The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources may allow hunters to use dogs when hunting bears in future seasons. Hunting dogs track and chase a bear for hours at a time until the exhausted animal flees up a tree. The cornered bear is then easily picked off by gun-wielding hunters on the ground. The dogs give hunters a unfair advantage in killing bears. Also, the long chase stresses and exhausts bears. Animals who the hunters decide to pass over may continue to suffer the physical effects of the chase long after the hunter goes home. Mothers and cubs risk being separated as they flee hunters’ dogs; cubs who cannot find their mothers eventually starve. The dogs may also be at risk of serious harm. While they can suffer exhaustion just as the bears do, they also may face a bear that chooses to face his or her pursuers rather than run. Bears are large and dangerous with both powerful jaws and sharp claws. A dog is no match for an angry, stressed bear.
Kentucky residents should write the commissioner and ask him to reject this proposal. Residents of other states should check their laws and work to make this cruel practice illegal.
Dr. Jonathan W. Gassett
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
#1 Sportsman’s Lane
Frankfort, KY 40601
Tele. No.: 800-858-1549