According to the Calgary Herald, a ”debate” is surfacing (concocted and spurred on by the Herald itself) over whether to resume a hunt on grizzly bears in southwestern Alberta.
The grizzly recovery plan was put in place after studies found there were fewer than 700 grizzlies left in Alberta, leading the government to declare the species threatened.
Please vote NO in their poll and share your thoughts with the editorial board Here.
Photo Copyright Jim Robertson
I awoke this morning to the sound of angry gunfire. Not just the occasional, distant pop, pop but a constant blam, blam, blam symptomatic of wartime—or of people shooting blindly into a whole flock or herd of fleeing animals. I knew it was almost “general deer season,” but this sounded more like the kind of mindless blasting that goes on during goose and duck season in the winter months around here. So I checked the Washington “game” regulations and sure enough, an all-out “incredible war on wildlife” (as Cleveland Amory put it) had begun!
Not only is Oct. 13th (fittingly) the opening day of deer season, it’s also an early opener on ducks and geese today as well. From now until the end of November, no deer, elk, goose, duck or bear is safe from human harm. Meanwhile, species like cougar, bobcat, fox or raccoon will be under the gun until mid-March. And coyotes, crows and other “common” animals can be killed year-round in this supposedly blue state. The only beings not on the list of allowable targets are six endangered species (who of course were driven to the edge of extinction by overhunting decades ago).
I knew this dreaded day was coming; I just hoped it wouldn’t get here this soon. On the bright side, this is also the first day of a long streak of steady fall rain storms which should make for some rusty guns, water-logged campsites and miserably wet nimrods.
Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson
Natalie Babbitt, author of Tuck Everlasting,wrote: “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless and hot.”
Well, motionless perhaps, unless you’re a Washington State black bear trying to find food for the coming winter, while at the same time keeping your eyes peeled for bloodthirsty hunters.
That’s right, although it’s berry season for the bears, it’s “bear season” for hunters—as of August 1st—here in the Evergreen State. Now any Elmer who wants to can kill not one, but two bears each through November 15th! Any bear who values his or her hide will have no real peace until the snow flies and they’re safely tucked away in their hibernation den. Until then, they must assume there could be a camouflage-clad coward, with a high powered rifle or compound bow aimed at them, perched in every tree they pass under.
Each year 30,000 black bears are killed by hunters in the U.S. alone. Each one of them was a more remarkable, more worthy being than the cretins who would kill them for sport. If bears had Facebook pages, I’d add them all to my “Friends” list. To those who hunt bears: The enemies of my friends are my enemies. Since Facebook doesn’t have an “Enemies” list, the least I can do is unfriend you whenever you expose yourself as a hunter.
Wildlife Photography Copyright Jim Robertson