We have a serious problem going on in Utah this year and it involves our growing Black Bear population.
It is great living in Utah because our mountains are so accessible, so a lot of people spend their free time in the outdoors. My family is constantly in the mountains, and we are lucky because we have been able to view all sorts of wildlife. It is incredible to witness, and it provides a great platform to teach our children about the outdoors and the wildlife that call our mountains home.
This year has been a discouraging year for me, and the DWR as well. For whatever reason, we have had 6 Black Bears shot and killed this Summer. In every instance it has been pretty much the same story. Family leaves food out, Bears smell food and come into get some, Dad pulls out a gun and kills the Bear. What the Hell is wrong with these people? Bears are protected and you need a license to hunt them, quit poaching bears because you are too lazy to clean up your mess!
The DWR is very concerned with the amount of Bears that have been killed this year. Of the six bears that have been shot not once has the shooter called the DWR to report the bear. You can read a great article about the concerns the DWR has with the recent Bear Shootings here.
If you are lucky enough to see a Bear in the wild the first thing you need to do is make sure your family is safe, give the Bear the distance that it needs. The next thing you should do is call the DWR, they can come and make sure everything is okay. In most cases they will transport the Bear somewhere else, so everyone is protected. It is not your responsibility to kill the Bear, you are Poaching if you do and I hope you receive a very stiff punishment!
If you do not want to enjoy the wildlife in the mountains than stay in the city. We don’t need any more poachers in the woods and you are not doing anyone a favor by killing these Bears. Keep your food in a safe place while you are in the outdoors, and understand that you are a visitor to their home. Chances are you set up your picnic where the Bears frequent and it is not their fault.
Be smart and enjoy viewing the Bears if you are lucky enough to have the chance to see one. I have only seen one Black Bear in Utah and we saw it as we were driving back from a day of Hunting last year. It was one of the highlights of my hunt last year and Garrett and I still discuss how cool it was to see a Bear. As we were driving it crossed the street about 15 yards in front of us, so we had a great view. I loved it and I am sick of Rambo Daddies poaching these incredible animals.
I understand you need to protect your family, but it has gone too far. Protect them by getting them in a safe place first. If the Bear is breaking down your door like in the Great Outdoors you are probably justified in shooting the Bear. None of these cases have been like that though and in my opinion none of them have been justified. Pretty soon we are going to hear about deer being shot because they walked through someones campground and looked at someone the wrong way.
All of the shootings are being investigated and only one has been finalized with no charges being filed. We will keep a close eye on all of these cases and hopefully the DWR does the right thing by punishing these men. We will make sure these poachers make a grand appearance on the Addicted to Hunting Wall of Shame once the charges are filed.