Tbnewswatch Local News
Monday July 6 2015
12:54 AM EDT
2014-04-19 at 09:54

Defending the hunt

John Kaplanis
tbnewswatch.com file
John Kaplanis
By Jodi Lundmark, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- The local sportsmen's alliance says animal rights groups heading to court to try to stop the return of the spring bear hunt shouldn't be dictating wildlife resource policies for people living in the north.

"I think it's fair to say these outside organizations may have best intentions, however, I don't think they fully realize the impact they cause to wildlife when they force their issues upon us like they have in the past," said John Kaplanis, executive director of the Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen's Alliance.

Animal Alliance of Canada and Zoocheck Canada filed an application for judicial review and a notice of constitutional question to delay the start of the spring bear hunt pilot program scheduled to start May 1.

The issue is set to be heard in court on April 29 and the two groups allege the hunt is animal cruelty.

A Zoocheck Canada official told the Canadian Press the hunt will result in mother bears being killed, leaving cubs orphaned.

The Ministry of Natural Resources pilot project will allow Ontario hunters to hunt bears from May 1 to June 15 in eight regions, including Thunder Bay.

Kaplanis said the hunt is a positive way to manage the black bear population and said the general public dropped the ball 15 years ago when the hunt was canceled by not speaking out enough on the issue.

And in 15 years, a lot has changed and the black bear population has risen.

Kaplanis said he believes it's a factor in the decline of moose in the province.

"Black bears are predators," he said. "They can be a nuisance and dangerous impact on humans."

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Stephen says:

It's a tough call isn't it? A choice between bears or more morons with guns in the bush (see picture at top of article.)
I know lots of people who live in towns in the bush-they say they just cross the street when they see a bear. I've done it myself. They are just big walking garbage cans.
4/22/2014 3:02:00 AM
fluffy says:
My new bow is ready to go.
4/21/2014 9:19:37 PM
wetotter says:
ou812 says:Reply to this comment.
Walleye - season closed during spawning
Lake trout and Brook trout - season closed during spawning
Moose and deer - season closed during the birth of calves a

Why should bear be hunted when cubs are very young????

It is against the law to harvest sows with cubs. Target bears for all hunters would be the boars, Big body, Lots of Meat. And if someone is out for just a hide as some have stated up above no one wants a run down sow. As it was umpteen years ago unproven facts about the hunters causing all the orphaned cubs and not the real reasons, Motor Collision of sows, boars killing sows. Spend the time in the woods and watch how it all works and talk to hunters. And moose and deer are closed Well before the birth of the young. Read up on some biology and hunting regulations.
4/21/2014 11:26:12 AM
micky says:
Get your pots and pans together and head down to city hall.
4/20/2014 8:53:46 AM
ou812 says:
Walleye - season closed during spawning
Lake trout and Brook trout - season closed during spawning
Moose and deer - season closed during the birth of calves a

Why should bear be hunted when cubs are very young????
4/19/2014 11:21:49 PM
millie brendza says:
Mr.Kaplanis.I would like to know how many of the bear hunters actually hunt them for food to feed their families?People chose to live in the north,yet only complain about the animals who are trying to survive despite man's intrusion in their territory.
4/19/2014 11:02:40 PM
Robert Smithers says:
Bear steaks barbequed for supper tonight
4/21/2014 7:08:30 PM
Decide says:
Something the people who are against hunting don't realize is that they are responsible for the increase Bear and Deer population, and decreasing moose population.
Clear land, farm, make ideal habitat for Deer. Deer pop increases, stresses Moose, Moose decline. Humans produce tons of garbage, clear land, cause the increase in Deer, Bears THRIVE on that Deer and garbage.

1800's estimated Deer pop was half a million across N.America. 20 years ago when I first began hunting, it was estimated at 26 MILLION.
Thanks to people.
What do you think the Bears are gorging on? Deer fawns. It isn't rocket science. Same as Wolves. It's a buffet out there, unlimited.
At least wildlife gets a chance to live a normal life, unlike those force fed beef calves, cattle in general. Think about that the next time you bite down on your juicy human altered burger. Mmmm...tasty hormones and dyed meat. YUMMY.
4/19/2014 5:56:59 PM
bearkiller says:
Kill all the bears!!!! My dad and uncle were being stocked by one last year, thank god they had a gun with them or I may be visiting them at their gravesites.
4/19/2014 5:43:38 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
Dynamiter is absolutely right in his post above about it being a very rare occassion that a sow is shot in the spring. Boars are very aggressive and will claim the easy food first. A sow with a cub won't come near a bait for fear of the boar.

I hate the cruelty argument. I ask this question. What's more cruel, a well placed shot by a hunter, or a moose calf being attacked and killed slowly by a bear? Believe me, there aren't many people who love and respect nature as much as I do, but in reality, there is nothing more vicious and violent than nature taking care of nature. In the end, killing a dominant boar actually reduces the amount of violence in the bush.
4/19/2014 3:58:06 PM
ou812 says:
wow. I can't believe you posted that. Your saying there is too much violence in the bush so we need to kill the bears! unbelievable. So do you want to go to Africa and kill the predators there to save the other animals. What a joke.

Here's a quick refresher on grade 2 or 3 science.

carnivores eat meat...
omnivores eat meat and vegetation...
herbivores eat veggies

There is a thing called a food chain, or food pyramid. Predators are at the top they eat the other animals. As humans we screwed up that food chain with our invention of tools and guns and abuse of the environment.

SO the male bear at the top of the chain can eat as many other bears or moose or fish as he wants.

4/19/2014 11:41:36 PM
Me n My Opinion says:
Sorry if you misunderstood my point. I am simply against the argument that hunting is cruel. In no way do I believe that removing dominant bears will remove violence in nature. As long as nature exists, it will be violent. If the anti-hunting side is using the cruelty card, then I'll use the argument that by removing dominant bears in a humane way, it actually reduces violence for many creatures in the bush.

If the cruelty argument revolves around abandonment of cubs, that rarely happens. Never? No. Extremely rarely? Yes.
4/20/2014 12:36:06 PM
tudor says:
the next time I have a bear walking through my property, I will remember that snakes kill more often. Of course those stats are truly great when you are face to face with one. Here is one more stat. If we killed 50,000 less bears in the past 14 years because of the cancellation of the spring hunt, how many more bears are in the woods........... take your time.

Cubs are cute. Seal pups are cute. People want to cancel hunts while they dine on caviar and veal, while ordering chicken fingers for their kids. If you wish to debate the merits of eating animals, lets do that. But do all of these folks asking for the hunt to be cancelled use fish finders when they go fishing.

Ontario hunts bears. Period. Now we again hunt them in the spring as most other provinces do in Canada. Take your lawsuit and.........

Or allow us to capture all the bears in the north and ship them south. Let me know where you live.
4/19/2014 2:16:29 PM
ou812 says:
Oh there ya go... A bear in MY property. And where IS your property. You are probably one of those people who moved out into the country and now complains about the darn bears and wild animals in their yards...

4/19/2014 11:58:47 PM
forbears says:
Bears are not predators. They are considered to be prey animals, however, their predators have long since disappeared. They are therefore very timid in nature and don't look for trouble. We used to have issues with bears in our neighbourhood until we learned to co-exist with them. We became bear wise. We took the time to learn about them and the misconceptions surrounding them. Many people are just too lazy or uninformed to do this. Listening to the Sportsman's Alliance on bear management Is like asking the fox for advice on how to guard the henhouse. Some interesting facts; for every person a bear kills, snakes kill 13, dogs kill 45, lightning kills 249, and people kill 60,000.
4/19/2014 1:44:09 PM
S Duncan says:
black bears aren't predators huh?

simple search of black bear attacks on you tube or your favourite search site will differ with you.

How about that guy a few years ago dragged out of an outhouse by a bear and dragged into the bush? Luckily his buddy had a firearm and was able to save the guy's life.

Theres plenty of bad experiences out there and just because you haven't had one doesn't mean you get to make the decision for everybody.

95% of the cars out there will never be in serious accident but 100% of them come with seatbelts and airbags.

Everybody is a bear lover until they have a bad experience with one. Besides its so much healthier to eat wild game than the hormone riddled garbage in the grocery stores.

You may be bear wise, but I don't think you're decisions are human wise.
4/19/2014 2:54:46 PM
ou812 says:
Just because a small handful of people have gotten injured or killed by a bear doesn't mean we kill all the bears. Bad things happen in this world
4/19/2014 11:50:12 PM
moonpie says:
So 100,000 black bears in Ontario and a handful of serious bear.human encounters over a number of years and you conclude they are predators based on that?

"Theres plenty of bad experiences out there and just because you haven't had one doesn't mean you get to make the decision for everybody."

There's plenty of hot air circulating around out there too. Maybe someone can hire you to blow up balloons at kids parties? Without statistics to back up your points all you're doing is blowing smoke.

Many people have had bad experiences with bears, its par the course when you're venturing out in to their territory. You brush it off and get back to living. Many people have had bad experiences on motorcycles, it doesn't mean they stop riding.

You may be human wise, but... wait, cancel that.
4/20/2014 11:29:09 AM
Shane Caker says:
And how about the guys from Oklahoma (the tornado capital of the world) that came up here fishing a few years back and got killed by a tordado? The guy that got drug out of the outhouse is just as rare. Thousands and thousands of people crap in the woods around here without worry. Oh look! Lightning! Better run before we get hit by it!!!
4/20/2014 9:01:20 PM
Dan Dan says:
This is a complete win-win. The spring bear hunt will bring both revenue and safety to the people of Northwestern Ontario. The bear hunt will feed people, generate incomes, and reduce the number of black bear attacks.

What this whole debate ultimately comes down to is: either you are OK with humans hunting bears, or you are OK with bears hunting humans.

The choice is clear.
4/19/2014 1:42:05 PM
sky high says:
Nice attempt at fear mongering, but you're the only one shaking. Bears don't hunt humans-they attack if they perceive that their cubs are threatened (wouldn't you attack anyone whom you believed to be threatening your children) or if they are wounded (perhaps your lousy aim is responsible). The thought of eating bear meat makes me vomit, but I've hear that it tastes like chewy basic matter. Now you're probably just emotional because you're counting on the revenue your resort could make out of this. Sad that you have to kill harmless, yes harmless, beautiful animals because some hillbilly wants a bruin's skull on his wall.
4/19/2014 2:15:39 PM
The Critic says:
Bear meat is absolutely delicious. Not much better than a nice berry fed bear, in my opinion. Makes awesome burgers, pepperettes, roasts, sasuages, etc...

I have heard they taste even better in the spring, hopefully I get to find out this year.
4/20/2014 12:37:26 AM
sky high says:
Bear meat is delicious? From what I understand it is dripping with sloppy fat and tough. Plus, if you want to eat something that has been sitting in a garbage dump eating our rotten thrown away food, well you can have at it. Next you'll be advocating for a seagull hunt at the local landfill
4/21/2014 7:38:40 AM
Dan Dan says:
That's the Disney storyline... cute Mama bears defending their cubs. Sure! In real life, the majority of the black bear attacks recently have been committed by predatory males.

I am not a hunter or anyone who stands to profit directly from the spring bear hunt. Rather, I am a black bear attack survivor.

And yes, bear meat is delicious.
4/20/2014 1:29:26 AM
sky high says:
I've survived two bear attacks! One came right into my living room and watched the hockey game with me before the big maul. And I STILL love them
4/21/2014 7:42:38 AM
ou812 says:
Yeah I feel soooo unsafe now when i'm in the bush. The people of NWO are not safe come on!
4/19/2014 11:14:37 PM
unheard says:
they call it progress
bike lanes
event centre
no hunting
get with the times as they say
4/19/2014 11:56:27 AM
dynamiter says:
I just love how these bleeding hearts from someplace else ( and a few locals) know what is best from a scientific basis. Firstly the number of times a sow with cubs is shot was very very infrequently during the spring bear hunt. Many more have been shot in the spring when they have gotten in the way of man and have been a danger. Secondly the demise of the spring bear hunt has lead to more deaths of cubs than was occuring previously as male bears will eat anything that they can catch in the spring and that includes cubs and fawns and moose calves. That is a scientific fact. Although I do not hunt nor eat bear, I will not get in the way of others in this pursuit especially when it brings in money into our economy, alleviates a hazard in the spring and is a viable bear and moose management tool. Finally, hundreds of tons of bear beat was hauled into the bush each spring and set out to attract these bears when they were hungry. This stopped bears from coming into contact with humans.
4/19/2014 11:55:51 AM
ou812 says:
If a male bear eats a cub that is OK. That is natures way. An idiot sitting in a tree stand baiting bears and then blowing them away is definitely NOT natures way and is not hunting!
4/19/2014 2:33:37 PM
Decide says:
The guy in a tree is no more an idiot then the guy sitting behind his computer name calling.

Natures way.
Lets see. Grizzly's evolved a method to catch salmon in a steam. Nature.

Humans evolved a way to sit in a tree and shoot a Bear. Nature again.
Please don't be selective on what nature is and isn't...you don't decide that. If you want true nature, I could come to your place and eliminate you to further my genes. NATURE yet again.

Do I think sitting in a tree by a bait pile is hunting? Absolutely not. It's baiting. Same as sitting in a tree stand hunting deer. But, just because it doesn't meet my definition of hunting, I in now way want to eliminate others from doing it.
Bears do attack people, and defending cubs has nothing to do with it. But it is very infrequent and a lame argument to support a bear hunt.
Why is it so bad now to say you hunt simply because you like to? What is wrong with that?
Nature is what nature is, be it people or wildlife.
You failed with your argument.
4/19/2014 5:43:31 PM
dynamiter says:
Just because a guy wants to sit in a tree stand make him and idiot. Look into the mirror and you might see one but I digress. I like to hunt but not from a tree stand but I can understand those who wants to hunt up close with a bow and that is usually from a tree in a tree stand. Finally people are complaining about the poor baby bears dying because their mommies are sometime shot but its OK to be eaten by their daddies because it is natures way? Come on man!!!
4/19/2014 5:53:03 PM
S Duncan says:
so you're saying humans using their brains to make and use tools to hunt with is NOT nature?

People always seem to forget that humans are a part of nature as well as their behaviour. Humans using tools and hunting is just as natural as an Eagle swooping in and grabbing a fish, or a pack of wolves chasing down their prey.

Humans are nature too.
4/19/2014 8:40:15 PM
donnybrook says:
So what you're saying is we can make up whatever statistics we want with no proof whatsoever (a classic Kaplanis move) and everyone should be expected to lap it up, no questions asked? Every time these stories come out I ask - where's the proof? Where is your proof that bear numbers are up? Where are your stats to prove that very few sows with cubs are shot each spring? Maybe the reality is many are shot and not reported? Where's your proof that adult male cubs are responsible for an increase in the number of cubs killed each year? You said its a scientific fact - prove it. Show us a document? Its easy to throw words and *wink* "stats" around, Kaplanis does it every time he speaks, but its another to be able to back those stats up.
4/20/2014 12:55:48 AM
dynamiter says:
There are a lot of "valid studies" out there - by scientists who actually would dig into bear dens in the spring and analyze the cubs etc.
"Our Alberta studies demonstrated that cub survival is higher in hunted populations of black bears." - Dr. Mark S. Boyce
Maybe you should provide your alternative theories studies. We know that the hunt was cancelled for political not scientific reasons but if there are some out there put them out for us to see. And while I dont expect to have to put my quotations and documents for everything - but having lived in this realm I know that what I speak has a lot of factual back up scientifically. There is also a lot of economic facts out there too and everytime a bear is killed in the spring for intruding upon man, there is a very high likelihood that that would not have occured with a spring bear hunt and that somebody would have paid big dollars to enjoy that experience.
4/20/2014 1:24:25 PM
chezhank says:
Mr Kaplanis conveniently neglects to mention that black bears eat deer also,his other nemesis in the wilds.
I suggest Mr Kaplanis buy a calf,feed it,water it, raise it then shoot it.But that may require an investment.
Where was his group with the harsh conditions on deer this winter,did they advocate feeding the deer this winter like they did in Minnesota?They are saying that deer herds may be reduced by 50-80% because of the harsh winter.
The way city 'clowncil' passed the resolution in support of the trial spring bear hunt which was introduced as new business and ratified as new business,never gave residents a chance to speak against it.This is the same way they are forcing a proposed event centre on the public.

Why does Elliot Lake not have a bear problem,Mr.Kaplanis?

Animal Alliance of Canada and Zoocheck Canada have my support.

henry wojak
mayor in waiting

4/19/2014 11:39:03 AM
YellowSnow13 says:
This is the same guy that said the other day to drop the number of Moose hunted because the population was down. If you as the "mayor in waiting" has no respect for the hunters that respect wildlife then do you have any respect for others? I just wonder. What the HELL does Elliot Lake have to do with Thunder Bay? It's not even near us. Why don't you compare us to Red Deer AB! You obviously have not been in a camp ground in the last few years only to hear a gun shot to take out a bear at 5:00am. Wake up Wojak! That should be your new slogan. Wake up Wojak!
4/19/2014 3:18:08 PM
Smitty says:
You fail to grasp that unless council allows a bear archery hunt like they do for deer, Thunder Bay is not affected by this hunt. This is not a City of Thunder Bay hunt, this is a WMU 13 hunt. WMU 13 encompasses Oliver Paipoonge, Neebing, Shuniah...etc and a very large area of crown land. Why should you be able to dictate what takes place in other communities or in the middle of the bush?
Last fall, I legally took 3 deer off my 11 acre rural Thunder Bay property. Prior to hunting, I got the OK from my neighbours. If they were fine with it, why would someone that lives on James, Edward, or Riverdale have a problem? This meat went to feed my family. Is it better that I go to the store and buy beef that was raised on a factory farm?
King of the World in Waiting (sure to happen sonner that someones election as Mayor)
4/19/2014 4:19:00 PM
dynamiter says:
Henry poor poor Henry. I always thought that you were one trick pony without much thought behind some of your comments except your hatred of city council and their wasteful spending of taxpayers dollars. I now firmly believe that you will be Mayor in Waiting for a long long time with comments like this. You should really be ashamed of yourself and I would like to finish with the comments that Mr Wojak you may have just shot yourself and your mayoralty aspirations ( as slim as they may have been ) in the foot.
4/19/2014 6:00:53 PM
fastball says:
Henry - as much as you have a right to an opinion - you should stick to what you do best. Namely, poring over parking bylaws and picking words out of feasibility studies - all in the cause of your favorite drum.
4/20/2014 4:10:48 PM
Robert Smithers says:
Well Mr Wojak, couple things about the organizations you are endorsing. Animal alliance was the group behind the moving of the seals from London Ontario a couple years ago that resulted in the seals dying in transport. Outside of natural death the london facility never had any untimely accidents. They are also the group that got ahold of the Lobster someone had bought in Toronto and forgot in a box on top of their car, they wanted to fly it back to the east coast to be released but it died a few hours later.
Glad to know where you stand on this issue, I know where I stand as far as you and your pursuits and you wont be seeing any votes out of my house.
4/21/2014 7:20:25 PM
anvil of crom says:
clowcil one way or the other has no say on the spring bear hunt its out of their jurisdiction.
4/21/2014 8:37:49 PM
sky high says:
This is the kind of guy who would suggest a northern pike cull to increase the walleye population. Why would anyone be in support of killing black bears? So that resorts can make money? This guy must think we all have stupid stamped on our foreheads
4/19/2014 11:02:38 AM
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