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Bear Baiting Is Unethical and Unsportsmanlike! We Won't Stand for It!

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Sponsor: The Rainforest Site

Bear baiting makes hunting easy at the expense of both humans and bears.

The killing of animals for food or sport is a highly debatable topic, but there are some inhumane hunting practices that should never be up for debate, because the ethical concerns they raise far outweigh the potential benefits. Bear baiting is one of those hunting practices.

Bear baiting is a way for hunters to lure unsuspecting bears into a predesignated area where they will be hunted. Weeks before the season begins, hunters leave high-calorie foods out to pique the bears' interest and keep them coming back to the same location day after day1. When the hunting season begins, hunters hide near their bait spots and simply wait for the bears to stop by, where they become easy targets.

Tricking the bears into staying in one area so they can be easily killed is unfair and unsportsmanlike. It makes bears act like sitting ducks rather than forcing hunters to pursue them in a fair chase. It also draws bears nearer to populated areas, increasing the number of unwanted human-bear encounters. Similarly, since many bears flock to bait traps to eat, there are more bears in those areas, which creates opportunities for intra-species conflict, especially conflicts involving young cubs being attacked by older animals2.

On top of all that, the "food" hunters provide is not healthy for the bears. According to the HSUS, bear bait often consists of "donuts, candy, grease, rotting garbage, corn, fish, meat and other high-calorie foods." Many bear baits contain theobromine, which is toxic to bears and other animals that might be tempted by the trap. And since many animals feed at the same spot, diseases like rabies can be more easily transmitted3.

Bear baiting, therefore, should be banned as an unethical and inhumane hunting practice, both for the benefit of the bears and the benefit of human beings.

Hunting regulations are handled on a state-by-state basis, making it difficult to tackle this entire issue in one fell swoop. If, however, we can stop bear baiting in the states with the most tolerant bear-baiting policies and the best ratings for bear-hunting trophy potential, like Wisconsin and Utah3, we can set a precedent for the rest of the nation and hopefully stop bear baiting in all fifty states.

Sign the petition to tell the Department of Natural Resources of Wisconsin, one of the most bear-hunted states in the country, to make this inhumane practice illegal.


[1] How to Bait Bears. (2017, March 01). Retrieved August 15, 2017, from http://www.wideopenspaces.com/bait-bears-pics/

[2] Facts about Bear Baiting. (n.d.). Retrieved August 15, 2017, from http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/bear\_hunting/facts/bear-baiting-fact-sheet.html

[3] Where To Hunt Baited Bears In The United States. (n.d.). Retrieved August 15, 2017, from http://www.bearhunting.com/pages/bear-hunting/info/where-to-hunt-baited-bears

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The Petition:

To the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources,

In the spirit of preserving and improving the natural resources of the fair state of Wisconsin and keeping the humans and animals who live there safe from unnecessary harm, we beg you to stop allowing resident and non-resident bear hunters to bait bears.

Bear baiting is a cheater's hunting practice. It poisons bears and promotes the spread of disease. It draws bears in and makes them easy targets, while increasing intra- and inter-species conflicts, many of which affect humans.

We will not stand for this inhumane, unsafe, and unsportsmanlike hunting practice to continue. We demand that you illegalize the practice of bear baiting to give bears a fighting chance at survival and avoid putting humans and animals in unnecessary danger.


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