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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering if it is worth the effort to try and get the laws reinstated to be able to bait for bear hunting again. First is it even possible, second do you think we would get enough people to vote this time? I know there is a lot of bunnyhuggers out there now whose kids are being harassed and little kitties are getting eaten because there are so many bears now approaching neighborhoods. There is a lot less bear hunters and more builders putting developments in the bears territory, and a bunch of treehuggers wanting to live out in the woods and become "in touch with nature" are starting to realize that if you don't control the population they can become a nussiance or a danger. Does anyone know what it would take to reinstate the old laws or change the newer laws to make it possible to hunt over bait again, and or have the use of dogs. Personally I like to hunt over bait than with dogs. Maybe if we put out an iniciative that allows us to hunt with just bait and not dogs it might be easier to get passed. Any ideas from fellow hunters would be helpful. If this topic has been discussed before I am sorry for the redundancy.
 

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I'm not sure if this topic has been up before. But one thing that i know is that the hard core tree huggers and not going to go for it because they view it as their fault for moving out there and ruining the bears teritory. Secondly, I dont see enough people looking to push for it, or really caring. Most people are too concerned with hound hunting to even really remember that we or you rather, being that i was not alive or hunting when baiting was legal, used to be able to bait. The people who really want to bait hunt do it anyways, as i have come across bait in the woods when hunting. And whether or not people turn them in, I dont know, if the law comes down on them, then they knew better. I dont see bait coming back as to me it gets too covered up by hound hunting.... just my .02
 

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I will say that I have never been much of a bear hunter, for me they are something I keep an eye out for while deer and elk hunting. That being said, I would support such an initiative, but I think it would be hard to get passed. I truly think it will be hard to get are hunting freedoms put back in place after they have been taken away. That is the best reason to fight so hard when ANY anti-hunting imitative is on the ballet. I'm not saying that we can't get pro-hunting initiatives passed, but it will be a major up hill battle.
 

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Until bears and cougars start waltzing into the Capitol Bldg in Olympia and munching on legislators, I don't think revoking baiting or hound hunting will happen any time soon. Seriously, there will have to be a certain body count before it is even considered. Unfortunately :cry:
 

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I was the Wildlife manager for Weyerhaeuser for 12 years. During that time I ran hounds and I ran a guiding business over baits. I'll never ever feel that hunting over hounds is truely "hunting". Your chasing the dogs, and they are hunting. Big fun to be sure, but not what I consider hunting.

Using Bait is very likely the hardest most time consuming hunting you will ever do. Pack in 1000's of pounds of food from a month before the season to a month after the season. It's a whole lot of work to let an arrow loose or pull the trigger. There is significant levels of bear knowledge involved to do this right. Sure some guys get lucky without any knowledge but to be really REALLY good at this it's a lot of skill.

Some of the misconception about bait is that you leave a box of donuts in the forest and the bears line up waiting to catch a bullet. Once you see a bear stalk into a bait fearing for his life that another bear is near by you realize just how lucky you are to see him, before he see's or smells you. Again some bears near urban areas may be less affected by human scent, but when you start baiting big bears in more remote areas, it's a tough ordeal. Add to that the tricks needed to get the 100% nocturnal old bears to show up during the daylight.

In the 12 years I guided the Snoqualmie Treefarm we took on average 25 bears a year off of baits. We never in all that time killed a single female, or any young bears. That's pushing 300 bears, all older trophy quality males at leat 2.5 years old. Male bears that age will be in the 230-260lb range. The average bear was well over 300lbs and these are 5.5 years old. We killed several dozen over 400 lbs of which the oldest was 28.5 years old. In one season I put up 17 photographers, Weyerhaeuser managers, and game department enforcement officers. All of them saw bears, many multiple bears per night. I also took a writer from the Jounal American Newspaper for which they wrote a strory about the management I was doing. That was a front page cover story too!

Baiting is without question, and without debate the single greatest method to control and manage a bear population. There is zero risk of killing young or female bears, there is zero risk that a pack of hounds will run the bush chasing and stressing young game in the spring like deer, elk, grouse etc. There is no way you will disturb other hunters with hounds. You're simply sitting in a blind.

If there was ever a way to reinstate the bait hunting season I would work in whatever capacity needed to help with the effort.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I personally like the baiting of bears over hunting them with hounds, but that is just a personal preference. I think it would be an easier battle to reestablish hunting over bait. I am writing the game department to see if they would have any information on reinstating our hunting rights or if anyone to their knowledge has tried to bring this up to a balot. I hope that everytime a hunting or fishing issue comes up more sportsmen put in their vote. I knew of several hunters that did not vote when they took away the bear hunting rights, mostly because they didn't think it would pass or they weren't bear hunters at the time. The enviromentalists are becoming very powerful and I think it is time we all banded together and stand our ground before they take all of our rights away piece by piece.
 

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I don't think we need it. With almost everyone packina bear tag for deer and Elk seasons now I think the population is being controlled. I ama primative archer and admit my bias however. I think all hunting should be spot and stalk.
 
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