Fifteen years ago, politics trumped science when the Conservative government caved into pressure from big city animal rights extremists and cancelled the spring bear hunt. Although Ontario has a healthy and sustainable bear population, those responsible for the 1999 cancellation of the hunt are lobbying the provincial government again to try and block the spring bear hunt pilot project. The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) is calling on northern residents to help us make sure that these animal rights extremists don't win.
Some northern communities are on the brink of experiencing a spring bear hunt for the first time in fifteen years. The Ontario government has finally listened to the concerns of northerners and proposed a pilot project that will see a spring bear hunt occur in eight wildlife management units in 2014. While the partial reinstatement of a hunt is a positive step, we believe that all of bear country deserves to experience the benefits of a spring hunt. The OFAH has worked tirelessly over the past fifteen years to restore the hunt, but we need your help.
Please go to the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry at www.ebr.gov.on.ca and enter the code 012-0981. Click on 'submit comment' and express your support for the spring bear hunt.
Ontario's spring bear hunt was a proven and sustainable wildlife management tool used to assist with the maintenance of bear densities at levels that minimized dangerous encounters with people. The spring hunt was particularly important for reducing male bear densities (70% of the total spring harvest) to help lessen cannibalism and aggression on other bears, decrease the number of moose calves and deer fawns killed by bears, and minimize problems with people.
"The spring bear hunt was an excellent example of a sustainable use of a renewable natural resource that offered enormous benefits for the residents of Ontario," said OFAH Executive Director Angelo Lombardo. "Nowhere was this more evident than in northern Ontario communities, where the hunt provided wholesome food, valuable hides, rewarding experiences for thousands of hunters, and generated over $40 million annually to help sustain hundreds of local businesses and associated jobs."
Please take a few minutes and express your support for the spring bear hunt.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 720 member clubs, the OFAH is the province's largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization, and the VOICE of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.