Yukon News

Carcross residents mourn bear’s death

Meagan Gillmore Wednesday May 29, 2013

Nicolas Dory/Yukon News

p3bear.jpg

This grizzly, which was shot by a hunter last week, was a popular sighting along the Tagish Road near Choatla Lake.

She didn’t know it then, but the first time Edna Helm saw the bear, it only had a few hours left to live.

Helm was driving from Carcross to Tagish on the morning of Tuesday, May 21, when she saw a grizzly eating along the side of the road. The bear, a female, had been living near Carcross for years, creating great memories and photo opportunities for tourists and locals alike.

But Helm, a lifelong Carcross resident, had “never bumped into it before,” she said. She saw it that afternoon driving back home. Others also did - a tour bus from Alaska had also stopped to watch the animal, she said.

It’s a good thing they did.

When Helm, a Carcross/Tagish First Nation elder, went to the First Nation’s office the next day, “there was a lot of red-eyed people around,” she said.

The bear had been shot the night before along Tagish Road. It was legal, said David Bakica, the conservation officer who spoke to witnesses last Thursday. The hunter, a Yukon resident, was licensed. It was during grizzly bear season, which runs from April 15 to June 1. If hunters are completely off the road, including paved shoulders of highways, they can shoot animals. They must shoot away from the road, and be at least one kilometre from all residences.

It may have been legal, but it has upset the community, said Danny Cresswell, chief of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation.

The grizzly, estimated to be between six and eight years old, had become a fixture in the area.

“The community just kind of took to the bear,” he said. “It’s kind of like having a pet but not having a pet.”

The bear would wander around the road, eating honeysuckle and watching people, he said.

“It didn’t try to approach people. It just did its own thing. And then it got shot.”

Cresswell last photographed the bear on Sunday. He and his family were driving towards Little Atlin Lake when he saw it. “It was just lying there, had its paws crossed, its head on its paws, and just watching the people and eating some honeysuckle. Yeah, it was quite the little character,” he said.

“And I thought about somebody shooting him, and was like, ‘Nah, nobody’s going to shoot that little guy. It’s not a big bear. It’s not bothering anybody.’”

Now its death has upset residents.

Helm called it a “spirit bear.” Depending on how you looked at it, it seemed completely white, she said.

“It makes you feel so good that there’s such a beautiful animal that’s still alive.

And you’re not going to see one blonde one like that again. Who knows? Maybe never. That colour might not come back,” said Helm. “That’s why I call it a spirit bear. It just uplifted me. It was a gorgeous animal. I still get upset.”

She’s not alone. “They weren’t happy about it,” said Bakica of the community’s reaction to the bear’s death. But they also had some wrong information, he said. Some thought only one grizzly bear can be shot in the territory every year, he said. That’s not true. A licensed hunter can only kill one bear every three years. Residents also thought hunting along the highway was illegal. But it’s not. There are no-hunting corridors along Annie Lake Road and the Takhini Hot Springs Road, he said.

Banning hunting can cause a lot of controversy, said Bakica, especially since First Nation members can’t be stopped from subsistence hunting. Carcross/Tagish First Nation has been opposed to no-hunting corridors, said Cresswell. But the ban along Annie Lake Road makes sense for safety reasons, he added.

“That’s a pretty big debate that would have to happen,” Cresswell said when asked if he thought hunting along highways should have more restrictions.

Some are already discussing if hunting laws should be changed.

Carcross resident Greg Karais started a Facebook page this week, Yukon Hunting Rules Need to Change, to discuss this. He’s not against hunting, and he understands the bear was shot legally, he said. But he doesn’t think it was ethical, he said. If the bear was threatening humans, he wouldn’t be upset it was shot, he said. But it wasn’t. Bears are particularly special; they show how wild the Yukon is, he said.

“It’s part of all those people driving down the road to Carcross hearing, ‘Oh, there’s a bear down there you might be able to see.’ And seeing a grizzly bear for the first time, and putting those smiles on people’s faces,” said Karais.

“Whatever the people of the Yukon decide is the correct course of action is what I will enforce,” said Bakica, when asked if he’d heard about changing hunting regulations.

But nothing can bring back Carcross’s community bear.

He’d never seen one hang around a community like this one did, said Cresswell.

“Next time a bear hangs around, maybe we’ll put up some signs saying ‘Don’t bother the bear,’ ‘Don’t shoot the bear.’”

“If you really want to go hunting, go out in the bush and go hunting,” said Cresswell. “If you want to see a big grizzly, get someone to take you out and really see what a grizzly is.”

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54 Comments

Jack Malone wrote:
4:10pm Tuesday June 11, 2013

Obviously this is a contentious issue.  Many Yukoners, including myself, have set out our opinions below.  Like many others, I don’t have a problem with hunting game for food away from the roads - but some want to kill anything at every opportunity, including bears for their hides to be laid out on the floor or tacked up on the wall.  But I find it interesting that the “hunter” who shot this tame bear in the ditch has not made any comment or identified himself or herself.  What a coward.  On the other hand, he or she knows that he or she would face a lot of ridicule and anger from Yukoners.  I hope that he or she looks at that new rug, he or she feels a bit of guilt and shame.

notjesus wrote:
11:52am Tuesday June 11, 2013

“One way to make a positive change is encourage hunting and local harvesting”

Hunting is not sustainable, if every person in Canada and the United states killed 1 large animal this year, that would be it. The harvest your own food argument is complete rationalization BS. Non traditional hunters want to go out and prove something, to feel power over animals and prove something to themselves. Just take a look through this thread and smell the fear of these weak personalities, rationalizing away.

Traditional hunting is a different discussion.

Mike Grieco wrote:
10:30pm Monday June 10, 2013

‘Larger Than Life’ - and killing made easy!

Kayla O'Farrell wrote:
10:21am Monday June 10, 2013

We do not have to convince every Yukon resident that hunting is okay.There will always be those who base logic on emotion.  We only need make sure the powers that be protect our rights, and support the best conservation practices we have, hunting. Join us on facebook,  “Hunting Rules Stand Firm”. Write the minister and protect our rights.

FNS wrote:
9:23am Sunday June 9, 2013

@Grampa Tim - No offense but this sounds like more self-hating human junk pushed by the left, the greens and fanatical environmentalists.  The fact is, most of the world is covered by ocean and of the remaining portion that is land, most of that is uninhabited wilderness or desert.  The majority of those 3 billion new people added are living in the same urban centers that were already over-crowded when you were born.

Yes, you should encourage change in this world!  One way to make a positive change is encourage hunting and local harvesting of food as opposed to the current destructive method of relying on big oil to bring filthy and genetically modified foods to your grocery store for the majority of people too lazy to go out and get it.

And again, Yukon is not running out of bears, pine trees, mosquitoes or black flies.

Grampa Tim wrote:
7:58am Sunday June 9, 2013

When I became a grandfather I began to see the world with a longer timeline.  We are going to have to make changes to the status quo. Start facing these facts now and you will be a part of what will be needed by our politicians to make these tough decisions. Decisions are being made far from your home that are going to have a huge impact on your home. ( Include no action as a decision) All wildlife is being threatened around the world, now is the time for wildlife to be considered first, not people. We are thriving up from 3 billion people when I was a kid to over 6 billion and headed for 10 billion. Statisticians are talking about losing over 25% of all wildlife in less than 20 years. that number for me is way beyond comprehension. Even if that number is only a quarter of their estimates it should be a huge wake up call.

Jesse wrote:
11:58am Thursday June 6, 2013

Bobby,
I appreciate you being polite, there’s no reason for some of the rude and judgmental comments being posted. You’re having a hard time understanding why I felt sad when I harvested my bear, or any of the other animals I have harvested. The answer is simple…. or complicated, however peoples thought process may work on this.
I love animals, I love yukon animals especially, I also eat yukon animals, I also have one bear on my wall. I felt sad when I harvested all of those animals because they are magnificent creatures and I ended their life for my own reasons. The same way someone might feel bad about picking beautiful flowers only to put in their house for their enjoyment… or keeping a lake trout that is older than the fisherman who caught it. We as people often do things for our own benefit that may have a negative impact elsewhere, and it is up to the individual to decide whether it is worth it to them to follow through. In all my cases, and obviously the hunters case as well, the decision was this animal would bring enough reward to the person hunting it to follow through.

I can’t explain it any better, if people still don’t understand what I mean, then I would hope they would refrain from continueing to judge, judgement without understanding is ignorance.

Also as a general note…. people who harvest along the roadside are very rarely using the road to hunt.. they are often traveling to a hunting destination and a rare opportunity presented itself and a hunter took advantage of their great fortune. They are not lazy hunters.

The only difference between me and others posting on here is that I personally harvest an animal, thank it for giving it’s like and will carry that appreciation forever, while others eat thier store bought burger, wear their fur coats, gloves, use animal products etc. and have no idea

Riptide wrote:
8:50am Thursday June 6, 2013

Beverly,

hunt·ing
/ˈhəntiNG/
Noun
The activity of hunting wild animals or game, esp. for food or sport.

I beg to differ. While it may not be sporting, it is hunting.

bobby bitman wrote:
5:16pm Wednesday June 5, 2013

Jesse, I find your post very strange, and I am trying to be polite in choosing my words.  You ‘felt sad’ when the bear you killed died.  You are ‘very thankful to him’ and will ‘treasure him’ for the rest of your life.  Whoa.  I can’t find my way through that twisted maze.

If you liked the bear so much, why in the world did you kill it?!

Beverly Wood wrote:
4:21pm Wednesday June 5, 2013

I would like to say; The bears on the Atlin Rd no longer run from traffic so we can all enjoy their beauty and see that they are not the “monsters” they have been made out to be. I knew last summer that no one was bothering them on the road anymore just by how relaxed they were. If we want tourism to flourish shooting off the road is a “NOT”  no brainer…........for sure. I too have been a Yukoner all my life and let me assure you, SHOOTING OFF THE ROAD IS NOT HUNTING!!

FNS wrote:
11:23am Tuesday June 4, 2013

Did anyone bother thinking perhaps there was a reason this bear was hanging around that stretch of road?  Possibly the people who are now “mourning” this bear were feeding it?  Most of the bears I have seen do not like vehicles and people, they will run into the trees as you approach.  They don’t hang around highways all day like bison do.

Good chance this was a spoiled bear and not a spirit bear.

Riptide wrote:
11:07am Tuesday June 4, 2013

Stan, you shoot yours with a camera, while I reserve the right to shoot mine with a firearm.

Stan Rogers wrote:
8:52pm Monday June 3, 2013

My family has been in the Yukon for decades and shot many bears from the highway and think nothing of it.

If they feed close to the road we should be able to shoot them. Sometimes we are joined by other people, who like us, shoot these bears with cameras. Nothing wrong with this.

Lets protect wildlife who feed along our roads. They are there for us, we should be allowed to shoot them with cameras, especially elders and people with mobility issues.

Skeptic wrote:
4:37pm Monday June 3, 2013

If we are allowed to shoot bears, in the first place, what difference does it make where they are shot? I’m not a hunter but I’m sure a bear shot a kilometer away from the highway wasn’t thinking “At least I died an ethical death, good judgement sir!”. Sure we shouldn’t torture animals but we are a society that kills animals for a long list of reasons. What more can you say.

If its hunting for meat people should be allowed to hunt from the road… so long as it is safe. Why turn killing for food into killing for sport and the thrill of the hunt. Want meat, see moose by road, shoot it. I’m not a fan of trophy hunting in general but, until I’m vegan, that is none of my business. Its legal.

FNS wrote:
11:47am Sunday June 2, 2013

@Paul Christensen - Many elders and people who cannot get back in the bush use the highways to hunt.  That is not going to change because a few people want to create a stir over a single bear.

@Lil - If you live in a house, condo or apartment it’s because the land was cleared of wildlife and vegetation.  If you shop for meat at grocery stores those animals were killed and likely lived in filthy conditions.  If you purchase any shampoo, conditioner, cream, etc that product was likely tested on animals who were killed afterwards.  If you eat vegetables it is because that land was cleared and controlled.  The airports your plane lands at kills animals all the time.  The only thing that is sickening is aloof, clueless urbanites moving to the country and thinking they are going to impose their foolish and hypocritical value systems on everyone else.  Sorry, not happening.

Atom wrote:
11:30am Sunday June 2, 2013

Anyone who thinks killing is wrong needs to go to a history book and learn how it is we survived before artsy feel good age came along. Your ancestors….not so ancient…..hunted for food just like every other human. They took it from the land and used the land to feed themselves…if the First Nations didn’t show your great great grand daddy how to boil bark you likely wouldn’t be sitting at your Cozy computers with all the amazed indignation written here.

Probably shouldn’t shoot bears in the ditch anyway but to take this all hunters and hunting is bad stance is just immature and hypocritical.

Enjoy the meat and genetically modified soy you get at the grocery store…and hope the roads don’t wash out.

Paul Christensen wrote:
11:29pm Saturday June 1, 2013

When, not if, road hunting becomes illegal in The Yukon, people like the one who shot this bear can look in the mirror and thank themselves for hastening its arrival.
Myself, I have no problem with responcible road hunting.  I don’t do it, I prefer more adventure in my trips, but if it floats your boat, whatever.  But if you are going to hunt off the road, do it in a way that doesn’t impact others, and doesn’t reflect poorly on hunters in general.

Lil wrote:
2:41pm Saturday June 1, 2013

Why does anyone have the right to shoot another living creature? Legal or not, it is not right! I don’t care what the rules are.  Killing is wrong whether its human r otherwise. That bear and many others before it all have a right to live. We as human beings have no right to take away their lives. It’s not just a bear. Your just a selfish human. What right do you gave to live with such a pathetic outlook on life and the lives of others who share our world. Shame on all you murderers. Just sickening t the core.

Rightstuff wrote:
12:48pm Saturday June 1, 2013

Emotions should never be a reason to change laws, and traditions.
Common sense, and logic, are what’s needed to come to a outcome.

piper wrote:
5:19am Saturday June 1, 2013

Unless the animals are dangerous why shoot them ? I have yelled at bears to get them moving off my property no need to kill everything.But then again I don’t care for painful cruel animal traps either but that’s another topic & both irk me .

Jesse wrote:
4:14pm Friday May 31, 2013

I just felt a need to weigh in… I understand peoples frustration with loss of a beautiful grizzly. I am an occasional bear hunter, and I have harvested 1 grizzly, a very mature boar, and yes it was off a roadway. However it was nowhere near a residence, and I had spent countless hours hunting him down. I am very thankful for him and will treasure him my entire life. I did feel sad when he died.

What I don’t understand is peoples judgement on the man/woman (yes I am the first person out of 40 comments to suggest it might have been a huntress)  is being critisized and spoken rudely about. I understand you loved your bear, and I am sorry for your loss, it is ok to feel sad, but there is no reason to attack hunting, or bear hunting specifically. Be sad, mourn in whatever way you need to, but leave the hunter and hunting alone. People do not need to be made to feel guilty for enjoying one of Yukon’s oldest and most treasured traditions.
ease your emotions, and let the bear, the hunter and your hearts be at peace.
JW

KC wrote:
2:58pm Friday May 31, 2013

Whether it was unethical or immoral or not will be in the eye of the beholder.  If people feel it was unethical or immoral they have just as much (or more) of a right to say so as this individual had to shoot that bear.

FNS wrote:
2:07pm Friday May 31, 2013

There was nothing illegal, unethical or immoral with what this hunter did.  And the Yukon is not running out of Grizzlies, Pine Trees or mosquitos.

Foxes, wolves and bears getting shot.  Wild dogs not getting shot.  Is it just me or are these “issues” really just boring, everyday life in the Yukon with CBC, Yukon News and a few others trying to turn them into “issues”?

KC wrote:
1:28pm Friday May 31, 2013

I really don’t see where this idea that we can’t “judge” people when they are acting within the bounds of the law.  If you put your mind to it you could probably think of many day to day instances where we “judge” people for doing things that are legal but unethical.  Infidelity isn’t a crime yet we judge people for that.  Budding in line isn’t illegal yet we judge people for that.  Being rude isn’t illegal yet we judge people for that.  People are perfectly entitled to “judge” others in the court of public opinion for doing things that we feel are unethical—legal or not.

Nadine Peters wrote:
12:17pm Friday May 31, 2013

We live in a beautiful part of this country, and thousands of tourists visit us each year, bringing in much-needed money to this Territory. If we kill all the animals that make this place so unique and special, what will bring the tourists here? Yukon is known worldwide as a natural spectacle to see. And as far as I am concerned, killing this one bear has caused so much negative PR for us all as citizens, one bullet could have avoided all this mess! Leave the grizzlies alone!!! People who visit us might only see one once in a lifetime!  If there is no wildlife left to see, we might as well be living in Toronto or New York City!

commonsense wrote:
10:49am Friday May 31, 2013

Paul,
I agree, nimrod was poorly expressed and irrelevant.  I’ll blame it on lack of sleep. I would use my name, but have in the past and ended up being harrassed for my opinions, and i just don’t have time for people to track me down on my facebook page, email, phone etc to tell me i’m wrong.  Look,  i have never road hunted anything, and as i stated, it actually does leave a bad taste in my mouth in general, but for all species.  My argument was simply that people are only upset about this because of the species and our tendancy to anthropomorphise (i hope i’m spelling that right) grizzly bears, and not the act itself.  Why is this bear more worthy of respect than a moose one might see on the roadside? I feel like with road hunting, you’re either for it, or not, regardless of animal and i struggle with it now, beacuse i believe it should not be allowed.  My other point was simply that this fellow, while many may not agree, acted legally, and does not deserve personal slander.  If all Roads in Yukon had corridors, i would support it, as long as both First Nations and Non had to comply by it, to be perfectly honest.  I would not support regulations to one group that don’t apply to the other, we already have enough.

Norm, thanks for your assinine comment.  Its people like you that post things like that and people don’t want to add their two cents to a discussion, which is what allows people to express different opinions to each other.  If you don’t like reading or people discussing two sides of an issue, perhaps you should find some other mode of communication.

FNS wrote:
9:45am Friday May 31, 2013

So realistically, how would a hunter know what is a “community bear” tourist attraction and which is not?  What if your tourist attraction wanders a few miles off the highway into the bush?  Then you’d have no problem with it being shot?

It was a bear, it had a life and it got shot legally.  Big deal.

Riptide wrote:
9:08am Friday May 31, 2013

Paul Christensen, really?  “But killing this bear, in this location, showed remarkably poor judgement, and shows that the shooter obviously doesn’t care one iota about other people, other peoples rights”

It had nothing to do with ones ‘judgement’ or whether or not they cared about other people. It was a bear out in the wild. It was legal. End of story.

Paul Christensen wrote:
8:50am Friday May 31, 2013

Commonsense
Nice posts.  You are proving once again that sense is anything but common.
You are confusing the overall issue of road hunting with the individual issue of shooting a bear which has becomse something of an attraction.  Your argument that it was only a matter of time before some “nimrod” was attacked is a non sequitur.
In general, road hunting, if one uses common sense, is not an issue.  But killing this bear, in this location, showed remarkably poor judgement, and shows that the shooter obviously doesn’t care one iota about other people, other peoples rights, or how hunters are portrayed.  Its all about me.
And if you feel so strongly, use your real name.  Courage of your convictions etc.

Norm wrote:
7:31am Friday May 31, 2013

Me thinks “commonsense” should change his moniker to “dronesonandon”

B. Sydney Suess wrote:
6:52pm Thursday May 30, 2013

Great white hunter indeed. Can you eat it? Can you claim it as a trophy? Was it bothering you? No, but you just had to shoot it. Legal maybe but it was like shooting fish in a barrel. Sportsman? Don’t make me laugh. Hide yourself and your “skin” cause your neighbors will point fingers at you. Shame on you.

commonsense wrote:
3:26pm Thursday May 30, 2013

Lynn A, you are forgetting that conservation is a relatively new concept to humans, and in fact, the only reason Elk and Bison are here is because of pressure from organizations life Yukon Fish and Game, who wanted more hunting opportunities, and conservation efforts to save wood buffalo from extinction, which you rightly mentioned, was by the hands of man.  However, people didn’t really understand that animals could be hunted to extinction, nor did they care in those days.  Lumping today’s highly regulated and controlled hunting in that same category is wrong and misleading.  Stop the ignorance.

B. Foster- tranquilizing can work, but why?  bears are territorial, all it really accomplishes is putting a young, small, dominant or any type of bear in a new environment and into conflict with bigger, older, established, more or less dominant bears.  It is fraught with problems also.  leave the bears where they are.

commonsense wrote:
3:06pm Thursday May 30, 2013

Sorry, too many words in last post, continued here:

How long would it have been before some nimrod thought it would be ok to get out and approach this cuddly bear we all watched grow up?  I hunt and fish every year in this territory, never from the road, in fact, I don’t really like the concept of road hunting.  However, I don’t agree with lambasting someone for excercising their legal right to harvest, and I think this is a hard regulation to change, simply because a lot of subsistance hunting happens from roadways.  That is enough justification for many to keep it as a viable practice.  Folks that are too old to “get out there”, too inexperienced to spot and stalk animals (very dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing), mobility impared folks who like to provide for their families or take a symbol of the woods with them.  Are you going to tell the elder in Ross River he can’t drive up the Canol and take a moose, bear, wolf, or caribou, or the guys from Dawson and Ft. MacPherson that hunt the Dempster Highway they can’t do it?  How about the people hunting the little Rancheria Herd by Watson Lake from the road? If Why is it that one animal gets preference over many?  Is this Griz more valuable to the public than a moose, or caribou?  Whether it appeals to your morality or not, people hunt predatory species as well and there is a healthy, viable, well managed bear population in the Yukon.  A resident can only take one Griz EVERY THREE YEARS.  That means this “morally repugnant” soul who shot this bear and his death machine on wheels will be out of commission on Grizz for the next three hunting seasons.  Come on people, remove the biases.  The Yukon is a wilderness, despite the roads.  Just because there is a highway or road doesn’t mean you’re not in the wild.  If you want to see wildlife in the “wild”, why the hell don’t you get off the roads?? get out there, get the binoculars, the camera and the backpack and stop relying on the highways for viewing opportunities!  lol.  Sorry for the rant…But If he didn’t break the law, lets move on, and tar and feather someone who deserves it, like Mike Duffy.

commonsense wrote:
3:06pm Thursday May 30, 2013

The facts are this:  This was a legally harvested bear, in season.  The existing rules were not broken, and therefore, the person who harvested the bear is well within their right to enjoy it.  As it stands, who are you people to judge the person who harvested it and what brings them enjoyment?  Take a hard fast look in the mirror before judging someone else’s lifestyle.  I think making a comment like “I hope it haunts your soul” as Mrs. Helm did is overboard.  In fact, a lot of the commentary on this is overboard.  How come its only when a “cute” grizzly is shot that people enjoyed seeing is it a story?  Many black bears and other less attractive (?) grizz are harvested every year in this fashion, yet no one seems to care.  How many Moose, how many Caribou?  More evidence that people only care when something pretty, cute and cuddly is taken away, something they anthropomorphise, just like that cute bear on the Atlin road a few years ago.  People are making out like this bear was tame, even friendly.  Get a grip folks.  This is a predatory animal that hunts for subsistance and is part of a natural system where it takes life to sustain its own.  You know how long a male bear thinks about killing a bear cub?  How long the surviving sow dwells on the loss?  Not long, too busy surviving.

Paul Christensen wrote:
12:10pm Thursday May 30, 2013

James
As an avid “hunter” myself, I am trying very hard to figure out what part of shooting this bear on the side of the road was “hunting”.  Where was the challenge?  What would have made this “hunt” special, and one to remember?  You mention how Bear hunting can be exciting.  You are correct, but how is stepping out of your truck and dropping a bear “exciting”? This was just shooting a bear, no more, no less.
And as far as rights go, what about the rights of all the people who enjoyed watching and photographing this bear?  Did the shooters (notice I did not say hunter) so called right to shoot this bear trump everyone eles?  With rights come responsibilities, and with hunting rights comes the responcibility to hunt in a manner which reflects well on hunters in general.  The shooting of this bear just makes hunters look like a bunch of lazy, ignorant redneck fools.
And as far as your anecdotal evidence on the health of bear populations in the Southern lakes region, link us some hard data, otherwise its just your own opinion.  Saying you “seen a bunch of bears” means absolutely nothing.

Murray Breen wrote:
11:46am Thursday May 30, 2013

This is discusting. Those hunters are DFs. No need to kill such a beautiful creature. Alaska/Yukon/BC etc. should be damn lucky to have them!

Karen Valerio wrote:
10:56am Thursday May 30, 2013

This wasn’t a hunt!  This was like shooting fish in a barrel.  Shame on this “hunter” —who is probably bragging to his friends about the bear he bragged.  Big sissy.

James Mackrell wrote:
10:39am Thursday May 30, 2013

The ignorance of it all floors me. The coloring of the bear isn’t even that uncommon. I have seen at least 8 bears this year of that coloration. Hell, I even seen a black bear that color. The gentleman who took this bear should be proud as he followed the rules and made a clean shot. Just because someone doesn’t agree with something does not give them the right to infringe on other peoples rights. Next thing you’ll see is corridors for all animals on all roads. You want to see the “stuff” that happens then? - Inexperienced hunters will be forced to wonder off into the woods and if they don’t get lost, and they happen to find a moose or caribou or whatever you don’t think after a few trips back and forth from the truck some people might say screw it and leave the rest of the animal? - The other thing is, if this does happen you are going to have a group of people who say - screw it - hunt the way they always have, and instantly turn once law abiding people into poachers. Bears are not a rare and elusive species in the Yukon. In my 12 + years of hunting them up here, I have watched the numbers increase alarmingly. I used to hunt the season and look at maybe 20 - 30 bears in the entire year. Now I have seen as many as 26 in one evening. If you ban road hunting a lot of people will just stop hunting them because as I said, in the spring the bears are in the ditches. To wonder off into the woods, hoping to bump into one, would be a complete waist of time. Once this happens the number of problem bears is going to explode. One look at last years number of exterminated or relocated bears already tells this story. The southern lakes region is full of bears and limiting the hunting in this area would be a big mistake. If you think that the grizzly in Tagish was so rare and special. Go for a drive next spring in the late evening and i’ll bet there will be one or two more in the same area. I went for a drive the other night - what I refer to as the loop - Whitehorse - carcross - jakes - return. 5 blacks and a grizz in less than an hour. We are not hurting the bear population or the frequency of photography opportunities for tourists. There is a more than large enough population of bears to support everyone’s interests.  Unlike many other places in Canada where they allow baiting or hunting with dogs, the Yukon does not.  So we are limited to hunting the roads and I much prefer this option anyways.

James Mackrell wrote:
10:38am Thursday May 30, 2013

All this nonsence about the Grizzly on the Tagish road is ridiculous - the animal was harvested in an open zone by a licensed hunter during a hunting season. If you don’t understand it don’t judge it. People say “go into the bush and hunt them” well the fact of the matter is that during the spring season bears are attracted to the road sides, open hill sides and other man-made clearings as these are t…he places that the grass grows first which they require to get there digestive tracts back in order after the their winter nap. Not to mention the limited access the Yukon has. Unlike other provinces and territories, the Yukon has little to no access roads. There is no logging roads into remote areas. To put a corridor on these roads, in my opinion, would do little to help. As proven on the Dempster Highway, when you place a corridor on a road it only applies to those of us who play by the rules set out by Environment Yukon. The first nations are still allowed to shoot from the road and this endangers those of us out in the field. If you think that first nations don’t hunt bears then you are sadly mistaken. As an avid bear hunter, I find driving and watching these animals to be an amazing experience but also being allowed to harvest them is very important as well. There is no shortage of these animals as already this year I have seen 50 + black bears and 30+ grizzlies. I have spent countless hours driving glassing and admiring these animals and have taken 1 out of 80+ bears this year. I find spring bear hunting to be the most exciting of all and I introduce 2-3 new people to hunting every year during this season. Stupid comments like “the bear would often saunter up to vehicles in playful manor” just shows peoples lack of knowledge about and respect for these animals.

Barbara Schouten wrote:
9:59am Thursday May 30, 2013

I always thought it was called a Hunt, seems to me shooting a bear that is close to a road, does not
take much of a Hunt, Shame on the Shooter.

Lynn Amaral wrote:
9:56am Thursday May 30, 2013

This is shameful and barbaric.  Trophy hunting should be illegal and poaching penalties should be enforced with stiffer penalties.  Wildlife viewing is a much bigger industry than hunting…. and it is sustainable! If you think hunting IS sustainable where are all the wild bison? Elk? There were millions roaming Canada at one time, now we have straggling herds in fractured landscapes with limited genetic pools, making long term survival less and less likely for these species and the bears.  Trophy hunting is cowardly and uncivilized and unsustainable. The few should not have the right to take nature from the many. Stop the hunt.

Alan Marriott wrote:
9:54am Thursday May 30, 2013

I’m sad to read this. I live in a state in which the last grizzly was shot in 1922 - and we still have one on our flag! I hope British Columbia and the Yukon are not on this same path.

Dave S wrote:
9:47am Thursday May 30, 2013

“The bear was taken legally”. The law then, is an ass.

in my neighborhood wrote:
9:29am Thursday May 30, 2013

This happened in my neighborhood, thank god no shooing in my back yard as these people would have a hay day.  The other day two moose, last year mother bear and two cubs, etc.  Up the road on Tagish Rd on the way home from work.  The big hunters were cleaning their kill just on the side of the road.  I moved here many years ago to enjoy the wildlife, now I will only have to post pictures up to remind me of the animals that did at one time lived here.

lizbarrett wrote:
9:13am Thursday May 30, 2013

I feel sick after reading this - so many tourists visit the area to catch a glimpse of the wildlife - to photograph and interact briefly and to take back amazing memories!  People grow attached to the various road side creatures - shooting these bears is absolutely horrific!

valerie Gray wrote:
9:11am Thursday May 30, 2013

This is just so sad to see. Like it was stated, the bear was just going about his business not bothering anyone,and unfortunately and though it was safe. I just don’t get how people can just pull off the side of the road and shoot animals…First of all, that’s not even hunting!!! These laws REALLY need to be changed if they are allowing people to just pull over, sit in their trucks and kill! please do something about this!

B, Foster wrote:
8:34am Thursday May 30, 2013

We also saw and stopped to watch this bear on occasion.  I try to imagine during one of our stops that we were going to shoot it, and how easy it would be. We parked for perhaps a few minutes in which time the bear ambled about digging up roots & such…pretty much completely ignored us in her efforts to gain sustenance after the winter sleep.

Easy peezy does not describe how truly easy it would have been to harvest this bear…hell…she’s just standing there waiting after all. She’s not suspicious in the least….if you load your own shells you could set up on your tail gate and actually build the shell you wished to shout her with….she was just THAT patient.

She was very patient and willing to wait while the brave hunter shook off his buck fever and tried to control the adrenaline so that he might make a clean and killing shot.

Maybe the CO’s should tranq the bears and stake them out along the highway to better aid those that hunt in this manner….save a lot of walking and ya can winch the critter right into the back of the truck. Hell…you could hunt in your slippers and PJ’s. So much the better to be able to drive the Tagish road day after day to make sure your quarry was not getting wise to the fact that she’s about to become some idiot’s rug.

I still don’t know who the hunter was but to me it makes no difference…..you did no hunting that day friend…just killing.

Sorry. I hunt…my family hunts. I understand hunting. I’m proud to live where we can harvest our own wild meat.  I’m proud to be able to hunt with my sons. If this hunter has sons or daughters they should be ashamed.

morg wrote:
8:06am Thursday May 30, 2013

Vile Grizzly hunt its to end trophy hunting. Tourist want to see live wildlife not dead wildlife!

Cindy Lewis wrote:
7:20am Thursday May 30, 2013

It is so sad that so many people can stop and appreciate a bear like this - bear becomes very accustomed to people viewing it, then a hunter can easily stop and shoot it. I come from a hunting family and it’s now as I get older and wiser do not see the point of killing bears. I think it should now be illegal to kill grizzly bears… as human beings we should also be evolving and getting wiser and changing our laws. There is much more to gain from them being alive for all to enjoy, not for one person to take and throw it on their floor. So sad.

ThinkBigger wrote:
5:09am Thursday May 30, 2013

Truly a sad events for locals and good to hear people are voicing concerns. For many years we had a wolf on our property around Tagish - never bothered our animals - never attempted to threaten us. An elder told us that as long as that Wolf was in the area we were protected. Sure enough and when a person killed that wolf much changed. People have little understanding of how nature really works.  Not opposed to hunting for the need of the meat but really have to question the mind and heart of people who do this for sport.  Shooting a bear in a ditch along the side of the road is the about as lazy and non sporting as it gets.

Moose Dr. wrote:
8:38pm Wednesday May 29, 2013

I’ve been thinking a lot about this bear.  I’ve been thinking about the cost of making a “no hunting in the corridor of roadways” suggestion.  Bears, interestingly, are hunted almost exclusively for the trophy.  The law requires that the hide be put to use but does not require that the meat be used.  (I don’t know why, I like bear meat.)  While some may use the hide to make clothing or blankets to keep warm, surely most just want a rug, a trophy.

However, many don’t have the equipment for off-road hunting.  The only chance they have of filling their freezer with ultra-organic meat is to cruise back roads in hopes of encountering a moose or caribou.  These animals, unlike the bear, must be eaten.  We hunt them for food—a more noble purpose. 

I therefore propose that bear hunting be prohibited from the road corridor, but that subsistence hunting continue to be permitted as it is now.

N. W. Hill wrote:
5:50pm Wednesday May 29, 2013

I am from New Brunswick and spent a couple of months travelling in the North (2009) after my retirement.  While fishing on the Ogilvie River a large Grizzly bear appeared on the opposite shore and ambled down the opposite shore, almost across from me before re-entering the woods.  Although I had lived in BC for a short period, this was my first grizzly sighting.  It ranks as one of the highlights of my life.  In 2011 I returned for three months of hiking and exploring the Yukon and area.  I saw about 15 Grizzlies, a few while hiking, but mostly right off the road.  Everyone was a special thrill for me, as I am sure it is for most people especially people from away.  I am not particularly anti- hunting, although I don’t hunt myself.  But it does seem a shame that these beautiful creatures can legally shot right on the roadside.  When you shoot an animal you claim it for yourself, abruptly ending the enjoyment others get from viewing these animals.  Thanks to the Yukon News for all the stories on wildlife and environmental issues, also the beautiful, sometimes stunning photographs.  I can’t wait to come back!

Jack Malone wrote:
3:59pm Wednesday May 29, 2013

This really pisses me off.  Why do some people have to kill every damn thing?  Wolves, bears, etc.  If you want to hunt, make an effort and go find the game.  Don’t kill bears that are sitting in the ditch and have become accustom to people.  If you worry about your dogs and pets, take care of them.  Don’t shoot wolves and coyotes because you live on the edge of town and cannot be a responsible pet owner.  For what it’s worth: I have lived in the Yukon for my entire and live on an acreage.  I have seen wolves in my yard and my two dogs lived long lives and both died of natural causes.  I have stopped on the highway many times to appreciate the beauty of bears and other wildlife and bumped into several bears over the years while hiking or fishing.  Unfortunately I have also been in a situation where a bear had to be shot.  So don’t write me off as some tree-hugging, weak-kneed hippie.  I like to fish and hunt - but I am tired and disappointed by the wanna-be cowboys around Whitehorse.

Clayton Johns wrote:
2:19pm Wednesday May 29, 2013

Yeah, I also am pretty upset about this, I have been watching this bear grow for a few years now, almost seen her everyday during the summer, usually in same spots along the klondike hwy! I agree with Danny, go out in the bush and find one, if you want to hunt for sport, than HUNT!

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