My take on the importance of bear hunting


In 1902, Theodore Roosevelt went on a bear hunt in the Mississippi delta. The events of that hunt would ultimately lead to the formation of the “Teddy Bear.” This cute and cuddly child’s toy began to alter public perception in such a way that, over 100 years later, we stood to potentially lose bear hunting in California. Although renowned as an avid hunter, conservationist and outdoorsman, I don’t believe that Roosevelt thought out the approval of the teddy bear in the same way he sought to protect many national forests for those still yet in the womb of time. It is undoubtedly his fault for the foundation of the perception of black bears as nonthreatening, nonpredatory, docile animals that don’t need to be treated as a game species. Despite this, Roosevelt lived during a time when the black bear covered a large range across much of the continental United States, was abundantly hunted for food and enjoyed mostly unbroken habitat regions.

Much has occurred since the glory days of the black bear in North America. The majority of this animal’s historic range has since been developed by urbanization, agriculture, ranching and resource extraction. This lack of presence has allowed many to forget the importance of this species and, more importantly, the necessity to hunt this species. In recent years, there have been growing movements to have this species removed from several state fish and wildlife services management lists as a huntable species — not due to severely declining populations, unsupportable population numbers or any scientific backed reasoning.

See also  6.5mm Creedmoor for Coyote Hunting? Best Ammo (Round, Load, Cartridge) for a Successful Coyote Hunt Hunting Calibers 04 Apr, 2020 Posted By: Foundry Outdoors Is the 6.5mm Creedmoor a viable caliber/load/round/cartridge for coyote hunting? The accurate answer is “it depends”. However, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether the 6.5mm Creedmoor is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest coyote. As with anything, the devil is in the details. To answer the question completely, we would need to evaluate the downrange distance to the coyote, the bullet type, the grain weight of the bullet, the physical condition of the firearm, the size of the coyote in question, the shot placement, the local wind conditions, the expected accuracy of the shooter, the ethics of the ideal maximum number of shots – the list goes on. [Click Here to Shop 6.5mm Creedmoor Ammo]What we can do is provide a framework to understand what average conditions might look like, and whether those are reasonably viable for a shot from the average shooter to harvest a coyote in the fewest number of shots possible, i.e., ethically. Let’s dive right in. In the question of “Is the 6.5mm Creedmoor within the ideal range of suitable calibers for coyote hunting?” our answer is: Yes, the 6.5mm Creedmoor is A GOOD CHOICE for coyote hunting, under average conditions, from a mid-range distance, with a medium grain expanding bullet, and with correct shot placement.Let’s look at those assumptions a bit closer in the following table. Assumption Value Caliber 6.5mm Creedmoor Animal Species Coyote Muzzle Energy 2300 foot-pounds Animal Weight 30 lbs Shot Distance 100 yardsWhat is the average muzzle energy for a 6.5mm Creedmoor? In this case, we have assumed the average muzzle energy for a 6.5mm Creedmoor round is approximately 2300 foot-pounds. What is the average weight of an adult male coyote? Here we have leaned conservative by taking the average weight of a male individual of the species, since females generally weigh less and require less stopping power. In this case, the average weight of an adult male coyote is approximately 30 lbs. [Click Here to Shop 6.5mm Creedmoor Ammo]What is the distance this species is typically hunted from? Distance, of course, plays an important role in the viability of a given caliber in coyote hunting. The kinetic energy of the projectile drops dramatically the further downrange it travels primarily due to energy lost in the form of heat generated by friction against the air itself. This phenonemon is known as drag or air resistance. Thus, a caliber that is effective from 50 yards may not have enough stopping power from 200 yards. With that said, we have assumed the average hunting distance for coyote to be approximately 100 yards. What about the other assumptions? We have three other primary assumptions being made here. First, the average bullet weight is encapsulated in the average muzzle energy for the 6.5mm Creedmoor. The second important assumption is ‘slightly-suboptimal’ to ‘optimal’ shot placement. That is to say, we assume the coyote being harvested is shot directly or nearly directly in the vitals (heart and/or lungs). The third assumption is that a projectile with appropriate terminal ballistics is being used, which for hunting usually means an expanding bullet.Various calibersA common thread you may encounter in online forums is anecdote after anecdote of large animals being brought down by small caliber bullets, or small animals surviving large caliber bullets. Of course those stories exist, and they are not disputed here. A 22LR cartridge can fell a bull elephant under the right conditions, and a newborn squirrel can survive a 50 BMG round under other specific conditions. Again, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether 6.5mm Creedmoor is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest coyote - and to this question, the response again is yes, the 6.5mm Creedmoor is A GOOD CHOICE for coyote hunting. [Click Here to Shop 6.5mm Creedmoor Ammo]This article does not serve as the final say, but simply as a starting point for beginner hunters, as well as a venue for further discussion. Please feel free to agree, disagree, and share stories from your own experience in the comments section below. Disclaimer: the information above is purely for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as permission to use a particular caliber, a statement of the legality or safety of using certain calibers, or legal advice in any way. You must read and understand your own local laws before hunting coyote to know whether your caliber of choice is a legal option.Foundry Outdoors is your trusted home for buying archery, camping, fishing, hunting, shooting sports, and outdoor gear online.We offer cheap ammo and bulk ammo deals on the most popular ammo calibers. We have a variety of deals on Rifle Ammo, Handgun Ammo, Shotgun Ammo & Rimfire Ammo, as well as ammo for target practice, plinking, hunting, or shooting competitions. Our website lists special deals on 9mm Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 45-70 Ammo, 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, 300 Blackout Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 5.56 Ammo, Underwood Ammo, Buffalo Bore Ammo and more special deals on bulk ammo.We offer a 100% Authenticity Guarantee on all products sold on our website. Please email us if you have questions about any of our product listings. Leave a commentComments have to be approved before showing up Your Name * Your Email * Your Comment * Post Comment

Despite bear numbers not being anywhere near their once historical levels, bear-human interactions are still widely documented. Regardless of the number of interactions, education surrounding bears is at an all-time low. Perception encompassing bears for many Americans is based on media depictions, cartoons and other inaccuracies. This leads to an overall uninformed voting public who tends to violate the most basic principles of the North American Model of Wildlife conservation.

In the face of these bans — and to prevent future ones — the focus must remain on the sportsmen and women who utilize the wildlife and not on the entities who would see our rights removed. It is important to identify those who require education, but it is more important for us to stand as a united front. It is very easy for sportsmen and women to form tunnel vision and focus on issues that are solely in their backyard without the presence of these otherwise distant issues. I doubt the hunter from Wyoming who fills their freezer every year on elk and antelope cares about hunting black bears in California. And why should they? More than likely a Wyoming hunter could go their entire life without feeling any impacts from a ban on bear hunting in the Golden State. The issue we face is setting a dangerous precedent for the future of hunting and the overall declining voice of outdoorsmen.

In 2020, California sold over 30,000 black bear tags with just over 1,000 of those tags being filled. Despite tag sales being up almost 10% from the previous year, the harvest rate dropped by 26% from the year previous. With several forest closures throughout the state, huntable areas for bears could be a leading factor in the 3% harvest success rate. With the overwhelming majority of these tag holders being residents of the state, the question becomes where would they go if bear hunting became banned in their state? For argument’s sake, let’s say half of them give up hunting entirely. That leaves just over 15,000 hunters looking for bears to hunt in other western states. States with bear hunts that their residents have grown to enjoy without the pressure that garners concern.

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The issue is not that there would be 15,000 hunters who are looking for other states to hunt in, but rather the 15,000 voices who have since stopped hunting and have fallen silent to advocate for hunting rights. Not only must the hunters be taken into consideration, but the now unhunted population of black bears. California bases its estimated population of black bears each year off of the data recorded from harvested bear molars. Since 2012, when the state outlawed hunting bears with hounds, the number of bears killed has steadily declined. This equates to lower population estimates. Without the molars from harvested bears, the state would have no way of estimating the bear population, which is already above 30,000 animals. Without hunting, this population will become unmanageable and, ultimately, detrimental for ecosystems statewide.

The other week, an attack to ban California black bear hunting failed, which is a huge win for conservation. You can read more on that here.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>