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

Update: Two-vehicle crash triggers rollover in Rutland

A SUV landed on its roof after a driver reportedly ran a red light.

Women charged in Central Okanagan Hospice Association theft appear in court

Susan Steen and Melanie Gray are charged with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000

Okanagan’s largest holiday shopping event’s signs missing

The Craft Culture signs that were in front of Prospera Place were allegedly stolen Saturday

Okanagan skiers start season in Vernon

West Kelowna Telemark Nordic Club had 30 athletes compete

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

Bobsleigh on display in Summerland

Used sleigh set up in honour of Olympic gold medal athlete Justin Kripps

Cain Franson of Sicamous a USports All-Star once again

Franson will play against Canadian Junior team prospects in Victoria

Oogie Boogie, Sandy Claws and coffin sleigh part of B.C. couple’s holiday display

Chilliwack couple decorates their house for the holidays using Nightmare Before Christmas theme

First Nation sues Alberta, says oilsands project threatens sacred site

Prosper Petroleum’s $440-million, 10,000-barrel-a-day plans have been vigorously opposed by Fort McKay

Royal York Golf Course to close fairways after 2019 season

N&T Properties, an Okanagan-based company, has purchased the space.

North Okanagan site of first RCMP naloxone test project

Free kits, training to be provided to high-risk individuals who spend time in cell blocks

1 arrested after bizarre incident at U.S.-B.C. border involving bags of meth, car crash

Man arrested after ruckus in Sumas and Abbotsford on Thursday night

Snowfall warning issued for Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass

A winter storm is expected to roll through the area today with… Continue reading

Most Read