Complaints about a growing problem with nuisance black bears in parts of Ontario won't bring about a return of the spring bear hunt, the provincial government says.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters says problems with bears coming into contact with people have been growing steadily since the spring bear hunt was cancelled in 1999.
However, Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield says there's no evidence to support the claims of more nuisance bears in northern and central Ontario.
Cansfield says the government's Bear Wise program, which encourages people to call a hotline to report problems with bears, is the reason the number of occurrences has been increasing.
She says the government has no plans to reinstate the spring bear hunt, and believes the real issue is the economic loss of the spring hunt, not the number of bears.
The government estimates there are between 75,000 and 100,000 bears in Ontario, and doesn't think the problem of nuisance bears has become worse since the spring hunt was cancelled.
The Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen's Alliance says more cubs are being orphaned now because of the problems with nuisance bears than before the cancellation of the spring hunt.