Monday, October 17, 2011

BC Bear Facts (part 2)

(Originally published in the Merritt News –Othmar Vohringer The Outdoorsman)

Part 1 of  BC Bear Facts

© By Othmar Vohringer

Ten years after the decision to cancel the spring bear hunt, the rural and urban Ontario people are now living in constant fear of bears attacking children and breaking into houses. In other words, in many rural areas of Ontario, bears have been declared a nuisance animal. Just like here, the people were "educated" about bear-safe behaviour, and there are even ridiculous bylaws in place, like having filters on kitchen fans so bears can't smell when dinner is cooked. Yet, despite all these bear attractant prevention measures, the numbers of marauding bears are on a continued increase.

Bears are fiercely territorial, so much so that they will not share their territory with other bears. Male bears in particular continually patrol their territories and attack every other bear, including their own male offspring, for trespassing on their territory. Because of this behaviour, relocating them has never been successful. This very expensive and utterly useless practice of relocation has been the method in many rural areas throughout British Columbia. A few years ago in North Vancouver, a captured marauding bear had been equipped with a radio transmitter and then transported 600 miles north—far away from any human development. Within two years, that bear was back in North Vancouver and eventually had to be shot by conservation officers. Until that event, taxpayers spent a fortune on a useless feel-good policy to mollify the minority of people that believe that bears should have more rights than people.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Good News From Ottawa For Hunters And Anglers

© By Othmar Vohringer

When I think of Parliament Hill I think of politicians mindlessly bickering and pointing fingers at each other like kindergarteners. Imagine my surprise when I learned that an all-party team made up of such opposites as former Liberal cabinet minister Wayne Easter, Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan and Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and some NDPers happily sat together in a collegial atmosphere and for once were in agreement on a single subject.

Perhaps it is not so surprising that this group of people get along so well. They are all members of the Canadian Parliamentary Outdoors Caucus. I guess the common love of fishing, hunting and the great Canadian outdoors can overcome political divide and agendas. The point of this five-year-old Outdoors Caucasus is to bring like-minded MPs together to the benefit of Canada’s hunters, anglers, trappers and sport shooters. The Canadian Outdoor Caucus with an estimated 81 MPs and Senators is the largest all-party group in North America of this type. The goal of this group is to protect hunting, fishing, trapping and the shooting sport as a unique Canadian heritage.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Cranbrook, B.C. to cull urban deer

© By Othmar Vohringer

In a recent report the B.C. government allows the City of Cranbrook in British Columbia to be the first city in this province to cull urban deer. The city of Cranbrook has lately been several times in the news with stories of deer attacking pets and at one point even a newspaper carrier doing his paper delivery rounds.

Chris Zettel, communication officer of the City of Cranbrook said, “People in our community want something done about that problem.”
The provincial government will issue the city a permit to trap and kill up to 25 deer. A contractor will bait deer into a covered trap and then kill them with a bolt gun, similar to those used in abattoirs across Canada. The meat will be offered to First Nations in the area. This “deer management” method is modeled after the one employed in Helena, Montana. The cull is scheduled to start this fall and if successful will become an annual event until all aggressive deer either leave the city or are killed.

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