Wall of Shame Mounts Recovered… Should we Shoot Collared Bears?

To circle back on last week’s report on the thefts from the
DNR’s Central Region offices, which included animal mounts from the
Wall of Shame: St. Paul police officers and state conservation
officers recovered most of the items, including the mounts.

Most of the mounts were in good shape and could have gone directly
onto the wall, according to Capt. Greg Salo, DNR Region 3
Enforcement supervisor.

Two men were arrested in connection with the heist, and a third man
thought to be involved was already in jail. As of Friday, charges
hadn’t been filed in the case.

Collared bears

Watch for debate this legislative session about making it illegal
to shoot bears wearing collars. Ely bear researcher Lynn Rogers is
pushing the agenda and apparently has the ear of some metro
legislators.

Like Rogers, the DNR also has some radio-collared bears that have
been killed by hunters over the years, but the agency has – to this
point – never supported making such bears off-limits to
hunters.

It will be interesting to watch how this plays out. There’s an
argument to be made that keeping these bears alive advances our
understanding of the species. But on the other hand, these are
public resources and though I probably wouldn’t shoot a collared
bear, I have a hard time saying other people shouldn’t do it. It’s
a personal decision, as far as I’m concerned.

To me, making it illegal for hunters to shoot collared bears A)
raises the possibility of penalizing someone who makes an honest
mistake, and B) begins what could be a slippery slope. I understand
a tiny percentage of the state’s more than 20,000 black bears are
collared, but I still don’t like it.

Stay tuned and we’ll see what happens.

Categories: Joe Albert

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