Letter: The real problem for bears in Concord

Published: 07-02-2023 7:00 AM

It’s ironic that the edition of your paper which featured a recent anti-bear hounding My Turn also included a story about a local business owner forcing a vote without public input to approve his proposed business venture. This project will result in a destruction of forested habitat which bears now call home. Thankfully, NH is currently the second most forested state in the nation on a percentage basis. Thanks to a variety of organizations, lands have been protected from development so that bears have contiguous tracts of land on which to roam. This allows them to move freely, and, in years with scarce wild food sources, show up in people’s backyards.

Humans are the cause of so-called “problem bears” when they fail to police their trash effectively, leave dirty grills, dog food dishes, etc. outside or have birdfeeders. These people are the real problem for bears, not bear hounders. Bear hounding has no significant impact on bear numbers throughout the state. Bear harvest with hounds as a percentage of total bear harvest over the past five years has ranged from a high of 16% in 2019 to a low of 5% last year (NH F&G). Of the 18 wildlife management regions in the state, only three (C2, D1 and H1) had any sort of significant harvest of bears with dogs last year. Historically, more male bears are killed each year than females, because a majority of bear hunters are careful enough and knowledgeable enough to select male bears to harvest, when given the opportunity.

Dan Williams



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