Bear hunting in California: the end of an era

Rules will be changing soon for bear hunting in California. The controversial practice of hunting bears with dogs is about to be banned in this state.

Currently some 1,700 black bears out of a population estimated between 23,000 to 39,000 can be legally killed in California each year. So far this hunting season, hunters have killed 1,300 bears , with another 400 remaining fair game. Almost half are done so with the help of hounds. It is a requirement by law for hunters to eat the meat. But soon hunting with dogs will end. Last month Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill, banning the hunting of bears and bobcats with hounds. It will take effect on January 1st, 2013.

All of this was brought about by a powerful coalition of animal rights activists and Democrats. It was led by senator Ted Lieu, who declared the practice archaic and cruel. Unfortunately the ban will still let hunters kill the same number of bears – but without dogs.

83% of Californians via an opinion poll supported the proposal, as did the state's leading newspapers. This was following the release of a video of bloody encounters between bears and dogs. "Allowing packs of dogs to chase bears and bobcats for miles until, exhausted, the animals climb trees to flee the canines and end up trapped, essentially waiting to be shot by a hunter below … is an animal version of The Hunger Games," said the Los Angeles Times.

Celebrities were also involved in supporting this ban. Ellen De Generes, Doris Day, Bill Maher and Hilary Duff all backed the ban. Pressure is expected to grow for similar bans in the 17 other states that allow hunting with dogs.

Responses to "California bans hunting bears with dogs in January 2013"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Bears should not be hunted by dogs or humans.
    They deserve to be free in nature as God created them! Does anyone disagree?
    What impresses me most is that if the majority agrees with the statements quoted above, why the bears are still hunted?

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