Alaska says: Please don’t taze the bears

The State of Alaska has made it illegal for the public to use a Taser on wildlife. The stated fear is “catch and release” hunting — that someone would stun a moose or a bear long enough for a photo op, then release the animal, an article in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.

The Taser X3W

You might think that the inevitable injury to the “hunter” would nip this practice faster than any law would, but with yet another Jackass movie coming out in a few months, what more proof do you need that some people never learn?

The Alaska law seems wiser with the knowledge that Taser International recently introduced the Taser X3W Wildlife Electronic Control Device, a stun gun specifically designed for wildlife management. (The company’s press release for the product is here.)

It can, and has been, used to haze bears, but it can also be used in place of tranquilizer darts under certain conditions. One suggested use is to stun an animal so that a tranquilizer can be injected more accurately. Another use is to stun the animal briefly (15 seconds is one time I saw), for quick actions like taking a chicken feeder off a moose’s head. (As mentioned in the newspaper article.)

The magazine Wildlife Professional has a review of the use of stun guns on wildlife in its current issue. You can read it here. That article contains a link to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s operating procedures for stun guns.

Photo: TASER International

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