17 February 2008
Forest fires are not an option
The Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission is contemplating allowing limited hunting of black bear in southeast Oklahoma; a bill has been introduced into the House to permit the Department of Wildlife Conservation to sell licenses.
This is not going to happen right away, apparently: quite apart from the time it takes to get the legislation passed, there's an ongoing study of the bear population, which is estimated to be somewhere between 200 and 300.
Research shows the bears are growing in population by about 11 to 12 percent each year, said [Department assistant director Richard Hatcher]. "If we harvest 10 percent per year, it would curtail the growth, but it would not cause a decline," he said.
If the population turns out to be around 200, only twenty bears could be taken by hunters, who would have to check in daily to keep the count updated.
The measure has already passed the House Environment and Wildlife subcommittee. The Humane Society of the United States, pleased by the suspension of bear hunting in New Jersey, did apparently send a representative to testify against the Oklahoma bill. Richard Hatcher says that bear-baiting and similarly-nasty methods would not be allowed during an Oklahoma bear hunt.Posted at 12:16 PM to Soonerland