TO THE EDITOR: I am writing concerning the black bear population in New York state.
I am very alarmed about the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Black Bear Management Plan for New York State 2014 – 2024.
These are the proposed hunting-regulation changes contained on Page 22, Strategy 2.1.6. It states as follows: “Assess the potential benefits and concerns associated with bear-hunting practices currently prohibited by the environmental conservation laws (e.g., hunting with the aid of bait or dogs, trapping with cable restraints, taking bears less than one year of age), and consider other options (e.g., sprint; season) that may increase bear-management capacity at some future date.”
The DEC says the controversial use of traps, dogs and bait all currently outlawed should be “to spur interest in bear hunting.” They feel that there is not enough bear hunting in New York state. I believe hunters have a right to hunt bear, but to consider allowing these proposed practices at some future date is not only unsportsmanlike (as hunters have told me), but also morally and ethically wrong.
Please ask your readers to contact their legislators and Gov. Cuomo. Tell them that these currently outlawed practices should remain outlawed. We have to be the voice for these beautiful creatures. Please speak up.
SHIRLEY MERRIAM CORNISH