Should Spring Bear Hunt Return

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Bear Wise program has proven to be long on words, short on results

For years, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) has warned
the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) that the cancellation of the spring bear hunt and its replacement with the provincial Bear Wise Program would negatively impact public safety.

Instead of managing Ontario’s bears for optimal sustainable populations as it is mandated to do the province has instead opted to try to manage people, with dismal, and sometimes near fatal results.


“To minimize the risks to people and maximize the benefits of this resource for society,
the Ontario government needs to reinstate the spring bear hunt,” said Terry Quinney, O.F.A.H. Provincial Manager of Fish and Wildlife Services.

“It was a time-tested, successful bear management tool that also provided tens of millions of dollars
in economic benefits before it was terminated, taking with it much-needed employment, particularly in northern and central Ontario.”

Already this season, police have killed bears in London and Peterborough that presented a threat to people.

In Severn Township, the search continues for the bear that inflicted extensive wounds on a Waubaushene man last week in an apparently unprovoked attack.

In 1999, the province promptly and without scientific reason, cancelled the spring bear hunt, resulting in a ten-fold increase in occurrences of human-bear conflict.

A fact backed by the MNR’s own 2008 report. The O.F.A.H. believes that the cancellation of the spring bear hunt has undone many years of improved black bear management, and has instead, caused an increase in human-bear conflicts,
resulting in more sows and cubs shot and wasted in the protection of property.

MNR statistics reveal that human bear occurrences rose to 12,645 in 2007/2008, up from an average of 1,000 prior to 1999.

“We are convinced that human-bear conflicts can be minimized, by managing bear populations using a variety of tools, including area-specific quotas and an early season hunt,” added Quinney.
“Reinstating a well-managed spring hunt would provide positive benefits for all concerned – our black bear populations, the economies of northern and central Ontario, and the safety of the general public.”

With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 660 member clubs,
the O.F.A.H. is the largest nonprofit, charitable, fishing, hunting and conservation-based organization in Ontario,
and the voice of anglers and hunters.

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About Peter Wood 1194 Articles
As an avid lifelong angler and hunter, Peter’s outdoor knowledge and experiences keep expanding through his hundreds of hours of hunting and fishing podcast interviews with like minded experts. He has received numerous national writing awards. With thousands of outdoor pictures on Ripple Outdoors and many full-length articles with outdoor magazine and video clips you might say that he not only enjoys his outdoor lifestyle, but he’s quite the fanatic! In 2015 he earned fifth overall on the King of the Wood Contest hosted by Canada In The Rough team, pretty good for a baby boomer deer hunter. His buck was also one of the top bucks taken that season. Through Peter’s deer hunting seminars or by attending outdoor trade shows, like the Toronto Sportsmen Show and The SWOC Big Buck Show, he has connected with thousands of like minded people that love hunting and fishing. As a volunteer or member of local and national outdoor groups like QDMA, SWOC, Outdoor Writers of Canada, Archery Trade Show Association he continues to learn and hone his craft. Read his many articles, listen to his podcasts and rifle through thousands of photos on Ripple Outdoors. Discover Peter’s latest posts about outdoor gear, destinations, how to articles and interviews and you’ll be a better angler and hunter for the experience.

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