March 22, 2023

Too Many Bears: Shoot, Shovel and Shut Up?

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“Since the cancellation of the hunt in 1999 by the PC government of former premier Mike Harris, the black bear population has significantly increased, Rivard says, and nuisance complaints have skyrocketed.

Bears in backyards, bending saplings. Bears in garages or plaguing municipal dumps. And whatever the numbers, they are probably on the low side, he says.

Since not much tends to happen when complaints are lodged, other perhaps than a warning by the Ministry of Natural Resources to hide garbage and barbeques away more diligently, some people in the north have stopped complaining.

“There’s almost an underground movement — ‘shoot, shovel and shut up,’ ” he says. “That means people are taking care of the problem themselves. And that’s a terrible form of wildlife management.”

With the growth in population, bears have been forced to find new turf. “One of the markers of growing populations of any species is expanded range,” he continues. “We know by that alone that the bear population has increased.””<<<Read More>>>