Grizzly bear hunting in B.C. is managed through an annual lottery hunt. (Douglas Brown photo)

Grizzly bear trophy hunt to end Nov. 30

Consultation this fall, hunting for meat continues

The B.C. government is ending grizzly bear trophy hunting effective Nov. 30.

“This action is supported by the vast majority of people across our province,” Forests Minister Doug Donaldson announced from Hazelton on Monday. “We believe the action we’re taking goes beyond the commitment to Coastal First Nations made as part of the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest agreements.”

Donaldson said it will take one or more hunting seasons to see how many fewer bears are killed once trophy hunters opt out of a system that allows them to take the meat but not the head, paws or hide of the bear.

The current grizzly season begins this week in northern B.C., and hunting season in general ends at the end of November, so one more open season for grizzlies will be conducted before the ban takes effect.

The ministry estimates that 250 grizzlies are killed by hunters each year, with 80 of those shot by non-resident hunters participating in a lottery draw for grizzly hunting tags.

Revenue to the province from the grizzly bear hunt is estimated at $540,000 a year, with communities in hunting areas also benefiting from the spending of hunters, particularly from the out-of-province hunters.

Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad, the former forests and aboriginal relations minister in the B.C. Liberal government, questioned why Donaldson would announce the policy and the deadline without consulting resident hunters, guide-outfitters or aboriginal communities.

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver campaigned for years for an end to trophy hunting, but he also objected. Banning possession of the hide, paws and head leaves open the possibility that hunters could shoot a grizzly bear and leave the entire carcass behind, he said.

“It appears to me that the NDP were trying to play to environmental voters in the election campaign without thinking through their policies,” Weaver said.

Premier John Horgan committed to ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in November 2016, and made it part of the NDP platform in the spring election.

“The Coastal First Nations banned the grizzly trophy hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest four years ago,” said Doug Neasloss, Chief Councillor of the Kitasoo-Xai’Xais First Nation on the B.C. coast, endorsing the NDP position last year. “A provincial ban is long overdue to stop the needless killing of grizzly bears for sport. Bear claws, hides and teeth are not trophies.”

After the Great Bear Rainforest land use plan was adopted, the former B.C. Liberal government began to retire guide-outfitter licenses in the region as territories were sold to bear-watching companies.

About a third of the province is off limits to grizzly hunting for wildlife management reasons. The rest is subject to a managed hunt for resident and non-resident guided hunters that has been validated by independent experts. Former forests minister Steve Thomson defended it a significant contribution to the provincial economy.

In a report released in October 2016, wildlife biologists from the University of Alberta and the University of Minnesota gave high marks to B.C.’s grizzly bear management, including the grizzly bear hunt lottery that attracts foreign hunters each year.

Just Posted

RDMW frustrated over WFP response to logging trucks on the highway

“The only way you are going to have our trust back is if you sit with us all at the table.”

Working group discusses public intoxication problem in Port Hardy

The aim is to “set up a framework to make the community a safer place.”

Port Hardy RCMP’s 2017 year-end crime statistics

“We ended 2017 with 4140 files opened, versus 4042 files opened from the year before”

Duncan family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

No foul play suspected in death of Stanley Okumoto, 79

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Suspect and Mountie bitten by police dog during arrest near Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

Vancouver Island job market ever-evolving

Various sectors driving employment in region will be represented at Black Press career fair in Comox Feb. 8

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Human remains found near Campbell River

Human remains were found in a rural area outside Campbell River, RCMP… Continue reading

Most Read