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When Ontario's Spring Bear hunt was canceled in Ontario, I was tremendously upset. Not because I am a fan of Black Bear hunting. I was upset because I am an environmentalist and I do not like it when people lie about wildlife or nature for personal gain. The reason that Black Bear hunting was targeted was because Black Bears are photogenic and Black Bear hunting was an easy target because they are disorganized. There are no underpopulation problems with Black Bear populations in Ontario, quite the opposite, and hunting black bears over baits in the spring is very humane. The tremendous resources that were wasted on a non-issue could have been used to do real environmental work.

Why was Ontario's Spring Black Bear Hunt targeted as a campaign:

  • Black Bears, especially cubs, are are among the most photogenic animals in the world. This is called the "cuteness" factor in wildlife protection where "cute" animals receive attention even if not needed, while the animals species that need attention, but are not "cute", are neglected
  • Most people have no understanding of Black Bears and their actual status in Ontario so it is easy to mislead gullible sponsors, media, government and other uninformed people about Ontario's Black Bears.
  • There are legitimate problems with other bears populations around the world, which can be used to mislead gullible sponsors, media, government and most uninformed people about Ontario's Black Bears.
  • Black Bear hunters and outfitters are disorganized and not strategically oriented
  • Black Bear Hunters are not a significant voting population in Ontario.
  • Most people no longer hunt so it is easy to mislead gullible sponsors, media, government and most uninformed people about the hunting of Black Bear.
  • There are a very small minority of un-ethical hunters, who should not be able to hunt or own guns, who can be used to discredit the reputation of the broad hunting public. Something like mortorcyclists being tainted by the reputations of biker gangs.

For radical opportunists (people who support or create causes based on potential personal gain) Black Bears are made to order.

I don't like radical opportunists. They waste time, they waste resources, and they give true environmentalists a bad name. There is too much important environmental work to do and not enough resources to do it. Radical opportunists give the impression they are friends of nature, but they either don't understand, or don't care about what wildlife really need, HABITAT!

Our changes to habitat are not devastating Ontario's Black Bears. Ontario's Black Bears are thriving under our interference. Our forestry practices in Ontario creates great Black Bear habitat. Hunting Black Bears actually helps to balance some of the overpopulation created by our interference in their environment, which helps the populations of animals that Black Bears prey on.

I have been around wildlife and nature my whole life. Life and death are part of nature. What is neither natural nore healthy for wildlife are our changes to the environment. As long as hunting takes into consideration population sustainability it has no real affect. Our radical changes to the environment and eradication of habitat are what devastates wildlife populations,

Some people oppose hunting because they feel it is violent. Nature is violent. A robin hopping across a lawn seems like a peaceful scene, but the bugs and worms are being torn apart and eaten alive. We must learn to accept nature the way it is if we are going to understand how we can responsibly ensure our affects on nature remain within nature's ability to balance without being catostrophic to the other species we share this planet with. We must learn to accept that we are part of nature, and everything we do affects everything around us for many generations into the future.

Al Errington
Errington's Wilderness Island Resort
www.WildernessIsland.com

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www.OntarioBlackBears.com
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Ontario
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Nursing Mother
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Toronto Star
Editorial
 
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WHY?

Why I Developed This Website

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