In the state of Oregon, there are legal bear killings about 1,500 times a year. That number includes bears killed for sport. State wildlife officials estimate 30,000 black bears roam the state.
In April, a rancher shot and killed a nearly 500-pound black bear in South Central Oregon. State officials say the bear killing was legal.
Oregon permits the killing of a bear that is threatening a landowner or the landowner’s property, but the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife must be notified.
Department biologist, Craig Foster, says bear problems are not uncommon occurrences.
“Around the state we have a lot of bear damage, and at times that damage is resolved by killing the offending animal. We very rarely move bears because they will beat you home,” said Foster.
Foster says bears that are released can also cause damage elsewhere.
He also says in the recent bear killing, ranchers were allowed to keep the bear carcass.
Usually the department takes a deceased bear. The meat is then given to someone who wants it, or to a charity. The hide is often used for educational purposes, or it is donated to Native American tribes for ceremonial purposes.