Two grizzly bears captured on Cormorant Island near Alert Bay by conservation officers Sept. 22, 2016. Habitat loss and human conflict are significant threats to B.C. grizzly populations. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

UPDATE: Grizzly bear trophy hunting over in B.C.

Now only Indigenous people can hunt bears for meat

B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson has confirmed the NDP government has ended the trophy hunting of grizzly bears.

The fall grizzly hunting season ended Nov. 30, with new rules taking effect that allow hunters to take bear meat but not the head, paws or hide of bears that are prized as trophies. Donald said Monday the scheduled spring 2018 hunt for grizzly bears is cancelled.

Donaldson said all grizzly hunting has ended, except for Indigenous hunting for food, social and ceremonial purposes. By agreement with local Indigenous communities, all grizzly bear hunting has been stopped in the remote Central and North Coast region known as the Great Bear Rainforest.

It is no longer possible for resident or non-resident hunters to apply for a permit to hunt a grizzly for food, but provincial staff estimate that fewer than 100 hunters a year have been interested in that.

After the trophy hunt ban was announced in August, more than 4,000 people responded to the government’s invitation to comment, and 78 per cent of respondents supported the end of all grizzly hunting, Donaldson said.

The forests ministry estimates that about 250 of B.C.’s 1,500 grizzly bears were taken by hunters each year, in a limited-entry lottery hunt open to resident and non-resident hunters.

An October 2017 report on the hunt by B.C. Auditor General Carole Bellringer found that hunting is not the biggest threat to bears.

The greatest risk to B.C.’s grizzly bear population is not hunting but degradation of habitat from forestry, oil and gas development and human settlement, Bellringer concluded. The audit also found that from 2006 to 2015, there were 389 bears killed as a result of human-bear conflicts.

Environment Minister George Heyman said the government is moving ahead with improved grizzly bear inventory measures, and the NDP government’s first budget in February is expected to deal with his “understaffed” ministry to step up enforcement of the ban on trophy hunting.

In 2016, wildlife biologists from the University of Alberta and the University of Minnesota gave the B.C. government a passing mark for management of its grizzly hunt, making 51 recommendations for improving habitat protection and population estimates.

Just Posted

Bounding into the great outdoors

Playwest Mountain Experience takes hikers into the wilderness.

Fat Man Yoga offers low intimidation workout

“I needed to do more stretching and more flexibility stuff for my fat man body,” said Ryan Karl.

Feds caught with consultative pants down as groyne issue flares up: PSPC urged to get second opinion

MP Stetski said that of local stakeholders “nobody was aware of the project.”

De Groot family still waiting for inquest after 2014 Slocan shooting

Lawyer for Peter De Groot’s family say many questions remain unanswered

Four-year-old girl one of two killed in highway crash near Creston

The 26-year-old driver of a Saturn SUV was also killed

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

U16 B.C. fastpitch team named national champs

Girls went undefeated at national tournament in Calgary

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

Most Read