Forest Alert! (received from HFC, Feb 8, 2024)
The Nova Scotia government is proposing changes to regulations that would allow a spring Black Bear hunt, running for five weeks in May and June. Public consultations for this proposal are open until Saturday, Feb. 24. Citizens can fill out a short online survey or, better yet, send their feedback directly to the Department of Natural Resources and Renewables at email@example.com.
The working group of the HFC has identified major concerns with this proposal you may wish to mention in your response to the proposal. This is only a partial list, we’re sure that you can provide more!
1) This would be the first and only spring hunt in the province. Currently, all hunting is limited to the fall, with different targets and methods as the fall advances. Deer, Moose, ducks, bear, and rabbit hunts currently are limited to the fall and winter. Many citizens avoid the woods in the fall because of unease around the prevalence of hunting. Allowing hunting in the spring when life is returning (migratory bird nesting season, wildflowers etc.) and when people are enjoying time in the woods after winter would effectively reduce public access to nature with all its benefits.
2) Hunting bears in the spring will increase human-bear interactions. Bear hunting is practiced by attracting bears to piles of bait. Hungry bears emerging from hibernation will be particularly drawn to bait and will become accustomed to human food and the presence of people. These bears will be more likely to interact with people both in the woods and in rural areas near forests (much of Nova Scotia).
3) This hunt would have a high probability of creating orphaned bear cubs. Mother bears do not systematically bring their cubs with them when they forage for food. Often cubs are stowed away while the mother forages. Hunters can’t distinguish male and female bears, so the probability of creating orphaned cubs is high. A spring hunt would be likely to place hunters between mother bears and their cubs, widely recognized as a dangerous situation.