An Ontario MPP has introduced a private members bill in the legislature calling for a return of the spring bear hunt, citing public safety concerns as his primary motivation and saying his bill would somehow protect cubs and mothers.
“The re-introduction of the Spring Bear Hunt is something that a lot of Northerners have been calling for – to reduce the danger presented by nuisance bears, protect the region’s moose population, and give the North’s economy a boost,” MPP Bill Mauro (Liberal, Thunder Bay-Atikokan) was quoted as saying in the Lake Superior News.
Where do we begin?
Let’s start with the biggest lie: the danger of nuisance bears. As has been proven time and time again in British Columbia (Get Bear Smart Society) and various areas of Ontario with multiple species, lethal control or culls are not an effective means of reducing wildlife conflict. The reason for wildlife conflict is what must be addressed, and the vast majority of the time that root cause is humans, not wildlife. Unsecured waste, encroachment on environments and a lack of education most often precipitate any conflict. Solving these issues – which are low cost, long-term and sustainable – can do more to prevent conflict than any hunt ever has, or ever will.
Further, protecting the moose population is a weak argument that animal advocates have made a joke of. It’s often seen with wolves and deer: we need to kill the wolves so we can protect the deer; wait, there’s too many deer, we need to kill them! It’s abstract logic that a child could see through.
And finally, orphaning cubs. In past years, the Ministry of Natural Resources estimated that 250-300 bear cubs were orphaned by the spring bear hunt. There is no way to effectively protect mothers and cubs while striving to kill other bears.
There is no need for a spring bear hunt; it is an attempt to appease a small, yet vocal, lobby of hunters who simply want more things to kill.