SACRAMENTO — Bears became fair game in California again Wednesday.
When Superior Court Judge Cecily Bond said that the 1990 black bear hunt proposed by the Fish and Game Commission could go ahead as scheduled Oct. 13-Dec. 30, it was the first legal victory for hunters against the anti-hunting coalition in recent years.
Bond denied a writ sought by the animal rights groups that a document prepared by the Department of Fish and Game's biologists inadequately fulfilled obligations of the California Environmental Quality Act. Earlier, hunters lost mountain lion, tule elk and the '89 bear hunt in a string of five court setbacks.
The DFG was authorized by the commission to issue up to 15,000 bear tags--the state bear population is estimated at 15,000-18,000--but the hunt will be stopped when the first 1,250 are killed. The average kill through 1988 was 1,245 a year.
The hunters may use dogs to track and tree bears but can't take female bears with cubs or bears smaller than 50 pounds.
There will be no archery hunting of bears.