Baiting Bear Legal in WA???

Water Wapiti

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May 20, 2004
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Green River, Wyoming
Heard on the news tonite; A Jefferson County, WA Judge has ruled that the Peoples Initiative banning the baiting of bears and the use of hounds unconstitutional under WA State Law, as the Initiative covers more than one subject. The baiting of bears and hunting the big cats with dogs.

We can only hope this is a set back for the anti's, and will ultimately repeal the Law.

WW
 

Ten Bears

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I saw a news show yesterday that said it would definitely effect the one county, but they didn't know how it would effect the state as a whole. :confused: The article was followed by another one about how someone saw a bear near a high school, so they had to lockdown the highschool for three hours to make sure the bear was gone.
LMAO
 

Water Wapiti

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Green River, Wyoming
Here's what I found on it. Guess it's not legal yet.

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Investigators: County judge rules bear-baiting initiative unconstitutional
08:47 PM PDT on Wednesday, June 9, 2004
By LINDA BYRON / KING 5 News
SEATTLE – Eight years ago, voters passed an initiative making it illegal to hunt bears using bait or dogs. Now that law may be in jeopardy.
A district court judge in Jefferson County says it's unconstitutional.
Does this mean it is once again legal to hunt bear using bait and hound?
The Department of Fish and Wildlife says no. This ruling comes from a district court with limited jurisdiction, but they do admit it will make prosecuting these cases much harder.
Game wardens say poaching is rampant in Washington's forests and some hunters boldly set out bait to lure in bears, then shooting them at close range.
"We find bear bait sites constantly," said Capt. Jay Webster, U.S. Forest Service. "It's a big problem… even though it's illegal. It's very effective."
Voters outlawed bear bait 8 years ago, also making it illegal to hunt bear and cougar with dogs.
Near Quinault last fall, officers raided a camp of about a dozen hunters, charging ten of them with bear baiting: Thomas Durham, James Durham, Christina Stannard, John West, Douglas Klamm, John Speleers, Burgess Drake, Craig Stevenson, Cory Johnson and Dale Steinhauer.
The accused ring leader, Tom Durham, denied doing anything wrong, and the charges against him and the others were dropped this week after a district court judge in Jefferson County ruled the initiative to be unconstitutional.
"What's wrong with it is, it refers to both baiting bears, hunting bears with bait, and also tracking cougars with dogs or hunting cougars with dogs," said defense attorney Linda Callahan. "And that in itself is two subjects, so it violates the rule."
"Well, certainly in Jefferson County, I don't think the prosecutor will file any more cases," said defense attorney John Stanislay. "What it means outside of Jefferson County at this point I'm not sure."
KING 5 asked: "But if you were a defense attorney in a neighboring county with one of these cases, wouldn't you make this argument now?"
"I definitely would make the argument, but I would not advise my client to go hunting with bait," said Stanislay.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife says it's disappointed at the ruling.
"We're going to continue to enforce it. It's a statewide law," said Chief Bruce Bjork, Washington Dept. Fish & Wildlife. "This is a district court decision in Jefferson County specific, so we'll continue to enforce it statewide."
But the prosecutor in Jefferson County who handled the case said he will not prosecute bear baiting cases if they are brought in because he believes the court ruling is clear and he does not intend to appeal.
Supporters of the initiative are calling the judge's ruling outrageous saying that 63 percent of the voters wanted to ban bear bait hunting as well as hunting with hounds, and they are hoping the state will appeal eventually.
The Attorney General's Office is still deciding whether to appeal the ruling. Bear hunting season opens August 1.

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WW
 

ELKCHSR

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That would be way to cool and a major set back for the Anti's....
Ten... Could that in itself be considered baiting? :D
 

Horn Seeker

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Right on baby, head for Jefferson county and bring your DONUTS!!

We fought that initiative tooth and nail before it was passed then tried to appeal it for the same reasons stated, but it was thrown out every time.

The BS part of the deal is, it only bans the general hunting seasons for hound hunting, but there are special permits given out every year to hunt cougar and bear with hounds in Washington. IN other words, the general sportsman/hunter cant go do it legally, but the govt can. Its a crock of shit. The timber companys are killing just as many bears as ever using houndmen. If the practice is Banned, why are there exceptions? Its not fair to the houndmen that dont have connections with the timber companies and such.

Anyhow, it would be a sweet deal if the whole thing was upturned!!!
 

ELKCHSR

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Your right, just because it made a bunch of flower sniffers in Washington feel good to save the world, it really put a damper on the game dept. budget. Now the state has to pay to have them hunted instead of recieving money's for the privalidge of letting one be shot.
 
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