Grizzly bear hunting in B.C. is managed through an annual lottery hunt. (Douglas Brown photo)

Grizzly bear trophy hunt to end Nov. 30

Consultation this fall, hunting for meat continues

The B.C. government is ending grizzly bear trophy hunting effective Nov. 30.

“This action is supported by the vast majority of people across our province,” Forests Minister Doug Donaldson announced from Hazelton on Monday. “We believe the action we’re taking goes beyond the commitment to Coastal First Nations made as part of the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest agreements.”

Donaldson said it will take one or more hunting seasons to see how many fewer bears are killed once trophy hunters opt out of a system that allows them to take the meat but not the head, paws or hide of the bear.

The current grizzly season begins this week in northern B.C., and hunting season in general ends at the end of November, so one more open season for grizzlies will be conducted before the ban takes effect.

The ministry estimates that 250 grizzlies are killed by hunters each year, with 80 of those shot by non-resident hunters participating in a lottery draw for grizzly hunting tags.

Revenue to the province from the grizzly bear hunt is estimated at $540,000 a year, with communities in hunting areas also benefiting from the spending of hunters, particularly from the out-of-province hunters.

Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad, the former forests and aboriginal relations minister in the B.C. Liberal government, questioned why Donaldson would announce the policy and the deadline without consulting resident hunters, guide-outfitters or aboriginal communities.

B.C. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver campaigned for years for an end to trophy hunting, but he also objected. Banning possession of the hide, paws and head leaves open the possibility that hunters could shoot a grizzly bear and leave the entire carcass behind, he said.

“It appears to me that the NDP were trying to play to environmental voters in the election campaign without thinking through their policies,” Weaver said.

Premier John Horgan committed to ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in November 2016, and made it part of the NDP platform in the spring election.

“The Coastal First Nations banned the grizzly trophy hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest four years ago,” said Doug Neasloss, Chief Councillor of the Kitasoo-Xai’Xais First Nation on the B.C. coast, endorsing the NDP position last year. “A provincial ban is long overdue to stop the needless killing of grizzly bears for sport. Bear claws, hides and teeth are not trophies.”

After the Great Bear Rainforest land use plan was adopted, the former B.C. Liberal government began to retire guide-outfitter licenses in the region as territories were sold to bear-watching companies.

About a third of the province is off limits to grizzly hunting for wildlife management reasons. The rest is subject to a managed hunt for resident and non-resident guided hunters that has been validated by independent experts. Former forests minister Steve Thomson defended it a significant contribution to the provincial economy.

In a report released in October 2016, wildlife biologists from the University of Alberta and the University of Minnesota gave high marks to B.C.’s grizzly bear management, including the grizzly bear hunt lottery that attracts foreign hunters each year.

BC legislatureBC politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Two injured hikers airlifted from North Vancouver Island Park

Campbell River and Comox Search and Rescue hoist team rescued the injured from Cape Scott Provincial Park

B.C. village’s local government sees four mayoral changes within three months

Resignations and appointments happened in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic

Indigenous B.C. tour operator keeps culture alive through virtual journeys in COVID-19 era

Campbell River based Homalco Tours is also in the process of setting up live cameras for bear viewing in Orford

Planning a beach fire? Bring a bucket

“Summer is here and as people gear up for beach and campfires,… Continue reading

Campbell River RCMP outline their approach to mental health calls

Recent events have spurred discussion of police interactions with people suffering from mental health concerns

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

Most Read