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

Just Posted

Campbell River Isolationpalooza II

Featuring all local musicians! The Mirror’s virtual concert, of sorts!

WATCH: Emergency services joins nightly salute to Campbell River frontline workers

Parade with lights and sirens stopped in front of Campbell River Hospital

Campbell River Storm says make some noise for healthcare workers

Car horns, pots and pans, applause and yelling all encouraged

COVID-19: Isolation exemptions to frontline workers a danger to patients, say Island Health employees

Staff exempt from self-isolation upon return from international travel according to Island Health

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

Campbell River grocers working to provide essential service

Ongoing list of hours and details about local grocery stores

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 update: U.S. expects 100,000 deaths; Oregon declares disaster

Comprehensive update of world news for Sunday, March 19.

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

Most Read