I hunted in the Carpathian Mountains there this past April with a friend. The Carpathians wind their way through the middle of the country. The Romanian Forestry Department controls large tracts of land there, where it carries out timber-harvesting practices that pay for their game management programs.
Curiously enough, the management of bears began during the reign of Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu, who was executed after the mid-1990s revolution. It seems Ceausescu loved hunting bears, and during his lifetime took 200 bruin himself. I hunted with one of the guides who used to guide Ceau- sescu. He said that under his rule brown bears were protected from poaching.
In the past, there have been some reports about canned bear hunts in Romania, but I did not see any evidence of that. I spoke with many people there and even had dinner with the wildlife biologist in charge of bear management in Romania. No one I spoke to had any knowledge of canned bear hunting in Romania. I have a background in zoology and could tell from the time I spent with the forest rangers and biologists that they were university educated and had the knowledge and skills necessary to manage conservation programs for wildlife and hunting programs. I could also tell from the behavior of the bears I saw in the woods that they were wild animals. I conclude that the reports of canned bear hunting in Romania are simply false rumors.
I hunted three different areas in the Carpathians and never saw a fence or........(continued)