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?

image 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


[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


Katmai Lover, the Craighead Wilderness Institute in Montana whom specializes in wildlife studies would be a great source of help. Highly praised for their work in bear and animal research in Northern America. But, I doubt the Alaskan Board of Game, or the National Park Service would allow them to look at their sloppy book keeping and data (privilege information?) on the bear population in Katmai. This is a sensationalized story that should of been sought out sooner. I applaud the NPT and the media for bringing this story forth. Again, this actually is what this story implies: a unethhical bear hunt that amounts to nothing more "then easy pickens"! Now for the Buffalo fiasco in Yellowstone National Park...another unethical duck pond hunt!

Anonymous, thanks for mentioning that information and thank You for your great comment. Katmai Lover, I am very familiar that region and where the hunting camps are set up is very close to where the bears have been feeding on salmon for the last 4 months. remember that it wasn't that long ago the Alaska Board of Fish and Game moved the bear hunting season up from the middle of October to October one. This no doubt left the bears stuck at the end of their feeding season in larger concentrations for obvious reasons. very easy pickens for bear hunters indeed!!! I agree totally with the comment just above, this is nothing more than a duck pond shoot! I do think the Alaska Board of Fish and Game will come around and do the right thing in Katmai National Preserve and limit or eliminate the easy slaughter of bears in this region. I do understand why the hunting outfitters love this because it's very easy money for them and easy prey for their clients, but I think it's time for us to have a shred of dignity and humanity and do what's right! Alaska Board of Fish and Game, please concider moving the bear hunt out of GMU 9C 703? Thank You!

Formerly a proud ALaskan, I now live in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan where deer hunting takes precedence over virtually all aspects of life at the end of October and throughtout November. While I do hunt, I am against all forms of baiting (unless you depend of the deer meat to feed your family which many people do in this area). I have heard stories from other so-called hunters who shoot deer from the comfort of thier blinds, sipping on a cup of coffee seconds before and after they pull the trigger. This is not hunting! I hunt for the pure enjoyment of being out of doors and interacting with nature, rarely do I shoot anything, if ever. Hunting these bear in Katmai is less of a challenge than shooting a deer that has been baited for months over the summer and fall. I used to think this type of hunter was weak, cowardly, lazy, and not a true sportsman. NOW I BELIVE THOSE WHO HUNT GRIZZLY BEAR IN KATMAI HAVE DEFINED THEMSELEVS AS UNAPPRECIATIVE, UN-SPORTSMAN LIKE, AND UNABLE TO HUNT LIKE REAL MEN....CONGRADULATIONS KATMAI HUNTERS...

Congradulations Katmai bear hunters, you have replaced my previous perception of an un-talanted, un-educated, and un-ethical hunter. In the Upper Penninsula of Michigan, where I currently reside, deer hunters had once held the dubious honor due to their relentless "baiting" tactics, which in many cases take place no more than 50 yards from thier heated blinds where coffee pots steam and hunting videos play on their portable televisions. I used to think this was un-ethical, at least many of these hunters use the meat to feed their families. These so-called hunters in Katmai just want a trophy prize without actually haveing to earn a trophy animal. I am a hunter, but I believe I hun the right way. Hunting should be hard, the more difficult the hunt, the more rewarding. Buying a license, having a guide company fly you in, eating breakfast, and then shooting an eating bear no more than 50 yards or less away that has grown accustomed to people all summer long is not sport...and your kidding yourself if you think it is... So once again CONGRADULATIONS on your dubious accomplishment.

I am totally against a legal bear hunt be allowed in Katmai National Preserve. Thank you for bringing this to the attention of some of us unawares.

I'm glad to hear from the real hunters like Chris. Thank You. My wife's family had a fishing resort on the St. Mary's river in the UP so I've been very close to the hunters and fishermen and rarely did I run into the unscrupulous behavior as what the Alaska Board of Fish and Game is allowing to go on in Katmai National Preserve. I've read more dribble about seemingly scientific data that supposedly supports the thinning of the bear population on Katmai. Chris, like you stated, the issue is really pulling up to the wildlife and slaughtering them before they have even had a chance to finish eating; leaving only their dead carcass in the field to attract more bears for the skilled hunter to shoot!! This seems to be what only a handful of bear hunting advocates and outfitters are trying to convince everyone is good sound game management and this should be accepted by all!! Well' it's not going to be accepted by most and this issue will be resolved. I'd like to hear from more skilled and ethical hunters like yourself. Make sure you write your Congressman to stop this kind of hunting..mention GMU 9C 703.

Great to see comments from of the hunters who understand real hunting and understand what's being allowed to happen out on Katmai in this year's bear hunt. Thank you Chris. I wish more ethical hunters would voice their opinions. My inlaws owned a fishing camp on the St Mary's river in the UP so Iv'e been around fishermen and hunters most of my life and rarely did I run into anyone who shot animals under similar conditions as they are the bears on Katmai. It seems a small handful of hunters and outfitters writing in want everyone to see this type of hunting as good sound game management, but most see it for what it is..easy pickens of animals who have not even been given a chance to finish eating. Please write your Congressman to protest the bear hunting in GMU 9C 703 Katmai National Preserve. Chris I totally agree with both of your comments.

My comment is directly for "Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous" who wrote on October 15th.
First of all,, if you are supporting this slaughter,, how come you didn't put your REAL name down?
Second of all, I trully doubt you have 50 "hunter" friends.
I would be surprised if you have 50 friends at all.
I've read all the comments from both hunters and non-hunters, and I heard true feelings from both sides.
But, I NEVER heard any "whining" from anyone, only by YOU with YOUR cheap talk and threats.
Call whoever you want, pat yourself on the back, then go kick your dog or beat your spouse.
That's how we view you and your imaginary friends.
The world now knows, we all saw this video, we are aware, and this slaughter will be stopped!
I pledge to make that happen.

I commented earlier specifically to an anonymous supporter of this so-called "hunt."
I was very upset by his/her careless attitude.
He/She seemed almost proud of what was happening and it sickened me.
I still can't figure out if he/she is so for this slaughter, and feels that happy about it,, why wouldn't they gladly put their name up there for all of us to see?
I visit Alaska for the month of June every year.
This June,I spent a week in Katmai, and a week at Lake Clark.
ALL for bear viewing only.
I can't understand how the state would allow myself and thousands of others to do these types of trips,
and then let others come in later, to kill these SAME bears!
These particular bears don't know how to fear us because for months they basically find us non-threatening,
only the shutter of a camera lens is what they seem to be curious and anxious of.
Sometimes on this trip I did get a little aggrevated because our guides seemed to bring us in too close for that perfect picture, the "perfect shot."
I brought no fancy camera, I just wanted to be amongst them.
It was a lifechanging trip for me.
But to think these same bears that didn't know the difference between harmless me,
or a harmfull, life ending bullet, were killed, just ruins me.
We need a middle ground here.
If Alaska is going to continue bear viewing, profit, and basically habituate these bears, then they shouldn't turn around and allow this slaughter of the SAME bears, after all the tourists have left for the summer.
We can't have this both ways.
I love my Alaska trips,, but if this continues,I will no longer visit or spend any of my hard earned money, to make a bear tolerant by my summer presence,, only later to be slaughtered.
Because, in a way, then I am somehow responcible.
And I couldn't handle that.
Either view them or kill them,,you can't do both. It is TOO CRUEL!
I stand for the bears. They deserve a fair chance.
PLEASE give them that.
I'm absolutely sure Alaska's bears are worth more alive then they are dead.
It's 2007, please wake up America.
Once Alaska is done letting all the bears and wolves be killed,, who's gonna travel there?
Oh yeah,, rich fishermen.

Hey Karla,
Calm down, sweetie.
The film is a wasn't even filmed in Katmai.
Dis you see any bears KILLED in this video?

Once again,
unable to sleep,,,
WAITING for the 21rst to arrive!
I don't know how many bears have been slaughtered in the last 20 days. I am pretty sure that I don't want to.
I've written a few comments here, and I wrote to every person that I know,(also forwarded the video and information from ALL sides), and have asked for their thoughts on this "hunt."
Most of them ARE hunters, but they didn't brag,or boast, like Mr. or Mrs. "anonymous" did.
They all seemed amazingly shocked by what they read and what they saw.
I just needed to hear from all, and how they viewed this issue.
I am not anti-hunting.
But this obviuosly is NOT hunting.
And they all seem to feel the same way.
"Sport" and "Trophy" hunting is just a "thrill kill."
I will NEVER understand the killing of ANY animal just for the hide and the skull.
I CERTAINLY wouldn't be impressed with ANY man who had anything like that hanging on his wall or lying on the floor.
I now am more afraid of the humans up there, than I am ANY predator.
Especially the worlds most beautiful Brown bears.
Please instruct your bear viewing guides and your bush pilots for "day viewers" and also for the fortunate people like myself who get the privilege of staying longer, to tell each PAYING guest,(the ones who work all year like me to save up enough money to take these trips) more of what happens to these SAME bears in October.
I PROMISE you, if you put that part in your "Alaska Brochure", we will stop coming!
So, just stop the "hunt" altogether.
Again, it's 2007, please wake up America.

Karla, I think there will be others pulling their hard earned dollars from Alaska's economy if this continues to go on!! Well, it's finally over! The bears can now have a little rest. Please everyone write your local Congressmen about the unethical hunting of brown bears on Katmai National Preserve...mention GMU 9C 703.

I only recently learned of this absurdity and just now tried to reach Marcia Blaszak, Alaska Regional Director, NPS.

I intend to keep calling until I reach her and, well, you can imagine... She'll understand my position before we're finished.

We need an ORGANISED campaign. Any volunteers?

Here's her poop:

Marcia Blaszak
Alaska Regional Director
National Park Service
240 West 5 Avenue
Anchorage, AK 99501

Mr. Mack P. Bray, I'm interested. Please send me an email so we can set up a dialog. I'll fill you in on other people and organizations involved in getting this slaughter stopped.

I just now spoke with Marcia Blaszak and must say she was very gracious. She said she could not take a unilateral action - said shutting down the hunt was beyond her authority. Apparantly it would take an act of Congress to shut down the hunt? She said the "incident portrayed in the media is under investigation" - I understand that one party guided shooters in while another brought "media" in and therein lies a conflict. She said "ethical chase is a social concern..." And said of course that Alaska manages the hunt.

She also disputed the notion that those bears are habituated to humans and said that brown bears, feeding on salmon runs, are very tolerant of humans. Can anyone verify this?

Mack, I would agree that bears feeding on salmon runs are very tolerant of humans, as evidenced in KNP as well as other places like the McNeil River. They are also tolerant of humans when they run out of salmon, and are happy to utilize them as a food source as Treadwell unfortunately found out.

There are currently as many as 2500 bears in Katmai National Park, with the population steadily increasing for many years. KNP's website has a newsletter, "The Novarupta", that you can download and on p. 10, there is information on the bear population. Alaska Dept. of Fish and Game also has some information. There is some good information about bears in the ADFG "Wildlife Notebook" series on brown bears. I was interested to learn that brown bear cubs stay with their mother longer when food is scarce. This summer in KNP, I saw several mothers with cubs that were probably 3 to 5 years old. Normally, cubs leave their mothers at 2 to 3 years of age. I was on American Creek this summer, and food didn't seem scarce, as the water was literally choked with sockeyes. However, choice fishing locations may be getting scarce as bear numbers increase.

I hope the video being displayed doesn't deter people from hunting bears, but I do hope it encourages people to be better managers of bears. KNP covers about 5700 square miles, which means there is a grizzly bear for every 2.3 square miles. Compare that with Yellowston NP, whose grizzlies just came off the threatened list in March of 2007. There are now over 500 grizzlies in YNP, which covers about 3400 square miles, for a ratio of 6.8 square miles per bear. Comparing YNP with KNP, KNP has triple the bear density of Yellowstone. All that to say, I think a little hunting in the Katmai Preserve is a good thing, and we should be rejoicing that we are doing so well at managing wildlife.

Here's the latest dodge from the NPS that I'm sure many of you also received...

I'm not sure why Alaska manages the land if it's truly a NATIONAL Preserve. And the games we play with words to hide what's really going on are silly. Preserve? Harvest? Sounds more like they're picking berries to make jam.

The National Park Service should have no business monitoring, managing, or mismanaging land where bears are annually slaughtered for fun. Hand it over to USFS or BLM where harvesting is actually something that's done.




October 22, 2007

Dear National Park Friend:

Yours was one of many e-mails we received since television, internet and
print coverage of the recent bear hunt in Katmai National Preserve was seen
by people in Alaska and around the world. While I do not expect to change
your views on this matter, in the next few paragraphs I do hope to explain
the position of the National Park Service, including some of the research
which guides us, and the limits to federal action.

Katmai National Preserve was established in 1980 by the Alaska National
Interest Lands Conservation Act. It mandated, in Section 202, that this
area be managed for “high concentrations of brown/grizzly bears.” Section
203 provides that sport hunting in national preserves shall be permitted.
Sport hunting is regulated by the state of Alaska.

Research by state and federal biologists show that the density of bears in
the preserve is high. This August, three survey flights over the preserve
produced an average count of 279 bears, with a high of 329 in one instance.
Because you never see every bear, this translates into an estimated
population of about 580 bears in the preserve, or more than one bear for
every square mile. A similar count in August 2006 showed an estimated
preserve population of 331 bears and an average count during three flights
of 159 bears. Researchers have also seen a high proportion of single bears,
another fact reflective of a healthy, high-density population.

Hunting takes place the fall of odd-numbered years and in the spring of
even-numbered years. During the last open fall-spring hunt, 35 bears were
taken. This translates to an annual harvest rate of no more than 5 percent,
considered by biologists to be a conservative harvest.

The bear population in the preserve (and in the neighboring national park
and state lands) is mobile and individual bears move from areas where
hunting is legal to areas where hunting is prohibited. Food supply is among
the factors in this movement. As a result of this movement over many miles
and often among jurisdictions, they may also move from where they are
relatively easily seen by bear-viewing visitors or biologists to areas
where they are less likely to be seen. This means counts will necessarily
be approximations, and that observations at different times of the year and
in different locations will result in varying data. Our management and that
of the state Department of Fish and Game takes mobility, variations in food
supply and counting techniques into account by looking at population
numbers over a large area and over time, and not at the numbers of bears in
a particular location.

The seasons, harvest limits and other regulations regarding the hunt are
established by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the Alaska Board
of Game, a group appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Alaska
Legislature. These regulations define “ethical” in a regulatory sense, and
it is those rules which we and the state of Alaska enforce.

Alaskans and others may talk to their elected and appointed officials about
the hunting rules they want to see on public land. When Congress last spoke
on the issue, it mandated that sport hunting was legal in Alaska’s national
preserves and that, absent extraordinary circumstances, hunting would be
managed by the state of Alaska.

Some letter writers also described their views that bears in the preserve
are used to seeing people through the summer, including fishermen and bear
viewers. It is true that bear viewing has grown as an activity over the
last several years. Bears have also been the targets of hunters on the
Alaska Peninsula for decades, including the period since the establishment
of the national preserve in 1980. Our experience with bears indicates that
there is significant variation in the tolerance level which bears have of
humans, regardless of the activity in which people are engaged.

The National Park Service will continue to closely monitor the population
of bears in Katmai, as well as scrutinize harvest levels and other visitor
activities. We appreciate your concern for the park and its resources and
welcome your continued participation in the public process.

Marcia Blaszak
Regional Director

katmai lover, at this point my issue is not about the size or health of the brown bear population nor is it about hunting brown bears in general - I am not well enough informed to discuss those issues, but soon will be.

My issue is with what is clearly and unquestionably evidenced in the video: non-fair chase shootings of brown bears.

I am 100% opposed to non-fair chase shoots. I will no longer call them "hunts" as there is no hunting involved.

Marcia Blasak informs me that fair chase or non-fair chase is a *cultural* issue. And this is true.

If these bears are so habituated to humans that a shooter can easily approach and shoot with difficulty, then this practice should be prohibited, in my opinion. And apparently many agree.

Bob and Mack,
I would love to volunteer,
I would love to get so much more information on this,,
And I would definitely love to talk to Marcia myself.
At this point I am just so relieved the "hunt" is over.
But I want it stopped and NEVER to happen again. EVER!
I would leave my email address for you to directly reach me,,
But if so many butcherers are reading these comments,
I'd be afraid to give them access to me.
Please let me know what I can do.
Just because it's past the 21rst,, doesn't mean this is over by ANY means.
I will speak for the bears who were slaughtered.
They will not be killed in vain, and will not be forgotten.

Hi Karla,

You can email me at I'll give you all the information I have. I have made contact with Mack and can tell you he's a fantastic person who's going to be a tremendous help in to resolve this issue. I'll ask him if I can send you his email.

PS: Yhe comment made prior about the video being a fake was nonsense. I know all the people involved. In fact, I know who ownes the plane you hear in the background.

The video is mostly fake Bob because I was there and they used some clever camera work to make it look 100 times worse than it was but it worked. All the bunny huggers and tree huggers have come out of the woodwork and fell for it.
Kind of sad in a way that we take it for gospel..

The camera doesn't lie. But people do.

I think justanotherhunter is lying about being on scene.

People frequently attack the validity of what cameras record. It's because they refuse to face reality.

And I'm not a "bunny hugger." But I am a tree hugger. I'm also a hunter and an angler.

As far as the series of comments of late regarding the video footage, everyone would be better served to get over it already! What started this entire debate had little basis on the video, per se, and was actually grounded in the lack of inspiration, imagination and perspiration exhibited by the alledged "hunters". And few, if any, have questioned the right of people to hunt, be it bear, deer, wallaby, yak, or mammoth. Nor was anyone questioning the right of the State of Alaska to issue permits relating to the taking of animals. But at LEAST be man enough to show some intelligence and ability when practicing the hunt. Or am I asking too much to have you remove yourself from the "any idiot can do this" classification? Learn the craft associated with trade or at the very least, have the common decency not to blow smoke and label yourself a true sportsman.

Justanother hunter, please try to make an intelligent comment? hunters, I hope this isn't the best representation you have. We've heard from real hunters like Mack and others who have expressed their views on this issue. Once again "justanother hunter" pay attention to the issue which is not bear hunting legality as mentioned by "Lone Hiker" but the barbaric unethical killing of animals and then trying to call it sports hunting!! Justanother hunter" try to comment without name calling?


I gotta question if you hunt or not.

As a bowhunter, I am surprised you are sticking up for this. That whole thing was a JUNK SHOW. I mean, why the rifle shots after the arrow?

Camera magic or not, it was pretty disgusting to watch that fat slob with bad archery form let the arrow fly and then need rifles finish the job. I have to wonder if he even hit the kill zone. You don't take the shot unless you're damn sure something's going to drop. And additionally, if rifles are needed for grizz (I don't know, I hunt elk and muleys), then why was he not using the proper tool for the job in the first place? It's not manly to make an animal suffer, kinda makes you wonder how he treats other people. Also makes you wonder if the guides aren't whoring out the animal (by not pushing use of proper tools and quick kills) to make an easy dollar.

Sorry, buddy, hunting isn't a bad thing but this WAS and IS. Something should change...

So Bob, your saying I shouldnt name call so I cant use the terms like : being un-intelligent, or sarcastically remarking about me being the "best rep.", or being "barbaric"? Now you tell me... wont want to make that mistake again.

And it also sounds like your saying that their is no challenge in this hunt like losing your life to one of these "habituated" animals? So I guess the hunter and guide that were charged by a bear, that would have killed them in a New York second had they not shot it, were just taking the easy way out?
They didnt show that in the "video" did they? That wouldnt have suckerd people like you into believing this was easy would it? Was it easier than some of the hunts I've been on? Yes. Was it a saunter through the tundra? No.

Well they did a great job getting their point across didnt they?You guys and gals went for the bait, hook, line and sinker. Of course maybe you wanted to?
Channel 2 news and the biologists achieved their objective but while they did that they also broke the law. They interfered with a legal hunt. And just because the Capt. said they would not pursue a criminal case doesnt mean the law wasnt broken. It proves to me that the media controls the elected officials. Think of it this way, if you were running for public office like this Capt.s boss, would you want to piss of the media that controls what people see and hear?

Lone Hiker: Of course this video had "everything" to do with the basis of this debate.

justanotherhunter wrote "The video is mostly fake Bob because I was there..."

I think justanotherhunter is lying about being on scene.

As they say in jury instructions, if you find any part of the testimony to be false, you must find the entire testimony to be false.

Mr. Anonymous: He used the rifle as a securtiy measure so the animal wouldnt disaapear in the brush but the camera crew got in the way and the guide couldnt take a comfortable shot. He was worried about the anti's getting hurt. They were trying to position themselves for a better view and put themselves in a very dangerous position. The hunter made a perfect shot. After the arrow struck the bear, she took off in the direction of the camera crew and of course we wouldnt want one of them to get hurt.

No Mack, I'm not lying about being on scene. I was.

But your referring to something a jury says as gospel.. holly cow man, were talking about 12 people that arent smart enough to get out of jury duty!!!!!!!! Oh.. sorry... dont take that personal..


Why is it so hard for you to believe I was there? Or maybe are you just trying to dsicredit my statements because you are worried about the truth hurting your "cause"?

Justanotherhunter, pay attention or perhaps have someone help you understand what's being written! You just called yourself unintelligent no one else did. I merely asked if you would make an intelligent comment about the issue. I think it's obvious you think it's OK to shoot and kill the bears the way they're being shot and killed on Katmai.. you could have just said that instead of going on with all the dribble you just wrote. Mack I don't beleive Justanother hunter was out there either, but he did get one thing correct and that is the media's power with the public and elected officials. Poor hunter and guid that suposedly was charged by a bear, my God man, their out there shooting the hell out of these animals, what do expect Duuuu!! I'd charge your ass too!!! The tables will turn... they will turn. I think the media is ready and waiting for the criminal charges to be filed so all the guides and their clients lives can be made public around the world. There you have it, Justanother hunter said the bear kill was easier than most. The issue isn't the legality of hunting, bear hunting in Alaska, but the BARBARIC SLAUGHTER bears in this particular region. I support good ethical hunting, just not what's being called bear hunting in this area of Katmai National Pareserve, Katmai National Park.

Everyone write your local Congressman to protest the October, 1 2009 bear hunt on Katmai National Preserve GMU 9C 703

OK folks, in light of the most recent series of give and take, this is where the moderator reluctantly steps in. I'm afraid this thread has deteriorated into a he-said, he-said monologue with some personal attacks tossed in.

While we certainly appreciate the spirited debate that's gone on the past three weeks, the most recent comments seem to have gone beyond constructive dialogue. While we don't want to completely shut off this discussion, we do ask that you get back on track with substance rather than attacks.

Comments that are little more than personal attacks will either be edited or deleted.

The editors.

Awwww Shucks.. you take all the fun out of it Kurt.

But your right. Neither side will probably ever agree so it is pointless to try and impose our own personal veiws on others.

Agree to disagree and we move on..


I am a hunter and had actually booked a bearhunt in Katami for next year, and opted for the hyped bow and arrow option. Seen this video made me realize that this is no different than those people that kill game in fenced locations. I have canceled my booking and have will file legal actions for false advertisement. This is not a bear hunt, this is a bear kill which is very different.
To read that there is a clear decline in the beat population is also another reason for canceling.
I hope the NPS fixes this, or changes the way the bear are accessed.

Thank You "jemo" I hope more skilled hunters like yourself express their discontent with what I also think is just a bear kill and not a hunt.

Please look at this year's Katmai bear hunt photos at he's a photographer that took several still images of the bear hunt out on Katmai. I think it further drives home jsut how simple it was for these guys to walk up too or for the animals to walk up to them before being shot!!!

Is it illegal if morally right to interfere with a hunter attempting to murder a life. Like making so much to noise to scare the bear out of harms way or just plain getting in the way so he can't shoot. Or prepare yourself if he does shoot in YOUR direction that you can claim self defense when you blow the coward away?

Hi wolfmom,

Yes, it's against the law to interfere with hunters on a legal hunt. Not only that, getting in the way could be lethal. One must be careful when trying to chase animals as this may result in an animal harassment issue and we don't want to harass the bears. The best thing to do is contact your local Congressmen and protest the hunting of brown bears in GMU 9C 703 Katmai National Preserve. Ask as many people as you can to do the same.

It's not illegal to interfere with a legal hunt if you're Channel 2 news in Anchorage or biologists with a "save the bear" attitude. Just ask Megan Balldino. They control the lawmakers; whether it's right or wrong means nothing. What means something is getting re-elected. Sorry but true.

It's amazing the way some people interpret the law. Perhaps it's a matter of perception...

justanotherhunter wrote "The video is mostly fake Bob because I was there..."

I think justanotherhunter is lying about being on scene.

As they say in jury instructions, if you find any part of the testimony to be false, you must find the entire testimony to be false.

I still am a little confused on the "channel 2" comments???
What happened there?
I am in Las Vegas and UNFORUNATELY,, none of this even enters our news.
Can someone please explain this to me a little better,, especially for the others that I have contacted,,
that are reading this site??
Thank you.....


Shame on you hunters that call yourselves 'men'. You are a disgrace to the majority of decent minded people of your wonderful country. I do not like hunting in any form but am prepared to maintain an open mind but what I have seen here is in no way fair play. The law must be changed to stop this mindless slaughter which cannot in any way be referred to as 'sport'. I hope to visit Alaska next year and would pray that some progress will have been made to stop this senseless behaviour.

Makes me sick to be of the same species as those hunters.

Opponents of hunting bears near the McNeil River State Game Refuge and Sanctuary say it is unethical to kill bears habituated to humans. Proponents of hunting the bears say in several coastal areas, bears tolerate humans when there is a large source of salmon, and that the situation in Katmai is not unique. This is true, and as long as there is salmon in and around the McNeil River there will be bears. Opponents of letting hunters harvest these bears worry that there won’t be as many bears, and that it will ruin the relationship between the bears and humans. Weeks prior to the opening of the 2007 season, officials surveyed the bear population and recorded it as a “very high density, very healthy population” of bears in the area. This is one of Alaska’s foremost wildlife management success stories, yet we still people trying to ruin what is considered tradition to most Alaskans which is hunting. These people include anti hunters and whack jobs like the infamous “Grizzly Man” who was brutally mauled and killed along with his girlfriend by these same bears of Katmai. Maybe we could’ve asked him how “habituated” these bears are to humans if perhaps he was still alive. Opponents of hunting the bears should turn their focus to worrying about the local salmon runs rather than hunters harvesting these bears because that is what keeps the bears in the area and the population so high. Instead they would rather attack the hunting community and try to publicize this type of hunting as unethical and not under the terms of “fair chase hunting”. How they can prove that is still undetermined.
Now I am not for eliminating the species or even anything close, but there is a solution to this problem that will benefit both hunters and viewers alike. The way to do it is select a manageable and healthy number of bears to be taken every year by those who put in for the registered special area permit. This is different from what they do now

which is open season every other year to everyone and anyone who is willing to pay the price to get down there and hunt these bears. The number of bears chosen to be harvested depending to the years’ recent surveys and numbers will benefit not only the hunters and viewers, but also the area’s local bear population. This is because it will keep the bears at a healthy population for the area, and also prevent a future deterioration of the local population due to an excess saturation of the bears in a certain area. This idea saves face at both ends of the spectrum by allowing hunters to harvest these bears while at the same time limiting the number of hunters allowed to harvest bears in the area depending upon that year’s population outlook. This is ethically the right thing to do to properly manage the bears of Katmai National Park and Preserve and to keep it as one of Alaska’s foremost wildlife management success stories.
Some other problems that this issue involves is that these bears are a problem for the state of Alaska, and the villages that are located near these high density areas where bears flourish and become a nuisance. These areas believe it or not have too many bears. Yes, it is neat to see, but perhaps it is not natural for the bears. Simply their high numbers raise the number of bears that can be harvested. It is getting harder to “live” with the bears, and if you lived in some of these villages around the state of Alaska that are close to these bear sanctuaries you would probably understand. Instead we have to deal with nonresidents from say California who think they are at peace with the bears because they can watch them at close distances while they devour salmon. If those salmon were not there you can bet it would be them. Then they see a few hunters making a clean legal kill on television and begin whining. They also do not consider the local villagers who have to deal with the bears year round, unlike those who view them, and have to send their children off to school with nine foot grizzlies with cubs roaming the streets like dogs. They are not the human-stalking animal I’m making them sound like, but until you corner one going to your shed or accidentally without knowing step between a sow and her cubs you’ll know what I’m talking about.
The answer in my opinion is simple. Take action in the proposed plan, and if that still doesn’t work for those who are against hunting the bears, close it off to the viewers as well and ruin it for everybody. To make the bears “wild” they must not be exposed to humans on a daily basis. Close Katmai to bear viewing, let the bears return to the “wild” and establish normal hunting regulations. Bottom line, the open hunting area is twenty-five miles away from the bear sanctuary. Here it is legal to harvest bears every other year. What more do these people who oppose of the hunting want? Should we move the boundary to thirty miles, maybe fifty, or should we just cut off the whole Alaska Peninsula to hunting period?

It's a terrible thing when humans loose respect for life. The hunt in Katmai is completely unethical and should be stopped immediately. Afterall, there is no hunt there, only murder.

It continues to be a mystery as to why we humans can not seem to evolve into a higher awareness, sad commentary to the animals, seas, our very planet, and still the leadship does nothing!? The killing of the Bears, the Whales, Tigers, Silverback Gorillas's, and the list goes on, as the song said, we'll be accountable and that's the dread. The people responsible for this senseless killing should be put away, for life and their gene pool carefully watched.

It's a mystery to me too DRD. The good news is thanks to the fantastic media coverage of this hunt, there are literally thousands and thousands of people banding together to get this hunt moved out of GMU 9C region of the Preserve. There are many forums out there with people fighting to get this hunt stopped. Now we have the National Press Photographer Association getting involved as attempts to have rules changed to keep photographers, vidiographers and the press out of National Parks during events like the Katmai brown bear hunt. For anyone who would like information on what things can and are being done around the world to stop the Katmai bear hunt please email me

For the past 2 and 1/2 months we've been arguing and fighting over hunting the Katmai brown bears. There is something more ominous thats bruing over on Katmai and thats the Pebble Mining Project by Lake Iliamna and Bristol Bay. You see if Alaska allows Northern Dynasty to Mine, there won't be any bears, Salmon, Carribou and untold other wildlife to fight over. Yes theres a bunch of us that want the brown bear hunting to stoped on Katmai and my view will never change on that issue, but we really need to start working on stopping the Pebble Mining project. Bristol Bay and the greatest fish spawning grounds in the world will be destroyed if this goes through. No fish no bears. I have no doubt that the fight to stop brown bear hunting in Katmai National Preserve will continue but if the Pebble Mining project owned by Northern Dynasty goes through everyone will have lost and there won't be any animals to fight over. This is a critical situation.

Well what is done cannot be undone, SO they should make the permit to get one of these bears cost 50,000.00 for each bear, and require special training, which will cost more money, and also make the Hunter the one that has to clean the bear and get the carcass off and everything else, no help from guides or others all a one man shoot,clean,carry,all meat no leftovers... then we will see how many of these people from the lower 48 will come to steal away our alaska's wildlife.

They could take the 50 or 60k per hunt and give tha money to the study and preservation of the local area.

I mean if they are gonna hunt them at least make them Pay for it. All the advice I as a 3rd generation alaskan can give.

I just don't know when we, as a society will ever fully develop as an intelligent species. This display of inhumane killing is exactly what is wrong with hunting. People think it is their right to do this and will defend it bigtime.
If we can't protect a beautiful bear in preserve like Katmai then we might as well ban bear hunting altogether.
Bunch of fat idiots shooting a bear with a bow and gun at close range is sick. [Edited].