We are supporting an effort to encourage black bear hunters to not shoot collared research bears. The effort is called the Black Bear Hunters Jackpot and rewards bear hunters if no research bears are killed or injured during the black bear hunting season that begins this week. Although Minnesota law does not make it illegal to shoot a collared research black bear by licensed hunters, these research bears are extremely important to the future of understanding black bear behavior. Ely Outfitting Company and Boundary Waters Guide Service do not outfit or guide hunting trips, but we support responsible hunting practices as an important part of wildlife management. Please read below for more info on the jackpot.
An anonymous party is offering a Jackpot of $5000 to black bear hunters in Minnesota. The Jackpot is being offered in order to help protect the black bears being researched by Dr. Lynn Rogers of the National Bear Center and the Wildlife Research Institute in Ely, Minnesota. The benefactors are offering the prize to every hunter who has a valid black bear permit for the 2011 bear hunting season in bear hunting areas 22, 24, 25 and 31.
The drawing is intended to reward hunters for refraining from shooting the 8-20 radio collared research bears with or without brightly colored tape or ribbons attached to their collars, so that valuable data from those bears is not lost. The benefactors are hoping that if a hunter enters the drawing, they will be less likely to shoot a collared bear, because it would invalidate the drawing. They are also hopeful that every hunter who enters the drawing will ask their fellow hunters not to shoot the bears, and that they in turn will enter the drawing. The sponsors see this as a non-judgmental, simple, direct, and hopefully effective way to discourage shooting the research bears. It is not an effort to stop bear hunting in Minnesota, because the benefactors realize that hunting is a needed management tool, which is used to keep the number of bears in Minnesota
in balance with both the carrying capacity and the human social acceptance capacity of the land.
To be eligible to win the Jackpot, hunters must send a copy of their permit to firstname.lastname@example.org or have their permit photographed by volunteers while they are in those hunting areas, before or during the 2011 bear hunting season. The volunteers will then enter the permits into the drawing. After the hunting season is over, the drawing will be held using a random number process and the winner will be sent a cashier’s check for $5000. However, the Jackpot will only be offered if none of the research bears are shot or wounded during the hunting season. The email addresses and names of the entrants will be held in confidence and will not be used for any other purpose than the drawing.