For the third year in a row, the National Park Service has permitted bear hunting near some of the world's most famous bear viewing areas in Katmai National Preserve. Their view is that the bear populations are healthy enough to sustain a hunt and that we shouldn't humanize or personify the bears--they're just animals, just numbers in the "science" of game management.
My view, having observed these same bears in Katmai National Park, is that it's unethical. Thousands of Alaska visitors photograph these bears every summer in the Park. They've grown to trust humans and lost their fear of man. Just because the animal has wandered across the border into the Preserve, where's the fair chase in walking up to a habituated animal and blasting him for the head and cape?
I also think it's stupid economics. One hunter can go in and kill a bear that hundreds of visitors spend upwards of $500 each to fly in and view all summer long.
Watch the video and decide for yourself. It makes me wonder about the company that's flying these hunters in, True North Adventures ("True North Massacres" might be a more appropriate name). Their website says,
"True North Adventures is dedicated to bringing you the finest hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing trips on Kodiak Island and the Alaska Peninsula."
If this is one of their "finest hunting trips," then I'd sure think twice before hiring Jim Hamilton and True North Adventures to take me on one of their flightseeing or fly-in fishing trips!