Is the Bear "Hunt" in Katmai National Preserve Sporting or Ethical?

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Scott Dickerson Photo, Used With Permission.

This female bear was dredging up dead salmon from the lake bottom as the hunters waited for her to return to the beach, close enough so they could kill her. The bear, which was obviously used to being around humans, walked closely past the hunters as they moved to get even closer before shooting her with an arrow and then with a rifle. Scott Dickerson Photo. Used with Permission.

There are places in the national park system where hunting is allowed. That's not the issue with this post. Rather, it's the ethical questions that swirl around the bear "hunt" that the National Park Service has allowed in the preserve portion of Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska. What follows are striking observations of the first few days of this fall's three-week hunt made by Jim Stratton, the National Parks Conservation Association regional director in Alaska, Chris Day, a guide and naturalist in Alaska, and Daniel Zatz, a professional videographer. Read their words, view Mr. Zatz's short video, and ask yourself -- and the Park Service -- whether this bear hunt is sporting, and whether the Park Service is serving as a proper steward for the grizzly bears in Katmai. -- The Editors.

(video copyright wildlifeHD, used with permission)

How Sporting Is The Bear Hunt in Katmai National Preserve?
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By Jim Stratton -
Alaska Regional Director, National Parks Conservation Association

Six weeks ago, I wrote about a request that the National Parks Conservation Association made to the National Park Service in Alaska to shorten the brown bear hunting season in Katmai National Preserve. The reason: an observable, documented decline in the number of brown bears in Katmai.

I also predicted in that piece that the Park Service managers would not listen to us -- and they didn’t.

So on October 1, a three-week brown bear hunt began. When I first saw the video footage of the hunt’s first day, a new question was added to the mix: Is this hunt ethical?

The bears that live in Katmai are viewed by photographers and wildlife enthusiasts all summer long. Every day that weather permits, float planes from Homer bring dozens of people to Katmai to view bears in the wild. Later in the summer, fishing lodges fly in anglers to work the same streams that attract the bears. Between the anglers and the bear viewers, these bears grow very used to people.

Then, on October 1, these habituated bears suddenly become fair game to hunters. This doesn’t seem right – because what’s lacking is a fair chase.

NPCA has argued that the number of bears in the area has diminished over time because of an increase in the number of bears that are hunted and killed. Our request to both the Board of Game in Alaska and the National Park Service for a shorter season this fall, and therefore fewer bears killed, was a reasonable, short-term solution that was nevertheless ignored.

The long-term solution to the over-hunting of bears in this area is to get the state of Alaska and the National Park Service to cooperatively manage the bears in a way that provides for both bear viewing and an ethical hunt. Instead of a season with no limit on the number of bears that can be harvested, the state and NPS should look at localized population information to determine a specific harvest level that provides for both viewing and hunting, and put specific number limits on the hunt.

Management would also allow the Park Service to direct hunters away from the bear-viewing areas to provide both the hunters, and the bears, with a fair chase.

What Happened to The Hunter's Commitment to Fair Chase?
By Chris Day -
Guide and Naturalist, Emerald Air Service

On September 30th, we dropped off two news crews to film the brown bear hunt in the Katmai Preserve.
Overflying the area before landing we observed nine hunting camps. Every camp without exception had bears within 200 yards of their tents – bears were strolling up and down the shores of the lake dredging fish, eating berries, completely unaware of their fates.

More than likely, these bears thought -- if bears think -- that these camps and men were no different than the thousands of sports fishermen and bear viewers they have been co-existing with along the salmon stream all summer long.

While we unloaded the crews' gear from the plane, a beautiful big female with a fat cub walked curiously up to within 50 feet of the plane. Curious, but unconcerned. Three more young females without cubs were dredging fish within a few hundred yards before we taxied out. Sports fishermen were casting flies into the waters of the creek. The scene was one of nature's splendor at its height, the tundra alive with fall color, fat bears taking their last meals before climbing into winter dens.

At four o’clock the next afternoon, October 1 -- the first day of hunting season in the preserve, less than 24 hours after we had dropped the crew off -- the scene had changed.

Overflying the area prior to landing, the shores were strewn with bear carcasses, the dead bruins lying on their backs with legs sprawled out as they had been left after their hides had been stripped and carcasses decapitated.

As we taxied up to shore a young, blond female, a bear that had been there the evening before, walked out of the bushes on the hillside a few hundred feet above the plane. As she casually looked at us, out of the alders between us and the bear two hunters stepped out. The bear did not run, she looked at the hunters and was shot. This was not a big male. It was a young, most probably 4- or 5-year-old, female. This bear was no more than 50 feet from the hunters and only a few hundred feet from their camp.

Bears wandering within 300 yards from the kill didn’t even interrupt their feeding. I seriously question the fairness of the chase involved in killing these bears. The hunt will go on for three more weeks, the carcasses will become bait, and these hunters will be able to shoot bears the following morning without leaving their sleeping bags if they so choose. The hunters did nothing illegal.

In the time since witnessing this kill my emotions have moved from initial disbelief --shock and anger at the moment of the kill, then a deep sorrow and grief into the night after the hunt -- to waking with a burning, white-hot rage in the pit of my stomach that has now tempered and hardened my resolve and determination to end this slaughter.

Hunting pressure has been increasing in this area for a number of years now; we have seen a marked decrease in the number of bears we watch in this area and a change in the makeup of the population.

Biology aside (there are many bears in this area), economics aside (value of hunting versus non-consumptive use of wildlife), this is simply ethically and morally wrong. Hunters as a group adhere to the concept of FAIR CHASE

What we witnessed certainly was not FAIR CHASE.

Follow Up:
Alaska Regional Director Responds to Outrage over Katmai Preserve Bear Hunt

Transcript

TEXT FROM VIDEO:
[0:00] Alaska's Katmai National Park and Preserve is home to hundreds of grizzly/brown bears that have learned to co-exist with humans. Thousands of visitors and photographers enjoy these human-trusting bears each summer.

The Preserve is now open to grizzly bear hunting.

This is what we saw on October 1, 2007

[3:07] At least five bears were killed on the morning of October 1, 2007. The bears were killed by trophy hunters who only took the hide and skull.

[3:20] All of the images here were recorded within an eight-hour period on October 1st, 2007. With more good weather, hunting will continue every day until the 21st.

[3:41] The following images are of the female bear killed by the arrow and gunshots earlier in this video. She spent more than half hour feeding on salmon in front of our camp before she was killed.

[4:35] The material contained on this video is copyrighted. License is hereby granted for use of this program in its entirety only, and only for display and distribution as a News item on the Internet.

Video copyright 2007 wildlifeHD, used with permission

Comments

You are VERY good at expressing yourself and yes, it is inhumane. How macho is it to prick a bear with an arrow and then stand back and let your paid assassin do the actual killing? When people come up here with more money than skill or ethics, the real killing is done by the guides and the hunting industry should acknowledge that.

First thing I'm trying to do is ensure every news agency in the country picks up on it. The listing on Google News had three articles on my search yesterday and today it has nine, including papers in UT and TX that have picked it up. It needs some national exposure -- write to CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, etc. first -- get more American citizens involved. After you've exhausted the list of usual people to write to (Congress, NPS, Interior, Jenna Bush's daddy) then get creative.

Glad to hear that Alaska is putting the brown bear on its quarter. Too bad too many people will see it as the view through their spotting scopes. Guarantee you'll see images with the Alaska quarter and crosshairs superimposed on it within the year.

Where’s the outrage from ethical hunters and their representative organizations? How can these organizations wonder why the new USFWS survey on hunting, fishing, and wildlife recreation shows a continuing decline in hunting? Legitimate hunters and their organizations should be outraged at least at the message that even supporting this particular management practice sends to people who don’t hunt, but still support hunting for the conservation benefits that generally follow wise management practices…but why should they continue to support it if the “easy bear before breakfast” continues? Support and participation obviously do not support any cause that might bring consumptive and non-consumptive users to work together for common benefits in other topics/debates.

This is not hunting -- this is a bunch of fat men who would pee their pants and cry to their mama's if one of these bears even got close to them. This makes me sick. There is no excuse for this.

If this is about "thinning" the population, well, there are too many fat and stupid men hunting bears in Alaska...and there's no doubt they need to be thinned out.

I have been a hunter for 13 years. What these people did is not hunting and is completely unethical. However, I also think there is another problem besides the hunting; these bears are habituated to humans. This should not be and the park needs to stop accommodating to tourists. It's a national park, not a zoo.

I am deeply saddened and disgusted by the act of killing these habituated bears. I am a hunter, a fisher, and outdoorsman. This killing is dispicable, a low mark for human behavior. All individuals involved with this hunt, and the killing of these nearly tame animals, needs to be brought before the public and exposed for allowing, participating, or promoting these acts. Every magazine, newspaper, and T.V. station in this country should play this video and explain who in the state and federal government allowed this despicable act. The careers of the officials that sanctioned this tragic shooting event should be ended without hesitation. The videographers should be commended for putting themselves out in the field and bringing this footage to the world.

So what do all of you people that are complaining suggest we do with the bears once they overpopulate? Disease themselves and die or die of starvation??? You can't have it both ways. And what about the poor fish the mean old bears are biting their heads off?? It is all relevant, isn't it?? All of you probably eat fish, chicken, beef, ham, etc., etc. etc. And those "poor animals" are standing in a 5X5 foot pen, gorging themselves on food we feed by hand. THEY TRUST US, right??? And then a bullet is put between their eyes...IS THIS "FAIR CHASE"????
GET OVER IT!!! It is all relevant. "One man's garbage is another man's treasure". Believe it: the bears are simply happy there is more food for them the following year!! SMILE and go to bed!!

I couldn’t watch the whole video. I didn’t even get halfway. After seeing the hunters standing slack-jawed in such close quarters to the bear’s calm presence, I knew what would happen next. Taking candy from a baby doesn’t even begin to make a comparison – more like just killing the baby.

The difference here is between true hunting and lazy hunting. I think we all know which this is. I feel like those lazy hunters have no appreciation for what they’re taking.

I’m outraged.

Nature can self regulate without our "help". My opinion -- animals at the top of the food chain should not be hunted for sport - period. We've hunted most of them to the brink of extinction and now we claim that more hunting is what's needed to address the problem. Sounds a lot like the argument for a perpetual presence in Iraq to me... (You know -- we're there, and now people are attacking us, so we need to stay there and fight them until they stop -- that sort of skewed logic).

No, it doesn't bother me that a bear might die of starvation or that half of them might die when the next volcano in the park blows its top -- what bothers me is that another creature on this planet associates pleasure with the death of another creature. That's what I'd classify as mental illness.

The bears are happy? Hmm... Watching too much Yogi & Booboo?

I'm off to New Mexico. I'll read your cheerful, well-considered responses when I return.

Let me begin by saying that I lived in area for more then 30 years. I went to Katmai National park in 6th grade. I grew up in the area on subsistence hunting and helped fish and hunt for elders in the area. Maybe I am old school of hunting but this is just wrong. The National Park Service needs to get it's priorities straight on wether they would like sight seeing income or a hunting income. I am astonished about the talk of fair chase there is nothing fair about hunting these bears in this area. They are to familiar with mankind because of the sight seeing and sport fishing vistors that come from all over the world to vist the park. I have read some other peoples comments on bait hunting but lets think about this, for how many years do the bears migrate to this area to feed on the fish in preperation of hibernation and only nature can dump several hundred thousand fish in one location and have generation of bears know to come to this area for preperation on hibernation. Why they just did not direct hunters to local land fill and shoot the bears going into there? Maybe because it is against the law. Have some self respect and Dignity on hunting as a person or the branch of goverment that manages the resources. There is so many other locations to hunt in the Bristol Bay Area then in the park.

Testosterone ...Testosterone...Testosterone...maybe somebody should buy them A Playstation

How can those hunters possibly say that the bear hunting in the Katmai is fair? I was there this past summer, and saw for myself how close the bears came and how comfortable they were with humans. Now the guides, of course, are out for the money....but the hunters? What a joke...These areas need to be preserved, and the hunts better controlled and way more limited to make it fair and a real sport, not a free-for-all slaughter. Shame on all those who have a Katmai bear hanging on their wall!


If you want to state your own opinion on this subject, you might want to write to

National Parks Conservation Association – (GOOD GUYS)
Jim Stratton
1300 19th Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
Toll Free: 800.628.7275
Fax: 202.659.0650
Email:

Alaska Fish and Game
Commissioner Denby S. Lloyd
ADF&G
PO Box 115526
Juneau, Alaska 99811-5526
Phone:(907) 465-4100
FAX: (907) 465-2332
Email:

Alaska congressional members
Ted Steven
Anchorage, AK
Federal Building, Room 569
222 West 7th Avenue #2
Anchorage, AK 99513
Phone: (907) 271-5915
Fax: (907) 258-9305
Email: haven't got it yet

Lisa Murkowski
Anchorage Office
510 L. Street, Suite 550
Anchorage, AK 99501
907-271-3735
Fax 907-276-4081
Email:

or anyone else you can think of who might recognize the ridiculous inconsistency of what goes on in the Katmai.
I live in British Columbia and work hard to help protect grizzly bears and can not even wrap my head around the concept of sport hunting let alone a complete and all out slaughter! this is an attrosity, what kind of people do this?....please write and make your comments and feeling known...the public and public pressure is a powerful thing!!!


What about us humans that are overpopulating the earth...the bears were here in our space before we came and we have the RIGHT to choose when they get hunted and when they don't becuase we choose...who are you? At least if they die from starvation or disease it is natural!!!

The fact is not the food source, that we kill our animals that we eat, these bears are being hunted purely for SPORT...and killing a human conditioned bear doesn't sound like a TRUE hunter (which they are not), they are hunting the bear not to eat, they hunt the bear not to sustain themselves they hunt the bear for the hide, no meat, no real reason!!!

This is the problem, they are "hunting" a bear that has no fear of humans, a bear that has learned to trust humans, a bear that is only trying to eat enough food to get fat enough to survive the winter doramant period that is approahcing quickly!!!

Let's hope that when "hunting" like this takes place, there will be some rogue bears who are into the "other white meat," MAN, and they fight back. This is the most horrendous thing that I have witnessed in wildlife. It surely make me wonder if these men respect themselves, their families, and their humanity. They are NOT men of integrity and morality!!!

Katmai National Preserve BEAR KILL

The footage from the cameraman was very good. As a matter of fact he was showing Bears that had nothing to do with the hunt, great footage though.
The article claims the filmed Bear was the one Killed, in fact if you look at the footage again you will see he’s not even on the same bear or even on the same side of the water as the hunters.
He’s more than likely an Interfering animal rights buffoon trying to stop the HUNTERS RIGHT TO KILL THAT BEAR.
To think the animal rights groups really believe bears are suppose to show aggression and attack the hunter before WE KILL THEM, are clearly out of there minds.
I sure hope the Skull and Hide turn out as well as the bear hunt. Fantastic hunt and GOOD JOB HUNTERS

Well the comments about his bear being the wrong bear surprises me, but in the same instance it does not, this is the same person saying good job hunters. Most REAL HUNTERS, would not consider this hunting..... I will try to educate you on some bear facts!!!

I have spent over 30 years nestled in the middle of grizzly bears and bear habitat(perhaps not as dense as in Alaska, bears that are not habituated to humans will not tolerate us that much. Normally they will take off, and are typically scared and fearful of humans because normally our encounters are negative for the bears (great indication in this video). These bears are human habituated, they are also preoccupied with consuming heaps of food, and because there is ample food they are more likely to 'deal' with a greater presence be it humans or other bears.
Due to the human habituation we have taught these bears that humans will not harm them, they do not need to be wary, we have ultimately lead them to their own demise.

You call this your right to kill, I can disagree and I can choose to not support this....I do not think this is ethical.

You are correct in naming the Alaska Outdoor Council. In addition, the Alaska Board of Game (hunters) is responsible for all of the hunting and trapping regulations. I would doubt that most of the Park Service people agree with hunts like this one. If you think this bear hunting is bad, it only gets worse in Alaska. Aerial wolf hunting is about to start up in huge areas of land and the Board of Game also plans on approving aerial hunting of bears. It's all about money and trophies to hang on the wall. Oh. Governor Sarah Palin is also an advocate of the Alaska Outdoor Council (I believe she's a member) and the Board of Game. Feel free to send all letters of protest to the Governor: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/ and the Board of Game: http://www.boards.adfg.state.ak.us/gameinfo/index.php

I'm glad to see some of the posts reference the Alaska Outdoor Council and the the Alaska Board of Game. The Alaska Board of Game (all hunters and trappers) is responsible for all of the hunting and trapping regulations in the state. They are appointed by the Governor. I would doubt that most of the Park Service people agree with hunts like this one. If you think this bear hunting is bad, it only gets worse in Alaska. Aerial wolf hunting is about to start up in huge areas of land and the Board of Game also plans on approving aerial hunting of bears. It's all about money and trophies to hang on the wall. Governor Sarah Palin is an advocate of the Alaska Outdoor Council (I believe she's also a member) and the Board of Game. Feel free to send all letters of protest to the Governor: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/ and the Board of Game: http://www.boards.adfg.state.ak.us/gameinfo/index.php

These men -- and the disgusting thing acting as their guide -- are simply acting out what they cannot in certain rooms of their homes. They likely had to get juiced up on viagra just to have the energy to get their pants on over their fat asses. We can also expect that they abuse their wives, yell at their kids, and are otherwise complete scum of the earth. Hunting is fine, shooting your dog isn't. People go to jail for animal cruelty, so should these slobs.

If the NPS doesn't want to protect these bears than perhaps Alaskans (or others) should spend more loud raucus time there at this time of year. Oh, and bring some fireworks.

Despicable? What do you think will happen if no bears are taken? As a biologist, I would think you would know the answer. The population increases. Then what? I'd bet that there would be human fatalities at some point because the salmon won't be enough for the increase in the number of bears.
Of course, maybe the humans should just leave.

I can tell that you are anti anything connected with hunting, fishing, firearms, etc. A dyed-in-the-wool liberal. Your comment that 'the bears were here in our space before we came' kinda says it all. If it were up to you we would all go back to whereever we came from. My question to you would be, 'how far back do we go?'
Unfortunately this is a sign of modern progress. We can't go back. We must make do with what we have and where we are.
If the bear herd is not thinned out, then the numbers go up. The numbers go up, the more they eat. There won't be enough salmon to sustain unlimited growth. The result? They start eating humans. Then what? A bear that 'has learned to trust humans' will eat that human if hungry enough.
You need to deal with the real world. . .

i would like to strip these proud hunter warriors down but give them a running start and use the same fireams or high powered arrows from the same distance they shot and see how well they fare. Biggest fcking loser humans but my real joy would be the high five i give a tree after shooting them. Nevermind this is legal. Go home proud aceholes, you bastards are just another example of pathetic American mismanagement to be piled on a heap of wrongheaded human disgrace taking place during the years of the bushit (cheney) administration in a state controlled by crooks.

This is not sport hunting. This must be shut down ASAP. This is an Alaskan death camp and National Park Service officials in charge should be prosecuted if this activity is to occur in Katmai.

I just wanted the video to be over. While, i'm not a big fan of hunting animals at all, I most surely do not support this disgusting practice and I don't imagine most 'real' hunters do not. Please do whatever you can do make it stop. To answer the question, of course it is unethical. thank you.

To Hunt: "To chase or search for; to search a place thoroughly; to scour an area thoroughly" (Webster's Dictionary) in pursuit of wildlife. The video does not come close to matching the intention of the definition of "hunt". What is disturbing is that the guides and the hunters have abandoned their original purpose, to go hunting.

Wildlife, especially those species often revered in society, are reduced to a population numbers game to justify an open hunt for those willing to pay for a thrill, like buying sex. That makes Park Management the procurer. When they leave, the dignity of the area will be restored but not without the lasting effects of exploitation.

We had the opportunity to travel into Katmai with Ken and Chris this summer on a bear watching expedition. We are deeply saddened by what is taking place there now. This is not "hunting", but rather needless slaughter. As a child I accompanied my father on hunting trips where we actually had to HUNT for animals. Hopefully the powers that be will recognize that this "hunting" is not in the best interest of the park, the bears, or conservation. The world need more naturalis like Ken and Chris who have dedicated themselves to preserve Alaska for our future generations to enjoy!

The U.S. National Park Service should purchase a Wild Animal Park in California or Florida from the bush/cheney Iraqi oil baron pipeline fund. Then send in these fearless camoflage losers with their bushit superiority complex to take out a herd of habituated domesticate zebras to really set their egos on fire. Super loser aceholes disgrace the human race.

This is one of the most despicable and unsportsmanlike acts I have ever witnessed. To shoot defenseless, habituated bears at close range is so unfair it is incredulous that NPS could be supportive of such cruelty. The administrators who promoted this shoot should lower their heads in shame. This activity is unjustified and inexcuseable.

WOW, NOW THAT IS HUNTING. THESE ARE REAL MEN HERE. IT JUST GOES TO SHOW YOU WHAT CAN BE ACCOMPLISHED WITH HARD WORK, DETERMINATION, AND MOST OF ALL A HUGE WALLET FULL OF MONEY TO PAY FOR THE LICENSE AND GUIDE. THESE GUYS REALLY DID SOMETHING HERE, AND SHOULD BE PROUD OF IT RIGHT. THERE NOT JUST OUT TRYING TO COMPENSATE FOR A SMALL MANHOOD RIGHT??? I COULD NOT DO IT. LOOKING AT THAT ANIMAL HANGING ON THE WALL THE REST OF MY LIFE, I COULD'NT HELP BUT FEEL PITTY FOR MYSELF FOR WHAT I HAD DONE. SO I DO'NT DO IT, AND I STILL FEEL LIKE A REAL MAN BELIEVE IT OR NOT!

As a mostly left leaning liberal who has guns and hunts for meat (I fish for meat as well), your first sentence is unneccassarily simplistic and of course divisive. Secondly, both bears and humans are fairly recent arrivals in the new world. As always,"who was here first" has little meaning or weight.

Also bears don't roam in herds, you are probably thinking of prey species e.g. deer. All animal populations have exsisting influences that control their numbers. Often it is availability of food although in the case of bears biologists aren't in total agreement what is the primary control. (could be different types of mortality, availability denning sites, etc).

Your last 2 conclusions are just not supported by facts. First bears (black, brown, and polar apparentally do not consider humans a prey species). Without details the data just don't show this. (yes, people have been killed and some consummed by bears but at such a low rate it does not even suggest food gathering behavior ). Lucky for us,especially before the invention of firearms.

And last: a "bear eating a human it has learned to trust is not supported either in the literature or in anyone's experience that I'm aware of.

It is true that most game management is paid for by folks that hunt. (shoot actually) and fish. See 'Sunrises" thoughtful and informative response above.

But ofcourse the management needs to be done because humans want to kill (harvest is the word usually used) and without some "management" humans could, and history has shown would, over harvest the animals to their detriment. Simply put: the management of animals is necessary to keep from over impacting animal populations not to put them there in the first place. They would be there to view without management but not if hunters killed too many of them.

Saying bears are humanized is a misuse of terms (and concepts). Bears never become more human but they do get used to and ignore humans. It's called habituation. Most bears seem naturally wary of humans, but some come to trust them (after repeated benign interactions). You can't walk up to any bear just because it happens to be getting it's fill of food. Please don't try this.

Ah, Craig, Craig Craig........

Real world? In the "real world" you would have a bit more basic information than you obviously possess. There are too many holes in your logic for me to begin. First, great white biologist, bears are in the catagory commonly referred to within the sciences as "omnivores", which strictly translated is defined as any creature that derives sustenance from multiple sources, including plants, fruits, nuts, berries, grains, AND meats. So when the salmon run ends, as it does every year, bears turn to humans as their primary food source? PLEASE!!!!

In nature, being a top predator comes with the inherent responsibility to self-regulate one's population based upon availability of food and acceptable mates, environmental resources such as water, and a host of other concerns. The sole exception to nature's rule is man, who never learned this "keep it in your pants lest the entire herd run out of food, shelter, water, etc." theory, and which is why we are the ONLY top predator that has overpopulated it's niche. It is also the driving force behind industrial "farming" methods, as we can no longer provide enough free-range space to raise enough domesticated livesotck to feed our ever-growing masses, so we now limit their movement and activity level to whatever they can do in a cage prior to their eventual slaughter to save the world by providing such delicacies as Arches McNuggets, BK Stackers, Colonel Buckets World of Grease and the like, but that has little to do with this discussion.

Bears start to eat humans..........outside of Mr. Treadwell and his tag-along, in the entire history of the Katmai Park, do you know how many humans have been the victim of a fatal bear mauling? ABSOLUTELY ZERO. These two were the first and last to date. Period.

In future, read a bit more and come prepared to display something besides the typical rhetoric and diatribe that every slob hunter hides behind. "He'd have killed me if I didn't get him first" just doesn't wash in the "real world".

The bears are habituated and the hunt is unethical but too bad we couldn't all get this fired up about the killing of our soldiers and civillians in Iraq.

I agree with the above comments. This is not a fair hunt, and should be stopped.

After many wonderful trips into Katmai with the priviledge of viewing these creatures, I am unable to comprehend this murder......My experience was that they were trusting of us and allowed us into their world...
How is the slaughter any different than shooting a cow grazing in a field???? Is that hunting ??? How is it different than shooting a trusting dog that comes running up to you for pets ??? Is that hunting????
As a longtime Alaskan, I agree that we must use our outrage for political activism........thank you for those who have posted sites to connect us to the right people...

I have spent several years out with the brown bears on Katmai and can attest that being able to walk right up to your animal and shoot it point blank is not fair chase hunting. These bears are soo habituated to humans in this part of the preserve and are so close that the hunters can't even use their scopes. If you look closely at the videos you can clearly see that even that fat doctor slob who shot the bear with the bow was almost too close. At this point in the year, these bears are completely oblivious of the man walking up to it with a gun. They've just spent the entire summer feeding with the fisherman and milling around the hundreds and hundreds of wildlife viewers. This is some of the most rediculous behavior I have ever whitnessed in my life. This slaughter of our bears on Katmai must be stopped or I can bet, that when October 2008 hunting season rolls around there will be hundreds and hundreds of people out on Katmai video taping the bears and hunters. I'm still waiting for bonehead Jim Hamilton to file charges so all his clients personal information can be made public. I bet that fat doctor who shot the bear with the bow is going to love when the his world takes a look at what he did. I have watched the bear numbers on Katmai drop conciderably over the past 5 years. This year on several trips out to Katmai, I did not see one big adault male. They've all been killed off and now the hunters are killing off the young bears. The documentation and proof is in and it's time for the Alaskan powers to step up to the plate and stop the slaughter before the loose the bear and the millions of dollars it brings in to their economy. The bear hunters do not bring money into the Alaskan economy, their all wealthy little bitty men and that's how the became wealthy in the first place, by not spending their money. step up Alaska before it's too late!!!

Thank goodnes someone is finally paying attention to this problem. . the film reminds me of hunting cows in a farmers field.

I am a hunter. I am not a sports-hunter. I do not enjoy killing animals, but I do enjoy eating and I very much enjoy being out in the field...so I hunt. I have lived in Alaska my whole life, and have never killed a bear, athough I would, given the right set of curcumstances. What I have a problem with, after viewing the video, is the bow hunter who simply walked (no stalking) up on the bear, who expected nothing, shot it with an arrow, which was then followed up with a rifle shot from another guy. So, the guy shot it with the arrow, why? I found it sad, that someone would do that to an animal solely for the enjoyment of sticking it with an arrow. Very sad.

Wow, arn't those hunters special! I can't believe how they outsmarted those wiley bears. What a long and ardous stalk.
I've lived in King Salmon,Alaska all my life. These bears are completly habituated and don't fear people and dont know that we are a danger to them. There is really no place in a park or preserve for hunting. The meaning of the word prreserve implies that the animals there should be protected.
I think congress should get on the Park Services asses and withhold funding for Katmai.

I live in the mountains in southern California. Back in 2002 they opened bear hunting to thin the population. There were too many bears. I am sure that the population of bears in this park are monitored and protected. Grow up people!!

That's not hunting - just stupid pointless vandalism.

What pathetic people they must be to feel any achievement at killing that bear.

AS A DISABLED HUNTER, I'M NOT IMPRESSED WITH THE VIDEO AND MAYBE THEY SHOULD ONLY ALLOW NEW OR DISABLED HUNTER TO HUNT THOSE BEARS SO THAT THEY MAY GET A REAL CHANCE OF GETTING ONE...I AM PHISICALLY UNABLE TO STALK A BEAR OR LARGE GAME. SO I PERSONALLY THINK A BETTER AND MORE ETHICAL WAY OF DEALING WITH THIS IS; ONE FOR A NEW HUNTER IN THEIR LIFETIME AND LIKE ONE IN A 5 YEAR PERIOD FOR DISABLE HUNTERS....BUT SEASONED HUNTERS OR SPORT HUNTERS SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DO THIS... AT THE RATE THAT THEY ARE KILLED, THERE MAY NOT BE MANY LEFT FOR THE FUTURE GENERATION OF HUNTERS AND WILDLIFE WATCHERS!

I and about 50 of my hunter friends have called all parties involved with this hunt and told them what a great job they are doing! Sound game management!
So, all you anti-hunters can go whine some more.

First of all, how do we know that the bear eating salmon at the end of the video is the one killed? This video is SO edited!! It has NO credibility.
You are doing a great disservice to this issue with such a poorly produced video...what is that guy doing out in the water? It didn't even look like a bear...looks to me that you had someone out there with a stuffed animal!
So, in total, all we saw was one bear shot at...none was shown continuously from first shot to skinning.

Thank you for the interesting video. I am not sure why there is such a concern about chasing the bear before killing it, that seems even more cruel than killing it quickly as these hunters did. I imagine the guy with the bow hoped to get a kill shot,but he didn't so they followed up quickly with the rifles.

It would be great if y'all had a nice graph on your homepage displaying actual KNP grizzly numbers for the past 10 years. I would really like to see some data that supports your claims. Could you at least direct me to your data sources so we can review them?

I did a float trip down American Creek this summer, and we saw 161 bears, which averages out to about four per river mile. I would have to agree with NPS that the population of bears is healthy in KNP, and that a little hunting every other year is sound management.

This video has about as much credibilty as Algore's POS.
It figures that all you enviros believe it! LOL!!!!

Sam, and pro bear kill significant others, it's quite obvious that your all upset about this videos pathetic contents in which it displays: the gross unethical slaughter of a innocent animal at feed. Your simply upset because it displays a open picture, or a small scope of the major UNETHICAL practices of hunting in Alaska. This video is a small mirror in what is truly happening in Alaska (ask the native Alaskan Indians) as far as illegal and gross mis-management practices of it's NOT so infinite resources. The BOG and the other Alaskan wildlife services have not provided enough data to the general public about the status of the Katmia bear population and else where. Why would they? The boards are stack with pro gut pile hunters who nourish and relish the fact that a bear trophy is a nice attraction for big bucks. It's not about sound and sane game management...it's about about a resource for BIG MONEY!! Why don't we get the famous Craighead Institute from Montana involved in this, and see what they say about this video Sam.

Thank You Channel 2 News, Magen and everyone else for an oustanding job. Yes the video is but just a short epic of what's going on out on Katmai viewed by some as biased and not telling the whole story. Well, to show the rest of the story would be to show even more grotesque slaughter of the bears in this region on Katmai National Preserve. Rest asure, that is not the only footage and images of whats going on out there. The rest of the filming will surface when it's most appropriate. The eyes and ears are everywhere bear hunters and evry move is being recorded and documented.

Chris Day wrote "Overflying the area before landing we observed nine hunting camps. Every camp without exception had bears within 200 yards of their tents ". Doesn't that sound like A LOT of bears in one area? Maybe too many? I don't buy the argument stated Oct. 17 by Anonymous that "big money" is the reason we don't have any numbers on the Katmai bear population. I don't see a big effort by the authors of this article to find out about bear population trends in Katmai, and that is disappointing. There is a way to get people interested in proper management and conservation, and THIS IS NOT IT. Conservation groups are a good idea and I'm glad groups like the NPCA exist, but NPCA should support their cause with sound data, not sensationalized articles. If this bear hunt is cruel and unethical, then it is also cruel and unethical for wind turbines to kill birds.