Current Conditions
2.0 C
Mostly Cloudy
Today's Forecast
3 C
Chance of showers
Sponsored by Highland Ford

News And Views




Shop Local

More Local

Search The Web

Google Search

Local News

Shooting back at bear hunt critics

Wednesday, April 23, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

Sault Ste. Marie MPP and Minister of Natural Resources David Orazietti has shot back at critics from two animal rights groups who are taking the Ontario government to court over the spring bear hunt pilot program just as it gets set to begin May 1.

Unlike the previous annual spring bear hunt that was done away with by the Mike Harris Tories in Ontario in 1999, the proposed spring bear hunt under the current Liberal government will take place on a pilot program basis, between May 1 to June 15, 2014 and 2015.

The program will be implemented by the Ministry of Natural Resources in eight areas in Ontario known for nuisance bears, including Sault Ste. Marie and area.

City councils in Northern Ontario communities, including Sault Ste. Marie, have chosen to opt into the program.

Animal Alliance of Canada and Zoocheck Canada say mother bears will be killed during the hunt, leaving their cubs orphaned.

The groups say that amounts to animal cruelty, and they hope the hunt will at least be delayed when it comes up in court April 29.

“I’m disappointed in that type of action,” Orazietti said to Tuesday.

“It really demonstrates a disconnect with the public safety concerns Northerners have expressed in regards to this issue.”

“This is a huge public safety issue in Northern Ontario,” Orazietti said.

“Last August in Cochrane there was a bear in a home near a family that narrowly escaped being injured or killed, and these types of incidents are becoming all too frequent in Northern Ontario.”

“We’ve proposed a very strategic approach with this pilot program in eight out of 95 wildlife management units in Ontario and the rationale for moving forward is public safety.”

“When you look at incidents in schoolyards when children can’t go out for recess, teachers wearing bear whistles, city police officers having to shoot black bears in the middle of communities in Northern Ontario, it’s not acceptable, and I don’t believe it would be acceptable to the individuals who are proposing this type of action (taking the government to court).”

“I’m sure their children go to school without this type of threat and they don’t have these concerns, so what it demonstrates to me is a lack of understanding of the safety issues Northern Ontario residents face,” Orazietti said.

Saying it would be “irresponsible” for the government not to proceed with the spring bear hunt as a pilot program for the sake of public safety, Orazietti said the hunt solution has come only after a long period of trying other methods designed to address the nuisance bear problem which have proven to be expensive and less-than-successful.

“We’ve learned over the last 15 years from various strategies that have been used by the ministry…this is not a knee jerk reaction, it’s a strategy based on what we’ve learned in attempting to reduce human-bear incidents.”

“We tried a costly trap and relocation program which has been proven largely ineffective and we cannot continue to ignore what is a real public safety issue in this province.”

“Seven other provinces in this country have full jurisdiction-wide spring bear hunts and they’ve continued to have them while Ontario has cancelled it (the spring bear hunt, to protect mother bears) for the past 15 years.”

“The black bear population in Ontario is very robust, in the range of just over 100,000 black bears and our ministry intends to ensure that is the case for generations to come, but this is an immediate public safety issue that needs to be addressed,” Orazietti said.

Meanwhile, in regards to the upcoming court ruling on April 29 concerning the bear hunt, Orazietti said he and the MNR are taking a wait and see approach.

“We’ll wait to see the outcome of that,” Orazietti said.

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
divemedic 4/23/2014 9:32:36 AM Report

Silly tree huggers opposing the spring bear hunt up here in the north. I will bet anyone my house they aren't from the north. Good on Dave O to stand up for us. Unfort if the Ont Government wanted to make real cash they would have opened up the hunt to not just Ont residents, but those big Yankee wallets who love coming north to get a trophy and spend money to support the lodge owners.
IgnorantNortherner 4/23/2014 9:36:52 AM Report

Hilarious this clown is the minister of natural resources.

We live in NORTHERN ONTARIO and this db says it is dangerous and unacceptable to have these bears in our communities, throws out the mandatory "it's for the kids!" tagline every politician falls back on...

lol pretty sure we're in THEIR communities
OMGWTF 4/23/2014 9:43:21 AM Report

Maybe he can do a program to get people to put their garbage out in the morning instead of setting up the bear buffet by putting it out at night. He didn't address the baby bear issue either but used a politician trick of re-directing the conversation to safety. Yes we all want to be safe but we live in bear territory so do what you should be doing - Don't feed the bears with your garbage!!
AlwaysAWinner 4/23/2014 9:44:15 AM Report

these activists are nothing but hypocrites. sorry but if you really cared about the well being of animals, you wouldn't be fighting a SPRING bear hunt, you'd be fighting the hunt altogether.

So a dead bear is fine, but not when a cub is left without his mother? So that cub you saved, how many years until you can shoot THAT bear? All these animal lovers have no idea how stupid they look to everyone else.

this is the same people who cry rivers about the wind farms, that they hurt the environment and kill wild life like birds. No one complains one bit about gas or oil, which does more damage in a week than wind farms could do in their lifetime, yet wind farms are a problem?

let's just be real here. these animal rights people are likely nothing but bored housewives with no real career or accomplishments so they take to the internet to fight for those precious innocent animals

by the way, I love how they argue "we invaded their territory, what do you expect?" last time I checked, this is nature, and animals kill over territory and food. we are no different. its life, its nature. get over it

this land doesnt belong to bears, just because they were here first. such dumb logic
Wobbler 4/23/2014 9:49:19 AM Report

adjective: ignorant

1.lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.
"he was told constantly that he was ignorant and stupid"
synonyms: uneducated, unknowledgeable, untaught, unschooled, untutored, untrained, illiterate, unlettered, unlearned, unread, uninformed, unenlightened.
notpc 4/23/2014 10:06:59 AM Report

These agencies opposed to the spring bear hunt are either misinformed in their comments or know the truth but are spreading the misinformation anyway. They state that mother bears will be killed , leaving orphaned cubs. The reality is that killing a mother bear is illegal in Ontario and the punishment for doing so is quite severe. No ethical hunter would do it, nor would it be worth taking the chance. The few that would are called poachers, and they would do it whether or not there was a spring bear hunt. So orphaned cubs are not an issue at all with respect to legal hunting.

It is well-known among biologists and outfitters that far more cubs are killed by male bears than die from being orphaned.
jake02 4/23/2014 10:47:26 AM Report

for a number of years lately we canadians are creatures of our own wrong doings . we let all these agencies who want to save the world animals at all costs be it childrens safety or dogs mauled to death .they dont care some of them have so much money they dont need to work they should all get a job feeding these animals and their attitudes will change. maybe they should just come and live in the north and have a lynx or bear come to play with their children .they are so out of touch with reality it is sickening. and we as nice canadians let them get away with it and they will win this one too if we sit back on our sweet little a---- and let them. it is time the bear starts waggin the tail instead of the tail waggin the bear
justsomeguy 4/23/2014 11:04:14 AM Report

@jake02 - there are many anti-hunting views in the north. Anti-hunting is not exclusively a southern view.

RocknRoll 4/23/2014 11:04:16 AM Report

As Dave said City councils in Northern Ontario communities, including Sault Ste. Marie, have chosen to opt into the program.
Sad part the City of Sault Ste Marie, and other communities, has a restriction to the discharge of fire arms within its jurisdiction, so guess what, No bear season. Again this is the governments way of addressing both groups
bohda 4/23/2014 11:10:56 AM Report

ignorant , non scientific, nonsensical comments about shooting sow bears.
responsible bear hunters MAKE sure the bear is a boar, why, because shooting a sow was ILLEGAL in the spring. ...ethical hunters and I mean the majority are, do not want to orphan cubs...what do these antis think of us hunters......wanton killers??
the up side of the spring bear hunt and this year will be no exception, male bears are voracious when awaken and young moose are one of their favourite spring time meals. look at what has happened to our moose is NOT from over too many bears predating calves.
justsomeguy 4/23/2014 11:12:37 AM Report

It seems that there are misconceptions about the hunt in that it's a free-for-all, wild west season.

There are laws, regulations and limits. Before allowing a hunting season the MNR does a fair amount of research, much better than in previous years & decades. This is the culmination is years of research on several fronts. The con-hunt lobby groups seem to be approaching this much like a knee-jerk reaction and are polarizing peoples' opinions.
kodak11 4/23/2014 11:16:51 AM Report

Maybe we should stop funding these people with our tax dollars,and maybe we should trap the bears and send them to them.
justsomeguy 4/23/2014 11:27:08 AM Report

Kodak11 - stop funding who specifically?
derek 4/23/2014 11:58:42 AM Report

Atta boy Dave. Stand up for what makes proper sense.

If no control on bears(hunting or management) lets relocate a few to Toronto. I bet opinions will change quick!

As an avid outdoorsman any bear I have seen in the wild, the cubs are always with mom or very close by. Ethical hunters will not knowingly orphan bear cubs.
theprotector 4/23/2014 12:00:59 PM Report

The only issue I have is the misinformation people are receiving about human/bear interactions. Returning to a spring bear hunt will not prevent or lesson bears in town. It just will not affect it, just as canceling the spring bear hunt had nothing to do with the increase in bear reports within the city.
Besides the omnr has never done a population study on black bear in ontario - ever.
IgnorantNortherner 4/23/2014 12:04:24 PM Report

justsomeguy, are you suggesting it is someone else's fault for how you or anyone else reacts to some group's publicized view? You can't control your emotions and think rationally?

Btw, I am not in any way anti hunting, but imo if you need hundreds of ppl to do research every yr to determine if it is okay to hunt a certain animal and if it is how many are okay to hunt, etc, then you shouldn't be hunting. The problem should be obvious to everyone. If an animal is thriving so much that it becomes a problem for the rest of the food chain it usually works itself out. If humans want to speed up the process by hunting, fine, whatever....but if you bear proof your trash and move the freakin' dump outside the city they would never be an issue for city dwellers.

We're hunting them under the guise of protecting children or some bs when it's really to boost moose numbers. Why can't Dave just say that?
AlwaysAWinner 4/23/2014 12:22:38 PM Report

Animal Alliance of Canada and Zoocheck Canada say mother bears will be killed during the hunt, leaving their cubs orphaned."

The groups say that amounts to animal cruelty, and they hope the hunt will at least be delayed when it comes up in court April"

another example showing how ridiculous these animal rights people are. So me shooting a bear in the head is fine, but if it leaves a cub orphaned its animal cruelty?

LOL Jesus. how can these people say they love animals and want to protect them when they say this ridiculous garbage.

these people are a joke. a giant joke
tommy_boi07 4/23/2014 12:52:55 PM Report

The biggest problem here is the modern day view that humans are separate from the food chain and that we are "invading" the animals territory. This could not be further from the truth. The human race are an equal part of the ecosystems of the world as any other animal, we are a species that has evolved to the top of the food chain, we are not in any way separate from it. Just like bears, moose, wolves or any animals, as our population grows, we spread out in to new areas and do whatever necessary to protect ourselves from the threats of any other species. The bush is the animals home, we are not invading it, we are animals too.
court222 4/23/2014 1:31:40 PM Report

We have more bears in the city now then we ever had. The bear hunt will bring the bear numbers to a controllable size. And you are right the people making the decisions live in Toronto. So lets put a couple of bears in their neighborhood and see if they want the bear hunt stopped then.
bounder 4/23/2014 1:37:50 PM Report

I hope the hunt includes the family plan, shoot the mother and the cubs.
There, nothing wasted and no orphans.Nothing like spring bear on the BBQ.
Frio 4/23/2014 2:02:10 PM Report

Remember back in the day if you wanted to see bears you took a drive out to the dump, now called a landfill site? Now just look at all the garbage around the city coming out from under the snow and you can see the dump grounds that attract bears everywhere right in your face.
SimsDrum 4/23/2014 2:17:07 PM Report

what is next in the food chain after bear?

SLV1931 4/23/2014 3:22:14 PM Report

I blame Bambi. That movie has antagonized the hunter for generations.
Montec 125 4/23/2014 3:45:24 PM Report

Good for you David. I don't always agree with you but in this case I certainly do. I live on the outer edge of the northwest part of the Sault. Bear sightings have increased ten fold since they cancelled the spring bear hunt. No more feeding birds, composting is out of the question. Removed apple tree as bear would climb it and have a nap in the tree after filling its belly. Scour barbeque. Clean garbage can with hot water and Javex often. Freeze garbage until garbage day but they still try to tear into my shed where garbage cans are kept.
Garbage day is any day of the work week in the city depending on your location. Bears have super noses and four strong legs and go to the areas with pick up. Replace screen after bear damaged it trying to enter home. Sow with four cubs in one of my maples chased me into my house. Left cubs in tree and proceeded to clean my neighbours barbeque on his deck at 9:00 pm. If nothing else it was entertainment. Hunting sows is illegal. simple solution. Hang bait so bear has to stand and reach for it exposing sex. Oh jeeZ, can I say that??
Agree with poster re bores eating cubs and feeding on newly born calf moose . Once again super nose. Willing to bet the highway kills more sows than hunters. You know distracted drivers posting on Sootoday. If you keep your garbage from smelling it really does help. Nuff said.
dobar 4/23/2014 6:29:30 PM Report

biunder...really...I hope the hunt includes the family plan, shoot the mother and the cubs.
There, nothing wasted and no orphans.Nothing like spring bear on the BBQ.

I'm really hoping this was just sarcasm
fullstringer 4/23/2014 6:30:46 PM Report

Personally, I don't really care if there is a spring hunt or not. If Mama bear and her cubs come on my property and are acting either just as a nuisance or dangerous, they will be shot. End of story.
blackspruce 4/23/2014 8:44:02 PM Report

The organizers of these groups are rich lawyers who love to stir up the shit and feed the simple and naïve bull so they empty their pockets in support. I do not hunt, eat or want to kill a bear, but I do know the Spring bear hunt is much more ethical than the Fall. Baby bears in the spring stick to their mother's side like glue which makes it very easy to identify a mother which are illegal to shoot in the spring. Now for all you that prefer that there only be a fall hunt you are actually helping kill the babies because the young ones are older and like to wander and explore like all kids and since they are not always at her side, guess what mother now gets shot. 1st year babies need their mother or they starve for the winter. And since the bear hunt in the late summer and early fall is when the weather is generally warmer there is better chance for the meat to spoil or become fly infested. Spring the weather is usually colder and not quite so many flies. Especially this year lol
So if to really want to help the Bear and their babies push for a Spring hunt and less or no hunt in the Fall. But if you want to continue believing PETA or Animal Alliance and keep donating your hard earned dollars to these gangsters that care nothing about bears but what is in your pocket go ahead but know now your helping kill babies
OMGWTF 4/23/2014 10:48:01 PM Report

No one needs to hunt bears. Get your jollies off in other ways. I'm totally against hunting. Sucks to be a hunter but blood "sport" is in human nature I guess. And give me a break on the comments.
Pakadeva 4/24/2014 12:34:36 AM Report

Montec I agree with you.
I know of a community in another province where bears were in town ALL the time & it was a smaller town, lots of woods for them to live in. In this one town & I know all these people elderly lady was scared to death (middle of summer), living room window open & huge bear is standing at the open window screen...lots of screaming made him saunter off. Another instance a family was having a BBQ IN SUMMER, on their paved driveway...hubby went into the house for something, kids were inside luckily, wife turns when she hears a noise behind her, bear was standing immediately behind her...she screamed & ran for the house, luckiliy he was distracted enough by the food she got away...he ate all the hot food off the BBQ & then destroyed it. Broad daylight!!! Another lady was alone with her 2 children at night, her husband was away working. She heard a noise in her back porch & thought maybe a friend or family member had dropped by. She went to the door, intuition says look first though the window of the door...a huge bear was staring back at her, in her back porch, the outside door was ruined...screaming she ran to the phone & a neighbour came & took care of it. Not far from the town a hydro worker had a cabin...he was doing a job an hour from home, so he set up housekeeping for the week in his cabin. Apparently this bear watched his commings & goings...went into the cabin after he left for work, he came home to find his cabin destroyed!! He stayed that night with his gun handy...went to work the next day...came home to more, he set up on the bears path with a gun & between himself & someone in a neighbouring cabin, they took care of the bear. A young girl was walking home from a friends house after dark, she thought she saw a tall, rather big man ahead of her, as she approached closer, it was a bear walking down the street on it's hind legs...she ran to the nearest house & got a drive home...there are many other stories, BUT, this is what happens when bears become overpopulated!! ALL of this happened in ONE town!!! As one writer said, WE are the next meal when they can't find anything else. Remember the man in Timmins last year that landed in hospital in TO, ripped up pretty badly, his dog was killed & he was lucky that someone drove by & saw the scene & got help, otherwise he would have been dead as well. Those who are opposed...wonder if you would be if even ONE of these instances happened to YOU?????
blackspruce 4/24/2014 7:05:02 AM Report

ok omgwtf guess you would like to just see the MNR or the Police shoot the bears because no else is and dump their carcasses in the dump. I am against hunting for trophy but there are still people out there that do hunt and eat the animals they kill. Not all of us like to be vegetarians. And if you think your not helping killing animals by being a veg nut your wrong. With all the herbicides and pesticides used to make your perfect veggie something out there including yourself is being poisoned. I prefer Moose over beef, and I hunt
habsfan 4/24/2014 8:26:17 AM Report

In the name of animal cruelty, PLEASE shut up. The same people that cry cruelty are the same people that go into the grocery store and buy meat. NO, NO. No difference.Duck hunting is ok because you people dont like shit in your park.If you follow these groups you will find them dead center in Toronto, Vancouver, L A, and most other large centers. Come stay at my house in the country where all my neighbors put their garbage out in the morning and still have 10 sightings a day. Doors to garages pushed in so the bears can get to food. The problem is there is not enough food for them to begin with, so they visit places that do. With this winter lingering longer it is going to be very bad this year. Once again I say trap them and release them where these treehuggers live. The response will be very different.
coy 4/24/2014 6:42:29 PM Report

OMGWTF! Could you make yourself available to chase all the nuisance bears away back into the woods. I would like to get my jollies off watching that. If NOT Zip it...
OMGWTF 4/24/2014 8:53:41 PM Report

If people would put the garbage buffet out in the morning we'd have a lot fewer bears in the city. Don't live in the city? Guess you're in wild animal country on their land so zip it yourself.
coy 4/25/2014 11:08:31 PM Report

OMGJSUP. Sounds like you just like listening to yourself chant about nothing get your facts straight first before
You go targeting others.
DWC 4/25/2014 11:45:17 PM Report

There is a lot of misinformation and pure ignorance being displayed by the responders to this story. Not surprising as some of this same ignorance was displayed by the OMNR under the careful guidance of their political masters in the past.

The most obvious "ignorance" being that a bear hunt (spring or fall), with bears being killed, will not reduce the number of bears. I am thinking that those that buy into this idea did not get past grade 1 math. As a retired biologist I tend to think that one bear removed is immediately one less bear in the bear community. If not, would someone (with science/math credentials) please help me. I would hate to think I wasted all those years in school.

There appears to be some "bear biology" confusion. Female bears begin having young at about age 5, and then only every second year. Typically one to three cubs are born per cycle. In Central and Northern Ontario cubs are born in the over-wintering den (~February). New-born cubs are totally dependent on their mother (sow) throughout that first year and through the next winter. I.e. cub survival to age 1+ is critically linked to the Sow's survival.

If all goes well through that first year and second winter the cubs - now yearlings will leave the den with the sow. They will stick together that second spring for a couple of months or so and then gradually drift apart. The sow will typically mate in June and the cycle starts over.

What hunters should know is that a sow with small cubs in the spring is off-limits. A sow with cubs of any size in the fall is off-limits. A sow with large cubs > 20 kg. (yearlings) in the spring - hunters call??? The survival of those yearlings is not dependent on the sow's survival as she will abandon them by mid summer.

I believe that this is worth repeating: Orphaning a cub in the fall in central and northern Ontario is just as bad as orphaning a cub in the spring - i.e. a fall orphaned cub has little chance of making it through that winter.
This is a fact that the opponents of the spring hunt conveniently fail to point out.

I am not a "sport" bear hunter. As a hobby farmer in the Soo I do encounter bears on what appears to be an increasing regularity. There is no doubt that bears are easier to hunt in the spring as the practice of baiting is very effective in the absence of natural foods. Baiting has it's pros and cons. A good thing is that the hunter gets a longer look at the prey and can assess things such as gender, presence of cubs, size of animal but most importantly can position him/herself for an effective and safe kill shot.

Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Advertising | Membership | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | About | Contact Us | Feedback

Copyright ©2014 - All rights reserved