A bill giving DIF&W authority to establish bear seasons and bag limits drew a lengthy debate at the legislature’s IFW Committee. The bill got lots of discussion and debate.
Rep John Martin expressed concern that, if the committee gave the department this authority, including the possibility that bear trapping would be expanded, it would provoke another ballot measure to ban bear trapping.
DIF&W Commissioner Judy Camuso told committee members the agency is concerned about the growing population of bears, and their goal would be to stabilize that population. She said they would consider increasing the opportunity for trappers and hunters to kill two bears. The current limit is one bear.
She also said they would continue to limit trappers to a single bear trap, and would limit hunters to shooting only one bear a day.
The committee noted they have another bill to lower bear hunting and trapping fees, which will be considered soon.
After a long discussion, the committee decided to carry the bill over to next year’s session, to give the department time to create a definitive proposal.