Recently grizzly bear hunting in British Colombia has been outlawed entirely, and there is not near enough talk about it in the circles that concern me. Every hunting circle I’m anywhere near should be absolutely buzzing about it and finding ways to reverse and also prevent it from happening elsewhere. This is something referred to as many as death by a thousand cuts, except they expedited the process with haste! What started as a ban on “Trophy” grizzly hunting led quickly to an absolute ban, fueled by emotion rather than actual science and that’s possibly the scariest part.
I should stop here and state I have never been hunting in B.C. nor am I well read expert on the area, or the bears there or grizzly bears at all. However it is not hard to make a connection between there and where all of the rest of us reside/hunt and see the precedent that has just been set. People who do not hunt let emotion take hold of them and then used that emotion to end something dear to many others. This ban did not just stop people from a chance at hunting that species in that area, it also has a economic impact on many. Many guides are now losing out on the ability to guide for that hunt, some workers may even become jobless because of the extended reach of the ban. Biological research and tax dollars will now be spent to monitor the bears and the overabundance sure to follow due to nothing higher up on the food chain to maintain population numbers. Though the people who pushed the ban will feel warm and fluffy inside there will now be animals shot and killed by trappers who will not love the experience or put to use the hide of the animal they hunted, a check will be collected and another bear shot.
My biggest concern and the reason I feel that this should be discussed all over the internet on every hunting page and forum is the precedent it just set. Those who don’t like hunting can easily outweigh the voice of those who do if we don’t begin to act. Other places like California attack specific bits and pieces (chasing bears with dogs) and shortly they will follow suit and ban the hunt outright, then move on to another species. People seem to see professional trappers as someone doing a job with little pride yet hunters are bloody thirsty monsters with an ego to fulfill in the same eyes. There is a very small number of hunters nationally and possibly the same number of true anti hunters yet a large section of people in between are waiting to be swayed. It is up to us to get involved, represent ourselves well and try to help those in the middle to see who we truly are. We don’t need them to become hunters outright, but realizing we are rule abiding people with a love for the ecosystem as a whole is a great start. I don’t have a solution to the problem but I have a stepping stone, get involved locally while watching globally and always put your best foot forward to show respect for the animals we love to chase.
One small leap,