The Bear Facts: Ontario Proposes to Reopen the Spring Bear Hunt

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Black Bear

Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski recently announced the start of the government’s consultation on the proposal to reopen the spring bear hunt. At first glance it may appear to be no more than a political ploy to garner some attention during the mid-winter doldrums, after all, consultation does not guarantee results but it does get people talking and talking is what’s needed to get the spring bear hunt reinstated.

Economically speaking this is big news for Ontario, with hunters spending over 50 million dollars annually in the pursuit of a black bear. It will invigorate both domestic and international tourism and provide an additional $2.4 million in licence revenue that is used to support fish and wildlife management, it will also be a shot in the arm to Ontario’s wildlife.

I recently interviewed minister Yakabuski on Outdoor Journal Radio where he delivered a very heartfelt message on the importance of balancing wildlife management with the economics of rural Ontario.

Regardless of which side of the proverbial fence you sit on this issue, one thing should be made abundantly clear, urban sprawl is making it increasingly more difficult for Ontario to sustain a black bear population of over 100,000, the second-largest bear population in North America.

No one will dispute that a healthy bear population should be the ultimate goal here, but more bears will not necessarily lead to that. One of the absolute must-reads on the subject is available at  Ontario’s problems with Black Bears.

I would strongly suggest you read this article before venturing on to the government environmental registry to review the proposal.

Angelo Viola

ANGELO VIOLA is one of Canada’s most recognized and respected outdoor enthusiasts. His passion for the outdoors and skills as a creative director / producer have served him well crafting a broadcasting career in TELEVISION and RADIO that spans over 30 years.His relentless pursuit of the ultimate adventure and the ability to share the moment with audiences landed him the “best jobs in the world”, co host of The Fish’n Canada Show, The Outdoor Journal Television Show and Outdoor Journal Radio. In 2010 Angelo was inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall Of Fame making him a true fishing legend.

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