Individual species should and must be managed for the good of the species and the habitat it depends. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources estimates; most recent data indicates the bear population is currently estimated to be just under 29,000 bears. DNR manages bear population size through regulated hunting. In the end, black bears are managed for economic gain through hunting.
Watch the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources promotional video about hunting Black Bear
A cause for concern….
Today, where the wild-creatures-live has become a war zone in Wisconsin. And it’s all in the name of sport. Hunter’s dogs run through the woods in pursuit of bear disrupting families; bear cubs are separated from their mothers, foraging black bears are kept on the move, and how about the White-tailed deer forced to protect her fawn from packs of free roaming hunting dogs in pursuit of bear. Gray wolves defending their pups kill hunter’s dogs in a never-ending-game.
In 1963 Wisconsin allowed the use of dogs in pursuit of black bears. It’s been an expensive mistake both in the lives of dogs & Wildlife.
The baiting of black bear starts in April and goes through to the end of September. That’s roughly six months of intentional food subsidies being fed to a carnivore. Not to mention, that’s a lot of disruption to the black bear’s natural habitat. Over four million gallons of bait is dropped in the woods for the purpose of hunting black bear. Bears are fed donuts, gummy bears, and cereal. Donuts have a high volume of calories, some doughnuts contain partially hydrogenated oils, which aren’t healthy for the heart, and most doughnuts are made with white flour. Glazed doughnuts contain 210 mg of sodium.
Black bears are omnivores that eat food of both plant and animal origin.
It’s no surprise that baiting black bear is a cause for alarm. It’s been controversial for a number of years. But what’s interesting now is the research points out a number of problems resulting from the baiting of black bear.
Female consumption of high caloric food subsidies can increase fecundity (the ability to produce an abundance of offspring or new growth; fertility), and can train cubs to seek bear baits. According to the research this can increase a population above its ecological carrying capacity.
Black bears are omnivorous and spend spring, summer & autumn foraging for Native Forage, included known bear foods; berries, acorns, grasses and sedges, other plants, and white-tailed deer.
Today, black bears in Wisconsin are being conditioned to search out human foods placed at bear baiting stations. This is influencing the black bears natural habitat. Researchers found that; humans are influencing the ecosystem not only through top-down forces via hunting, but also through bottom-up forces by subsidizing the food base.
The Researchers found that if food subsidies (bait) were removed, bear-human conflicts may increase and bears may no longer be able to subsist on natural foods.
During its first century, Yellowstone National Park was known as the place to see and interact with bears. Hundreds of people gathered nightly to watch bears feed on garbage in the park’s dumps. Enthusiastic visitors fed bears along the roads and behaved recklessly to take photographs.
High availability of energy-rich food can also alter denning chronology, shortening the denning period.
In 1963 Wisconsin allowed the use of dogs in pursuit of black bears. It’s been an expensive mistake both in the lives of dogs & Wildlife. Hunter’s are compensated $2,500.00 for each dog killed by wolves during training & hunting with dogs in pursuit of black bear.
Please Take Action…
Featured image credit NPS
*Public disclaimer: I dispute anything Wisconsin Wolf Front United writes on their Facebook page about me.