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

Woodyatt seeks help to pursue physics education in London

Ballenas Secondary product gets accepted to prestigious university in United Kingdom

Solar system spending, asbestos removal in SD69 plan

Green house gas emission report received at May 22 board meeting

Gr. 7s learn about digital safety, health, consent at con in Parksville

SD69 hosts first Health and Wellness Conference for students headed to high school

Qualicum Beach east village plans take shape

Staff moving forward with east village concept

Three-for-one at Parksville studio for tour

Local artists participating in Central Island Studio Tour May 26-27

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

B.C.’s devastating 2017 wildfire season revisited in new book

British Columbia Burning written by CBC journalist Bethany Lindsay

B.C. RCMP swoop in to save injured eagle

An eagle with a broken wing now in a recovery facility after RCMP rescue near Bella Coola

Catalyst Paper to sell U.S. mills to Chinese company

Sale will allow company to focus on B.C. interests, says president Ned Dwyer

Comox Valley baseball player Thomas Green commits to Cuesta College

18-year-old shortstop following in older cousin Taylor’s footsteps

Bug spray 101: Health Canada wants you to stay bite free

Health Canada is reminding Canadians to use bug spray and other insect repellents safely

Unions reject CP Rail contract offers

Both meeting Friday to determine next steps; 72 hours notice required before strike action.

B.C. jewellers warn public about fake gold scam

‘They are playing on people’s sympathy and their greed’

Former B.C. premier says pot industry about to enter Wild West

Mike Harcourt says Canada is about to enter a new gold rush with many dreaming of striking it rich

Most Read