Problem with bears who ya gonna call?

- July 31st, 2012

Brianjeffbear

According to a recent media report, nuisance bear calls in the Georgian Bay area are now being fielded by the OPP. Not only that, the OPP in that region are saying the MNR no longer have any involvement.

So, does this mean the MNR is no longer dealing with nuisance bears across the rest of the province?

According to OPP Police Sargent Peter Leon his department will: ”assess and deal with the situation in what is the most appropriate manner. Police will try to scare a bear away and make it afraid of people before resorting to shooting it” Leon said.

In 2010 alone, 182 bears were shot by officials province-wide and in 2011 the MNR trapped and relocated 623 bears. They also immobilized and relocated another 107 that same year.

Dealing with problem bears has become a full-time job in recent years!

Ontario’s Bear Wise public awareness program cost $33 million since its inception in 2004, and following major cuts within the MNR this spring, it is unclear how much (if any) of the program remains in effect today.

Yes, it is certainly a sad state of affairs when our province hasn’t enough money to keep tabs on its own wildlife. And you can’t really blame the MNR they work with what they have which, by all accounts, isn’t much these days.

I wonder, if the do-gooders had known 13-years ago the full effect of cancelling the spring bear hunt, would they have still done it?

Our black bear problem in Ontario has gone from the ridiculous to the sublime and I‘d like just one Animal Rights person out there to tell me the hunt cancellation was in the best interest of the animal.

Oh yeah, and ‘trying to scare a bear away so it is afraid of people’, I think even the Animal Rights people know that doesn’t work.

Outdoorsguy 

Categories: Hunting

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22 comments

  1. mike says:

    BOO bear…aaah come on bear BOO….run away bear…your not being very nice…BOO BOOOOO BOOOOOOOO
    aw this isn’t working…..BOOM

  2. keebler says:

    So very true. People keep trying to say it’s the urban sprawl, but older areas of towns and cities all over Ontario are experiencing more bear visits.

    It is ridiculous.

  3. Iggy says:

    So lets follow this along.
    We had a spring bear hunt
    the anti spring bear hunt people put the pressure on Mike Harris to cancel the spring hunt
    So the provincial government bows to their pressure and cancels it
    The MNR enforce the cancellation
    The bears start to overrun the bush, there are so many of them but the MNR claim there
    has been no significant increase in bear numbers and our (public) anecdotal evidence is hogwash
    They spend 33,000,000.00 to teach us how not to feed the bears, but the problem persists
    The MNR claim it’s our fault, because we have BBQ’s and bird feeders
    Now the MNR gets their budget cut and download the bear problem, that they caused, to the OPP
    If I was an OPP officer I’d be pissed.
    The best thing that could happen, is no one buys a bear license this year
    but that won’t happen, cause I’m buying one
    but if it did happen, I could see the Ontario government start to panic
    and start to blame the hunters for not taking enough bears
    Why don’t they just stop being stubborn and bring back the spring bear hunt
    and beg the hunters to start helping with the problem
    Seems pretty simple to me

  4. Rob St Denis says:

    Licence? who needs a licence when they come to the camp where you shoot them as a nuissance, then call the MNR for a permit to possess. Seems an easy way to save some cash.

  5. jeff.morrison says:

    Bingo Iggy!

    And you know the truly sad part is how the black bear has now become this ‘untapped resource’..instead of expanding hunting opportunities like we should be; thus increasing business and tourism opps. to Ontari-ari-o through the Outfitters, license sales, etc etc..we now face the aftermath of nuisance bears which, as we’ve seen, are bad for public opinion, bad for the economony, bad from a Conservation standpoint and most of all…bad for the bears themselves!

    Outdoorsguy

  6. Iggy says:

    true, but if you are going to hunt them, as a sportsman you should buy a license
    if you are just protecting your own property, I wouldn’t buy a license either

  7. paul says:

    As if the cops don’t have enough on there plates already with all the wanabe gangsters shooting up the cities. Now they have to go investigate the complaints from the citiots about poo bear in there back yards. Just what does the provincial government spend the money on that was supposed to be earmarked for fish and wildlife only. Let me guess,– we’re paying some clown down in Toronto or where ever some ridiculous salary (somewhat like the Oronge scandal) and who i might ad is probably a tree hugger, to make policy. Oh i know what it was. They used up all the money on those stupid license terminals that now take you half an hour to get a license printed off so you can now carry a wallet full of them as well as an outdoor card. Who is the genious behind that system when before they just stuck a little sticker on your card. “He should be worth a million or two”. We truly are a have not province. ” Have not got any sense whatsoever”

  8. Hunting mom says:

    There is no better example of government waste and mismanagement than this. The Ministry spends $33 million to “educate” us on bears, but somehow has no money left to deal with the nuisance and danger they cause to the taxpayers (the people who pay their salaries).

  9. jeff.morrison says:

    It’s a bloody shame, you know…I’ve been following and reporting on this Bear Wise Program from the very beginning. I featured the program and its merits in my column that first summer it came out and almost every summer after that. There was some good in it..like the bear awareness they brought to the school system for a short while.

    The problem, of course, is that all the education and awareness training costs money..as does the hands-on work required behind the scenes when all else fails. And by all else failing I mean people running into bear encounters even after doing everything right. It was inevitable..given the fact that less are being harvested and pop. continues to increase.

    Now with insufficient funds we not only no longer have money to deal with individual bear problems, we haven’t enough to even continue the educational component…

    Pretty sad man…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but look across the river for the answer to this problem! QC was headed down the same path as ON regarding black bear mgt until they turned things around and realized that reinstating the appropriate hunting season was in order! GOtta give credit where credit is due..but the QC Management strategy and black bear ‘Business Model’ appears to be a better one at the moment.

    Outdoorsguy

  10. jeff.morrison says:

    Thursday’s Outdoors Column out early this week:

    http://www.ottawasun.com/2012/08/01/was-it-a-wild-cougar

    Outdoorsguy

  11. Trapper says:

    QUOTE Outdoors Guy: ” I‘d like just one Animal Rights person out there to tell me the hunt cancellation was in the best interest of the animal.” END QUOTE

    How about I say it ? although the main reason the spring bear hunt was cancelled had absolutely nothing to do with conservation but rather money and politics the end result is a healthy bear population (notice I never said increased population). Like it or not we need to learn biodiversity.

    Quote Hunting Mom ” There is no better example of government waste and mismanagement than this. The Ministry spends $33 million to “educate” us on bears, but somehow has no money left to deal with the nuisance and danger they cause to the taxpayers (the people who pay their salaries).” END QUOTE

    I agree that this was a huge waste of Taxpayers money and the MNR should be ashamed. Not only by this practice but the entire way that the MNR is operated these days. They seriously should consider changing their name from “Ministry of Natural Resources” to “Minsitry of Licences and Regulation” due to the fact that licences and rules regarding things like hunting, crown aggregates, forestry products and habitat seem to be their main priority.

    Bear issues should not be the responsibility of the police, they are not trained for this sort of thing nor should they be.

    On another topic I would love to see our Conservation officers transfered from the MNR to a division of the OPP. Maybe then they could take over the nuisance bear issue.

  12. jeff.morrison says:

    Hey Trapper, good to hear from you..it’s been awhile.

    I suppose the definition of a ‘healthy bear population’ is quite broad ranging; however the stats in ON clearly show the number of bear encounters on the rise each year..and beyond being related to simply human population increase or urban sprawl.

    So you’re saying, in a convoluted sort of way the spring hunt cancellation has been good for the bear population, because it has fostered a sense of biodiversity?

    Outdoorsguy

  13. GPG says:

    “In 2010 alone, 182 bears were shot by officials province-wide and in 2011 the MNR trapped and relocated 623 bears. They also immobilized and relocated another 107 that same year.”

    I’m sure local hunters would love the opportunity to help out with nuissance bears. It might be worth investigating the possibility of creating a pool of volunteer hunters to help erradicate nuissance bears. When a call is received, the officials could draw a name from the nearest volunteer hunters to hunt the bear down. Of course, safety precautions in respects to the location of the sighting would have to be taken into account, but this might save the ministry a lot of time and money, while keeping the hunters happy as well.

  14. Trapper says:

    QUOTE: “So you’re saying, in a convoluted sort of way the spring hunt cancellation has been good for the bear population, because it has fostered a sense of biodiversity?” END QUOTE

    No I’m saying that the cancellation of the spring bear hunt has conributed to a healthy bear population. Unfortunately for some (due to urban sprawl) we must now teach ourselves about bio diversity and learn to co-habitate with them and understand them and not fear them.

    If I can use myself as an example here, If I were to encounter a bear in my back yard I wouldn’t panic and call the police, I would ensure that my kids and or grandkids are safe and use the opportunity to educate them about the encounter. The same as we were taught to cross a busy streeet when we were kids or more recently the same way the newer generation was taught to wear a bicycle helmet.

    I wonder if urban bear encounters would eventually be decreased if groups like Scouts Canada would switch gears and programs like “Trees for Canada” be replaced with a “Berries for Bears” campaign and start planting berry bushes in wooded areas.

  15. jeff.morrison says:

    Hey Trap, Berries for Bears..I like it!

    Outdoorsguy

  16. jeff.morrison says:

    GPG, getting hunters involved on a ‘per bear basis’ is something QC did for a few years before deciding to reintroduce the fall hunt in those high density regions.

    The way it worked in the Outaouais was the QC gov’t received nuisance bear reports and if a certain areas seemed to have more than others…they would contact the local landowners, and set-up hunts with the help of local outfitters and/or hunting guides. The landowner, if I recall, was given a bit of $$ as incentive to allow access for the outfitter to bring in clients to hunt a given number of bears. It was open to resident or non-resident hunters..and I don’t think hunters even required an ‘official’ QC bear license

    It was a very inexpensive hunt too in most cases – around $200-300 depending on the outfitter/guide, and it did serve as a short term solution and stimulated the local economy to some extent.

    I doubt, however, that Ontario would ever go for something like that. Sadly the secret bear dumps you hear about seem to be the short term solution over here…almost like we’re embarressed of the fact that some areas have lots of bears.

    Outdoorsguy

  17. Trapper says:

    QUOTE GPG “I’m sure local hunters would love the opportunity to help out with nuissance bears. It might be worth investigating the possibility of creating a pool of volunteer hunters to help erradicate nuissance bears. When a call is received, the officials could draw a name from the nearest volunteer hunters to hunt the bear down. Of course, safety precautions in respects to the location of the sighting would have to be taken into account, but this might save the ministry a lot of time and money, while keeping the hunters happy as well” END QUOTE

    Interesting concept but we all know that certain individuals would spoil it for everyone…

  18. Oldhunter says:

    Jeff it is not just the numbers, or the cash. the most important part they never took in to account, the fear of man.
    when the mother bear comes out with the cubs in spring it trains them to fear men, however now there is no spring bear hunt, therefore the mother has no fear of being hunted in the spring. thus the fearless bear, and they wont run away, my son has 3 year old daughter, he will not go for a walk or berry picking, with out a gun.
    John

  19. jeff.morrison says:

    That’s right Oldhunter, a very good and important point you mention there. This one seemingly small change(hunting fall instead of spring) actually has a huge behavioural effect on these animals; one they end-up carrying for life.

    Thanks for stopping-by and good to hear from you…hope the rest of ‘our’ family is doing well, its been awhile!

    Outdoorsguy

  20. johan says:

    They have just as much right to be here as we do and if they don’t bother me, I don’t bother them. If I had a problem bear though I would dial 1-30.06.

  21. Sugel says:

    This should not be a police responsibility. Police are not trained to handle bears. They are not trained to chase them back into the bush. Some police officials warn this is bound to result in more bear shootings.

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