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

Fire in Kelowna apartment started in garbage can

The apartment was evacuated for a 4th-floor fire

Crane removal from downtown Kelowna to close streets

What goes up must come down and Ellis Street will be affected

Suspect restrained by bystanders after unprovoked assaults in West Kelowna

A 33-year-old Ontario man faces a number of potential charges

Car crashes into Kelowna business

Damages were done to the storefront of Interstate Batteries All Battery Centre on Banks Road

Keep the ‘Wild’ in Wildlife: RDCO

RDCO reminds park-goers that bears are more prevalent in parks at this time of year

Madchild brings demons of drug abuse to Okanagan

Swollen Members rapper takes Status stage

Civil claim filed over motocross track west of Summerland

Track was constructed on agricultural land around 2016

BC SPCA overwhelmed with cats, kittens needing homes

Large number of cruelty investigations, plus normal ‘kitten season’ to blame

Car catches fire while being towed by motor home on Hwy. 97

The incident occured just north of Sage Mesa Rd., no injuries have been reported

B.C. Hydro applies for rare cut in electricity rates next year

Province wrote off $1.1 billion debt to help reverse rate increase

Repair work to begin on lakeshore paths in Summerland

Paths were damaged during spring flooding in 2017 and 2018

North Okanagan adventure park concerns

LETTER: Neighbour to proposed adventure park in Spallumcheen offers up his concerns on project

One sent to hospital following Balmoral Road/Highway 1 collision

Violation ticket issued in second crash at Balmoral intersection in two weeks

Most Read