The province of Ontario has officially announced the expansion of the spring black bear hunting pilot.
Under this expansion the pilot will be extended for an additional five years, beginning this spring and ending in 2020. The spring bear season will run May 1 through June 15 in each of these years.
All 88 provincial wildlife management units that currently have a fall bear hunt will be included in the expansion, as well as non-resident hunters. In the majority of cases, each licensed hunter will be permitted to hunt one bear in each calendar year.
“We’ve been advocating for the reinstatement of the spring bear hunt for 17 years, so we are pleased with this announcement.” said Mark Ryckman, senior wildlife biologist with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.
Regulations on the baiting of bears will be implemented this spring, and will be in effect during all bear hunting seasons.
“The province has instituted new baiting restrictions for both the spring and fall seasons to prevent conflicts between hunters and other outdoor recreationists, so we will monitor the impact of those restrictions to determine if they are having the desired effect without unnecessarily reducing bear hunting opportunities.”
Hunting of bear cubs and females with cubs will remain illegal under the expansion. Those convicted of this offence face a fine of up to $25,000 and up to one year in prison.
With a healthy and sustainable population of up to 105,000 black bears living in Ontario, the province hopes this expansion will support economic growth and tourism in the north.
More new stories on spring bear hunt pilot expansion:
Province announces intent to extend, expand spring bear hunt in 2016