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Legal / Regulatory

August 09, 2020 - National Geographic

Why the U.S. government is allowing bears, wolves to be hunted in their dens

Why the U.S. government is allowing bears, wolves to be hunted in their dens
Kodiak Bear with Cub© Photabulous!

The rollback of a rule banning controversial hunting methods in Alaska's national preserves has some worried the National Park Service is ceding control to states with less conservation-oriented goals.

When wolf hunting season opened in Alaska on August 1, it became legal in many national preserves for hunters to kill nursing mothers in dens with their pups. In October, when black bear hunting season begins, females settling down for hibernation with cubs can be targeted in portions of Denali National Preserve and Gates of the Arctic National Preserve. And in spring, when cubs and their mothers emerge, they too will be legal game.

Other previously banned hunting practices—including baiting bears with doughnuts, popcorn, or other human food—also are allowed now in Alaska’s national preserves.

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