Ear tagged bears – to harvest or not?

by Barney Moorhouse | June 5, 2018
ear tagged

Red tags were used in 2017, and white tags in 2018

A Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) information notice released on April 5 was meant to make bear hunt operators and hunters aware that bears with ear tags have been immobilized with veterinary drugs.

The notice advises hunters who shoot a bear with an ear tag to call 1-866-514-2327.

Jeremy Inglis, provincial coordinator, human-wildlife interactions, MNRF, said, “Health Canada advises that the meat of a wild animal that has been chemically immobilized not be consumed for at least a year following the latest treatment of the drug.”

Keith Munro, OFAH Wildlife Biologist added, “We don’t want to see bear meat going to waste, so I would tell hunters not to harvest bears with red or white ear tags this year.”

In 2017, 49 bears were chemically immobilized and ear tagged in Ontario, with the most (18) in the Sudbury area.

Inglis also said that occasionally moose and deer are chemically immobilized. He added, “They would also be ear tagged with the same tags used for bears.”

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  1. Joanne Stieh wrote: Observed a female black bear with two small cubs emptying my compost bin of all that was good to eat. All three look healthy and left as soon as they saw my car drive in. The threesome was spotted a few hours later crossing our long driveway, heading off to the west. The mom had a white tag in her left ear…but I couldn’t see any number…