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Group Sues ODFW to stop bear hunting

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by daiello91, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. daiello91

    daiello91 NW Oregon Active Member

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    Conservation group threatens ODFW with lawsuit | MailTribune.com

    Conservation group threatens ODFW with lawsuit
    Big Wildlife says state wildlife managers have failed to revise bear management plan as required; state says plan should be ready next year

    December 26, 2010

    By Mark Freeman
    Mail Tribune
    State wildlife managers plan to revamp their black bear management plan almost 13 years later than they were required to and under the threat of a lawsuit from an Applegate Valley-based group that wants sport-hunting suspended until the plan is done.

    Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists expect to hold public meetings and add new research from the department and outside entities while crafting a plan that Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission rules consider past-due since 1998.

    The group Big Wildlife in mid-November filed notice that it intends to sue the agency for failing to update the plan, just weeks after ODFW Wildlife Division Administrator Ron Anglin said his agency began discussing its revision.

    The plan was set for revision in the early 2000s, but the commission shelved it in favor of plans for black-tailed deer, cougar and other animals, Anglin said.

    "It's now one of the highest priorities," Anglin said. "By the end of next year at the latest, we'll be in front of the commission with a plan for final adoption."

    Big Wildlife Program Director Spencer Lennard said the new plan should be much less hunter-oriented and that the general public would rather see a more "cautious" approach that reduces bear killing in sport seasons as well as for damage and nuisances.

    Lennard said letting the plan's update lag so long is "not respectful to wildlife and the public," and he believes the ODFW should pull back bear killing until it can craft new science into its plan.

    "I'd love it if the sport-hunting seasons were suspended while a good plan is done," Lennard said. "I doubt that's going to happen. But I think that would be a prudent thing."

    Anglin said his agency has no plans to curtail bear hunting during the planning process.

    Oregon sells about 30,000 bear tags annually, with about 1,700 bears killed statewide during the spring and fall hunting seasons, according to ODFW statistics. The ODFW estimates Oregon to be home to 20,000 to 30,000 bears.

    The ODFW uses management plans to guide management of specific wildlife species and they set population goals and spell out myriad other goals for the animals. They must be adopted by the commission before being put into use.

    For years, Big Wildlife and other wildlife advocacy groups have been critical of the agency's management strategies for top predators such as bears and cougars, saying the state's liberal hunting policies and laws allowing the killing of nuisance animals are out of step with Oregon's public at large.

    Anglin said he and other ODFW biologists were discussing how to embark on the bear plan in October and even decided two days before the suit notice reached them that they would like to conduct a public-opinion survey about bears before writing a draft of the plan.

    The new plan will incorporate new studies and procedures since the plan's last update, Anglin said. That would include the ODFW's annual mark-and-recapture study to estimate bear populations, which remain fairly steady and healthy, he said.

    "Nothing would indicate to us that we're running short on bears anywhere," Anglin said.

    Lennard said he believes recent spikes in hunter-killed bears in southwestern and Eastern Oregon could suggest a species under duress.

    "The numbers don't necessarily mean there are more animals," he said. "It could be that there are less, they're having a hard time and they're stressed."

    Lennard also said he would like to see Oregon end its policies that allow killing of damage- or nuisance-causing bears without a permit. Anglin said, however, that the provision is in state statute and would have to be changed through the Oregon Legislature.

    Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or e-mail at mfreeman@mailtribune.com.
  2. daiello91

    daiello91 NW Oregon Active Member

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    Less than 10% of the state's population is harvest every year, but they want to stop hunting.

    Email odfw commission in support of black bear hunting: odfw.commission@state.or.us

  3. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'm a firm believer that until the bear population grows to the point they are eating at least a half dozen enviromentalists a year Nothing should change in the managment plan.

    Same with Cougars

    These people who think they know more then the people who have been managing the wildlife in Oregon for the past 100+ years are a total PITA.

    30,000 tags at $14.50 = $435,000.00 towards the ODFW's budget. Now if they want to raise that money then maybe they should get a seat at the table. Instead they pay lawyers and in the end they screw the ODFW out of the funding from Hunters.

    I know personally I have not bought a Bear or Cat tag in years since not being able to hunt with Dogs or bait makes the chances of harvesting either pretty slim for someone who can't afford a good guide.

    All because of enviromentalists Mucking about in Game management.

  4. daiello91

    daiello91 NW Oregon Active Member

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    I buy both tags. The cougar just for off chance, but actively pursue bears...they're not too difficult to find. I was out hunting coyotes this past weekend and found a few set of cougar tracks, followed them for a while into a rim rock area and tried to call with a buddy...but no luck.
  5. 2506

    2506 Seattle Well-Known Member

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    "These people who think they know more then the people who have been managing the wildlife in Oregon for the past 100+ years are a total PITA."

    Well, I'd argue that the people managing the wildlife couldn't find their own a$$ with a funnel and a roadmap.

    I do my darndest every spring to try to decrease the population of bears, and I know I'm not making a dent. Every spring there's more bears. I think the local housewives around the neighborhood see more bears in the city than I do in the woods....
  6. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Haha,this will go on until one of these guys loses a dog or cat.
    Or gets attacked like the guy in Wenatchee or the gal in Gig Harbor

    Please stop this so we don't have to fight it too.
  7. slingshot1943

    slingshot1943 salem or Well-Known Member

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    I remember when there was no bear season in oregon. I didn't know anyone going bear hunting. They might shoot one while deer hunting or other outing. After they put a season on them people stated going on bear hunting trips. Seems nuts to me.
  8. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    And I still get the heebeegeebies when there us much scat at my favorite hunting areas that I walk into and out of in the dark


    I say bring back dogs and bait.... For all large predators.
  9. 1bigfoot

    1bigfoot coastal area New Member

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    The Bear population down here on the southern side of the coast is flat out booming!
    These groups will stop at nothing to stop you and I,, nothing.
    How about we start suing these groups for any frivolous thing we can come up with?
    They know that money and lawsuits get attention,, so why not turn the tables??
  10. ehunter

    ehunter Hilllsboro Oregon Member

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    So OHA should also sue them its time we went after these knuckle heads and their non scientific approach what stats do they really have. Fight fire with fire make them spend their money defending their position.

  11. usmc

    usmc oregon Active Member

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    i have personally seen 4 bears in a 5 mile radius this year in a 3 week period. and to me that is a striking amount. i have seen the deer population stay pretty steady, yet i believe that the predator's are gaining a stronghold in my area.
  12. Phillyfan

    Phillyfan Oregon City, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  13. Quackerbacker

    Quackerbacker Springfield, OR Active Member

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    What is the problem with high bear population? Are they out of balance? I don't know much about it since i don't hunt what i don't eat.
  14. daiello91

    daiello91 NW Oregon Active Member

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    High bear population = lots of "damage complaints" and negative interactions in cities. Additionally they do eat fawns come spring, which can make an impact on overall deer herd health.

    "Big Wildlife" was suing because they are anti-hunting and will take every opportunity possible to try and stop hunting. No matter what the reason is. There current argument is that because ODFW has not revised there plan as scheduled that the bear population is in jeopardy of being over hunted. Which it clearly is not. The bear population has been in steady incline since the late 80's/early 90's.