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U.S. hunters shoot about 33,000 bears each year—and poachers kill thousands more. In fact, bears are a favorite target for trophy hunters the world over. Some states even allow unsporting bear baiting, hounding (cruel to bears and dogs) and spring hunts, which can orphan cubs to die slowly.


Gentle black bears will stay away from people unless lured by food, but some hunters stir up fear as an excuse for hunts. Many bears die to satisfy the black market for folk remedies. Vacationing trophy seekers kill polar bears although they are already in peril from global warming.

Learn more about abusive bear hunting practices:

  • Baiting involves intensive feeding of black bears to make them easier targets of trophy hunters.
  • Hounding involves hunters and guides using packs of radio-collared hounds to pursue bears into trees.
  • Trapping, currently legal only in Maine, leaves bears to languish for hours and even days, sometimes suffering painful injuries until they are killed.
  • Spring bear hunting can kill mother bears, leaving orphaned cubs to fend for themselves at a time when they are most vulnerable.

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