Posts

Killing bears, one way or another

Killing bears, one way or another

B.C. hunters speak out about grizzly hunt, wildlife managementKilling bears, one way or another

reposted from North Island Gazette

Re: Grizzly hunt ban aims at cities (B.C. Views column, Aug. 21).

As a lifelong hunter and licensed trapper for 40 years, I was born in Quesnel and have lived in northern communities including New Aiyansh, Hazelton, Fort St. James, McBride, Fraser Lake and others.

As a former RCMP officer, I have had to kill many problem bears.

Fewer people are hunting bears today than in years gone by, leading to increasing populations. Bears have a devastating effect on ungulate populations and I think have contributed to the drastic decrease in moose, caribou and deer populations. Hunting is an effective wildlife management tool.

I also would like to debunk the myth that a grizzly bear carcass goes to waste if only the hide is removed and taken. No protein goes to waste in the wilderness. Other carnivores, raptors, weasels, squirrels, mice, voles and insects would get far more value out of a grizzly carcass than a human would.

Mike Morris, MLA

Prince George-Mackenzie

• • •

I just wanted to say thanks for Tom Fletcher’s article about the NDP banning the grizzly hunt in B.C. It’s not often we see a journalist who is willing to go against the masses and pen the truth.

I have earned my living guiding hunters, fishermen, and trappers all over northern B.C. and Yukon for more than 30 years. The grizzly population is without question at an all-time high, and certainly needs to be managed.

David O’Farrell

Tagish, Yukon

Habitat loss greatest threat to B.C. grizzly bears

Habitat loss greatest threat to B.C. grizzly bears

B.C. NDP government focused on grizzly bear trophy huntHabitat loss greatest threat to B.C. grizzly bears

by Tom Fletcher, reposted from The Columbia Valley Pioneer

Degradation of habitat from forestry, oil and gas development and human settlement is the greatest risk to B.C.’s grizzly bear population, Auditor-General Carole Bellringer says.

While Forests Minister Doug Donaldson has concentrated on ending the grizzly bear trophy hunt and enacting new regulations to enforce it, a new audit of the ministry’s management of the bear population has uncovered more serious problems. Donaldson has announced that the B.C. government will put an end to trophy hunting of grizzlies after this fall’s hunting season.

The forests ministry estimates that about 250 of B.C.’s 15,000 grizzly bears are taken by hunters each year, in a limited-entry lottery hunt open to resident and non-resident hunters. The audit found that from 2006 to 2015, there were 389 bears killed as a result of human-bear conflicts, not related to hunting.

The conflicts are a result of increasing calls about grizzlies to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. The service revised its procedures to evaluate conflict and not automatically assume the bear should be destroyed, for example if it has entered someone’s yard to eat fruit left on trees.

“An increase in resource roads – 600,000 kms existing and more added every year – also leads to more human-bear conflict, and ultimately grizzly bear deaths,” Bellringer said.

The audit found that grizzly bear populations are increasing in some areas of the province, with the trophy hunt each year adjusted for regional populations. Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie and a long-time hunter and trapper, said in a letter to Black Press that grizzly numbers are reaching problem levels in some places.

“Fewer people are hunting bears today than in years gone by, leading to increasing populations,” Morris said. “Bears have a devastating effect on ungulate populations and I think have contributed to the drastic decrease in moose, caribou and deer populations. Hunting is an effective wildlife management tool.”