[Vision2020] End Bear Baiting

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Sat Jul 11 04:59:12 PDT 2020

Courtesy of today’s (July 11, 2020) Moscow-Pullman Daily News with thanks to Brett Haverstick.


End Bear Baiting

In June I took a beautiful backpacking trip into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness. I hit the trail at Paradise and hiked downstream to the confluence with Bear Creek before exploring the drainage. It was a classic June trip with thunder, lightning, rain, hail, clouds and sun.
June is also a time for bear hunters and bear baiters to visit these lands. I separate the two into distinct groups because the latter dumps food on the forest floor and waits until a black bear visits the odorous pile before shooting it. That is not hunting. You can call it slob-hunting or immoral, wasteful, disgusting, irresponsible and littering. And yet Idaho calls it legal. What isn’t legal however is baiting bears near a campground or campsite, and that is what I observed near the Bear Creek pack bridge. The heaping pile contained oatmeal, granola bars, nuts, chili, etc., and my dog was instantly attracted to it.
After photographing the bear bait pile, I soon heard the buzz of an airplane. People further down the trail told me that bear baiters from Indiana had just departed after flying in for the week. As I stood along the river and watched the plane fly away, I had thoughts of anger, sadness and disgust for both the individuals in the plane and for the decision makers who permit this at the Idaho Department Fish and Game and the Forest Service. The wilderness deserves better, the bears deserve better and so do we.
Brett Haverstick
Missoula, Montana


Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho
“A stranger is just a friend you haven't met.” - Roy E. Stolworthy
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