The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has extended the spring black bear hunting pilot program to 2020, and expanded it to all 88 Wildlife Management Units and to non-residents of Ontario.
The pilot program started in 2014. These expansions have two objectives: to address concerns voiced by communities about human-bear conflicts, and to support economic growth and tourism in Northern and central Ontario, said a news release.
With the spring hunt now being extended to non-residents, outfitters have two seasons in which to offer black bear hunts.
For the 2017 season, the government is also advising outfitters of their allocation numbers earlier than last year, allowing them to better plan for the spring and fall seasons.
“Of course, even with these changes, responsible hunting practices and wildlife management are important to our government,” said Kathryn McGarry, minister of natural resources and forestry, in the news release.
“While we are committed to providing new hunting opportunities for black bears, this must be balanced with the long-term sustainability of the black bear population throughout Ontario.
“Going forward, our government will continue to monitor bear populations, harvest results and sustainability indicators to ensure the spring black bear hunt pilot continues to deliver positive results for our communities.”