Three environmental activist groups now threaten to sue the Forest Service over bear-baiting in Idaho (Daily Bee, Dec 31). Some of the same activists tried a bear-baiting and hound-hunting ballot initiative in 1996 and failed, because Idahoans saw through the veil of anti-hunting and step-by-step attack on state management of wildlife. The activists curiously did not oppose using dogs to hunt birds or fish with a worm. After all, who would hug a bird or worm? That didn’t work out, so now the grizzly bear is the next convenient excuse. The article should have also included how much taxpayers’ money these groups will receive, as a result of the outrageous Equal Access For Justice Act, whether they win or lose a lawsuit.
Two grizzly bears have been mistakenly killed in Idaho over bait, in the last several decades. Two. One in an area that hasn’t had any reported grizzlies for over 50 years and another by a 14-year-old hunter who was alone. There are many laws regarding the use of bait. More awareness of where a grizzly may show up and more mentoring of young hunters will reduce those mistakes, but given that there are at least 700 grizzlies in the Yellowstone region, 50 in the Selkirks and 50 in the Cabinet-Yaak region, simple common sense dictates that bear-baiting is not a serious threat to grizzly bears in Idaho.