim the spring bear hunt is unethical is that sows give birth or are pregnant during spring. But to shoot a sow with cubs from a hunting standpoint is already a very unethical decision. Not to mention that in some states that is an illegal act in itself. Also one of the main killers of cubs is in fact boars themself. So by killing a boar in the spring you could actually save cubs? Now that’s a great question.

Unfortunate Outcome

So for the 2022 spring bear hunt, it seems that the cards are already on the table. Don’t let this become a common occurrence with these hunts and what could become of other hunts. Voting for the 2023 spring season will again happen in the fall of 2022, and this is a time for hunters to voice their opinion on the subject.

Bear over populations can become an issue with these types of decisions. In turn that can lead to higher predation rates for animals such as elk and deer. With over populations bears can encroch on communities, leading to more bear human altercations aswell.

Other Solutions

Instead of canceling hunts altogether, it seems that other regulations could be put in place to try and protect the concerns of all parties. For example having greater repercussions for harvesting a sow with cubs, such as Oregon or Idaho. Or limit the number of tags that are given out for a specific unit even more than that already are. This would in turn allow more studies to be completed and have more information on the impact these hunts are having on the black bear population if any.

It seems just canceling a hunt is the least constructive way to achieve much of anything other than the agenda of one side of the argument.




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Todd A Harkness April 21, 2022 02:47:09 AM
As usual Washington state department of fish&game has not backed the sportsman, mismanaged are natural resources, and ask for more money, are game animals as well as are fisheries shows it, no fish no quality game numbers or quality game to be taken for the average sportsman, very limited.And there have to deal the new hunter with his 6.5 try to take game from some crazy distance, the true woodsman stalking the woodlands is gone, they done no there game half the time from a bore to a sow at first glance. Stay home , most of the hunters are not from here and don't no game animals, or don't respect them. So are calves and fawns stuff from are choices, bears thrive and so do cats, started with the loss of hound hunting and non baiting, alot more adult predators, most have no idea of how many new fawns your average 200 pound bear eat a day, not long ago I opened up a bear to find over nine of them .
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Bob Varden March 14, 2022 11:36:07 PM
Whether bear hunting is upheld or cancelled is not the issue for me. The issue centers about spring hunting, when females emerge from hibernation with cubs. Anyone who can in good conscience, kill a female, leaving her cubs to wander aimlessly until they either starve to death, die from exposure to the elements, or are killed by predators (most likely coyotes), is not a decent person, rather a sociopath.
Anthony Snider December 18, 2021 02:40:17 PM
This doesn’t surprise me and shouldn’t anyone else. Washington has been ruled by left ideology for decades. And the fact that they don’t feel required to follow the rules of governing, well that seems to be the standard method of operation these days. As long we sportsmen and women stand by and allow them to take away our heritage then we deserve our fates. We have plenty of opportunity to make a difference by getting involved in our local community and letting state legislatures know how you feel about issues important to you. Our own complacency has led us down this path and until it’s important enough to us to stand and be heard we will continue to lose our rights and freedoms to hunt and spend time enjoying the lifestyle and heritage that has been the main source of conservation and survival of the wildlife in our country.
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