Breaking news: U.S. will allow cruel trophy hunting practices to kill hibernating bears and wolf pups on Alaska’s federal lands

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

By on May 20, 2020 with 90 Comments

The Trump administration has just delivered a one-two punch to Alaska’s wildlife: it has announced that it will release a final National Park Service rule allowing some of the cruelest practices for killing black bears, wolves and other wildlife on national preserve lands in Alaska; and it has announced it will propose overturning Obama-era protections for brown bears and other animals on two million acres of public lands in the state’s Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.

While the text of the final NPS rule has not yet been released, it is expected to closely mirror a previously released proposal that would have overturned a 2015 rule prohibiting practices like killing hibernating mother black bears and their cubs in the den with the aid of artificial lights, shooting wolf and coyote pups and mothers at their dens, using bait to attract brown and black bears, shooting vulnerable caribou while they are swimming (including with the aid of motorboats), and using dogs to hunt black bears. Many of these cruel practices aim to reduce numbers of iconic predators in order to boost prey species for hunters.

The NPS rule would be unlawful because it conflicts with clear statutory directives from Congress that the agency must conserve and protect wildlife in national preserves. The NPS itself had, during the Obama years, pushed back against Alaska’s increased use of fringe hunting methods that prioritize trophy hunting over conservation by outlawing such hunting methods. But under the Trump administration the agency has flip-flopped and has come out in support of expanding trophy hunting opportunities on federal lands. The practices sanctioned today are the worst of the worst in wildlife management, and most Alaskans do not support them.

The Humane Society of the United States, along with a coalition of organizations, is currently in federal court defending the Obama-era NPS and Kenai rules. The new Kenai rule announced today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service would potentially allow extreme practices like the hunting of brown bears over bait, and expand trophy hunting and trapping in high-use zones, which are recreation areas for the public. It would also remove a prohibition on the discharge of weapons within one-quarter mile of campgrounds, trail heads, public buildings and near congested river areas where anglers and those boating on rubber rafts and canoes are recreating, creating a public safety problem.

Baiting bears is a horribly cruel practice. Trophy hunters leave out piles of junk food like doughnuts and candy to lure the animals and then shoot them. Mother bears, with their higher energy needs, are often attracted to bait piles and when trophy hunters shoot them, they leave behind cubs who will often die of starvation, predation and exposure. Bait piles also habituate bears to human scents and can lead to conflicts at campgrounds, picnic areas and other spots where there is food.

Easing rules to make it easier to hunt brown bears is also not scientifically sound because these animals have suffered tremendously at the hands of trophy hunters, and the FWS had already outlawed this practice in 2016.

We are calling out this FWS proposed rule, and the NPS rule finalized today, for exactly what they are: gifts from the Trump administration to trophy hunting interests. These are people who would prefer to deprive most Alaskans—and indeed most Americans—of the joys of seeing these beautiful animals in the wild, and instead hang their heads and hides in their homes. By siding with these special interests our government has failed us today, but more importantly, it has failed the animals who are a shared national treasure.

Last year, the HSUS released a shocking video that showed a father-son duo shooting at a mother bear hibernating in a tree hollow, then slaughtering her two little cubs. Now, with the finalizing of the NPS rule and the proposed rule taking away protections for brown bears, we can expect this to become a common occurrence on Alaska’s public lands. But we are putting the administration on notice: we will fight these rules with every tool at our disposal. The violence they embody goes against everything that is good and decent about our country, and we will not stand by while a handful of trophy hunters terrorize and hijack our wildlife.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

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  1. marc campbell says:

    COWARDLY PATHETIC AND UNFORGIVEABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Roblat says:

      Absolutely horrible . Trump children will shoot anything that moves , even if it asleep !!!! Cowards . Unarmed bear cubs that have never seen daylight !!! Yup big victory to kill one of those . Sad sad sad .

    • Robbie says:

      Totally agree. Horrible “person” if he is actually a PERSON

    • Marsha says:

      This is NOT the way to take care of our land as. United States citizen. What is wrong with us???? I am so embarrassed.

  2. Kathleen Chojnacki says:

    I AM SO DISAPPOINTED WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP. I CANNOT STAND THE DEMOCRATS, BUT WHY IS TRUMP SO DESENSITIZED TO INNOCENT ANIMAL? Doesn’t he understand how important animals are to the whole ecosystem? Is it because he’s rich, and the rich always get what they want? Guess what. Killing baby bear cubs and a sleeping mother who just gave birth IS NOT a trophy hunt. What spectacular thing did the hunter do to kill that bear??? Use your stupid heads. A trophy? I don’t think so. There is no hunt, no danger to the hunter. I thought a trophy was given for doing something great. Well you people are not great. You’re disgusting. And Trump, I’m completely ashamed of you. I try to stand up for you when people say nasty things, but you’re nothing but a big jerk. Do you have a rock instead of a heart?

    • Melissa R Foglia says:

      Hello.
      Yes I too am beyond disgusted with this upcoming scenario of death. How many laws in this Trump team will be overturned!
      I guess after pulling out of the Paris peace agreement. this is just another long forgotten law, once on the books.
      Dont Alaskan bears represent an American icon? According to the supporters in the White house, it’s not the case. I think Mr Trump needs to get out of the White Bubble he calls home.
      I dont know what type of koolaid he’s been sipping, but it does not have any respect for what the USA stands for anymore.
      Truly Despicable

      Melissa Foglia

      • Gerry says:

        You hit the nail on the head always about rights for the trophy hunter what about our , wildlife

        • Nola says:

          Thank you Trump Administration for putting someone else in office for your own interest. There you go Junior kill more and it’s done legally make sure you tell your Daddy thank you. As covid-19 has gone on Trump has without anyone noticing backed off so many laws to do with the environment

        • Cathy says:

          I never thought n my lifetime that a president would agree with trophy hunting. It’s a discrace!! An embarrassment of our goverment!! That’s why so many animals r going extinct now from atrophy hunting. They want a trophy? Go hunt like everyone else. Abide by the rules of hunting. U have more money than since, that’s pure stupidity!! Animal cruelty is animal cruelty no matter how its labeled. Ppl depend on that meat 2 feed their families & trophy hunting is taking food out of ppls mouths. U want a trophy? I’m sure someone who gets one the right way will sale u one after they’ve got their meat from it. When is killing mothers & babies acceptable n this country? U better get right with god b4 u sign that!!!!

    • Fiona Sullivan says:

      Totally 100% agree with your comment. Well said

    • Jessie Ratcliff says:

      Well JERKS voted for him I’m proud to say I DIDN’T vote for him and STILL WON’T he’s nothing but a spoiled brat so now are wildlife pay for it there ARE NO TRUE HUNTERS IN THIS WORLD

    • Georgia says:

      This is so horrific, it makes my heart hurt from sadness. I know Trump’s sons did Trophy Hunting in the past. So that just tells me none of them. I mean the Trumps have not one compassionate bone in their bodies. Their blood 🩸 runs cold. All they care about is themselves. All these Trophy Hunters are cold hearted. Why don’t use all that money for doing good things, instead of killing. 😡😡😡😡😭😭😭😭

    • Sharon says:

      You might be against Dems, but your man Trump is undoing every law there is for the environment. Especially if Obama’s signature is on it. He has signed off on big game licensing, his son included. (Hunting big game..even those on the endangered list) He’s behind destroying the strict laws for the EPA. He’s all for fracking for oil in Alaska and parts of the Mid west.
      Years ago wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone. Many were against this at first. Years later those that fought against have now seen the benefits. The land at the time was being destroyed by wildlife because they had over populated. Since the reintroduction of wolves, plants, wild flowers creaks and riverbeds have returned. The farmers have learned to live in harmony with wolves. They’ve realized that their cattle and sheep aren’t on the dinner plate. The only run in with a wolf is if it has become very sick and kicked from the pride. I really urge you to look into this. I think you will be quite surprised at what is going on behind all our backs.

      • Chris M says:

        Sharon I agree, Trump is undoing every law there is for the environment, especially if Obama’s signature is on it. You nailed it. He is so consumed with hate and jealousy over Obama, and his own narcissism blocks any sense of morality and ethical behavior. He’s mentally unwell. People need to ask themselves why he’s in the White House.

    • Kathy walsh says:

      Sick and disgusting.this cruel

    • Mary Williams says:

      Are you saying that it is Trump alone that is doing this?

    • Kristi G Silk says:

      I appreciate your ability to see the cruelty shown by this action on trumps part. But where have you been during the last three years of him repealing environmental protection laws that were in place to save these animals as well as people.

    • Donna says:

      I agree with all your emotions of pain for these animals. Find out who is advocating on their behalf and support them…it is sad!

    • Barbara N Wilt says:

      Sorry that it took cruelty to animals to make you realize what a horrible creature Trump is. Not kids dying in his cages. Not thousands of people dying because of his total lack of care about us and the virus.

    • Robin Taborelli says:

      Keep voting for him. This is what you get.

    • Linda says:

      Please use your vote against him. If he is re-elected, there will be four more years of new rules to decimate our wildlife.

    • Tina says:

      The Trump Administration never ceases to amaze me with disgust. He wants to make it easier for his CEO big gas buddies to run a pipeline.

    • Joanne says:

      Reading the article by someone stirring the pot of “Expectations”
      This has not happened. Trump signed a Non- cruelty to animals bill, so this committee in the white house approving these things – I just don’t know. But I will research. I read so much propaganda these days. If you think this MIGHT HAPPEN, get on the phones to the Senator’s and anyone else you can and put a stop to this.
      If true, it would be horrendous. Let’s not jump to conclusions Lets be proactive – Not RE-ACTIVE and voice your opinions to those who can make a difference.
      You know what is said about ASSUMING – Ass -u- me It makes an “Ass” out of “u” and “me”.
      Let’s be “we the people” and make sure something like this doesn’t happen!!! Thank you 🙏🏼

    • Charlie Steel says:

      A child born into a family where the father was a slum landlord. Money made off the backs of people just trying to survive.

      Growing up with money, not particularly very bright, learning crooked behavior and methods, sent off to boarding school, suffering loneliness Trump developed extreme narcissistic behaviors. He cares only for himself and all other exterior and interior motivations are based on these self grandiose tendencies. He is crooked, he is selfish, he is racist, he despises poor people, women, and has no empathy for others, including people, animals, and the planet.

      Trump loses money and was NEVER a good business man. He does not have the intellect to succeed and should never have become president. Supported by the very wealthy he is presently dismantling government agencies, safeguards, and all rules and regulations that keep the country safe. If he serves four more years, the majority will suffer further and the country will certainly be controlled by the very wealthy to even a further extent, all made possible by making Trump president.

      This animal issue is just one more example of Trump’s extremes, excesses, and cruelty.

      • Maureen Middleton says:

        You said what I wanted to. Thank you for saying it so very well. Trump is a narcissistic monster and must not be allowed to carry on his racist, just about naziism, greedy, selfish, useless reign. You said it all. Please don’t allow him to decimate your wildlife, to urge and allow his cruel buddies to kill Bears and Wolves even the cubs of these beautiful animals. Its disgusting and there is enough cruelty in the world against innocent animals!!!

    • Bruce Bauer says:

      Appreciate u “Tellin’ it like it is “!! It’s too bad u “hate “Democrat’s;I think you’d make a good one!! You have too much integrity to be a Republican!

  3. Cathy Mitchell Hatcher says:

    This inhumane practice must stop! It’s not spirting at all. Hunting animals for sport is not essential.

  4. Charlene says:

    This is absolutely cruel. Leave them alone.

  5. Anne Grice says:

    Shooting sleeping bears and their young! What level of depraved subhumans could think this is acceptable! Only the lowest form of humans could approve this and carry out it! Is this just to get votes for this president? This sure makes a mockery of democracy and the current govt here has truly shown its worst lack of human dignity ! Its repulsive , obscene and stinks of human digest ! Shame on Alaska the cowards of the planet!

    • Marie T Daniel says:

      The next thing will it will be ok to kill sleeping mothers with their babies, as long as it’s in another country!!! WTF is wrong with the Presidency in this country??? WE WERE A GREAT COUNTRY – NOW, all this crap makes us lower than a snake’s belly.
      Put our animal rights laws back the way they were and quit making people into
      MURDERS!!!

    • Dave Smith says:

      I live in the UK,where fortunate ly we don’t have any hunting as such, I totally agree with the comments made about the shameful acts of killing these animals especially when they are hibernating.Human beings SHAME ON YOU. Mother nature will win in the end.

  6. Margaret Parker says:

    Why am i not the least bit shocked at this news? !!!!

  7. Vivienne webster says:

    Totally unforgivable Nd barbaric. The US is descending into the primordial slime

  8. Carola says:

    MAKE AMERICA PROUD AGAIN: VOTE TRUMP OUT 2020!

  9. K Hampton says:

    His sons probably want to go hunting up there and this will make it really easy for them to get another trophy
    He is a pathetic leader in every way !
    Where can we send letters to dispute this thank you

  10. Ms Anne Pritchard says:

    After all the misery of covid 19(cruelty to wildlife etc.)this trump is beyond belief, he needs to hibernate for a long time.

  11. joyce england says:

    how can this seem okay to anyone with any morals? Shooting fish in a barrel ? How sportsman like. THis goes againest all humanety.Is Mr. Trump planning on over turning every thing that Obama Did while president? A small man with no integrity. Look at his ideals they tell you he will play golf when the war of the world begins

  12. Laura Manz says:

    The only hope to change this and so many of the destructive policies impacting animals and the environment is to change leadership in the White House in November. Many who liked Trump’s vision of economic growth possibly did not envision how destructive so many of those policies would be for the environment, or did not equate reduced regulations with roll backs of protections for the animals they love. Time to wake up and admit, even if it is only in your own heart, that you made a terrible mistake. The time to rectify that mistake is in November. We need different leadership and we need all to vote as one against the man who has brought death and destruction to our wildlife and environment.

  13. Mary Beninato says:

    Has Trump done this because his sons are hunters? For shame.

  14. Emily Silver says:

    How can we help?

    • Denise Bowman says:

      KARMA will be a b**** when she’s ready to punish the ” so called hunters”. It’s been proven if you kill a animal you will do the same to a human!

    • Carrie says:

      Vote! Cat your vote for someone who doesn’t load these panels with trophy hunters (like trump did). Vote for politicians who are against this practice.

    • Donna says:

      Contact PETA, WWF, National humane society, ask how you can help, then share it and ask people share. We need to use OUR resourses, which is mass communication. I already support ALL of the organization’s, they need help with the unemployment so low, people can’t give so they r low on funds.

    • Keith Thomas says:

      Yours is the best comment of all. No hate, just help. Five gold stars to Emily

  15. Tom Ritman says:

    Trump is a narcissistic psychopath. He’ doesn’t care about other people. You know he doesn’t give a shit about wildlife.

  16. Diana Wilker says:

    I cannot believe our president, Mr. Trump, would ever do such a thing!!!!! Its probably really the democrats making that happen!! Better check your facts better – I wouldnt believe that for 1 second.

  17. Denise Bowman says:

    KARMA will be a b**** when she’s ready to punish the ” so called hunters”. It’s been proven if you kill a animal you will do the same to a human!

  18. Monika Baumann says:

    ——————–
    ‘God is Love’ means amongst others, that we are certainly not meant to do violence.
    ——————–
    As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.
    (Pythagoras)
    ——————–
    ‘God Is’, I highly recommend you to develop your heart and head and to help.
    ——————–
    We are all involved, we shouldn’t think, ‘only’ those, who kill and hurt on site, are guilty.

    They are God’s Creatures.
    And we shall not kill and hurt, but show compassion and care.
    Our life is short also, let us take the chance, do good, stop the violence (‘God is Love’) and support the vegan lifestyle.
    He is the beginning and the end, one day we will die also.

    Can there be more important reasons?
    Do we really need more reasons?
    When will you help also and finally?
    ——————–
    If we don’t do, what He wants us to do, we’ve made a really bad choice.
    If we would do, what He wants us to do, what could we expect for ourselves?
    If we don’t know, what He wants us to do, better going no high risk?
    ——————–

  19. Joey says:

    This is absolutely wrong and at what point do we have to defend the helpless from our government

  20. Jacques lahaie says:

    Keep and expand the ban on hunting wildlife.

  21. Jennifer says:

    Can the rule be appealed? Seems like the only thing to do is NOT vote for Trump 2020. I live in Maine, trapping of bears is still allowed here. It’s sickening.

  22. RespectAnimals says:

    This is not in defense of Trump but rather to point out this atrocity has been on-going. When Sarah Palin was governor Alaskan citizens got a ballet initiative voted through which stated that wolves could NOT be shot down from airplanes. The pilots run the wolves until they tire out, then shoot them. Palin ignored the passed initiative and allowed the shootings to go forward anyway. The ignorant discrimination against wolves is totally hard to understand. Fortunately more and more people are waking up to animal cruelty not only to food animals but to wild animals as well so hopefully we can get this policy changed.

    To this particular initiative: I agree with all posters that only cruel subhumans would allow culling of bears and other animals in such inhumane ways or even at all for that matter. That is especially true since the two basic reasons for such killings is to leave more game for hunters and that spoiled heartless people can kill a harmless, sleeping bear and take the hide home. Shameful.

    We definitely need to do all we can to get this policy changed but meanwhile all policies have to be weighted out. We will not find a perfect person to run our government but I can’t believe deep down in my heart that the Dims would do any better. To reach that decision one has to consider and weight the entire management tactics of both parties. While my heart breaks for animals, the last administration may have handled that right but how about so many of the other major decisions they got wrong? Always something to think about . . .

  23. Shay says:

    You really think this is true?! Sheesh, just another attack!

  24. Marcella Manslow says:

    This has to be stopped he just lost my vote!!!

  25. LEWIS says:

    What the Hell???

  26. Helen Dowland says:

    Helen Dowland Australia, this is disgusting and despicable. As others have said what part of killing sleeping mothers and their babies can possibly be considered fair or in any way acceptable? No part at all is the answer. We humans have worked hard for centuries to learn better than this. America if you do this you have truly abandoned any greatness at all and I’m disgusted with you.

  27. Gail says:

    Sickening, shame on you

  28. Sarah D says:

    This is brutal and heartbreaking. We must not allow this to happen.
    PLEASE VOTE.

  29. Bhaskara H L says:

    These are the signs of adversities for Trump. People start doing bad things when their fortune starts turning bad. I feel the whole world should oppose this.

  30. Robert says:

    Vote blue

  31. Barbara Fairleigh says:

    Trump’s son is a trophy hunter.
    These practices are despicable.

  32. Kimberly Randolph says:

    These people don’t give a damn. A animal should never be hunted if it’s not going to be consumed. One should never hunt a animal where there’s no chance for it outsmart the hunter, which is exactly why they do it. Because none of them have the brains to outsmart an animal. Killing a mother and their babies is like saying that it’s ok to kill a family in their beds. Neither is ok or right, why don’t you guys get your heads out of your ass? No wonder God is creating ways to tell us how disgusting we are as people and creating ways to do population control of the human kind. Wake up people.

    • Paula Anderson says:

      Paula Anderson
      paulacoralieanderson@gmail.com

      Months ago I said that the only animal that needs culling is us, I still believe that. Bush fires, Pandemic, Floods, Locusts ! How much more proof do you need that we are the only thing that needs culling, Trump publicly speaks out about what China has done, he is far worse, Murdering, cruel, selfish, biggot, the best thing Americans can do is to get rid of you, Trump you are the scum of the earth, this world isn’t meant for the cruelty of the likes of you, it’s time you were gone. Honestly, we laugh at you when you’re on TV, you haven’t got a clue and more and more people in the world can see it, you’ve lost your mind trying to outdo President Obama, he Is a good man, a good much loved President, something which you have no idea how to become. This is the end for you.

  33. Dave Smith says:

    I live in the UK,where fortunate ly we don’t have any hunting as such, I totally agree with the comments made about the shameful acts of killing these animals especially when they are hibernating.Human beings SHAME ON YOU. Mother nature will win in the end.

  34. Joanne Barlow says:

    Another horrific move by trump! Save these poor animals!1

  35. Sallie says:

    Don’t mess with Alaska hunters may find they are the hunted or just take their guns and when bears are hungry well no more need to be said, goes for wolves, foxes any wildlife. I hope they all ge eaten.

    • Sallie says:

      Leave our wild life alone. Don’t forget to VOTE BLUE. Trophy hunting should be illegal. Cowards all of them .

  36. J Riley says:

    I am beyond disgusted. 😢😢😢😢😢😢
    A typical TRUMP action

  37. Kerry-Leigh Craig says:

    I don’t actually live in America (I’m from London, England), but after reading this article about “Trophy Hunting” I’m f**king glad we don’t have hunting here and I’m glad we don’t have a Trump here either!! I don’t agree with hunting full stop except for subsistence reasons of course, and I’m surprised that some Alaskans are ok with this “Trophy” bollox!! That’s not sport, it’s barbaric and it makes me want to cry. How can Trump just keep overturning laws that have been passed willy nilly at the drop of a hat?? Who does he think he is and why is he allowed to get away with it ffs?? Is everyone in the U.S. government frightened of him or something?! That man needs to be pulled down a peg or two!! NOW!! Whatever next eh?? He starts culling humans coz they’re poor, or gay, or ill, or an ethnic minority, or have mental health issues, or are a little bit different to what he calls “the norm”?? I don’t know what else to say except I hope he doesn’t win this and change the law. Let’s hope he doesn’t change things so he can stay president for as long as he wants to or is voted in by people as crazy as he is!! Good luck American Citizens, I don’t envy you at all. Stay safe and be lucky. Kezzie. XxX

  38. Lacy says:

    If you willingly voted for Donal Trump please don’t share anything about your shock. You voted for this! He doesn’t care about people why would he care about animals.

  39. Rachel says:

    I think we can all help by voting him out of office.

  40. Carol says:

    This is just another pathetic move by Trump and his family to enhance their ability to kill things! THEY HAVE TO GO!

  41. Carol says:

    This is just another pathetic move by Trump and his family to enhance their ability to kill things! THEY HAVE TO GO!

  42. Anna Brady says:

    This is an extremely cruel practice, animals deserve better!

  43. Toni Costantini says:

    I hate Democrats but Trump just list my vote! Where can I write him,he does work for the people right.

  44. Robin Taborelli says:

    This is cruel and so I humane. We cannot let this happen

  45. Mary J Wilborn says:

    Stop the killing. President Trump dont open trophy hunting.

  46. Diane says:

    Really what is wrong with the president how can he be so heartless this brings tears to my heart God please help this man

  47. Jane Kelly says:

    What do you expect from the star of a bad reality show????

  48. Mary says:

    killing babies and their mom -depraved conduct, truly depraved. I know some hunters. I may not with them, but I believe that they would find this conduct to be unacceptable and just, well, lowlife.

  49. Sam Crossley-Osborne says:

    No! Please don’t allow hunters to kill wolf pups and bear cubs for trophy huntings, because it’s very naughty! This is upsetting! These mother bears and wolves won’t have anymore babies if you kill more like that, so please don’t do it! Humans should leave these beautiful animals in peace!

  50. Shan Bramley says:

    So the big, tough, macho trophy hunters can now kill a sleeping bear! Wow tough guys (not). Trump does not care about any living thing it seems – Shame on him, You kind Americans need to try to stop this man ruining America

  51. patricia farkas says:

    stop killing innocent animals…

  52. Jennifer says:

    Mr. Trump, you cannot allow this.

  53. Delia G says:

    This country is governed by a POS bigot who will overturn laws just because Obama allowed them. Just to be spiteful and mean. He is jealous because he will never have the intelligence Obama has.

  54. Maureen Middleton says:

    You said what I wanted to. Thank you for saying it so very well. Trump is a narcissistic monster and must not be allowed to carry on his racist, just about naziism, greedy, selfish, useless reign. You said it all. Please don’t allow him to decimate your wildlife, to urge and allow his cruel buddies to kill Bears and Wolves even the cubs of these beautiful animals. Its disgusting and there is enough cruelty in the world against innocent animals!!!

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