California Senator Withdraws Anti-Bear Hunting Legislation After Hunters Spoke Up

Written by Wes Walker on February 2, 2021

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One California Senator thought he could slip in an anti-hunting bill while everyone was busy with other concerns. He was very wrong.

When aptly-named Sen. Scott Wiener introduced a bill to ‘The Bear Protection Act’, sponsored by the Humane Society last month, it didn’t take long at all for hunters to speak up about it.

The argument behind the bill was that the California bear population was under threat by the ‘inhumane’ hunting season.

In just a few days, state and national hunting associations organized a massive online activism campaign that urged those who supported Californians’ right to hunt the bears to contact legislators.

More than 21,000 people signed a Change.org petition opposing Wiener’s bill.

Hunters argued that their hunting season hasn’t harmed the state’s growing bear population; that hunters regularly eat the bears they shoot; and that it’s actually illegal to leave the meat of the bear in the field.

State wildlife agency officials say California’s statewide black bear population has more than doubled in the past four decades, and black bears are not anywhere near endangered.

State officials estimate that in 1982, the statewide bear population was between 10,000 and 15,000 bears. The black bear population is now “conservatively estimated” to be between 30,000 and 40,000 animals, state officials said.

Locally, around Lake Tahoe, bear populations have grown to some of the largest densities in the country, and bears have been aggressively breaking into vacation homes, and attacks on people happen from time to time. –Sacbee

Even the hunting quota is something of a misnomer, since the 2013 ban of hound-hunting bears, hunters haven’t even taken the full allowable quota of bears.

Hunters got him to pull his legislation within a week of having introduced it.

We should take note of what the other team does when they want to get something accomplished. They’ve been very effective at making the system dance to their tune. It’s time we change the tune.

If that means we rethink our independent streak and come together sometimes to get things done, maybe it’s time we did that. Sure beats letting the other team rack up the political wins, doesn’t it?

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