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Use of bear traps, bait should remain illegal

I am writing concerning the black bear population in New York State. I am very alarmed about the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Black Bear Management Plan for New York State 2014-2024.

It states: “Assess the potential benefits and concerns associated with bear hunting practices currently prohibited by the environmental conservation laws (e.g., hunting with the aid of bait or dogs, trapping with cable restraints, taking bears less than one year of age) and consider other options (e.g., spring season) that may increase bear management capacity at some future date.”

The DEC says, “the controversial use of traps, dogs and bait, all currently outlawed, should be reconsidered to spur interest in bear hunting.” The DEC feels there is not enough bear hunting in the state. I believe hunters have a right to hunt bear, but to consider allowing these proposed practices is not only unsportsmanlike, but morally and ethically wrong.

Please contact your legislators and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Tell them that these currently outlawed practices should remain outlawed. We have to be the voice for these beautiful creatures.

Shirley Merriam Cornish

Old Forge