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Bear Management Pilot in Northern Ontario to Start May 1

Archived News Release

Bear Management Pilot in Northern Ontario to Start May 1

Ontario Taking Steps to Address Public Safety

Ontario is introducing a bear management pilot program this spring, from May 1 to June 15, 2014, to enhance public safety and reduce problem bear issues in the north.

This two-year pilot program -- which will include a limited bear hunt open to Ontario residents only -- will be held in and around communities that have reported high levels of human-bear conflict activity, including Timmins, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and North Bay (wildlife management units 13, 14, 29, 30, 36, 39, 41 and 42). Under the pilot, harvesting bear cubs or female bears with cubs is illegal.

The province will monitor and evaluate the success of this pilot program on an ongoing basis. Through the Bear Wise program, the government continues to stress that reducing attractants is a key component of any strategy to reduce human-bear conflict.

Working with communities to address human-bear conflict is part of the government's plan that is keeping Ontario families safe. The comprehensive plan and its six priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strengths -- its people and its strategic partnerships.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario made the decision to introduce the bear management pilot program after receiving support from close to 50 northern municipal councils where the pilot will be held, and after hearing comments from the public and community partners.
  • On April 29, 2014, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Divisional Court dismissed an application for judicial review of the decision to introduce the pilot program.
  • The annual resident bear hunting licence will be valid for both the early and regular fall seasons.
  • Ontario is home to a healthy and sustainable black bear population with up to 105,000 black bears living in the province.
  • Currently across Canada, each province and territory with black bears has a spring and fall bear hunt except Nova Scotia, which only has a fall hunt.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Our government has a responsibility to help protect all Ontarians through appropriate wildlife management practices. This focussed and strategic pilot program will assist in addressing a significant public safety issue in Northern Ontario.”

David Orazietti

Minister of Natural Resources

Media Contacts

  • Media calls only: Andrew Donnachie

    Minister’s Office


  • Media Calls Only: Media Desk

    Communications Services Branch




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