Judge Protects Maryland Bear Hunt

Lawsuit filed by anti-hunters doesn't hold up in court

Outdoor Life Online Editor

For once "activist judges" have ruled in favor of the sportsman. A Maryland Circuit Court judge told his audience, which included many animal rights activists, that the state's black bear would go ahead as scheduled. The Maryland DNR is concerned about two swelling populations, the bears and humans. In 1956 the state was the home for an estimated 12 bears. Less than 50 years later the state has around 500. The DNR instituted the hunt because two studies indicated that their past management plans weren't having the desired effect.

Still, anti-hunters argue, that doesn't justify hunting them. The procedural lawsuit to block the hunt was filed by residents as well as the Fund for Animals and the Humane Society of the United States. Their case included claiming the DNR had missed mandatory deadlines for listing bag limits and hunt dates. But the judge was not convinced by the plaintiffs' evidence.

Also on the docket was an argument made by residents listed on the case. (Or it was at least the funniest.) They argued that the hunt would cause bears to become skittish and fearful of humans, diminishing any chance of seeing them in the wild. Isn't that better than dealing with bear attacks? According to the antis, no.