UPDATE ON BILL TO BAN DOGS FOR BEAR HUNTING: The bill that would ban the use of dogs when hunting bears and bobcats in California is set to be heard before the Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife beginning 9 .m., Tuesday, June 26. If the bill passes out of this Committee it is highly likely that the bill will pass and be signed by Governor Moonbeam.

SB 1221 (Ted Lieu-D) argues that hunting of bears and bobcats with dogs does not represent the “fair chase” of these species. Ironically, it is the most selective method of hunting these great game animals, allowing the hunter to assure that only older age class animals and those without young are taken. It is the method used by all wildlife professionals to capture and mark both bears and bobcats for studies. It would also set a precedent for banning the use of dogs for all hunting, including retrieving and pointing breeds that reduce the number of wounded and lost gamebirds.

The bill is simply anti-hunting legislation right out of the Human Society of the United States’ plan to eliminate hunting in California a piece at a time. It is also a legislative reaction to California Fish and Game Commissioner Dan Richard’s recent legal mountain lion hunt in Idaho that caused a firestorm of controversy here. This is the petty legislature’s way to “get even.”

The California Outdoor Heritage Alliance (COHA) is asking all sportsmen to send e-mails and letter or make phone calls to assembly committee members and your own representatives in Sacramento to try to win this battle. Over 2,000 hunters signed a petition circulated at the Shooting Sports Fair held at Mike Raahauge Shooting Enterprises in Corona the first weekend of this month asking the bill be dropped.

Sportsmen can get more information on how to get involved at www.outdoorheritage.org.

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