By Jason Reid
Rochester, New York – -(Ammoland.com)- In talking with the Safari Club International Director of Government Affairs, Melissa Simpson,I was told there are currently 41 polar bear hides and skulls taken legally by hunters, in cold storage since they cannot be brought home due to the Polar Bear Import Ban.
After hearing this, I wanted to get the take from a polar bear hunting guide and get the perspective from someone whose life is connected with these great bears.
Polar Bears. Kings and Queens of the frozen Arctic tundra. It is a bit of an interesting feeling to know, even while hunting them, you really are not at the top of the food chain.
Their image of power and grace though has been tainted in the past several decades due to misinformation and propaganda and make these apex predators look weak and helpless, when the opposite is the true case. What a crying shame it is.
The guides at Canada North Outfitting ( www.canadanorthoutfitting.com ) run one of the best operations for polar bear hunts and are the oldest and largest outfitter for hunting the Canadian Arctic. I was recommended to speak with them by other reputable outfitters on the matter of polar bear and from the moment I broached the subject, they were quick to unravel myths and provide me with facts, as the people who live and breathe life in the Arctic.
Everyone who has watched TV have seen the different advertisements talking about the plight of the polar bear. I was shocked to learn from John Sauro, Director of the Canada North Outfitting's eastern office, that even hunters have been bluffed into thinking Polar Bears are on the verge of extinction. They tell me they have hunters who are astonished, the polar bear population is actually quite booming. This is disturbing to know some hunters don’t know the truth. Mauro told me the population is thriving with numbers between 22,000 and 30,000 animals. This is a stark contrast with the population of bears in the 1970’s which I am told was a fraction of the population. Sauro told me that after substantial funding by conservation dollars, harvest quotas and sound management practices were put in place and followed meticulously, even the Native Inuit population report they have never seen the amount of bears they encounter today.
So how did the misinformation become so rampant? The misinformation is closely linked to the emotionally driven rhetoric of global warming.
Mauro told me when global warming was first being discussed several decades ago, the computer model which was supposed to forecast the melting of the ice caps. People naturally panicked and began essentially hip firing with legislation to “save the bears”. According to Sauro, the ice has not melted at the rates which were forecasted and people need to realize it, especially hunters. I was told the ice does freeze a few weeks later than it has in the past but what this allows for is prime seal habitat and at the same time, new hunting grounds for the bears.
So hunting and sound harvest practices have helped bring back the polar bear population to staggering numbers. Awesome, let’s book a hunt.
That was my thought until I was reminded of the Polar Bear import ban in the United States.
The import ban was a move made because activists believe it is linked to the “decline” of the polar bear and hunting. I’ll take the word from the guides who live and breath arctic hunting that hunting and dollars generated from hunting have helped save these bears.
Hunting the Arctic for North America’s top bruin is something which should be celebrated and given more attention to among the hunting community and we can do so by educating ourselves and those around us.
About Jason Reid:
Jason Reid is a writer and business professional from upstate New York. After deciding to pursue his dream of becoming an outdoor writer, Jason started a blog from his dorm room at Houghton College, growing it and working hard to earn opportunities. While bowhunting big game is his ultimate passion, Jason welcomes all outdoor challenges which force him to push his limits. Jason’s work can be viewed on his website Pushingthewildlimits.com