Washington State Bear Hunt Cancelled 2022
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.
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.
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.