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.

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  1. Travis Bro,

    While I agree with you that people need to be more responsible while camping, I think that you are missing the bigger problem here. Over the past three years I have seen more bears in Utah than in all my years of being in the hills. I had five different bears on trail cams last year and I have four adult bears and two cubs on video within 30 yards. You know me and that I don’t hunt close to roads or in areas that are “camping hot spots”. There has defiantly been an increase in the number of bears over the last 5 years and that is the bigger problem. The DWR has not been issuing enough tags to control the bear population. If you think that “sloppy campers” is a recent issue, I think that many an old timer would disagree. I think that the problem stems from over population of bears. Bears are territorial, and mature bears will run the smaller bears out of their territory in the back country, this forces these younger bears to search for new spots to hang out. As that happens we start to see more bears in camping areas and they start causing trouble. I believe that the state needs to start controlling the bears by allowing us hunters to do our part in conservation and management.

    My two cents!

    1. I do agree that the Bear population is growing and it definitely needs to be managed.

      However, there is never an excuse for Poaching. I think some people see a Bear and think it is only there to kill them, which is not the case. If campers take the proper steps they can help the situation and make it so Bears are less likely to cause trouble in campgrounds. I am not saying it will eliminate the Bears from the campgrounds, but hopefully it will deter them from coming around.

      People need to realize that just because they see a Bear it does not mean they can kill it. I would love to go on a Bear hunt someday, but until then I will respect Bears and give them the space they deserve. I imagine after what has happened this year the DWR will realize something needs to be done and there will be more tags available next year. Anyone up for a Bear hunt?

  2. I agree that the bear population has grown a lot here in Utah. I think that this growth is great for the state. I do think that the DWR should have given out more tags. I also think they should have drawn my number but thats just the hunter in me. I got my Elk tag so I can’t complain. But seriously people for the most part Black Bears are non aggressive and should be treated as such.

    They are protective of their young and like to eat. So when you go in the woods think about that a little. Don’t let your kids hike alone and don’t leave food out inviting them to camp. I totally agree with Scott in the fact that more tags need to be issued and even the possibility of running a late season to keep them up in the higher elevations. But I also agree with Travis every “Bear attack” I have seen on the news usualy envolved a stupid camper that didn’t want to be smart and we love to make it the bears fault. Travis brought this up because there is a story going around that a bear up by our cabin was shot because the cabin owner didn’t like the fact that the bear didn’t go away. That is why we have a DWR here is to deal with the wildlife in our space (even though its really us thats invading their space).

    Like Scott I have had a few Bear encounters while hunting and had them come fairly close and have no idea I was there. Just be mindfull of where you are and be prepared. I always carry a gun with me in the woods but only to protect me from an attack not an encounter. If you feel a bear is starting to get aggressive fire a warning shot in the air most likely the bear will run away. If he goes to attack then defend yourself.

  3. Part of the problem is that fall ” pursuit” dog training opportunities were done away with a couple of years ago and so bears are losing their fear of humans and human activities, if they want to eat the campers food they can smell they think they can have it. With some hunting pressure these bears would learn to stay away!!
    The reason fall Pursuit seasons were eliminated and fall harvest tags reduced is because other hunters were complaining about having to share the mountains with bear hunters. It seems that the species we are hunting or the tag we have waited to draw is more important that the other guys, and the he** with them we want the mountain to ourselves. As usual with this kind of situation something has to pay the price and in this case it is the bears.
    As far as the bear population goes it is finally growing and filling up the available habitat, one thing for sure is that the division of wildlife will put an end to that as they can’t stand to have a good healthy population of anything, we just get some good hunting and then they decide there are to many so lets kill them all!!!
    So you have seen a few bears while out hunting. All you need is a tag and you can go out and kill you a bear. Let me tell you it will not be that easy, go out this week end and purposley find a bear or maybe a couple of them so you can be sure to find a big one. Then write a book on how it is done because it will be a best seller!!!!!!

  4. nate dogg says:

    i have read these coments and .when you are out on a peaceful camping trip with and one of these human fed bears and they kill one of your family or your dog then i would bet that you would want that bear dead. yes blame it on humans but thay are carnavors and also predators. eye for an eye..

    1. They are only “human fed” because some humans are idiots and don’t know how to camp in bear country.

      Your comment makes it sound like someone is actually feeding the bears humans to snack on. They are carnivorous and will eat whatever they can. Humans have trained these bears to hang out near certain campgrounds because the humans are lazy and messy and leave easy meals for the bears to eat.

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