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|Originally Posted: 12 December 2009|
Stop Killing Wisconsin Black Bears
FROM Patricia Randolph
Tell the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that issuing an unprecedented 7,310 kill licenses targeting the kill of over 4,000 indigenous black bears between Wednesday, September 9 and October 13, 2009 is unacceptable. The yearly expansion of the hunter kill wish list must end.
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INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS
Posted originally in September 2009:
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued an unprecedented 7,310 kill licenses, targeting the kill of 4,585 indigenous black bears between Wednesday, September 9 and October 13, 2009. This will be a bloodbath, with packs of dogs and armed men trespassing private land all over "bear country." The most bears ever killed before in one season in Wisconsin were 3100 killed in 1998. Two-thirds of the black bears killed will be babies born this spring or yearlings still with their mothers. They will be run down by packs of up to 18 dogs (or more, since Wisconsin has the lowest warden to hunter ratio in the country), and shot out of trees. It will not be humane. There is a lot of drinking that goes on with hunting and hounding. Or they will be killed over bait piles, as hunters sit in their lounge chairs or tree stands, where the bears have been accustomed to feed, for this purpose.
The DNR raised the bear kill quota by 60% this year, based on a "preliminary" study, done by a UW professor and student, with this study paid for by the Wisconsin Bear Hunters' Association and Wisconsin Trapper's Association. This professor has done other suspect work financed by the head-hunting group, Safari International. Either the DNR has been totally inept for the past 50 years (I vote for that one) or they are totally inept now (and I fear this is a double whammy) in announcing that suddenly, this year, there are TWICE AS MANY BEARS in Wisconsin as they thought!
No hearings were held with alternative population control methods offered. The solution is always the same for the DNR - a killing spree and more killing licenses for their special hunter and trapper citizen elite. More money to stock more killing.
As usual, (as has gone on for 75 years in our state), this year 6800 exclusively hunters and trappers proposed expansion of killing and passed it through, without general public input or public knowledge of the hearings. This yearly expansion of the hunter kill wish list goes on every year, unchecked, in a time of unprecedented habitat loss, species' losses and human-caused degradation of the earth and its climate. We have a responsibility to redefine our relationship to the wild as humane stewards - rather than farm it for maximum ego killing. Taking a living being to turn it into a decorative possession - death over styrofoam for ego display, is an obscenity against all of nature.
Black bears are highly intelligent, playful, peaceable (far more peaceful then men) beings, and they do not deserve this "man-agement" assault for trophy and recreation. In Wisconsin, the public still accepts killing for heads on walls, killing for trophy and taxidermy, trapping with conibear, steel jaw, and snare traps - all crimes against nature. No being, especially our sacred innocent and defenseless wild bears, deserve to be treated so cruelly.
We, the undersigned citizens of Wisconsin honor our wildlife by protesting this hounding, baiting and killing of our wild bears who intend no harm, and try to live with us in peace. We treated the indigenous Indians this way - we have created a false hierarchy. Not so long ago, men hounded black people into trees and hung them. This is the same mentality. It must end with a Department of Natural Resources that, as is its mission statement, PROTECTS our resources (the bears), represents ALL citizens (even the majority who do not kill) and does not sell our wildlife off for killing to a special interest group.
We demand that this form of management stop once and for all, and that we find humane ways to manage bear populations. It causes massive chaos for all citizens living in the area, and disruption of all wildlife. Since bears hibernate in the winters, we could form a HUMANE FORCE to spay and neuter some bears, if necessary.
We, the undersigned, demand that this hunt be ended for lack of democratic citizen hearings and input. Defend your rights to ARM BEARS! And the best way to arm bears is by educating yourself about the true nature of bears, reading the WSJ outdoors pages ongoingly, attending the annual election of delegates in every county the second Monday in April, and signing this petition.
Thank you for everything you do for animals!