Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 18:42 EDT

OFAH calls for spring hunt to better manage bears

May 9, 2012

MNR confirms cancellation of trap and relocation, other Bear Wise cuts

PETERBOROUGH, ON, May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – This week, Minister of Natural
Resources Michael Gravelle confirmed that the Ministry of Natural
Resources (MNR) has discontinued the trap and relocation of problem
bears, as well as other services formerly delivered under the
province’s Bear Wise program.

“In discontinuing the ineffective trapping and relocation of problem
bears, Minister Gravelle will need to look to a more effective means of
managing this valuable game species. We hope to engage the Minister and
his Ministry on this challenge,” said Dr. Terry Quinney, OFAH
Provincial Manager of Fish and Wildlife Services. “The OFAH is
unwavering in its position that a spring bear hunt is a most
advantageous means of sustainably managing Ontario’s bears. An early
hunt assists in controlling problem bears by reducing their abundance
and density in the spring and summer, particularly male bears.”

The OFAH has a long and storied history of support for Ontario’s spring
black bear hunt, which was cancelled suddenly and without scientific
rationalization in 1999. Since the cancellation, the province, as
proven by its own data, has been dealing with an ever-increasing number
of human/bear conflicts, and has attempted to address the problem
through its Bear Wise program, with little success.

A government technical note entitled Nuisance Black Bears and What to Do with Them published in 2000, stated that only 20 percent of adult bears can be
successfully relocated, and distance is unlikely to increase the
success rate, given that bears can return home from distances of over
200 kilometers.

The MNR is aware that public safety is a factor, with too many black
bears on the landscape. MNR records show that prior to the cancellation
of the spring bear hunt, there were fewer than 1,000 human/bear
conflicts province wide, however by 2007, that number had risen to
12,700 reported incidents.

Quinney added, “The unfortunate consequence of cancelling the failed
trap and relocation initiative without an effective replacement is that
there is likely to be more police time spent on bear calls and
residents taking matters into their own hands. That benefits no one.”

With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 675 member
clubs, the OFAH is the province’s largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife
conservation-based organization, and the VOICE of anglers and hunters.
For more information, visit www.ofah.org, like the OFAH on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

SOURCE Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters

Source: PR Newswire