Skip to content

End Bear Baying (Baiting) in South Carolina

August 24, 2010

Immediate, please sign HERE
From Care2
By Sharon Seltzer

Undercover video captured “bear baying,” a practice so cruel that animal advocates thought it had been outlawed since the 1800’s. Hunters in rural South Carolina are popularizing the activity.

Bear baying or “bear baiting” is the act of chaining a defenseless bear to a stake while a pack of dogs are released to attack the animal.

Bears are either declawed or have their claws filed down and are defanged or have their teeth pulled.  Activists compare the “staged fights” to those in the Roman Colosseum.

The Associated Press released news about the resurgence of bear baying with undercover video shot at four separate events by the Humane Society of the United States.  HSUS is using that video to pressure South Carolina’s Attorney General, Henry McMaster to outlaw the practice.

South Carolina is the only state that allows bear baying and animal fighting when it is used as a method of dog training.  Hunters in the state say the practice helps prepare their dogs about what to do if they encounter a bear during hunting season.

But the videos filmed by HSUS show that more than training is going on at these events.  Hunters have turned bear baying into a weekend sport with cash prizes and trophies.  Events are attended by hundreds of spectators and the bear attacks go on relentlessly for hours.

What Happens At Modern Day Bear Baying Spectacles
The HSUS video shows an adult black bear tethered to a short chain which is attached to a wooden fence.  The animal is enclosed in a chain linked pen.

A team of 3 hunting dogs are released into the pen where they lunge, swat, show teeth and sometimes bite the defenseless bear.

This is what occurs in our state wildlife agencies when WE the PUBLIC do not get involved. SWA’s have no watchdogs – epitome of “The Fox guarding the Hen-house”. We blindly trust “wildlife conservation”, but in reality they are running a business and completely controlled by special interests. They are pimping our wild animals for blood-sports!

Hunters do not “pay for their sport”, we all do, and we are all equal stakeholders. Besides, even if they did pay for it, when did we agree to sell our wildlife to them?

If they want to preach heritage and tradition, then we have every right to demand ethics that used to exist with that heritage! Not this “how many hunting licenses can we sell to win more federal gun tax funding” foundation they sit on now, kissing hunters’ butts to keep them engaged and happy.  ~Katherine McGill

The goal is to make the bear stand up on its hind legs and the team that makes this happen in the shortest amount of time, wins the contest.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Hunters want a bear to stand upright because it makes the animal easier to shoot and kill when they are encountered in the wild.

However the bears used in the contest are not wild.

They are part of a small group of animals that came as part of a limited one time permit process in 2005 where 38 bears were released to private owners as pets or for small zoos.

These bears also came with an exception to the law that allowed them to be used in bear baying events, as long as there was no “repeated contact” between the animals.

The HSUS video shows clear violations to that clause as the bear suffers from bites and gashes in her effort to escape the teams of dogs.  The events filmed went on for 4 hours while nearly 100 teams of hounds attacked the bear.

HSUS representatives expressed concern over the “psychological trauma”this imposed on the bear.

And to make matters even more depressing, the same kept showing up at each bear baying spectacle filmed by HSUS.  Records show that her name is Mandy.

The HSUS blog said, “The bear…may endure this treatment every weekend throughout much of the year.”

Michael Markarian of HSUS said, “At least eight other animals are used for baying in the three counties where bear hunting is permitted.”

Attorney General McMaster issued a statement saying “he views the practice as illegal under the state’s animal cruelty law.” But State Rep. David Hiott of Pickens County, where bear baying is legal said, “It’s unlikely the Legislature will revisit a ban on bear baying.”

HSUS doesn’t plan on giving up.  If they are unable to change the minds of lawmakers, the group plans to address the problem with wildlife managers.  They hope to revoke all of the captive bear permits that were issued in 2005.

Click Here or on the picture to sign the petition to stop bear baying in South Carolina.


HSUS investigators recently attended several bear baiting (also known as bear baying) events in South Carolina. What they found will shock you.

In each event, a captive bear—claws and many teeth cut down or removed—is tethered in an arena. Team after team of dogs is released into the arena to bark at, jump on, and bite the frightened, defenseless bear for hours at a time. These events are billed as training exercises for hounds but are nothing more than public spectacles.

Please sign the petition asking the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources to prohibit bear baiting (which they call bear baying) and revoke the permits for people who torment bears so cruelly.


25 Comments leave one →
  1. August 24, 2010 9:28 am

    They actually refer to this as Bear Baying. More from the AP Press on just how legally they get away with this illegal activity:

    This is what occurs in our state wildlife agencies when WE the PUBLIC do not get involved. SWA’s have no watchdogs – epitome of “The Fox guarding the Hen-house”. We blindly trust “wildlife conservation”, but in reality they are running a business and completely controlled by special interests. They are pimping our wild animals for blood-sports!

    Hunters do not “pay for their sport”, we all do, and we are all equal stakeholders. Besides, even if they did pay for it, when did we agree to sell our wildlife to them?

    If they want to preach heritage and tradition, then we have every right to demand ethics that used to exist with that heritage! Not this “how many hunting licenses can we sell to win more federal gun tax funding” foundation they sit on now, kissing hunters’ butts to keep them engaged and happy.


  2. Stacey permalink
    August 24, 2010 9:34 am

    Thank you, Katherine, I will update the alert with the correct reference and include the article; I think your comment is very compelling as well, may I add that, too?


  3. August 24, 2010 10:04 am

    Absolutely, Stacey.
    This really needs the attention of South Carolina residents too. They need to beat down doors of the state wildlife agency – here are the DNR Board members and their phone numbers:

    And here is the link to SC State Rep’s:
    Emphasis on this Rep: Hiott

    Asking for a face-to-face meeting is beyond more effective, as is showing up at DNR meetings. Emails are easy to ignore and indicate an issue will “pass away”, but anything is better than nothing!

    Make it clear that we are equal stakeholders of our wildlife, and never did or would we have given permission as a public majority to allow such cruel exploitation of any wild animals.

    Once upon a time man depended upon “dog” to help him hunt. If any hunter can’t track and kill with the high-tech weapons they use today, they should stay home! Dogs should NOT be allowed to harrass wildlife EVER. If dogs even look at a deer in many states they will be shot. Why is it ok to allow this atrocious “training”?


  4. Anonymous permalink
    August 24, 2010 1:54 pm

    The link provided is to a home page of the speaker of the house. I got phone numbers for city hall etc. This is a sick thing and to bring kids to watch it. no wonder we have so many ill people in the world. what do you think some of these kids will do, yes torture a cat or dog who knows then we have another animal or human offender one our hands.


  5. john649 permalink
    August 25, 2010 12:34 pm

    Please SC, stop this animal abuse!


  6. Anonymous permalink
    August 25, 2010 12:37 pm

    People the correct name for this discusting thing is really called bear baiting. It has been around a bit and not prevalent in the US. where are they keeping these bears it is illegal to keep wild life as pets really. They call it bear baying to deter anyone. but its bear baiting the correct term. how can officials let this happen and have kids watch this, those parents should have those kids taken away, future criminals here they come. its scary


    • Stacey permalink
      August 25, 2010 12:45 pm

      So you are indicating that, although it is technically referred to as “baying” that is merely a euphemistic term to disguise “baiting”? I’ll change the title to include “baiting” but since it is called “baying” that needs inclusion as well so that people do not ignore it thinking it is not “baying”. If that made sense. Thank you so much, I’ll change the title to reflect them both.


      • August 25, 2010 12:52 pm

        That is true. I thought the same thing and was trying to be correct, but “baying” is absolutely a smoke screen euphamism for “baiting”, which is highly illegal.

        However, Baiting can also get confused with the actual use of laying down food to bait game animals to a location. Kind of like Ted Nugent got caught doing on TV when he poached a deer for all to see. (Plead no-contest to charges last week in CA).


  7. Anonymous permalink
    August 25, 2010 12:48 pm

    hi stacey, that is whata the wspa i think its called calls it. never heard of baying, just check with a local welfare for animals agency onthat we dont want to get either wrong. that is the term i know the best since i have been signing petitions emailing for a year now on this. its discusting. ihave the numbers for sc city hall and governor speaker of the house we all need ot m ake calls. i have a ctsite we can set up a petition on if you want to email me directly you want ot give me your emial and i can givei youthose privately since i dont know who is reaading these comments


  8. Anonymous permalink
    August 25, 2010 1:00 pm

    Oh my god, ted nugent, he high on drugs or what to do that, look what our young genration has for role models. makes brittany spears look like an angel reaally. we need to protest nugent on that too. but many find nothing wrong with and eating fresh venison. is that right. It is called Baiting that is what the wspa i think its called. its more horrific than the pic and video we are seeking they actually maul the bear till death sometimes. is sick. we need to target parents and schools there to have kids report any of this so the ungerground
    operation will be found and shut down. I hope officials are not in on it. this might be used as a form of gambling think bout it. its discusting.


  9. Stacey permalink
    August 25, 2010 1:46 pm

    Ted Nugent is the devil.

    I always think of “baiting” as hunting-baiting myself, such as you pointed out, Katherine, but I remember there was some expose a number of years ago referring to bear baiting as a sport, Middle East maybe – ? I remember the outrage, I wonder where it is in the US. People are so wanting to imagine that first-world equals progress and kindness. ha! If only they DID have glass walls …

    The HSUS auto letter is sent to the SC DNR, or rather to one of them, the site includes people whose term has ended but two who are still in service.

    Change petitions are great in that each time someone signs it, a letter is AUTOMATICALLY sent to each recipient; Anonymous, what is your site, do you make change petitions or do you have one already created?

    Of course, the HSUS letters are succinct and the online auto send is quite convenient, too.

    You can send me mail at and once I get a message from you, I’ll send from my personal email.

    Thank you!


  10. COMTESSE permalink
    August 25, 2010 2:52 pm

    je trouve inégal cette lutte entre chiens et our. En plus l’our est attaché et ne peut se défendre mais ce qui est absurde ce sont ces hommes qui lachjent les chiens contre cet our. Ce genre de manifestation ne devrait pas avoir lieu…


  11. Ann(usa) permalink
    August 25, 2010 2:53 pm

    What does that last comment say, is that french, I speak italian and english only


  12. mare bright permalink
    August 3, 2012 7:28 am

    I can’t believe the people of So. Carolina including Niki Haley close their eyes to this barbaric treatment of bears. What is wrong with this picture? what are we teaching the next generation?


    • August 3, 2012 2:03 pm

      Sickening, isn’t it? Thanks for your input, Mare, much appreciated.


  13. August 10, 2012 10:47 am

    A little clarification on terms Baying and Baiting.
    Baying – When hounds are used to legally hunt bears, ideally the bear will ‘tree’ by climbing a tree to escape the dogs. The hounds keep the bear treed until the hunters catch up (they may shoot it or decide it’s not the size, gender, etc. that they want in which case they take the dogs and leave). Sometimes the bear won’t climb a tree, it will turn to fight and may run again. At these times, the hounds may surround it and keep it still, which is called ‘bayed’ or ‘bayed up’, the baying hounds are able to keep the animal from running away. The hunters again catch up. Russian Karelian bear dogs didn’t bay as they ran, they were trained only to bay up their quarry, running quietly until they got close. Baying up an animal, whether bear, elk, deer, etc. was desired in past centuries when hunters used spears or bows and a ground shot was better.
    Baiting – reminiscent of Roman colosseum fights and anglicized Spanish California arenas where bulls and bears fought. Although the SC hunters claim they are training the dogs for baying, they seem to actually be baiting. I’m not morally opposed to hunting bears, or hunting them with hounds, but this artificial baiting doesn’t train the dogs to do anything (except lose it’s fear of and be more aggressive to bears). Hunters don’t want their dogs injured, they want them just aggressive enough to tree or bay up, but smart enough not to get swiped or bitten. The dogs in the video are just fighting the bear, which should end, especially since it’s the same bear, pack after pack, week after week.


  14. November 28, 2012 5:25 am

    EVIL PEOPLE! God Hates America. CURSED! Not blessed! Proud sinners. Sick perverts!


  15. cetude permalink
    November 28, 2012 5:26 am

    And people call China evil. USA is no different. South Carolina you all are going straight to hell with this proud sinning!


  16. cetude permalink
    November 28, 2012 5:28 am

    Proverbs 12:10 “The righteous one is concerned for his beast.”

    Pslam 50:10-11 “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: And the wild beasts for the field are mine,” declares the LORD. *** NOT YOURS TO TORTURE FOR ENTERTAINMENT!** EVIL PEOPLE YOU ARE GOING STRAIGHT TO HELL!***


    • November 28, 2012 10:44 am

      Thank you for sharing that passage, Cetude, it is quite enlightening. It’s unfortunate (evil?) that people are mostly cafeteria Christians, picking and choosing which Biblical parts to hold and which to ignore. This is evil indeed.


  17. cetude permalink
    November 28, 2012 5:29 am

    ABOMINATION – fear the Lord God.


  18. Dustie Smith permalink
    June 13, 2013 5:41 pm

    Stop this sadistic, torturous attack on defensless bears. This barbaric act is worthy of an ignorant third world country, but yet here in the United States it is going on without a drop of compassion. How can anyone, who calls themselves human, continue to do this?! Stop embarrasing our great country by acting like cruel, sick minded morons. End this now!


  19. stephanie loreto permalink
    June 14, 2013 6:12 am

    How do we put an end to this ?


  20. September 9, 2014 12:20 am

    I read a lot of interesting articles here. Probably you spend a lot of
    time writing, i know how to save you a lot of work, there is an online tool that creates high quality,
    SEO friendly articles in seconds, just search in google – k2seotips unlimited content


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

World Animals Voice

Animal news from around the world.

Yolanda och hennes kreativa skrik

Aspergers syndrom, bipolaritet, fotografi, konst, poesi.

Once Upon An Activist

Every so often, you will get to tell someone your stories, and it will become a part of their awakening

Barbara Crane Navarro

Rainforest Art Project - Pas de Cartier !


creative design center



M4nic Digression

Bipolar, bisexual and vegan. Blogging for myself. Currently stable...ish. A blog that critics are describing as "all over the place" and "lousy with errors".

Aloe Veritas

Arts and Letters of the Earth

Cosmic Skeptic

Question Everything

Striking at the Roots

Animal activism around the world



The Bruges Vegan

more than waffles and chocolate

DirtNKids Blog

Soil, Kids, Vegan -- Connected Through Nature

Amici del Lupo - Svizzera italiana

per sensibilizzare e farlo conoscere...

Animalista Untamed

The only good cage is an empty cage

Jet Eliot

Travel and Wildlife Adventures

Organic Opinion

Finding it, aye there's the rub~

Flawless Pandemonium

Question everything~

%d bloggers like this: