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Spring bear hunt: bring it back in full to boost Ontario economy, researcher says

A northern Ontario think-tank says the province could make millions, if it lifts the moratorium on the spring bear hunt.

Report concludes attracting hunters from outside Ontario could be big business

Some northern Ontario residents are convinced bringing back the full spring bear hunt will solve many communities' nuisance bear problems. (CBC file photo)
A northern Ontario think-tank says Ontario could make millions, if it lifts the moratorium on the spring bear hunt.

According to the latest report from the Northern Policy Institute, harvesting about 10 per cent of the current bear population would be sustainable.

In the report, the province estimates there are nearly 100,000 black bears in the wild.
Mike Commito, policy analyst with the Northern Policy Institute. (Jenifer Norwell/CBC)

Report author Mike Commito said outfitters waiting for the summer fishing season could especially benefit — and attracting hunters from outside the province would be key.

"Primarily, it's the non-residents that are going to inject the most money into the economy through ... accommodations and services such as that," he said.

While some animal rights activists and environmentalists object to the hunt, he said their main criticism — the potential for killing of mother bears — can be mitigated with hunter education and stiffer fines.

Read the report.


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