THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO --- June 3, 2015 ---- Black bear incidents in Southern Ontario highlight the need for improved black bear management. Media coverage is extensive when black bears are seen in heavily urbanized areas, but these types of situations are a common occurrence for many people in Ontario.
Many people are suggesting that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is at fault for the increase in human/bear conflicts and/or how they are dealt with, but the calls for fully restoring the Bear Wise program to its former level will not solve the problem. There is significant evidence that showed the Bear Wise trap and transfer program was unsuccessful and an unjustifiable use of limited resources needed for wildlife management. What we need is better management of black bears.
Proper black bear management in Ontario requires both spring and fall hunting.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters has called on the MNRF to examine Wildlife Management Units that support sustainable black bear populations but do not currently have an open fall black bear season. The OFAH also continues to call for the return of the spring bear hunt throughout all of bear country in Ontario.
"Information provided by black bear hunters can help the MNRF assess the status and health of bear populations. Without these boots on the ground, the MNRF is missing the most important source of data required for proper black bear management," says OFAH Senior Wildlife Biologist Mark Ryckman.
For the full OFAH recommendation on expanding fall hunting and more information on black bear management, visit www.ofah.org/bearaction.