The reality is simple: if hunters don’t shoot black bear, management agencies will!
Despite the controversy that often surrounds the topic of black bear hunting in the United States, it is time to dig up the bones of this argument, sort them out, and bury it once and for all.
Unfortunately, the classic reason of hunting black bear for food and their pelts will not be easily swallowed by most people in today’s modern world. Interestingly enough, bear seem to be off the food chain for most of the critics, and in turn they seem to think that bear hunting is all about killing. This assumption is flat out WRONG!
Bear meat tastes great, and their pelts still make great rugs and look extremely cool as cabin or home decor. However, despite the obvious reason of hunting for food, lets look at a few more reason why hunting black bears is important.
Conservation and maintenance of black bear populations is by far the best reason that people hunt bears. For obvious reasons, areas that have a strong bear population tend to foster a higher number of bear and human encounters. These encounters can be extremely dangerous especially if black bears have begun associating people with food.
In many cases, such as the situation in New Jersey, black bears have gone from top predators to an annoyance. Often described as large raccoons they seek out bird feeders, trash cans, and anything else that may smell like a quick meal. In cases like this it is important to control bear populations, and one of the best ways to do that is through the use of hunting.
The sad truth is that if hunters don’t shoot black bear, management agencies will.
Aside from controlling populations close to residential areas why else would hunting black bears be necessary? Simple, to help manage other populations of animals. Believe it or not, a hungry bear that is fresh out of hibernation will follow deer and elk hearts in hopes of scouting out an easy feast. In areas that foster large bear populations this can put a real damper on other wildlife populations that need those areas to thrive.