That isn’t news for Alaska hunters, simply news for soccer moms in Wisconsin.
More than a year ago Congress passed a joint resolution that forces Dept of Interior to recognize the State's right to manage wildlife. Only just now is Interior getting around to drafting regulations to comply with this.
The animal rights community is losing their mind over this. (And it sounds as if some Bowsiters are falling for the propaganda campaign). That is too bad. We in Alaska are tired of national campaigns by bleeding hearts being used to dictate how we manage our wildlife.
If some of you flatlanders are offended by the idea of hunting bears in the den with a spear and a light, I would suggest that you not participate in it. Meanwhile, if you are of Athabascan heritage and your people have been doing this for centuries, I would suggest that you don't need PETA (or Bowsiters from small/flat states) telling you that you shouldn't do it!
I suspected as much.
Fake news: Shooting bears in dens.
LOL define a "den", it could be an area dug out underneath tree roots. Not some cave where someone walks in, corners a bear and shoots it.
Fake News: Baiting brown bears with bacon and doughnuts. LOL. this is what the hunter eats for breakfast.
Fake News: Using spotlights to shoot mother black bears and cubs. Jacklighting is already illegal.
Sure, a hundred years ago the same tribal members would use a birchbark torch, but that has a tendency to be smoky and make your eyes water. Too, the light from that bark torch is a little weak for serious close-quarter bear hunting!
From what I hear from the villages on the Koyukuk where den hunting is a tradition, nobody was paying attention to the NPS rules (forbidding flashlights) anyway.
Bottom line? There are probably not 15 bears total taken in Alaska this way each winter. Maybe not even 5.
This is less a conservation problem and more of a fund-raising tactic for the AR groups.
One of many epic stories is how to kill bears during the winter by finding a den based on the melted snow chimney hole from their breath. Use an axe to chop the hole big enough for its head, then smoke it out. When he sticks his head up thru the hole, whack it with the axe. Doesn't work so well if you make the hole too big, but I won't give away all the details of this particular misadventure.
I say if someone wants to say trying to kill a bear in its den is too "easy" maybe make them give it a try sometime LOL.
I knew both Jimmy and Sidney Huntington. Every time I get to thinking I am (or was...) tough, I think of those guys! Jimmy passed on several years; Sidney died just last year. End of an era, for sure.