Strong majority oppose encouraging more bear hunting - 218 participants

Aug 31, 2016

New Hampshire, and many other New England states, has seen a steady increase in wild bear populations over the last few years. New Hampshire alone is estimated to have over 6,000 black bears, causing some to question whether the bear population is growing too quickly and needs to be controlled. Read more about this issue. On August 31, the LFDA decided to put the issue to its Facebook members, posting the question, “Should NH encourage more bear hunting this season?”

“Should NH encourage more bear hunting this season?”

Results: Yes or No Respondents

Bear Hunting NH Citizen Voices Chart


Participation: 218 participants gave 437 responses

A total of 86% of those participating gave a 'yes or no' response to the question. The remaining 14% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a yes or no response. In total, the LFDA received 437 responses from 218 individuals. (Click here for details on our methodology.)

What Participants Said:

No: A majority, at 72% of ‘yes or no’ respondents, opposed encouraging more bear hunting this season.

  • “Black bears are not aggressive unless they have cubs or are provoked. They are only looking for food… the real problem is human population growth.”
  • “Unless they become a real threat, I think they should be left alone.”
  • “There should be a limit on tags distributed.”

Yes:  The minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 28%, were in favor of encouraging more bear hunting this season.

  • “Sensible hunting of a species whose population has grown beyond the habitat's ability to support the number is the humane thing to do.”
  • “I’d rather see a few bears hunted than have any bear starve.”
  • “They are working their way into neighborhoods. I'd rather see some more taken than see them eat a jogger.”

Other: As noted above, 14% of those participating did not give a yes or no response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included:

  • The value of bears as food: “Actually, bear meat is very good. You just need to know how to cook it.”
  • Human overpopulation: “Humans are not overpopulated—not even close. We need to bring back homesteading and spread out, stop depending on having to live in cities.”
  • Hunting in general: “Managed hunts do not destroy game populations. Most endangered or protected species are threatened by loss of habitat.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes. 

Click here to read the full Facebook discussion of this question. 

Know someone who would be interested in these results? Forward them the summary version of this report. 

Do you think NH should encourage more bear hunting this season? Leave a comment and have your say! 

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