Earlier this year Florida folded to anti-hunting pressure when it came to instituting a much needed bear season. Now our neighbors to the north are following suit. British Columbia decided to end trophy hunting of grizzly bear. This year’s hunt will continue under the old rules, but as of 30 November hunters that kill grizzlies will no longer be allowed to keep the head, paws or hide of a grizzly.
According to CTV Vancouver, Natural Resource Operations Minister Doug Donaldson stated that the purpose of the ban isn’t because the number of killings is unsustainable for the grizzly population, but largely in response to public opinion.
“People in the province have come to their understanding, their point of view that the trophy hunting of grizzly bears is not a socially acceptable practice in B.C. in 2017,” Donaldson said.
The government said there are an estimated 15,000 grizzlies in B.C. and 250 are killed by hunters every year. Of those, and average of 170 are killed by resident hunters while 80 are taken by non-residents. Donaldson said it’s unclear how many are killed specifically for trophy because that data hasn’t been tracked and it will take a year or two for the province to determine that figure.
Anti-hunting groups are applauding the ban, saying hunting and habitat loss are the two biggest threats to the species.
Joe Foy of the Wilderness Committee said 4,000 grizzlies have been killed since the previous Liberal government reinstated the trophy hunt 16 years ago.
“Premier (John) Horgan is to be commended for ending this cruel and barbaric blood sport for good,” Foy said in a statement.
Right now the anti-hunting groups are pushing to get endangered species protections for BC’s grizzlies, even though it is completely unwarranted. The amount of bears killed by hunters is so small that it does not affect the population.
In fact since most hunters target male bears, which are known killers of cubs, hunters probably, have a positive effect on bear populations by increasing cub survival. It is a sad day when ever wild game populations are managed by emotion instead of science.
To read the complete press release CLICK HERE