Board of Game considers new black bear hunts in Chugach State Park
The Alaska Board of Game is considering several proposals at their meeting in Anchorage this week which would allow hunters to harvest more black bears. Two of the proposals, put forth by the board's Advisory Committee, are intended to help reduce the number of conflicts between bears and humans.
"They start coming into neighborhoods and they start finding food sources and that's when interactions occur," said Advisory Committee member Matt Moore. "So it would be nice to be able to intercept some of them before they came into town."
Bear hunting is already allowed in many parts of the park. The proposals would create new black bear hunts in Game Management Unit 14C including an area of Chugach State Park near McHugh Creek, as well as one in the park's Upper Campbell Creek Drainage Area.
Park Superintendent Kurt Hensel said both are popular recreation areas. He added there are safety concerns about allowing a hunt so close to where people go hike, ride their bikes and walk their dogs.
The park superintendent would have to approve the hunts and issue a special use permit if they were passed by the Board of Game. Hensel said it was not a decision he would take lightly.
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is neutral on the proposals, but Fish and Game biologist Dave Battle said killing more bears wouldn't necessary solve the problem.
"Lethal control on bears, whether it's by us or people killing them in defense of life and property or hunting, can certainly have an effect on conflicts," Battle said. "But it's not the be all and end all. It's not going to ever solve the conflict problem."
The Board of Game is expected to take up Anchorage area proposals either Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.
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