Two black bears. ( photo)

From a press release from the Black Bear Working Group

HALIFAX: A joint statement from a Black Bear Working group was released late Thursday night concerning the province’s decision to cancel the Spring Bear Hunt.

In the release, which came in just after midnight on Friday morning, May 3, had eight names from across N.S. listed at the end of it as signed by.

The release said that a review of the government’s Spring Bear Hunt Consultation Summary Report spring-bear-hunt-summary-report-en.pdf ( strongly suggests the decision not to proceed with the pilot hunt was a political decision, not a decision based on science, or balanced effective management of Nova Scotia’s bear population.

 The report found an almost even split on support, or lack of support, which should have led to other factors entering into the final determination.


The breakdown details that rural residents were more in support of the hunt than urban residents. That is understandable given those rural residents are, for the most part, the ones that deal with nuisance bear issues, not the general urban population.

“Furthermore a large percentage of respondents against the hunt reported little to no knowledge of hunting practices making them more susceptible to the erroneous notion that the hunt would result in more orphaned cubs than the fall season,” said the release. “These two factors alone in a rational, politics free, decision making process would have tipped the scales in favor of the hunt.

“What is absent from the report is any data regarding how many of those nuisance bears are dispatched by Department of Natural Resources and Renewables (DNRR) staff or those that can legally acquire a permit to do it themselves.

“Nor did it account for those that took their personal safety into their own hands without the required permit. Likewise no information was made available regarding the sex of those dispatched animals.


The release continued saying sex being the primary issue in the hunt occurring or not.

“There was also no consideration of the positive effects of baiting in the spring drawing bears away from green bins in their period of greatest use by those bears.

 “In fact no relevant data regarding the species is contained in the report’s “rationale” for termination of the proposed pilot hunt, including its potential effects on the agricultural sector.

“A hunt that would have provided further data for the prudent management of the species going forward.”


The release added that because of the evidence of the political nature of the government’s decision, in the absence of factual information, the working group is calling on the government to release transcripts of all internal  government deliberations regarding the decision, their correspondence with DNRR personnel regarding the hunt, conversations within that department regarding the hunt and any direct conversations with any group supporting or opposed to the hunt.

“If those are not released, or we are not satisfied with the extent of what is released, we will be filing access to information requests and if required to do so seeking legal advice on the options for acquiring the requested information.

“We urge all the affected stakeholders in the hunting community to join us in this initiative.”