In a new package of policies criticized even by some hunters, the Alaska Board of Game on Tuesday opened the door to aerial gunning of bears by state wildlife officials. It also debated a measure that would allow more widespread snaring of bears — including grizzlies, which are officially considered threatened across most of the U.S.
The controversial “intensive management” moves are the latest in a series of increasingly aggressive control methods targeting bears and wolves in Alaska. In some parts of the state, wolf pups can be gassed in their dens, bear cubs and sows can be hunted, and wolves shot from helicopters.
The board deferred until March the decision on whether to permit baiting and snaring of black bears and grizzlies in additional areas, a practice utilized for the last four years as part of a pilot project in central Alaska.