Province announces intent to extend, expand spring bear hunt in 2016

by Bill Hodgins | October 30, 2015

Jeff Leal, minister of Agriculture, Food, and Rural AffairsTwo years after the province implemented a limited spring bear hunt for Ontario, it has announced its intent to expand the pilot project for five more years, opening it to non-residents as well.

The announcement was made earlier today by Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, in Thunder Bay, and by Jeff Leal, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, at the OFAH/Mario Cortellucci Hunting and Fishing Heritage Centre in Peterborough.

Under the new proposal, the project would be expanded to include a spring bear hunt in all provincial wildlife management units that currently hold a fall bear hunt.

The inclusion of non-resident hunters in the expanded spring bear hunt is expected to increase economic opportunities for Ontario’s northern and rural communities and be a boon for the tourism industry.

Speaking to media in Peterborough, Minister Leal indicated that the proposal would move forward, “very very quickly.”

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, which waged a 17-year battle to return the spring bear hunt to Ontario, responded positively to the news.

“The OFAH congratulates the provincial government for recognizing that spring bear hunting is a valuable and sustainable wildlife management tool that offers many ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural benefits throughout the entire province,“ said Angelo Lombardo, OFAH executive director.

“The OFAH congratulates the provincial government for recognizing that spring bear hunting is a valuable and sustainable wildlife management tool that offers many ecological, socioeconomic, and cultural benefits throughout the entire province,“ said Angelo Lombardo, OFAH executive director.

“The OFAH fought hard to prevent the cancellation of the spring bear hunt, taking it all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada… We never stopped believing that the spring bear hunt was the right thing for Ontario and we are happy that our hard work has paid off.”

Unchanged under the expanded pilot proposal is the prohibition on harvesting cubs and female bears with cubs. Anyone convicted of this offence could face a fine of up to $25,000 and one year in jail.

Comments

  1. Brian Woodford wrote: Finally, someone is using common sense