Tell Missouri to trash its black bear hunt proposal; it’s based on research funded by Safari Club

By on October 16, 2020 with 19 Comments

Missouri’s proposal to open season on black bears has the trophy hunting industry’s fingerprints all over it. But the state’s residents now have a chance to voice their opposition to it.

The Missouri Department of Conservation has just opened formal public comment on this ill-conceived plan, based on biased research at least partially funded by the Safari Club International Foundation, a sister organization of Safari Club International, the nation’s largest trophy hunting industry group, and its affiliate, the Hunter Legacy 100 Fund.

According to the SCIF website, these two groups have together contributed $82,000 for “research” on the “Missouri Black Bear Project” since 2011.

It is sickening that Missouri would allow a foundation related to a trophy hunting industry group to control its wildlife management policy. We have seen so many states, like Colorado and Washington, and even the federal government, play into the hands of trophy hunters time and again in recent years while ignoring real research and science. But MDC officials, whose job is to protect wildlife and not create policy tailored to suit trophy hunters, should consider just what’s at stake here: If they push forward with this plan, their state could be in real danger of losing its black bears forever.

Missouri nearly wiped out its bear population in the early 1900s because of overhunting and logging, which decimated the bears’ habitat. These slow-reproducing animals are still in the midst of their recovery. The MDC’s biased research (funded by SCIF) estimates there are now approximately 540 to 840 bears in the state—a number many believe is exaggerated. The proposal anticipates that Missouri will hand out 250 to 500 bear hunting permits, so if it passes, hunters could, potentially, once again decimate nearly all the black bears in the state, reversing all of the progress made so far.

Related: New Jersey proposes plan to end black bear trophy hunting

Such carnage is entirely plausible. We have seen this happen in Florida in 2015, where nearly 300 bears were killed over just the first two days of a hunting season.

As if all of this isn’t awful enough, the proposed rule also contains no prohibition on the killing of unaccompanied bear cubs. While mother bears with cubs would be protected, if a mom happens to leave a cub alone while foraging for food, there’s nothing in the proposed rule right now that says a trophy hunter couldn’t kill the mother—or the cub.

Missouri needs its bears: these animals play critical roles in their ecosystems and spread more seeds than even birds. They are highly sentient and they are loved and valued by most Americans.

SCI touts itself as a “conservation” organization, but the singular agenda of this group is to promote the killing of threatened and endangered species around the world, the rarer the better. These wealthy trophy hunters with their deep pockets would love to have their way with Missouri’s black bears. But it’s the state’s residents—who value bears and contribute millions of dollars through Missouri’s conservation sales tax each year—that should be guiding wildlife policy. When the MDC opened a comment period on this proposed carnage in June, thousands of Missouri residents wrote in opposition. Now they have one last chance to make their voices heard. If you live in Missouri, please comment here and oppose this terrible plan. If you live outside Missouri, let the Missouri Division of Tourism know that you have no interest in visiting a state that exploits its wildlife at the bidding of trophy hunters.

Categories
Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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19 Comments

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  1. Barbara Acheson says:

    You make me sick, Missouri. To think you would sell out to trophy hunters is appalling.

    • Linda says:

      I so very much agree with you. What kind of ‘state’ and what kind of ‘people’ would agree to this cruelty/senseless slaughter???

  2. judy pizarro says:

    I have no interest in visiting a state that exploits its wildlife at the bidding of trophy hunters.

  3. Pat Rose says:

    Please refrain from killing animals for no reason. A “trophy” of an innocent animal does not say anything good about the killer

  4. Ellen Sanford says:

    I will not visit Missouri as long as it supports black bear trophy hunts. Trophy hunting, killing a sentient animal in order to display its remains, is immoral and unethical.

  5. June Gollatz says:

    What is the reason for the killing of any animal let alone bears???!!!
    What great deed are you performing for humanity?
    Put your energy to some ‘good’ use!

  6. Susan Welch says:

    STOP killing wildlife!! Shame on you people!! I will NOT.. Let me repeat.. I will NOT visit Missouri ANYMORE (And I live 50 miles from your border which I frequent very often) until you STOP killing bears all for trophy hunters!! SHAME SHAME SHAME!!!🤬🤬🤬

  7. Connie Delk says:

    Sickening!!

  8. Lisa Davis says:

    This cruel and horrible practice needs to end. I have repeatedly read most people do not support this awful activity. Missouri don’t sell out to this club that may have money but does not represent the hearts of our nation!

  9. PATRICK J PETERMAN says:

    this “barbaric and draconian” practice of trophy hunts- “turns me red”!! Spend sometime in a combat zone” where the prey shoots back” and let me know “HOW BIG IT MAKES YOU FEEL”?? Some people have no conscious and therefore “no soul”-any person who appreciates life would not participate in this “OVERTLY CRUEL AND UNFAIR PRACTICE”- GET A LIFE—-DON,T TAKE A LIFE”!!!

  10. Pat Lee says:

    Stop promoting Murder. Leave our Bears. Do not sell out to murdering jerks with guns. Protect our beautiful wildlife.

  11. Ruthann McDermott says:

    This is absolutely unconscionable & inhumane! Stop trophy hunting ~ it is egregious!!!!

  12. Dianne Battle says:

    This bear hunting is a self-serving event that harms not only the bears, but the environment. And you have the nerve to base it on a flawed study, biased by a commercial interest!

  13. Eileen Macmillan says:

    I am sure your legislature will revisit this matter – and come to a better conclusion. If they do not you can be sure the number of tourists/vsistors to your state will decline substantially. Eileen Macmillan

  14. Patricia Fleischer says:

    If you really want to encourage economic growth, many more people are interested in shooting photographic pictures of these bears then the Safari Club is in shooting them with guns. Your tourist industry could flourish with the assistance of these beloved bear. And these bears are not dangerous like grizzlys. Areas need to be established whereby people can safely watch them in their natural habitat.

  15. Patricia Eccard says:

    If you need a stuffed animal on your walls to prove you are a man, you are not a man at all, you are a killer of innocent animals that have a right to live. Go find another way to be a man.

  16. Amber Caine says:

    PLEASE STOP THE BLACK BEAR HUNT!!! Missouri, stop exploiting wildlife for trophy hunters. PLEASE, PLEASE!!!

  17. Kathryn M Bizzell says:

    Even TEXAS prohibits the hunting, killing, harming or harassing of Black Bears. I thought Missouri was more humane—guess not!! Funding from the Safari Club for “scientific research” to justify the slaughter of black bears is nor more “legitimate” than revenue gained from prostitution, human trafficking, drug dealers, dog and cock fights, pornography, or even pharmaceutical price gouging. Missouri not only has the ability but an obligation to serve its citizens in finding solutions to circumvent potential egregious inhumane hunting violations and the possibility of bringing Missouri’s Black Bear population to extinction – not to mention in a most horrific manner. We cancelled our trip to Missouri.
    Kathryn M. Bizzell
    Houston, TX.

  18. Gaby Melzer says:

    This is a cruel practice that does not benefit the majority at all. It is solely designed to satisfy the cruel and sadistic tendencies of a few individuals. Please do not allow this practice to become normal in this society!!

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