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Letter to the editor: Legislature has chosen harmful path for wildlife

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I wish to thank Chris Servheen for his recent column opposing the delisting of grizzly bears (Missoulian oped Jan. 7). I, too, thought delisting with management given to Montana might be a good idea. No longer. The extreme predator control legislation passed in our state endangers both grizzlies and wolves.

I am a hunter. But the new policies have nothing to do with fair-chase hunting and everything to do with vicious predator eradication. Wolf neck snares? Baited neck snares? (While bears are out of hibernation!) "Hunting" wolves over bait at night with night vision scopes and spotlights? Hunting black bears with hounds?

Unfortunately, the new policies will also impact other species. Baited neck snares and traps will inevitably catch rare carnivores including wolverines, lynx and fisher.

And the legislation will impact a popular big game species, black bears. Hunting black bears with hounds has been outlawed for a hundred years in Montana. There is no need for it. We have had a successful black bear season as it is for decades. While dogs are necessary for lion hunting, it does not constitute fair chase for bears.

It saddens me that our Legislature has chosen such a harmful path for our precious wildlife.

Mike Kantor,

Missoula

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