Hunting to Reduce Conflict

“Hunting in and of itself is not going to solve the human-bear conflicts, nor is it designed to.” – Randy Hampton, Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman


“By increasing the hunting on bears, we may not be targeting the bears that are doing the nuisance activity.” – John Broderick, senior wildlife biologist for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. 


“There was no indication that harvest (either spring harvest, fall harvest or total harvest) acted to reduce nuisance activity levels.” – Martyn E. Obbard, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources


“Results of this study do not support the hypothesis that a spring bear hunt controls, limits, or reduces levels of nuisance activity by black bears.”    Nuisance Bear Review Committee, the Minister of Natural Resources in Ontario


“We actually found when we took more bears (through hunting), we got more complaints. We also found no evidence to show that hunting helps reduce conflicts. In some counties, the opposite almost appears to be true.”    Zach Voyles, the University of Wisconsin


“We found nuisance bears got killed equally as often as non-conflict bears. When we’d reached a 50 percent reduction in the population, the public started telling us that’s far enough. And the number of complaints didn’t correlate to anything. When the population dropped 50 percent, the complaints actually rose.”  – Mark Ternent, Pennsylvania Game Commission


“We conclude that the Wisconsin bear-hunting season did not show clear evidence of reducing nuisance complaints during 1995–2004, probably because hunting was not effectively designed for that goal.” — American black bear nuisance complaints and hunter take, Adrian Treves


“Examined statewide and by bear management units, the annual number of complaints did not diminish 1–2 years after higher levels of hunter take. Indeed, property complaints (which did not include agricultural complaints) may have increased after years of higher hunter take, taking into account the corresponding changes in the estimated bear population size.”  — American black bear nuisance complaints and hunter take, Adrian Treves


“Data from three national parks, three local communities, five states and one Canadian province were studied to determine the effects of these two approaches on the reduction of human complaints/conflicts. The results demonstrate that at every site in which the hunting approach was evaluated no effect in reducing the human complaints/conflicts was observed while at every site in which the non-violent program was evaluated, the non-violent approach was demonstrated to be markedly effective in reducing human complaints/conflicts.” – Edward A. Tavss, The State University of New Jersey


“While hunting is the primary method for managing wildlife populations, including black bear, research has demonstrated that increasing harvest levels has not correlated with subsequent reductions in human-bear conflicts. Data from Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario (Canada) all demonstrated an increase in bear nuisance complaints despite increases in the number of bears harvested. Similar analyses from Wisconsin, Ontario and Japan all revealed no correlation between the number of bears harvested and the number of human-bear conflicts in subsequent years.”  – Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Human-Bear Conflicts


“What we found challenges a common assumption in wildlife management, that killing bears is necessary to reduce conflict.” – Kyle Artelle, Simon Fraser University noting that hunting had no impact on the frequency of conflicts.