Alaska Looking At Controversial Bear Proposals

Alaska DFG, Bear Hunting Magazine

The Alaska Board of Game is considering snaring proposals at their meetings being held this coming Friday in Fairbanks. They are looking at increasing harvest numbers and longer hunting seasons for bears in the state. One of the proposals includes the expansion of black bear and grizzly snaring to increase the number of moose in certain areas. They had authorized several years ago, an experimental program that used snares for black bears in Game Management Unit 16B across Cook Inlet from Anchorage. The new proposal is for bear snaring in six additional game units.

The deputy director of the Alaska Division of Wildlife Conservation said state biologists are officially neutral on expansion of bear snaring but were asked to list areas where it could be effective because other methods of lowering bear populations have been ineffective or impractical. He stated that the snaring experiment in Unit 16B is ongoing but that trapping had been successful in removing bears.

The board voted back in January to allow aerial killing of bears, approving a policy to shoot grizzlies to protect a population of musk oxen. The department has now proposed taking bears from helicopters east of Kalskag. The deputy director stated that they want to produce more moose for people who depend on them and snaring was not likely to be effective near Kalskag because of logistics and finding people willing to set them.

There are many who are against the use of snares and the additional possibility of more aerial hunting of bears, but others see it as the best way to manage the population of bears and moose.

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