After talking to bear reseacher Dr. Lynn Rogers, about the staus of little Hope, the beloeved 1.5 year old black bear - this is the latest information I have
Hope ispresumed dead.
Dr. Lynn Rogers believes he knows the person who may have killed Hope, because he has talked to him in the past.He believes that he is one of the posters on the Lily; Bear with a Bounty page on Facebook. If this is the hunter we think it is, and they are a seasoned bear hunter (who has been hunting bears for several years) we think they are, they would know how old Hope was by her size and who she was by the area she was in. This person also would not have any need to shoot a juvenile bear, because they probably have taken several older and larger bears in the past.
In any case someone knowingly set upa stnd and a bait in Lily and Hope’s Home Range, knowing full well that they would probably see Hope or Lily, because of their familiarity with humans. They more than likely had hopes of seeing a legal bear (because they knew Hope was not wearing a collar), which would not jeopardize the $5000 jackpot offered to hunters for not killing a research bear.
If this is what occurred, - it appears to be a very purposeful act - for one of the reasons I have previously outlined - in this case fame or notoriety, or because he dislikes Dr. Rogers or what he is doing, so much so, that he would purposely kill a research bear (which brings us back to the mentality of a juvenile). If Hope was killed by a hunter who has hunted bears for several years, it was purposeful – and there is no excuse for it. Most hunters will pass on juvenile animals anyhow, because we want them to have a chance to contribute to the gene pool, and have a chance to grow up to either produce what they can produce, or fight for the right to take part in the breeding process. .
There was literally no skill involved in this activity.
If this person is the one Lynn thinks it is, he is seasoned bear hunter, who, because he did not see any bears in his more northern area, moved to the home range of Lily and Hope, because he knew he would see bears that were accustomed to seeing, smelling and hearing humans in close proximity - humans who also fed them. He also new he would see bears that were accustomed to going to food caches to feed.
This is a person who, after his years of hunting, should know the difference between a juvenile and an adult bear, by it's size and conformation; who knew that the only likely one and a half year-old bear to come into his bait station, would be Hope, even if it was not wearing a collar. He was a person who should have been able to sex the bear and see that it was a young female; who knew Hope was not wearing a collar, in which case if he did shoot her, he would not jeopardize the $5000 jackpot, for himself; and who knew he would not only make the non-hunting public upset, but also the hunters of Minnesota, in turn creating a negative view of hunters in this state – but, who went ahead and killed a one nd a half year old juvenile bear.
There is no excuse for this senseless act, unless it was carried out by an uneducated, unsupervised young hunter.
The MN DNR will not give out information on whose bait station is in that area, or who registered a dead bear from that area, because it is private data.
If the hunter who killed Hope reads this - please call me - so I can get the straight story on this. No need to give you name. And I will not berate you on the phone.
If I find out more- definitively - I will let you know.
I do not know what else to say... other than
May God bless that hunter, and all you who check in here,