While everyone in the hunting community felt that all of these conditions clearly had been met, the US Fish and Wildlife Service decided to review each item in detail and issue specific rules governing import. The result has been a piecemeal approach to allowing the import of polar bear trophies. The first major disappointment was in 1995 when the US Fish and Wildlife Service decided to prevent polar bear imports from all of the central and eastern Arctic - where 80 percent of the sport hunts for polar bear take place. Only bears from the relatively insignificant western Arctic were to be allowed in.
Different reasons were given for the ban, but the most serious one was a perceived overharvest in many units. In the meantime, American hunters had flocked to Canada in the widespread belief that all sporthunted trophies would be importable. Trophies taken in the banned hunting areas ended up being un-importable. To be sure, in 1995, Congress did pass an act grandfathering in all trophies taken before the 1994 amendment. Still, that did not affect those trophies taken between 1994 and the time of the USFW's ruling in 1995.
The next big break came........(continued)