Oh, give me a break! Look, I don’t think people should feed certain animals because of the consequences that can come from such an action. Let me explain. Feeding deer in your back yard which results in luring deer across busy highways resulting in accidents, injury or death to humans and/or the deer, is just plain stupid and people shouldn’t do it. They need to get a brain.
Or let’s say feeding a bear. Feeding a bear on your property that also can result in injury or death to people and bears is just as stupid and shouldn’t be done. What some people also don’t realize and in most cases they probably don’t care about either, is that in the case of feeding bears, usually a well fed bear ends up a dead bear.
Should there be a law prohibiting feeding animals? Difficult to do and enforce and you’d probably have to actually spell out which species you can and can’t feed and then you’re treading on fairness and discrimination and an entire host of other complaints.
But in Utah a man it seems was feeding a bear near his home in Uinta Basin, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Wildlife and enforcement people approached the man and asked him to stop feeding the bear. He never admitted to feeding the bear but according to the report he got a bit angry exclaiming he could do whatever he wanted on his own property. Officials ended up having to kill a bear the believed to be the same bear this guy was feeding.
The Salt Lake Tribune called the feeding of the bear an illegal feeding station.
Christopherson said the wildlife agency is confident it trapped the same bear that had been visiting the illegal feeding station. Archery bear hunters are allowed to use bait during the season, but they must first obtain a permit for the station from the DWR.
Unless there is something in Utah law that spells out and defines the difference between a bait station for the purpose of attracting a bear to an archer’s hunting spot and feeding wildlife on your property so you can look at it, I don’t think the state is going to be able to charge this guy with illegally feeding a bear. I don’t believe there are any laws in Utah that prohibit feeding wildlife.
This guy, it doesn’t appear, was baiting the bear so he could kill it out of season. Wildlife officials say the County attorney is investigating the case and possible charges include wildlife harassment and endangering the public.
Wildlife harassment? Doubtful but they might be able to convince a judge the guy knowingly was endangering the public because of his actions.
As much as I don’t like the outcome of this story so far, I certainly hope we still live in a country governed by existing laws enacted through proper channels than creating them because we don’t like the results.