Ottawa Sportsmen's Club News

June 12, 2003

Carole Williams, Club Reporter

Bear Hunting Defense Task Force Testifies to Save Bear Hunting

U.S. Sportsmenís Alliance - (06/12)

Leaders representing the National Bear Hunting Defense Task Force, a coalition of sportsmenís groups established by the U.S. Sportsmenís Alliance to fight federal anti-bear hunting legislation, testified on June 12 to urge a House subcommittee to protect bear hunting on federal land.

Three members of the National Bear Hunting Defense Task Force were in Washington, D.C. Thursday to express sportsmenís opposition to HR 1472, a bill introduced by U.S. Representative Jim Moran (D-Virginia) and Representative Elton Gallegly (R-California) that would ban bear hunting with bait on federal land. Task Force member Steve Haleen, past president of the Michigan Bear Hunters Association, testified before the House Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans on behalf of sportsmen.

"This bill is an unfair, unwarranted attack on bear hunters and state wildlife authority and I ask the members of the subcommittee to defeat it,"said Haleen. "Unless there is an overriding issue, such as endangered species or the species are migratory, the federal government has stayed out of wildlife management and thatís the way is should remain."

William P. Horn, U.S. Sportsmenís Alliance federal affairs director and Washington counsel, also testified, echoing Haleenís sentiment.

"Congress has continually determined that regulation of the taking of resident species of fish and wildlife, even on federal land, remains a state prerogative," explained Horn. "Even in the case of migratory birds, the federal government sets a framework for hunting and leaves the specifics to be implemented by the individual states fish and wildlife authorities."

U.S. Sportsmenís Alliance Vice President for Government Affairs, Rob Sexton, and Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association President Rick Posig also represented the Task Force at the hearing.

Nine states permit the practice of hunting bear with bait. Those statesí wildlife agencies say that the use of bait is an effective and necessary bear management tool. Moran and Gallegly want to take that option away.

The U.S. Sportsmenís Alliance developed the National Bear Hunting Defense Task Force to stop the bill. The task force has been aggressively lobbying Congress to oppose any attempt to ban bear hunting with bait. Task Force Members include:

Take Action! Sportsmen should continue to contact their U.S. representatives to oppose HR 1472. Congressmen can be found using the Legislative Action Center at or by calling (202) 224-3121.
UP Reps

For more information about how to join the Bear Hunting Defense Task Force, contact the U.S. Sportsmenís Alliance at (614) 888-4868 or

Information on this website can be reprinted with a citation to the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance and

For more information about how you can protect your rights as a sportsman, contact:
The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance
801 Kingsmill Parkway
Columbus, OH 43229.

Phone (614) 888-4868


Top of Page News Page June Newsletter: Bears OSC Home Page