THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO ----- September 26, 2013 -- Residents, municipalities and groups throughout the North have been expressing growing concern about the increase in nuisance bear activity and the dangers that presents. Today, Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan announced that he will be introducing a Private Member’s Bill that, if passed, will significantly increase opportunities for hunting black bears.
The expansion of the hunt would:
• Reduce the likelihood that aggressive bear activity will result in physical harm or death to people in Ontario
• Help protect crops and livestock
• Protect Northern Ontario’s moose population by reducing the number of moose calves killed by bears
• Reduce the cannibalizing of bear cubs—which is one of the main sources of cub mortality
“The expansion of the Black Bear Hunt is something that a lot of Northerners have been calling for—so that we can reduce the danger presented by nuisance bears, protect the region’s moose population and give the North’s economy a boost. This issue is becoming more important as time goes on. The growth of the region’s bear population seems to be resulting in more frequent encounters and attacks by aggressive bears. I’m hoping that there’s a way that we can strike a balance that will bring about the expansion of the hunt, while addressing the concerns that many have about the orphaning of bear cubs. If this bill goes forward, I’m happy to work with others to help find that balance.” Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan said in his media release todau
• While the number of recorded human-bear encounters has varied from year to year, both up and down, the general trend has been a dramatic rise, from 1000 1999 to over 13,000 in 2011.
• Since the end of the Spring Bear Hunt, there have been approximately 1400 fewer bears harvested each year. Since 1999, that amounts to roughly 20,000 bears.
• According to the Ontario Federation of Hunters and Anglers, the current bear population may be as high as 150,000 bears.