Grizzly bear trophy hunting has been the source of debate for decades in B.C. Now the ban is getting mixed reactions. Dean Stoltz reports.
The grizzly bear trophy hunt in B.C. is a divisive subject.
Those who support it, such as guides, feel there is an economic argument it.
“There’s opportunity to get hired with a guides business. Well where’s that gone now if you close it?” questioned John Henderson, President of the Wildlife Stewardship Council.
But others, like those who offer grizzly bear tours, are deeply opposed to hunting them.
“What really bothers me is why someone would shoot an animal strictly for the reason of ego,” said Dean Wyatt, owner of Knight Inlet Lodge. “It is only about ego, there’s nothing else that’s involved here.”
But even after Monday’s announcement by the NDP that the grizzly bear trophy hunt would be banned later this year, Wyatt is only cautiously optimistic that it will be implemented properly.
“Well I’m very happy that we have a ban” he said. “I’m thrilled that the Great Bear Rainforest has a total ban, but I really am worried bureaucrats are not going to be motivated to write policy for the politicians that’s going to make this an irreversible decision.”
The Wildlife Stewardship Council which represents First Nations in B.C. and about 20 First Nations guide outfitters says the decision to end the grizzly trophy hunt was politically motivated and made without the benefit of scientific rationale or First Nations consultation.
“There are areas of concern for lack of bears but you know it’s easy to manage those areas,” said Henderson. “There’s a place for viewing bears, there’s a place for hunting bears, there’s a place for everything.”
Green Party leader Andrew Weaver says the law that will go into effect Nov.30 has too many loopholes.
Environmentalist David Suzuki supports the ban, but points out killing them for food will still be out allowed outside the Great Bear Rainforest and questions “how a grizzly bear food hunt could be regulated and enforced to ensure hunters do not needlessly shoot bears.”