Ontario Spring Bear Hunt Proposed In 2014

Ontario Proposes Pilot Project to Hunt Problem Bears In Northern Ontario

 Management of bear populations by science, not emotion, long overdue

Fourteen years after the Harris Conservatives cancelled the spring bear hunt under pressure from animal rights activists, the Wynne Liberal government is proposing a two-year pilot project in eight wildlife management units in northern Ontario to address problem bear issues. 

”Ontario’s spring bear hunt was a successful wildlife population management tool that assisted in maintaining the density of bears at levels that minimized dangerous encounters between people and bears, and controlled the population at a sustainable level.

Rod's Masinca with his big black bear



This was good for public safety and good for bears,” said OFAH Executive Director Angelo Lombardo. 

”Since the cancellation of the spring bear hunt in 1999, the OFAH has been advocating for a return of the hunt and we are pleased that the provincial government has finally recognized the value of this valuable wildlife management tool and has proposed a bear management program in response to problem bears in northern Ontario.

While this is not the restoration of a full spring hunt, it is a positive start, and the OFAH looks forward to working with the provincial government and local municipalities so that the full benefits of regulated hunting can be realized,” Lombardo added.

The absence of a spring bear hunt has created a severe public safety risk, with five bear attacks being reported across the province this year. Before its cancellation, the spring bear hunt also generated over $40 million per year in economic activity and sustained a number of jobs in northern Ontario, jobs that have since flowed to the neighbouring provinces of Manitoba and Quebec which continued to have hunts. 

”The OFAH has been unwavering in its position that the spring bear hunt is a valuable wildlife management tool that enhances public safety and controls the bear population at optimum levels.

The recent introduction of Bill 114 by Liberal MPP Bill Mauro has served to focus attention on this growing problem,” said Lombardo.

The proposed program would take place from May 1 to June 15 in wildlife management units 13, 14, 29, 30, 36, 41 and 42, where high levels of problem bear activity have been reported.

The hunt would be open to Ontario residents only, will not allow the hunting of cubs or female bears with cubs and would require municipalities in those areas to opt-in to the program.

The proposal will be subject to public comments on Ontario’s Environmental Registry. 

With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 710 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.

2013 Water Conservation Award

Media Release – Aurora Bassmasters

Newmarket ON: On Thursday Nov 7th, 2013 the Aurora Bassmasters proudly accepted the 2013 Water Conservation Award at the annual Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Awards Ceremony. Every year the LSRCA celebrates the watershed’s heroes with members of the community, elected officials, and environmental leaders from around the watershed. The Aurora Bassmasters were recognized for several projects conducted in the Lake Simcoe Watershed:


     Adopt A Stream Project – Scanlon Creek – This saw members volunteer to work with Ontario Streams and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority to naturalize the stream and surrounding wetland at Scanlon Creek Conservation Area, located just north of Bradford in the Lake Simcoe watershed. This year club volunteers also conducted benthic monitoring and elctro fishing s part of the overall project.

     Adopt A Road – Queensville: –An annual earth week event where club volunteers pick up garbage along 4 km of roadway (both sides)

      Lake Simcoe Wild Rice Restoration ProjectA multi-year project with multiple partners to try and restore native wild rice beds to Lake Simcoe

     Lake Simcoe Fishing Line Recycle Depots: The goal of this project is to collect used fishing line at popular fishing areas around Lake Simcoe. The line will be collected and then recycled by Berkley Pure Fishing

     Lake Simcoe VHS Campaign: A pro-active media campaign to prevent the unwanted transfer of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia from Lake Simcoe to other waterbodies. This virus has already accounted for two significant fish die offs.

     Lake Simcoe Bass Tagging Research Project: Although this five year project is now complete, tagged bass are still being reported by anglers and data still collected.  The club continued to distribute “Catch and Call- You Can Help Us All” signs at popular access points around Lake Simcoe.

The Aurora Bassmasters would like to thank the LSRCA for this prestigious award. “We’d also like to thank all of our partners who helped make these projects happen,” concluded David Meadows president of the club. This is the fourth Conservation Award the club has won this year. The three others are:

1)      Berkley Conservation Award- An International Award for Bassmaster clubs across North America. This came with a $2,000 cash (USD) award for future conservation projects.

2)      Ontario BASS Nation (OBN) Conservation Award.

3)      Spring Fishing & Boat Show Conservation Award. It came with $1,000 for the club’s future conservation projects.


For more information

Wil Wegman      Conservation Director, Aurora Bassmasters