View Poll Results: Do you want to see F&G liberalize the legal uses of traps/snares on bears in Alaska?

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  • Yes, trap those bears and get'm gone, the more gone the better.

    13 52.00%
  • No, bears should not be trapped/snared.

    11 44.00%
  • Undecided.

    1 4.00%
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Thread: How do Hikers feel about snared bears?

  1. #1
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    Question How do Hikers feel about snared bears?

    This question is aimed at hikers that are not hunters nor trappers.

    How would you feel about being out hiking and coming across a live bear that was caught in a snare? Could be a black, could be a grizzly. Could be a sow with cubs hanging around. Could be a cub in the snare and Mama is hanging around.

    Over here on the hunting forum its been much discussed by hunters and trappers, but I'm wondering what non-hunters and non-trappers think of F&G allowing trappers to begin to trap bears now too.

    What say you?

  2. #2
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    I'm not a hiker unless it's to hunt or fish, but I'm crashing your party over here FM (though I don't see any responders yet). Why would any sane person attempt to snare a bear by a hiking trail? What would a hunter, fisherman, or trapper think if they saw a bear snared by a trail? Only an idiot, retread would do such a thing, and anyone would be offended by such a sight. Trapping and snaring and most hunting need to be done away from trails. It's just common sense. But if a hiker went off the trail and encountered such a spectacle, and was offended, then that is their problem. We all have to share the outdoors.

  3. #3
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    Default out hiking

    Hikers get one vote apiece, just like hunters or trappers. But there are more hikers, than hunters and trappers combined. So I think it to be important what hikers think. (Right now, they all appear to be out hiking - hasn't this been some truly glorious weather lately?)

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    Ok I'll bite - I'm a hiker and not a hunter or trapper (at least not yet). I don't know much about hunting and trapping, the techniques, the etiquette, etc. so I'll try to keep my answer general. I don't have any "moral" objection to trapping, so in that sense, trapping a bear isn't any different than trapping a rabbit (another mammal) as long as overall game populations are not threatened. On the other hand, a live trapped bear presents a far greater threat to other users than a trapped rabbit, particularly when some combination of cubs and a sow is involved (as noted). In Alaska, at least outside the main populated areas, the vast majority of hikers spend a lot of time off trails, though there's usually some rhyme or reason to where we travel (river banks, ridges, through relatively narrow brush zones, etc.). I suppose that if a trapper understands the user patterns in an area and only traps dangerous animals where no one in their right mind would choose to travel, the likelyhood of someone stumbling upon a live bear in the trap is low enough that I'd call it acceptable.

    That said, I've done a lot of forestry work this summer, walking pre-determined transects through very remote country where "no one in their right mind would choose to travel." If I came upon a live bear cub in a trap, that would definetely ruin my day. I reiterate, it has NOTHING to do with being offended. Even if I were against trapping, I don't offend easily. That's only a problem in southcentral where "hikers" are synonymous with "tree huggers" and where the trail network is dense enough to make this sort of thing a very bad idea.

    Now I've got a question for you. What's the etiquette for encounering live critters in traps in general? Is a pop in the head with a .22 going to damage the fur and piss off the trapper or what? Nobody likes walking away from a suffering critter.

  5. #5
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    Sayak as a trapper (and a hiker) I will have to agree you on 2 of your points.

    1. I agree that trapping/hunting should be done as far away as possible from well used areas for both the protection of the trapper and the public because of the following:
    a. There are people who do not wish to follow leash laws and dogs do get caught in traps especially in high use areas and that is something a trapper and a dog owner does not want.
    b. There are people who are avidly against trappers who will mess with your sets and set your traps off if they come across them it happens more than you would think. ( BTW it is ILLEGAL to mess with someones traps if you come across them)

    So with those two sub points if it WERE conducted away from well used areas and trails then theses issues would not arise.


    2. I agree with "Why would any sane person attempt to snare a bear by a hiking trail?"
    Just like hunting where you get "weekend warriors" or people who just bought their first gun and want to hop right in and shoot a moose there are idiot trappers as well who do such things and give the whole trapping community a black eye. There are people who trap right on main trails I have seen it before. Just because they are now targeting a bear will make it no different than before. So yes it is easy for us to say who in their right mind would do that but I guarantee it would probably happen.

    So that small % of people that fall into the category above are just fuel for the people who are opposed to this measure because they can and will bring up the things that Family Man has. And remember I am a trapper BUT in the situation Family Man describes I wouldnt want to come across a snared bear unarmed ( I am always armed but the average hiker may not be.)

  6. #6
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    On a complete side note I will bring this up only because in this entire debate and all of the threads combined I have not seen this brought up. So far with the exception of beaver MOST of the trapping season occurs during the winter months. In the winter months there are still hikers and cross country skiers using the trails but not nearly as many as the summer time. I havent seen any proposed dates for the season only a proposal suggesting that a season even exist but I dont know if they would make the season during the winter since the bears are in hibernation and that to me would seem counter productive to the goal they are trying to accomplish of cutting down on the #s of bears. But back to the main point if the season falls in line with the rest of trapping season and is in the winter there will not be nearly as much traffic on the trails so the scenario outlined above would be super rare IMO and seems like a stretch to try to get people on the bandwagon of opposing this measure.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEATHEN View Post

    Now I've got a question for you. What's the etiquette for encounering live critters in traps in general? Is a pop in the head with a .22 going to damage the fur and piss off the trapper or what? Nobody likes walking away from a suffering critter.
    Yes and Yes....In most cases you are best to leave the area without dispatching the animal or distressing it any more. There are cases where there is foot damage or whatnot that the trapped critter is near escaping with a serious injury that would dictate dispatching the critter as cleanly as possible and hanging it up at the site for the trapper to find. 22 caliber would be the weapon of choice if a weapon must be used, no large caliber rifles PLEASE!!!

    Thanks for asking the question, Heathen....

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    As a side note to my previous post, I'll add that I'm vehemently against predator control just for the sake of predator control, and I'd go so far to say that 95% of the "hiking-only" community will agree with me on that. The individual trapper better have some use for that bear, or be specifically targeting a "problem bear" near his home, or I'm strongly against trapping it. We all live here because we like being surrounded by wild lands. Stable, natural populations of bears and wolves are inseperable from those wild lands. Period.

  9. #9
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HEATHEN View Post
    Stable, natural populations of bears and wolves are inseperable from those wild lands.
    Once humans have started manipulating the food source poplulation there will never be a "natural, stable" population of predators. Create lots of food source and you get lots of bears and wolves. If you don't control the human component that removes the food source from the population you obtain a perception that there is an over population of bears and wolves. Enough of a reduction in food sources and you will have an actual over population of pedators.

    Once humans monkey with a slow to mature and reproduce species like moose things get out of balance quickly.

    Bear snaring will have to take place in the summer months in remote areas. I had discussions with locals along the Skwentna this summer and there were some pretty cool stories about last years snare efforts in 16. One trapper was checking a snare site and when he came up on to it he had a sow snared and two bores hanging around her. Lots of fast shooting.

    The one thing about the predation work in 16 that may come back to haunt F&G is that by removing the bears that are there the ones from outside the area will move in. Over time they may deplete a fairly large population of bears from well outside unit 16. Without any kind of tracking study they will never know.

    As a hiker I don't really care about predator control issues. As a hunter I think we as a society are neck deep into generations of foul ups across many game species and need to be more proactive on management of the ecosystems humans have manipulated for decades.

    Based on insurance claims in the midwest and east coast it is pretty clear that they need to reintroduce wolves and mountain lions to control the deer populations. Hunters are failing at that and farmers and small towns plant way too much food to feed the deer. Maybe shipping some snared grizz down to the mid west would help out.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    Based on insurance claims in the midwest and east coast it is pretty clear that they need to reintroduce wolves and mountain lions to control the deer populations. Hunters are failing at that and farmers and small towns plant way too much food to feed the deer. Maybe shipping some snared grizz down to the mid west would help out.
    Last year the Iowa DNR's late winter deer head count revealed a herd of 84 deer living in the square mile where my 40 acre lease is. There was also a herd of 67 cattle turned out in the harvested grain fields to clean up what the harvest left behind. Many times after dark you can see deer and cattle feeding side by side in the same field. If you were a griz would you chase a deer around for an hour for a meal or just eat the loins out of the big ole slow bovine without a chase.

    In Iowa we have roads every mile east and west and roads every mile north and south. There would just be more insurance claims in regards to bears eating livestock and car/ bear crashes.

  11. #11
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Ray View Post
    Based on insurance claims in the midwest and east coast it is pretty clear that they need to reintroduce wolves and mountain lions to control the deer populations. Hunters are failing at that and farmers and small towns plant way too much food to feed the deer. Maybe shipping some snared grizz down to the mid west would help out.
    Nah, they'd just be diving in the dumpster behind the 7/11. Deer live readily in suburban areas- bears don't.

    I've weighed in on the hunting thread pretty heavily but as a hiker I don't think I like the idea of walking up on a live bear one bit.

    I've seen plenty of bears while hiking in the summer and plenty of smaller trapped critters on XC skis or snowshoes in the winter- I don't want to mix the two.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by elmerkeithclone View Post
    In Iowa we have roads every mile east and west and roads every mile north and south. There would just be more insurance claims in regards to bears eating livestock and car/ bear crashes.
    Car/ bear crashes, that's classic.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

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