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Letter to the editor: Rethink spring bear hunt

Rethink the spring bear hunt Ontario is one of the few places in the world that allows hunting while wild animals are reproducing.
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Letters to the editor

To the editor:

Ontario is one of the few places in the world that allows hunting while wild animals are reproducing. This inhumane spring hunt was brought back five years ago by the then Minister of Natural Resources, Bill Mauro (now Mayor of Thunder Bay). The purpose of the hunt is mostly to attract American tourists since traditionally Canadians have not hunted bears. Natural Resources and Forestry Minister John Yakabuski now plans to make the hunt permanent. It is part of their great economic development plan for the north.

Bear tourism and the killing of animals by baiting isn't hunting. It requires few hunting skills and little effort. A garbage can is put in the bush with various concoctions to attract bears close to where the tourist sits in a stand and can hopefully distinguish a sow from a boar. Some Americans hunt with dogs. The object is to get a big boar whose size is posted to the Boone and Crocket website. Sows before coming into feed usually hide their cubs which are orphaned when the sow is killed. Note, the government has made it illegal to kill sows but only with cubs. Neither the government nor the operators assume responsibility for orphaned cubs.

Further, the placing of bait in the bush conditions bears to human garbage and scent thereby reducing their natural fear of humans. The widespread spring bear-baiting throughout Northern Ontario is the ideal boot camp for training nuisance bears. The selective killing of larger boars (trophy animals) results in a behavioural change of junior boars who now have greater access to females. Normally, the boars would fight off or kill junior males attempting to mate. Sort of like having a teenage house party with the parents away, leaving the booze and waiting to see what happens nine months later.

The Ministry does allow comments if you go to the Environmental Registry of Ontario.

Paul Filteau,
Thunder Bay