The Den Killing of a Massive Black Bear Sparks Debate Over Regulations

January 6 2011, 2:00 PM

Should hunters be allowed to follow bears into their dens and shoot them as they hunt for trophies? That's the focus of debate after an incident last November in which hunter Richard Kendall tracked a bear to a cave near Meeker, waited five hours for it to emerge, and shot it. Kendall boasted to the Craig Daily Press in December of his kill. The bear was potentially record-setting at 703 pounds, leading to an outpouring of angry calls and e-mails to state wildlife officials and, subsequently, consideration of a new rule that may make such techniques illegal (via The Associated Press).

Suzanne O'Neill, executive director of the Colorado Wildlife Federation, told wildlife commissioners Wednesday that she'd like to see such slayings banned because the foundation for ethical hunting includes a fair chase (via the Fort Collins Coloradoan). Wildlife commissioners say the "taking" of a bear may erode public support for hunting and trust in the state wildlife agency to regulate it. Meanwhile, commissioners have also agreed to take another look at a ban on dogs at Lonetree and Lon Hagler reservoirs west of Loveland, where hunters and dog walkers have clashed in the past with others in the park areas, notes the Reporter-Herald.