MBHA Mission Statement
Today, our work is more important than ever. The bear, though its numbers are healthy, is facing several threats, including loss of habitat, particularly in the Lower Peninsula. Bear hunters have also been put on notice by organized animal rightists that they have targeted Michigan to outlaw our sport. But fighting for the bear and for bear hunting is something we’ve done hard and successfully for years.
MBHA’s roots were men and women who loved the sound of hounds on trail. Typically, hound men and hound women are equally at home chasing fox, raccoon, coyote, bobcat or bear. MBHA became a conservation organization that was an advocate for all these sports, with the primary emphasis on the black bear. Since the ’50s, through its association with MUCC, members of the state Legislature, the state Department of Conservation and its offspring, the Department of Natural Resources, MBHA has been in the forefront of Michigan conservation.
Early on, MBHA leaders fought to protect the bear by making the state change its status from vermin to game animal. Thus protected by seasons and bag limits and methods of take, the black bear has thrived. Successful MBHA initiatives have included the protection of the bear and bobcat by limiting their take to regular hunting seasons, the removal of the coyote bounty, the registration of all harvested bobcats and bears for scientific purposes, the removal of the bear from the small-game license and then the deer license, the law limiting dogs on a bear chase to six and baits per hunter to three, the ban on shooting cubs, the special archery bear season and many bear research and habitat improvement programs.
MBHA has always encouraged its members to learn wildlife conservation practices and to embrace the sportsman’s ethic. Most regulations MBHA has backed were designed to meet that end and to demonstrate to the general public that bear hunters are indeed concerned about the quality of the hunt as they practice it. Through the years, however, MBHA and the bear hunters it now supports baiters, hound men and still hunters-have had to endure attacks on their sports. Yet despite stable and increasing bear populations, these attacks have been mounting, not only elsewhere, but here in Michigan too.
MBHA is committed to repel these assaults by educating the public and our legislators. MBHA is also pledged to conserve the black bear by pushing for increased research and enlightened management and is resolved to ensure MBHA is committed to repel these assaults by educating the public and our legislators. MBHA is also pledged to conserve the black bear by pushing for increased research and enlightened management and is resolved to ensure hunters have equitable regulations by pressing for them with the DNR.
We, the members of MBHA, invite all bear hunters, and others who agree with our cause, to join our association so we can better protect the bear and the sport of bear hunting.