Thursday, June 14, 2018

The fight over Alaska's hunting rules runs deeper than using doughnuts to bait bears

Some hunters in Alaska use bacon grease or doughnuts to bait bears. Some use headlamps to find and shoot bears in their dens. Some kill swimming caribou from motorboats. These facts are undisputed. But whether such rare, unconventional methods should be used — and who can tell Alaskans how they kill the animals they eat — is an entirely different matter. A years-old conflict has pitted the state against the feds, conservationists against preservationists, and people who feed their families by stalking game in the wilderness against those who see certain types of hunting as inhumane. The tactics that have attracted the most outrage — the bacon, the spotlights, the motorboats — aren’t widely practiced. But they’ve become battle lines in a power struggle between Washington and a rural state with a deep tradition of independence and self-determination. Now the Trump administration is seeking to end the fight by undoing rules that restricted the controversial methods on federal land. It’s a move that has divided local hunters, though many see it as proper deference to local sovereignty. “Bureaucrats and anti-hunting influences should not determine what’s ethical in Alaska,” said Bruce Dale, director of the state Division of Wildlife Conservation...MORE

No comments: