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Seen any bears around? You likely won’t after September 1

  • Published in Letters

To the Daily Sun,

It's getting to be that time of year again, what the department of F&G calls hunting season. It will not be long before thousands of bait sites for bear and deer around the state are gearing up, if not already. Bait season for bear starts September 1 and runs through September 28. Bait season for deer starts September 1 and runs to the last day of the season, December 15.

The pre-baiting I'm sure is already at full throttle. If you have been seeing any bear this year, rest assured your probability of seeing them after August 1 will be nil. As a recap of the 2012 season 909 bears were killed, 432 were over bait. In addition to the 6 cubs killed over bait, 54 cubs were killed by other methods along with 34 lactating females. Oh yeah, one of these bear cubs was just 18lbs.

In 2012 Ben Kilham our bear rehabilitator from Lyme, N.H., had 29 cubs dumped in his lap to raise up to be reintroduced back into the wild. So what happened to the 29 cubs? Five went back to Vermont where their is no baiting. The rest were dumped by the F&G at bait sites around the states. With thousands of bait sites for bear and deer in NH it would be impossible not to. This is a slap in their face.

I'll finish up with this. Out of the 423 bears killed over bait in 2012, 309 were three and a half years old or younger. The life expectancy for bears in N.H. is 3.5 years for males and 4.5 for females.

What do you get for killing a baby bear? A big pat on the back with a "congratulation shooter". Maybe next year you can get to kill something bigger.

Eric Rottenecker