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Most U.S. states and Canadian provinces and territories classify the black bear as a game animal; four U.S. states confer no legal status, and thus no legal protections for black bears. Black bears can be legally hunted in 27 U.S. states. Many of these states allow hunting practices deemed cruel and “unsporting,” including spring hunts, baiting, hounding, and the selling and trade of bear parts. It is estimated that between 40,000 to 50,000 bears are legally hunted in the U.S. each year; an unknown number are also illegally poached.