Letter: Bear hounding revisited

by DONNA DI CASPARRO, New Hampshire Bulletin

In the July 2 letter titled, “The real problem for bears in Concord” the writer makes excellent points regarding our contribution to “problem bears” in that bears are lured to backyards while food and garbage is left unsecured. Along with this point, the contributor implies bear hounding has no significant impact on bear numbers throughout the state. While the percentage of bears harvested by hounds is lower compared to other bear hunting methods, it may be time for New Hampshire to reevaluate the relevance of this practice while continuing to manage wildlife populations. If the numbers are insignificant, why create undue stress to our wildlife and landowners?

The hounding practice is the only hunting method that impacts bears for five months due to summer training season. It not only puts a strain on bears, particularly sows and cubs, it can impact non-targeted wildlife during the chase. In addition, landowners are continually affected by dogs running loose for miles often passing through posted lands. In conclusion, revisiting the value of hounding may be the right direction to take and to embrace hunting practices where fair chase values are observed, conservation is paramount and our private land stays private.

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