Feeding deer and bears is in the news in Idaho and Montana. First, officials in Montana are urging residents to not feed deer this winter. From this story on kpax.com:
Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) officials say that wild animals should not be fed by people, if you didn’t know, it is illegal. At the Kalispell FWP Office, officials say there is now an alarming amount of humans feeding deer across Northwest Montana. Spokesperson John Fraley says people don’t realize they are feeding deer harmful foods and that when you feed deer, you encourage them to come closer to areas of traffic. “You can’t legally feed them now. Even though it may feel good when you feed them, not only is it bad for them….physiologically, but it’s illegal. So we’d really like to see people start realizing that the animal has to forage on it’s own, if it loses that natural foraging, it’s not going to survive anyway.
While in idaho, officials are considering whether to make feeding bears a crime.
From this story in the Spokane Spokesman-Review:
_Safety concerns have prompted North Idaho wildlife officials to urge Bonner County commissioners to pass an ordinance banning the feeding of bears and other wildlife. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game said the county logged 770 nuisance bear complaints from the public this year, about 740 more than any other county in the state. Bonner County has some of the best bear habitat in Idaho.
“It’s a public safety issue and it’s a bear safety issue,” Becky Haag, an environmental biologist with Fish and Game, told the Bonner County Daily Bee. “We’ve been asking and that’s the problem. I think we’re seeing that that’s ineffective, unfortunately. Asking people to do things nicely isn’t working.”_
Your thoughts? Should it be illegal to feed wildlife? How many readers do?