As an internationally-renowned wildlife photographer who has spent tens of thousands of dollars in the past two decades travelling and photographing throughout the Yukon, I was extremely disappointed to read your May 29 article, “Carcross residents mourn bear’s death.” I had no idea that the Yukon still allows hunting off of its major highways, the very same roads that thousands of tourists travel each year in search of bear sightings.
Perhaps it is time the Yukon people made a decision that would benefit both grizzly bears and tourists at the same time and enforce a ban on roadside hunting altogether. In today’s day and age, why are we encouraging hunters to be lazy and to gun down wildlife that has such measurable value to locals and tourists alike? And why is roadside hunting considered ethical?
I would also argue that there is no reason to hunt grizzly bears at all in the territory given the lack of permanent residents and the fact that grizzlies are almost never eaten or used for subsistence. Isn’t there far more value in a bear being alive to be seen, enjoyed, and photographed countless times than there is in some fool having a bear rug on his floor?
I hope the people of the Yukon can band together on this and enact some real change in the hunting regulations in the territory.
John E. Marriott