Caleb Teigen

Our fair-chase hunting heritage depends on our ability to remind and convince the non-hunting public that we’re doing it right.

We take a bear ID test proving we can differentiate between a black and grizzly bear.

We buy a license, abide by seasons, bag limits and quotas.

We pack out all the meat, fat, hide and head.

We present proof to wildlife managers that we didn’t unlawfully harvest a sow with cubs, or cubs, or the wrong species of bear.

We collect important harvest data which is used to set management regulations, ensuring that healthy populations of black bears remain.

And since tooth submissions aren’t used to denote sex or even species of bear, they’re an imperfect alternative to in-person checks. It would be unwise to unnecessarily eliminate some of the reassurances black bear hunters provide the general public that we’re doing it right.

Plus, the interactions I have with FWP staff provide more than just a data point; they allow me to get to know our wildlife managers and allow them to get to know hunters.

It was interesting to see that all three Commissioners whose regions this would have applied to - 2, 3 and 4 - voted against the proposal. Chair Robinson sided with them with her tie-breaking vote.

That’s exactly how the regional representation of the Commission is supposed to work, and I was happy to see the good process - as well as the outcome - on this one.