Hunters in several areas of Louisiana are frustrated and growing impatient with increasing damage to deer stands, feeders and other equipment caused by the unchecked, unmanaged and fast-growing population of black bears. And it’s not just in the river bottoms where bears traditionally are suited to live. Concerned hunters have now set up a Facebook page to call attention to the growing problem. And it’s booming.
One of the hardest hit parishes is Union Parish, which during many years has led the state in deer harvests. The page started here and grew quickly. The Louisiana Black Bear Report group page picked up almost 1,000 new members the first 48 hours.
The official “About the Group” explanation is, “A place to report Black Bear sightings in Louisiana. We as hunters want LAWLF to use this information to hopefully open a black bear season Louisiana.”
However, the photos, videos and comments show hunters frustration and aggravation that the state’s wildlife leaders seem to be ignoring it. One of the most dramatic photos is posted from the Adams Hunting Club showing a very large black bear taking down a deer feeder and looking as if he is about to body slam it like Hulk Hogan in the wrestling ring. The person posting also said three other bears had climbed the tree and were working to detach the feeder from the tree.
“We are trying to get as many eyes in the field watching game cameras and trying to facilitate as many photos on one page as we can so the state can understand where hot spots are and maybe realize we are going to have to manage them,” said Greg Hicks, one of the founders of the page. “The amount of money it is costing hunters because of the damage is extremely frustrating. That means it is costing the state tax dollars, too. That doesn’t even begin to tell what farmers are up against. We just don’t want the bear problem to get like the feral hog problem and be out of control before people in charge realize how significant it is.”
Perhaps the most worrisome to Hicks and others is all these additional bears in the piney woods. This area is already stressed to the max with hogs, whitetail deer and now bears all competing for the same food sources and habitat. Something’s going to lose, and Hicks is afraid it is going to be the whitetail deer. It is already impacting the number of people who hunt and the money they spend.
You can view the public page on Facebook and can join by going to the page and clicking “Join” under the cover photo.
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