With the NDP Ban, the B.C. Bear Hunt Goes Exactly Far Enough
Opinions / September 30, 2017
The NDP has followed through with their promise to ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears. After this year’s hunting season has ended, on Nov. 30, the ban will officially come into effect.
Most studies suggest that the grizzly bear population is safe despite their numbers being a little low. An average of 250 grizzlies are being hunted per year out of an estimated population of 15,000, although some reports say that the population could be as small as 6,000. Factor in B.C.’s declining salmon population and the bears become increasingly vulnerable.
Hunters will argue that, to them, trophy hunting is about so much more than simply killing the animal. It’s about the thrill, the adventure of the hunt, and claiming something from a worthy adversary.
But trophy hunting often leaves parts of the bear deemed unimportant by the hunter to go unused. For example, a trophy hunter has no need for the bear’s meat. They only want their head, paws, or hide, resulting in their carcass being left behind to rot. This is an incredible waste of resources and deeply disrespectful towards the animal.
From an economical standpoint, tourist attractions that focus on bear viewing—such as the Great Bear Rainforest, where grizzly hunting of any kind is still banned—provide more gain for the province than hunting.
Hunting for meat, though, is an entirely different story.
In a written statement for CBC, Chris Genovali, Executive Director of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, stated that “virtually no one legitimately hunts grizzlies for food; killing these bears is strictly a trophy hunt.”
“Virtually no one” certainly does not apply to everyone, as there are people out there who are happy to eat grizzly meat. When done right, bear meat—especially in pepperoni or sausage form—can be a tasty treat.
Killing an animal and using the entirety of its remains is something that dates back to a time before colonization, and as long as safety measures and regulations are in place, the practice should remain legal in B.C.