Breaking: Big step forward in fight to ban extremely cruel hunting methods

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

By on January 6, 2023 with 18 Comments

A new National Park Service proposed rule marks a substantial step forward for some of our nation’s most iconic wildlife species, including brown and black bears and wolves. The NPS rule would ban certain extremely cruel methods of trophy hunting and trapping on Alaska’s national preserves. We have been fighting hard to achieve this prohibition, urging the Biden administration to reverse a 2020 rule, issued by the Department of the Interior under the Trump administration, which allowed these practices to resume after they had previously been banned in 2015. We’ve maintained for the past two years that the 2020 rule was pandering to trophy hunting interests.

The practices at issue include some truly horrific methods that most hunters abhor, including killing hibernating mother black bears and their cubs in their dens with the aid of artificial lights, shooting wolf and coyote pups and mothers at their dens, shooting vulnerable caribou while they are swimming, using dogs to hunt black bears, and using bait like donuts and meat scraps to attract and subsequently kill brown and black bears.

In 2015, the Obama administration put a stop to these horrors. While the perpetrators of this grisly violence sometimes claimed a need to reduce numbers of native carnivores in order to boost prey species for hunters, science has shown that attempts to manipulate nature in this way produces terrible results. We have seen brown bear populations in Alaska, for example, dwindle because of the state’s intensive, outdated, unscientific management practices that target large carnivores to reduce populations without regard for the impact on the ecosystem.

Alaska state officials should support this proposed rule, not least because millions of wildlife watchers who visit the state each year add hundreds of millions of dollars to local economies—much more than what the handful of trophy hunters bring. In fact, compared to wildlife watchers and other non-consumptive users in Alaska, hunters and trappers account for a mere 0.3% of the total $12.2 billion spent on total outdoor recreation, according to 2019 data.

Moreover, by large majorities, most Alaskans oppose these unfair and unsporting hunting practices. This is also a rule that all Americans should support—with thousands of them heading to National Park Service lands in Alaska each year for the simple pleasure of watching and enjoying the nation’s iconic wildlife while they’re alive and thriving. Ensuring that these practices are banned will allow Alaskans, and all Americans, these opportunities for years to come.

Speak up for Alaskan wildlife by urging the government to ban these cruel hunting practices for good.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

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

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  1. Diana Lewis says:

    So hope the big break for bears continues!

  2. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    Es muy importante qué se actúe para acabar con la violencia ya no podemos seguir permitiendo que por deporte o diversión más animalitos sigan sufriendo y derramando sangre injustamente

  3. James Andriani says:

    We as a Nation not as a trophy hunter and trapper need to Reintroduce the law the way it was in 2015.
    These Trappers and Hunters are not decent humanbeings and we need To stop this assault on our nation’s Wildlife. This Trophy slaughtering is not for survival its for Profit.

  4. William J Dorman says:

    The video you show is typical of Flouting and ignorance shown by animal “killers” of Alaska hunting laws. I lived in Alaska for 3 1/2 yrs just prior to Statehood and I’m not a hunter. In early days a gun was necessary for protection particularly out in the boondocks. I came across a Mother Bear and cubs and wanted to film them but as i quietly approached a huge Bull Moose came toward me . I slowly backed away but the Buck Moose , larger than my horse in Idaho , started to follow me but stopped when he saw I was retreating. The buck decided he would hold his ground and continued to protect the Mother. …my lucky day!

  5. Karin Erker says:

    Stop die brutalen tierquäler … Stop das tierleid …

  6. Lee Schelin says:

    These are some VERY sick people. They should be prosecuted to the maximum extent.

  7. JMC says:

    I’m trying to get an address for HSUS, so I can mail in a donation.

    • BMD says:

      Thanks so much! HSUS website says: To contribute by mail, please send a personal check or money order made payable to the HSUS to:
      The Humane Society of the United States
      1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 450
      Washington, DC 20037

  8. Nancy Stewart says:

    Stop favoring the hunters against defenseless wolf cubs, bear cubs and other wildlife from slaughter while robbing the public viewing of iconic animals for pleasure. Give animals back their right to exist. Nancy Stewart

  9. Ester Gonzalez says:

    I support the ban of cruel hunting methods such as running over wildlife with motorized vehicles, snares, baiting, and leg hold traps. Also, hounding which is not only cruel for wildlife, but also pet dogs.

  10. Penny Lacy says:

    These people should be prosecuted to fullest extent of the law and then some. Please help to protect the little wildlife left in this country and state!

  11. S. More says:

    Were these slob killer tried and what was their penalty? Please don’t tell me it was just a fine.

  12. Tracey McCarter says:

    This is abhorrent on every level. We’re ridding ourselves and future generations of the wonders of this planet. How many animals are injured and left to die a slow death because some drunk redneck with a gun decides it’s his right to shoot a defenseless animal and misses. Tell me again how it is considered a sport or masculine in any way to shoot a mother bear or wolf sleeping with their cubs in their den????? This government and big business are only interested in the almighty dollar and special interest groups that fund elections. You are ALL disgusting!!!

  13. Jimmy says:

    Hunting for sport is cruel ! Grew up in a hunting family an its cruel to me an I’m shaw millions of people also. We keep hunting like this an we are going to hunt ourselves into extinction. There is a Balance I believe of all animals an critters.
    And every day something goes extinct on this planet. Do we really need to help kill animals off. All will be judged I believe whatever you believe in . So until then shoot the shit not the animals!!

    • Sam Pink says:

      Thank you Jimmy for your comment. As you, I believe in responsible hunting. However, it must be done ethically with minimally hurting the animal if you have to hunt them at all. And enough of the hunting posting. It is disrespectful to the animal and many.

  14. Maria Galarce says:


  15. KawikaFiftySix says:

    Wolves – and Game Animal Trophy Hunting
     TRUTH concerning Wolves and their Right to exist and thrive, unmolested, in the natural environment.
    Human trophy hunters kill from the ‘top-down’ which eliminates the largest and most physically fit adults, who are the most viable breeding stock for the species, which perpetuates the growth of weak herds of ungulates. Trophy hunters perpetuate the decline of the animal gene pool by killing off the best specimens first. These actions weaken the herds in the long run. At the same time, human hunters eradicate their opposition: the natural predators. Predators do mainly ‘bottom-up’ hunting… which means that predators seldom kill the human hunter’s claimed prey. Humans are not being overly deprived of what they unrightfully claim as “theirs” to hunt! People have no more RIGHT to a deer than any other hunter! What makes them think that they have any more RIGHT to harvest a deer than any OTHER Predator? Is it just all about us humans, all the time?
    “We don’t have the right to bulldoze life outside of humanity” – Wolf Expert Douglas Smith on the Yellowstone Wolf Project

    Quotation from the Yellowstone Forever project: “Did you know that by the early 20th century, the federal government’s campaign to “tame the wilderness” had completely eradicated wolves from Yellowstone National Park?
    In a time before scientists fully grasped the concept of interconnected ecosystems, wolves were viewed as menaces rather than vital keystone species. Killing off these top Yellowstone predators became common practice, having a catastrophic effect on Yellowstone’s ecology.

    One of the most destructive impacts was a dramatic increase in the number of elk which feed on young willow trees. The loss of willows caused a steep decline in the number of beavers which rely on the trees to build their dams and lodges and to slow the flow of streams.”

    Because of lesser viable breeding stock due to trophy hunting, combined with the lack of predators, the ungulates and other game animals then devastate the ecological environment that they live in. The herds then overstay their then-current locations, overgrazing the meadows, and overeating and trampling the riparian vegetation and stream edges before they move on.

    In 1920 wolves were essentially eradicated in the Lower 48, then in 1995/96 there were 31 Canadian wolves reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Prior to 95/96, the ungulates would overstay in one location, and wear-out the land, riverbanks, and food sources, before they moved on.
    After the wolves came back, that all changed, now the deer, elk, and buffalo herds keep on the move, as is their natural tendency. NO MORE fat lazy animals! Their overall health and the health of the vegetation and land features improved too, because of the natural ‘bottom-up’ culling that predators do.


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