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Thread: It's that time of year...Hunting Season

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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    It's that time of year...Hunting Season

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    This is a year-round problem. They have to train those dogs at some point. I had one harass me on the AT south of Mt Mist in July this year.

    Edit: apparently they can't train from March 1 to June 30.

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    They described it as an attack, but were there any physical injuries?
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    They described it as an attack, but were there any physical injuries?
    https://addisonindependent.com/news/...hikers-and-pup

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    Senior Member wardsgirl's Avatar
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    As someone who is quite terrified of dogs, this is worrisome. Over the years, I have learned many techniques (from people on this forum!) to control my demeanor when approached by an unleashed unaccompanied dog on the trail. Happily, the techniques do work, and I have not been bitten in a long while.

    I do carry pepper spray, only because having it on my person changes the way I react (dogs sense my fear and they behave erratically around me) to a dog. However, I took it out of my pack a few weeks ago when hiking on Mill Brook Trail (up in the Kilkenny) and I heard a large group of dogs barking. The dogs were presumably on the track of a bear. I became worried when they seemed to be getting closer. I made sure I could operate the pepper spray canister and cautiously continued down the trail. Oddly enough, Lefty E was on the same trail as me, a half hour from the time I was there. When I saw him later in the weekend, he recounted the same experience of hearing this large group of dogs.

    I wonder what I would do if I encountered menacing dogs as the ones in this news story? I suppose I could climb a tree?

    I always appreciate it when an owner is with their dog, leashed or unleashed, and they ask if I am okay with dogs. I usually answer, "nope!" But just the fact that they have the courtesy to ask, puts my mind at ease enough to thwart any unintended reaction that may set the dog off. That seems an impossibility in the hunting dog scenario.
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    Member Rhody Seth's Avatar
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    I'm not a hunter and I've no problem with people hunting. As a trail runner here in Rhode Island I pretty much always wear bright orange when I'm in the woods whether it's hunting season or not. The sound of gunfire, off in the distance - I'm used to it now and pay it no heed when I'm running.

    But I had no idea that bear hunting with a pack of dogs was a thing up north. To just send them off and then track them by GPS? That seems incredibly irresponsible, especially in light of this article.

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    Moderator Peakbagr's Avatar
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    <Moderated> Pls don't advocate threatening or harming others.
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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshandBaron View Post
    Yikes! Thanks for sharing - that is quite an ordeal.
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    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJsName View Post
    They described it as an attack, but were there any physical injuries?
    I don't think so. And "attack" is a loose term. Far too often we get the dramatic report often over blown or mostly clipped news from the media to sell stories. Word of advice is read lightly and look between the lines.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    This is Called "Hunting?"

    Quote Originally Posted by skiguy View Post
    What total BS: This is not hunting, it is ritual slaughter or sacrifice!

    Let a pack of dogs locate and tree a defenseless bear then walk up and shoot it out of the tree?? Now that is skilled outdoors craft. Oh yeah, since you can't keep up with the dogs track then with GPS satellites so you can leisurely walk to the kill site. Sheesh.

    I suppose it's better than luring in a bear with bait, but not by much.

    What a total farce... except to the poor bear.

    I've encountered a hunter who "lost" his dogs when their GPS signals went dead. In Evans Notch. "Seen any dogs?" he asked. Pathetic.
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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    I don't think so. And "attack" is a loose term. Far too often we get the dramatic report often over blown or mostly clipped news from the media to sell stories. Word of advice is read lightly and look between the lines.
    Did you read the second link JoshandBaron shared?
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    That's a weird one-off. My friends and I hiking over towards mt Shaw ran into a pack of hunting dogs. They seemed more interested in licking our hands than hunting. We ran into the exasperated Hunter a little bit later. He didn't look like he was enjoying himself.

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    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    That's a weird one-off. My friends and I hiking over towards mt Shaw ran into a pack of hunting dogs. They seemed more interested in licking our hands than hunting. We ran into the exasperated Hunter a little bit later. He didn't look like he was enjoying himself.
    Interesting - I've never encountered a group of hunting dogs (but have seen lots of signs prohibiting them). I'd be curious about the take other bear dog hunters have on this incident.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptCaper View Post
    I don't think so.
    Well you can think in one hand...


    ...and use the other to look up reports with more details.

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    I am not a hunter but generally not anti hunter and have known many good hunters and some not so good. With that stated, I tend to agree with Chris that hunting bears with dogs is inherently cruel although I don't agree that its worse than bear baiting. My understanding of bear baiting is the bear gets drawn to the bait while a hunter is sitting up in a tree waiting for the bear to come to the bait station. The hunter then pulls the trigger and as long as he competent, the bear is dead. One can argue about how "fair" or "sportsmanslike" bear baiting is but if the goal if end up with a carcass in the freezer with the least amount of cruelty to the game, bear baiting seems to be low cruelty. Deer hunters either still hunt or stalk but in both cases the intent is to not scare the game and dispatch it quickly before its aware a hunter is present. Moose hunters tend to establish in advance where their potential game will be located prior to opening day and then shoot the moose before its aware they are present. My understanding of slaughtering a cow or pig is keep it calm then shoot it through the head. I am an omnivore and buy and consume meat so the reality is an animal is being killed to feed me on occasion. The best hope I can have is the animal feeding me was killed to minimize its stress. Many hunters argue that wild game have lived a far better life than any "factory farmed" animal and their level of reverence for the game is higher than anyone who is just buying it in a package at a grocery store.

    Bear hunting with dogs on the other hand is ultimately very stressful to the bear as its not an instantaneous shot, its usually a protracted period of terror to the bear by being chased and nipped at by a pack of dogs for minutes or hours. A similar technique is used to hunt rabbits where they are run through the woods with dogs and I expect bird being flushed by dogs are also under stress. There is pretty good evidence that a chased and terrified animal is going to yield poorer quality meat. Most hunters I have known of over the years rarely have hunted for bear and the ones who did didn't consume any or much of the bear. Reportedly similar to moose, the carcass can spoil quickly if not handled properly and unlike moose, few bear hunters go to the hassle of handling bear carcasses well. The result is frequently poor quality meat more suitable for dogs then the kitchen table. Some save the skins and have them processed but generally the majority of the meat seems to ends up as dog food or dumped somewhere for the coyotes to consume.

    At least in NH there is currently is a "surplus" of bears and whitetail deer. Surplus is different in the eyes of different folks but generally surplus is regarded as when the level of adverse human /animal interactions rises above an acceptable level. There are increasing number of incidents where human habituated bears are breaking into homes and at least one case where one attacked an elderly lady in her home last year https://patch.com/new-hampshire/conc...-attacks-woman . Unlike 20 years ago, every campsite and shelter along the AT in NH has had significant recent bear issues and in places like 13 falls, the bears are actively charging campers to steal food despite best practices being enforced by the caretakers. The deer overpopulation has several effects, habitat degradation by overgrazing which impacts forest type and increases the tick population, deer starvation due to overpopulation and increased incidence of Chronic Wasting Disease (steadily marching its way east)and human deer impacts usually car accidents. Statistics routinely show deer killed by cars exceeds deer killed by hunters in CT and possibly PA (not sure with southern NH or Mass). Overpopulation of bears is not as obvious as they tend to be predator instead of prey. Beyond the long exterminated wolf, there is no other predator that routinely kills bears, thus bear populations are limited by resource availability. Humans introduce easy access to resources not previously available to bears and the population has boomed near populated areas while the density reportedly is healthy but stable in rural areas. Most reports are there are more black bears in NH than there ever has been since the last glacial cycle and human bear interactions have increased substantially of late. Bears are territorial and they will travel long distances to find a spot with resources and in many cases these resources are human supplied. In either case bear and deer hunting is partial tool for dealing with excess population deemed excessive by society. Ideally if there is to be hunting the kill should be not be extended cruelty and in my opinion that rules out hunting bears with dogs while bear baiting seems to meet the "without cruelty" standard despite the lack of perceived "sportsmanship".

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