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Letter: Recreational hunting of bears is cruel sport

Recreational hunting of bears is cruel sport

Black bears can’t seem to get a break in New York State. For over two months during the summer they, along with their cubs, can legally be chased by hunters’ hounds. If they can’t make it up a tree, the bears have to turn on the dogs to defend themselves (not good for dogs, either). Hunters do this to “train” bear hunting dogs but aren’t allowed to shoot the bears. However, hunting bears with dogs isn’t allowed in New York State (thank goodness), yet the bears are subjected to the stress involved with being chased for miles by packs of dogs.

Then there are the legal bear hunting seasons. Early bear and regular bear hunting seasons start in early weeks of September into December. Depending on the particular season, bears can be killed by firearms, bow and arrow, crossbows or muzzleloaders.

All this came to my mind when I recently read in The Buffalo News about cut up bear parts discovered in a dumpster in Buffalo. A hunter admitted he’d dumped the bear’s chopped-up carcass. He had skinned the bear first. A call to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation wildlife department clarified there are no regulations about where hunters should dispose of the bodies of animals they have killed. That’s surprising. Not good using someone else’s dumpster without permission.

I’ve read hunters’ statements about bear not being the most desired game meat. It’s common for slain bears to become trophy mounts or rugs. I think tormenting and killing magnificent, ecologically important bears for recreation and trophies is appalling.

Didi Zaichuk

Lake View

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