TV hunting shows and trail cameras

Straight Arrow

By Gene Culver

I get a lot of customers in the archery shop who ask about equipment they have seen on some of the bowhunting shows on TV. Some of the stuff they ask about is good; some not so much. But what worries me about the shows is how they lead viewers, especially young bowhunters, to believe that there are tons of trophy bucks running around and they make it seem pretty easy to harvest one of these trophies.

I caught the end of a hunting show Monday morning and the host of the show was saying that the shows make hunting look easy, but that viewers don’t see the times when things don’t go well, and a trophy is not taken on film. He said we don’t see how frustrating, grueling and expensive filming hunts can be, and sometimes without reward, but that he always looked forward to his next hunt, and the experiences and memories that would last a lifetime.

I don’t know how many times I have had a parent tell me that their kid wouldn’t shoot a good 8-point buck because they wanted to wait for a bigger one, and I have had guys tell me they had hunted for up to 20 years and never taken a buck because they had not seen one big enough, with their decision made partly by the deer they had seen on TV hunting shows.

The reality is that most of us don’t get the opportunity to go to a managed ranch or lodge in Texas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas or some of the other well-known trophy-producing states — Kentucky included, where you can only harvest a 5 ½-year-old or older buck. And most of us won’t spend the $3,000 to $10,000 or more that it costs to hunt some of these places.

In my opinion, hunting locally, the best we can hope for is to hunt and try to harvest the biggest buck on the property you have permission to hunt on, whether that is a 110-inch buck or whatever, most places just never produce the giant bucks we see on TV and dream about.

The other problem I have noticed on some of the shows; if the hunter is using a mechanical broadhead they lead viewers to believe that even when making a bad shot, it will kill the animal. Don’t believe it!

Mechanical broadheads are not a miracle cure-all for a bad shot. Regardless of what type head you choose, it is our responsibility to practice and be as efficient with our equipment as possible. And for anyone shooting less than 60-pound pull, especially kids and women shooting shorter draw length bows, I know that a good fixed blade broadhead is a much better choice and will give better penetration. Shot placement and penetration are what will put venison in your freezer.

Trail cameras have had a major impact on hunting by providing hunters with photos of the deer that walk in front of their cameras, but unless you have a camera that will rotate 360 degrees or have four cameras facing four different directions at each camera station, a lot of deer won’t show up on camera. A couple of years ago, I was hunting near a trail camera and watched eight deer move by me within 30 yards, but none of them walked by the camera to have their photo taken.

Because of cameras, I have had customers tell me if they don’t have a good buck showing up on their camera that they don’t go hunting. Most of the bucks Eric and I have been lucky enough to harvest had never shown up on a camera. We hunt because we love being in the deer woods and the challenges that bowhunting presents.


Ballot measure launched to ban trophy hunting of America’s lions

October 12, 2017

Two summers ago, a color photograph of Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer and his hunting guide kneeling over Cecil, an African lion they’d slain, found its way onto social media platforms and ricocheted across the planet. In response, 45 of the world’s biggest airlines – including all major U.S. carriers – said they’d no longer ship lion trophies in the cargo holds of their planes.

These companies knew that the public found the practice of trophy hunting of African lions and leopards and other rare wildlife repugnant.

With the launch of an Arizona ballot measure yesterday to stop the trophy hunting of mountain lions and bobcats, voters in the Grand Canyon State will have an opportunity to stop the same sort of pointless, cruel killing practices on a big patch of land on this side of the globe.

Specifically, The HSUS and a coalition of about 60 organizations have filed a ballot initiative to stop the trophy hunting of mountain lions and bobcats in Arizona. The measure would also ban trapping of bobcats, currently killed by the thousands every year in this state for their fur. In addition, the ballot measure would codify a no-trophy-hunting policy on jaguars, ocelots, and lynx, in case these rare cats establish healthy populations in Arizona and trophy hunters see them as future targets.

The question that millions of people asked in the wake of the killing of Cecil is the same one that people should ask in Arizona: Why would a person of wealth and privilege shoot a lion he isn’t even going to eat? An animal whose hunting behavior keeps prey populations in check and whose presence is a reminder that there are still wild places in our world where all kinds of beautiful animals, including native carnivores, should be allowed to flourish.

This will be the sixth ballot measure in the west to stop the unsporting trophy hunting of mountain lions, and voters have sided with establishing or maintaining protections for lions in every single one of them. It is also the seventh statewide ballot measure on animal protection issues in Arizona since 1994, and voters have sided with the animal protection position in six of six cases.

There are perhaps few things as senseless as the trophy hunting of mountain lions; no one eats these animals, and that makes killing them easy to classify as trophy hunting in its purest form.

What makes it even worse is that the primary method of hunting the lions is with packs of dogs and radio telemetry equipment, in what amounts to a high-tech search-and-destroy mission. A trophy hunter releases a pack of hounds, fitted with radio transmitters on their collars, and then tracks the chase with a handheld directional antenna. Once the dogs pick up a scent and careen after the lion, the quarry flees, but sometimes turns to fight – resulting in a situation that pits animals in violent combat. If the cat doesn’t kill the dogs, or the dogs don’t overtake and kill the cat (including young kittens), the cat will scamper up a tree.

The hunter will then follow the radio signal to the base of the tree or cliff face, and shoot the lion at close range.

It’s about as sporting as shooting an animal in a cage at the zoo.

Trophy hunting clubs like Arizona-based Safari Club International have, in recent years, promoted the killing of mountain lions by offering awards, certificates, and killing contests to reward and encourage trophy hunters. SCI’s award categories like “North American 29,” “Cats of the World,” and “Trophy Animals of North America” include mountain lions.

Mountain lions pose an immeasurably small risk to humans and do their best to avoid us. Lions have attacked just a handful of people in the United States in the last 30 years, even as we’ve invaded their traditional habitats with developments, agriculture, and recreational activities.

On the other hand, trophy hunters have killed more than 78,000 mountain lions during that same period – an average of 2,500 a year in 10 western states, according to a report we released earlier this year in cooperation with the Summerlee Foundation: State of the Mountain Lion: A Call to End Trophy Hunting of America’s Lion.

These native carnivores provide all sorts of benefits to their ecosystems. Mountain lions keep deer and elk herds healthier, taking weak, sick, and diseased animals. They leave carrion for black bears, grizzly bears, and other scavengers. They are highly sentient and familial. A mother will care for her kittens for up to 24 months, and if she is killed, the kittens could die from starvation, predation, or exposure.

In cases where lions cause an actual problem or pose a perceived or actual threat, the ballot measure allows selective killing of those individuals. The measure, on the other hand, is designed to stop trophy hunters from chasing down and killing unoffending lions – lions who aren’t bothering anyone, and like any creature, are just trying to live and get through another day.

This ballot measure is about our humanity. It’s about ending unsporting methods, killing for no good reason, or killing as a head-hunting exercise. It’s about letting animals have small slices of land where they don’t have to worry about the threat of premeditated human violence.

Join us in this fight to protect America’s own iconic lion and other wild cats of the west. Their future depends on our decision to act on their behalf.

Poll suggests majority of British Columbians support complete ban on grizzly bear hunt

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A new poll suggests three-quarters of British Columbians think grizzly bears should not be hunted in this province at all.

The online survey, conducted by Insights West, found 74 per cent of the over 800 participants said they would support a ban on hunting grizzly bears, while 19 per cent are opposed.

Over 800 people responded to the study across the province, including several self-described hunters, 58 per cent of whom said they would support a ban.

The survey was held for three days at the end of August, two weeks after the B.C. government banned trophy hunting of grizzly bears. A residential hunt is still allowed under the new ruling.

READ MORE: Roughly 75% of rural British Columbian voters oppose grizzly bear trophy hunt: poll

The study found 78 per cent of women across B.C. support a complete ban on the hunting of grizzly bears. The area of the province with the most support for a ban was Vancouver Island, with 81 per cent of residents there voting against the hunt.

Eighty-one per cent of people who voted for both the NDP or the Green Party in the B.C. provincial election in May are in support of the ban, while residents aged 35 to 54 make up the age group that supports a ban the most, with 79 per cent.

READ MORE: B.C. NDP plan to ban grizzly bear trophy hunt

“With so many residents who believe grizzlies should not be hunted at all, there is definitely appetite for more action” beyond the government’s trophy hunting ban, Mario Canseco of Insights West said.

Province to consult on grizzly regulations

The poll comes as the province announces a round of public consultation on its new grizzly hunting regulations, to take effect Nov. 30.

Earlier this summer, the new NDP government announced plans to ban trophy hunting, which would close all grizzly hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest, and would block hunters from possessing the paws, head or hide of a grizzly.

Hunting for meat is still permitted.

In a media release, the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resources said it now wants input on five areas related to the new rules:

  • Changes to manage the ban in hunting areas that overlap the Great Bear Rainforest;
  • Changes that will prohibit the possession of “trophy” grizzly bear parts;
  • Changes that will manage prohibited grizzly bear parts;
  • Changes to prohibit the trafficking of grizzly bear parts, and
  • New reporting requirements for taxidermists.

British Columbians looking to weigh in can find out more here, and make comment until Nov. 2.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


New Denver, BC – Thirty-eight environmental and animal welfare organizations, along with wildlife-based businesses and prominent activists, have signed an Open Letter to the BC Government…

opposing the continuation of grizzly bear hunting for meat. “The BC government is planning to end trophy hunting of grizzly bears, but will allow them to be hunted for meat across most of the province, except for part of the Great Bear Rainforest,” says Ian McAllister of Pacific Wild.  “We are asking for a complete ban on hunting grizzly bears all over BC.”

The Open Letter says there has never been significant hunting of grizzly bears for meat in BC. “Previously grizzly bears were classified by BC Fish & Wildlife with non-game animals such as wolverines, wolves and cougars,” says Alan Burger of BC Nature. “Hunters were specifically allowed under law to leave the meat on the ground and take only the trophy parts. Many British Columbians are appalled that the government has now invented a grizzly bear meat hunt.”

“People don’t travel hundreds or thousands of kilometres, pay tens of thousands of dollars, and risk their lives shooting at grizzly bears to put meat on the table,” the Open Letter states.  “They largely do it only for trophies and sport.  Even if they have to leave the head, hide and claws behind, they take away trophy videos, photographs and bragging rights. The bears will still be killed for sport”.

The Open Letter disputes the BC government’s claim that hunting grizzly bears is sustainable. “Grizzly bears are a species at risk,” says Wayne McCrory, a bear biologist and Valhalla Wilderness Society director. “For years independent scientists have warned the government that BC may have far fewer grizzly bears than we think”.

“We have thriving grizzly bear viewing and photography businesses in the Interior, just like on the coast,” says famed Kootenay wildlife photographer, Jim Lawrence. “People are thrilled to see these magnificent animals alive and in photographs.

“Stop the Grizzly Killing Society receives comments from many hundreds of people,” says Trish Boyum, who has campaigned tirelessly to protect grizzlies. “It is clear that British Columbians want a total ban on killing grizzly bears across BC, except where they would be hunted by some First Nations People for sustenance and ceremonial purposes.”

“Collectively, our organizations, which represent the majority of British Columbians, urge the BC government not to authorize any further grizzly bear hunting until it has done a full review of public input and the soon-to-be released Auditor General’s report. This is a very critical conservation issue in our province and we have an opportunity to do it right.,” says Dr. Sara Dubois, Chief Scientific Officer of the BC SPCA.

The open letter can be downloaded at:

38 Signators:
• Animal Advocates of BC
• Animal Alliance of Canada
• Animal Justice
• Animal Protection Party
• Applied Conservation GIS
• BC Nature
• Bears Matter
• Canadians for Bears
• Clayoquot Action
• Craighead Institute
• David Suzuki Foundation
• DeerSafe Victoria
• First Nations Environmental Network
• Friends of the Lardeau River
• Friends of Nemaiah Valley
• George Rammell Grizzly bear activist
• Great Bear Chalet
• Humane Society International/Canada
• Justice for B.C. Grizzlies
• Kootenay Reflections Photography
• Kwiakah First Nation
• West Coast Wild Art Co.
• Lifeforce Foundation
• Ocean Adventures Charter Co.
• Ocean Light II Adventures
• Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours
• Pacific Wild
• Purcell Alliance for Wilderness
• Save the Cedar League
• Steve Williamson Photography
• Stop the Grizzly Killing Society
• The Furbearers
• Tourists Against Trophy Hunting
• Valhalla Wilderness Society
• Wildlife Defence League
• Wolf Awareness Incorporated
• Zoocheck Canada


We, the undersigned environmental and animal welfare organzations, and wildlife-based businesses, are pleased that the current BC government is committed to end the trophy hunt of grizzly bears. However we strongly oppose the government’s plans to allow continued grizzly bear hunting, under the pretext of hunting for meat, except for a jointly-regulated First Nations ceremonial/sustenance hunt. Part of the Great Bear Rainforest would have a total ban on hunting, but that’s only a very small part of grizzly bear habitat in BC. We oppose the meat hunt for the following reasons:

1. Grizzly bears are a species at risk. They are blue-listed in BC, and threatened by poaching, human conflicts, habitat destruction and hunting. They have disappeared from 18% of their range in BC. (1) Out of 56 grizzly bear subpopulations in BC, 9 are classified as “threatened” by British Columbia.

2. We expect to see much trophy hunting continued under the guise of “meat” hunting. In the past, virtually all grizzly bear hunting has been trophy hunting, except for First Nations ceremonial / sustenance hunting (which we do not oppose). Many hunters find the meat unpalatable. Grizzly bears were previously included by BC Fish & Wildlife with non-game animals such as wolverines, wolves and cougars. In the past, BC hunting regulations have had a provision allowing hunters to leave the meat on the ground and take only the trophy parts. People do not travel hundreds or thousands of kilometres, pay tens of thousands of dollars, and risk their lives shooting at grizzly bears to put meat on the table. The proposed new regulations for meat hunting will simply disguise trophy hunting as meat hunting. Even if the head, hide and claws are left on the ground, or given to a conservation officer, the hunter will take away trophy videos, photographs and bragging rights. The bears will still be killed for sport.

The BC government is considering various options to distinguish trophy hunting from meat hunting, but they only increase our conviction that this division is unenforceable. For many years BC has been unable to control substantial poaching of bears, how will it account for every trophy part of every bear shot by hunters?

3. The government has claimed the grizzly hunt is sustainable. However, independent biologists have been saying for years that this is not true. We do not even know with certainty how many grizzly bears there are in BC, or how many can be killed without reducing the population. Peer-reviewed studies by scientists have found numerous cases of too many bears being killed (by all causes), even according to the government’s own population numbers. Studies have proven that hunters often kill too many female bears. The European Union investigated BC’s grizzly bear hunt, ruled it environmentally unsustainable, and banned the import of trophies.

4. Closing the meat hunt in a limited area will concentrate hunting in other areas. While the government proposes to stop all grizzly bear hunting in a 230,000-hectare area of the Great Bear Rainforest, this is only a small part of grizzly bear habitat across BC. Grizzly bear hunting in this area will simply move to other coastal and interior areas of the province.

In addition, the undersigned object to the following aspects of the public consultation process for the new grizzly bear hunting regulations.

1. The process only considers how to manage the meat hunt, not whether there should even be a meat hunt. Participants are forced to accept the meat hunt as fait accompli.

2. Poor public access to information. Only those who sign confidentiality agreements can have access to some important information. Only those willing to sign the confidentiality agreements can be “stakeholders”, which receive priority consultation. The government has not released a complete list of stakeholders. The process was not advertised until recently, when it had already been running about a month, unbeknownst to many undersigned organizations. The confidentiality agreements represent muzzling of public organizations and suppressing information.

In June of this year, 23 organizations concerned with the welfare of wildlife sent a letter to the BC government that stated: “The wildlife of the province belongs to all British Columbians, and has by law been held by the government in trust.” The letter came about because the provincial government had been giving hunting organizations and related businesses priority access to consultation on matters related to wildlife, resulting in glaring policy bias.

Today the undersigned organizations and businesses are seeking increased recognition by the government that BC wildlife belongs to all Canadians, who have an equal stake in how it is managed, and an equal right to relevant information. We expect proportionate representation in all provincial wildlife matters. BC has over 1,500 species at risk. Recognizing the worldwide biodiversity crisis, the management of our wildlife must shift away from maximizing how many animals hunters can kill, to the practice of conservation biology to ensure the survival of species at risk.

We hold that the upcoming Auditor General’s report on the grizzly bear hunt — which was due to be released in September — is critical information for all parties to have before making decisions on this issue. Rushing to change the hunting regulations before the report is released wastes the tax dollars that have been spent to better inform decision-making. We urge the BC government not to authorize any further grizzly bear hunting until it has done a full review of public input and the soon-to-be released Auditor General’s report.


1. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Grizzly Bear of Canada,

2. Artelle, K. A., Anderson, S. C., Cooper, A. B., Paquet, P. C., Reynolds, J. D., Darimont, C. T., “Confronting Uncertainty in Wildlife Management: Performance of Grizzly Bear Management,” PLOS ONE, Nov. 2013, Vol. 8,

[Wolf] Hunting to Resume After Wyoming Gains Authority Over Wolves

Licensed wolf hunting is set to resume in Wyoming for the first time since 2013 after the state won back the authority to manage the animals.

Sept. 28, 2017, at 4:37 p.m.

The Associated Press

FILE – This July 16, 2004, file photo, shows a gray wolf at the Wildlife Science Center in Forest Lake, Minn. For the first time since 2013, licensed wolf hunting will take place in Wyoming. Wyoming’s wolf hunting season opens Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017 and runs through Dec. 31. It is confined to 12 trophy game hunt areas in the northwest part of the state. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has set a quota of 44 wolves to be taken. (AP Photo/Dawn Villella, File) The Associated Press

By BOB MOEN, Associated Press

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Licensed wolf hunting is set to resume in Wyoming for the first time since 2013 after the state won back the authority to manage the animals.

The season opens Sunday and runs through Dec. 31 in 12 trophy game hunt areas in the northwest part of the state.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has set a limit of 44 wolves for the hunt.

“We don’t set up a mortality quota necessarily expecting to meet it or thinking we need to meet it,” said Ken Mills, the state’s lead wolf biologist. “That’s just what we’ve said is a sustainable number for the population and will leave us approximately where we want to be at the end of the year.”

Mills said the state wants to see 160 wolves remaining in the trophy game area after the hunt is over.

Earlier this year, a federal appeals court lifted endangered species protection for wolves in Wyoming, allowing the state to take over management of the animals.

There are about 380 wolves in Wyoming. The state is committed to maintaining at least 100 wolves, including 10 breeding pairs, outside Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks and Wind River Indian Reservation.

Tim Preso, a lawyer with Earthjustice in Montana, said wolf advocates are concerned about whether Wyoming maintains sufficient wolf numbers, especially when wolves are considered predators that can be shot on site in 85 percent of the state.

Preso represents a coalition of groups that sued over Wyoming’s wolf plan.

“If they start moving in a direction where they’re going to try to manage down to minimums — that would be troubling and we would be very concerned about that,” Preso said. “But at least for this first year, that’s not what they appear to be doing. So we’ll continue to watch it and see how this moves forward.”

Wolf hunting continues to be prohibited in the national parks, the National Elk Refuge near Jackson and on the reservation.

The state last allowed licensed wolf hunting in 2012 and 2013, but it was stopped when a federal judge sided with environmentalists concerned about Wyoming’s wolf management plan.

Montana and Idaho also have wolf hunting seasons that have not been interrupted by court action.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Donald Trump Jr. Ditched Secret Service to Go Moose Hunting

Donald Trump Jr. gave up his Secret Service detail in mid-September to go on a moose-hunting trip in the Yukon, according to a report in The New York Timesthat details one reporter’s quest to locate the eldest son of the president during his adventure. Trump voluntarily abandoned the protections when he traveled to the sparsely populated northwest Canada territory, where he spent a week with a few friends and a hunting bow. Trump Jr.’s Secret Service protection has since been reactivated.

Miley Cyrus joins call to close ‘loophole’ on grizzly bear hunt in B.C.

Popstar Miley Cyrus is back in B.C. politics, this time joining the call for a full ban on grizzly bear hunting.

This follows a decision from the BC NDP to stop the contentious grizzly bear trophy hunt in the province while allowing hunting for meat to continue.

READ MORE: Miley Cyrus visits B.C. to discuss wolf cull

But Cyrus, along with local conservation group Pacific Wild, says hunters are using that as a “loophole” and claiming they are hunting for food.

The campaign was released on Tuesday and it features the voice of the artist singing a chilling version of Teddy Bears’ Picnic over footage of an empty forest.

“Last year 300 grizzly bears were killed in B.C., let’s end the hunt before they’re gone,” reads the text at the end of the video.

WATCH: BC Greens says NDP plan to end trophy grizzly hunting isn’t a true ban

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations has estimated there are 15,000 grizzly bears in B.C., and that about 250 are killed each year.

“The grizzly bear is the second slowest reproducing land mammal in North America, one that’s threatened throughout much of its natural range and habitat,” said Executive Director at Pacific Wild, Ian McAllister, in a release.

READ MORE: B.C. NDP government stopping contentious grizzly bear trophy hunt

The statement says over 90 per cent of British Columbians want to see a complete end “to this barbaric hunt.”

The ban on trophy hunting will take effect on Nov. 30.

This isn’t the first time Cyrus has been involved with a campaign in B.C., back in 2015 while on a trip to B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest, she spoke out against the province’s controversial wolf cull.

Cyrus asked her Instagram followers to sign a petition to stop the killings, gathering thousands of signatures.

Guide outfitters question trophy hunt ban

New restrictions to the hunting of grizzlies leave hunters frustrated and confused


guide outfitters association says that the province’s ban on hunting grizzlies for sport doesn’t make sense.

“It’s not about the bears,” said Scott Ellis, executive director of the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia (GOABC).

Ellis said that the ban — which will still allow for the hunting of grizzlies so long as the hunter harvests the bear’s meat — is about bowing to public opinion and the “whims of radicals,” rather than preserving grizzly bear populations.

Ellis said that the grizzly population in B.C. is stable, at around 15,000 bears, and that the current hunt is sustainable. “We’re seeing more bears in higher density, and we’re seeing bigger bears, and we’re seeing bears where we’ve never seen them before,” he said, adding that an average of two per cent of the total population — 300 grizzlies — is killed on an annual basis.

The B.C. government already has “robust” measures to ensure that grizzly populations remain strong, said Ellis. It only allows hunting in areas where the population of grizzlies can handle it. “(The B.C. hunt) is one of the most highly controlled hunts on the planet,” he said.

In a Monday, Aug. 14 interview with CBC News, Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (MFLNRO) Minister Doug Donaldson said that “it’s not a matter of numbers. Society has come to the point in B.C. where they are no longer in favour of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.”

The trophy hunt ban will come into force on Nov. 30. The government is also banning grizzly hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest altogether.

In that Aug. 14 interview, Donaldson also said “Hunters will no longer be able to possess the hide or the head or the paws of the grizzly bear… there’s not going to be any loopholes.”

The statement has led to confusion for hunters. Ellis fears that now hunters will be required to leave those parts at the scene of the kill. Under the current system, hunters must show their kills to conservation officers, who in turn ascertain important information, he explained.

“We’re not going to know whether we’re shooting males or females,” he said. The policy, he added, could also put hunters in danger, as they will have to skin the animal then and there, even if they are pressed for time. In response to follow-up questions sent to the MFLNRO, Donaldson said the government wanted to announce the ban to make it clear that this fall’s trophy hunt would be the last.

“The specifics of what will happen to the bear parts will be determined through the consultation process to be launched this fall,” Donaldson said in an emailed statement.

“We think it is important for all those who are interested in our wildlife resources to have a say in wildlife management, so we will be engaging in a collaborative process, to hear from First Nations and stakeholders about the implementation.”

Ellis feels that the new rules are politically motivated and are designed to discourage the hunting of grizzlies altogether. He feels they reflect a major divide between rural and urban B.C.

“I get that Vancouver don’t like seeing a bear shot,” he said. “(But) you can’t pick a particular species and say we’re going to put it on a pedestal. I think that’s poor wildlife management.”

Housing developer and philanthropist Michael Audain — who serves as chairman of the newly formed Grizzly Bear Foundation — said that he doesn’t think the ban goes far enough.

“We don’t feel that any grizzly hunting is wise or necessary. It’s not wise because the species faces enormous threats. If we don’t adopt policies more conducive to the bears, in another generation, there may be very few left in our province,” he said.

Grizzly bears used to roam all over the continent, he said. “(But) they’ve been persecuted like vermin and eradicated from much of North America.”

Closer to home, Johnny Mikes — field director of the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative — said that the trophy-hunting ban makes no difference to grizzly populations in this part of British Columbia.

Hunters are already prohibited from hunting grizzlies in southwest British Columbia, he explained. That’s because levels of grizzlies in the area are precariously low, he added.

“We don’t talk about the hunt,” said Mikes, when asked about whether he is in favour of an outright ban on hunting grizzlies. “We need to talk about how we help endangered species to come back, because in southwest B.C., that’s the issue.”

Mikes said Coast to Cascades is pushing for a “management plan for each threatened population in the coast to cascades region that ensures populations will recover.”

The organization is also calling on government to inhibit the development of valley bottoms to ensure that grizzly habitat is not fragmented.

“It’s important that people don’t feel complacent. There are populations in southern B.C. that could disappear, even though the hunt has been curtailed,” he said.

B.C. to end grizzly bear trophy hunting after this season

By Lisa Johnson, Bethany Lindsay, CBC News Posted: Aug 14, 2017 3:00 PM PT Last Updated: Aug 15, 2017 7:12 AM PT

About 250 grizzly bears are killed in B.C. each year by hunters, according to the provincial government. Hunting the bears for meat will still be allowed outside the Great Bear Rainforest.

About 250 grizzly bears are killed in B.C. each year by hunters, according to the provincial government. Hunting the bears for meat will still be allowed outside the Great Bear Rainforest. (Mathieu Belanger/Reuters)

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B.C’s new NDP government is ending the province’s controversial grizzly bear trophy hunt, saying British Columbians can no longer stomach the killing of grizzlies as trophies.

The ban will take effect Nov. 30, 2017, throughout the province — after this year’s season, which opens Tuesday in the Peace River region, and later elsewhere.

“It is time,” said Natural Resources Minister Doug Donaldson on Monday.

About 250 grizzlies are killed annually by hunters in B.C., a number Donaldson said is “sustainable” for the population estimated at 15,000 bears, but he said public opinion on the practice has turned.

“It’s not a matter of numbers, it’s a matter of society has come to the point in B.C. where they are no longer in favour of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.”

Grizzly bear buffaloberry bush

A grizzly bear eats buffaloberries. (Alex Taylor/Parks Canada)

The ban will also end all grizzly bear hunting in the coastal region known as the Great Bear Rainforest.

He said the ban isn’t taking effect before this season because there wasn’t time to give notice after the protracted B.C. election, which took place May 9 but didn’t produce a new government until mid-July.

Hunt for meat to be allowed

It’s not clear how many bears would be spared from hunting as a result of the ban.

Hunting bears for meat will be allowed, outside of the Great Bear Rainforest, and neither Donaldson nor ministry staff could say how many of the 250 grizzlies killed on average per year are killed for trophies.

When asked how hunting would be policed, Donaldson said the exact regulations would be determined following consultations with guide-outfitters and others between now and Nov. 30.

“There’s not going to be any loopholes,” he said.

“Hunters will no longer be able to possess the hide or the head or the paws of the grizzly bear.”

It’s not yet clear what hunters will be expected to do with those bear parts, but they would not be leaving the province, he said.

Bear 164

The grizzly bear trophy hunt has been controversial for years in British Columbia. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

The announcement shouldn’t be a surprise for those in the industry, said Donaldson.

“They knew this commitment was in our platform and they knew we were going to act on this commitment.”

Activists worry about ‘loophole’

The grizzly trophy hunt has long been the target of activists and conservationists, who applauded the NDP decision to end to all grizzly hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest.

But those same voices questioned the logic of allowing hunters to kill grizzlies for meat in the rest of the province.

Those critics include housing developer and art philanthropist Michael Audain, chairman of the Grizzly Bear Foundation. In March, the foundation released an 88-page report that included a recommendation to end the trophy hunt.

“My first reaction is one of delight,” Audain said Monday after the news was announced.

“At the same time, I must confess that we do have some concerns about whether the issue of packing the meat out … could become a bit of a loophole.”

Those concerns were echoed by Chris Genovali, executive director of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

“Virtually no one legitimately hunts grizzlies for food; killing these bears is strictly a trophy hunt,” Genovali said in a written statement.

Hunting guides disappointed

Meanwhile, B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver suggested the NDP’s measures don’t fully address the concerns of environmentalists or local hunters, who want to harvest all parts of the bears.

“I’m not sure how this will appease the concerns of anyone. It appears to me that the NDP were trying to play to environmental voters in the election campaign without thinking through their policies,” Weaver said in a written statement.

Mark Werner of the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. said he was disappointed that his group wasn’t consulted extensively during development of the new regulations. He argued that the true threat to grizzly populations isn’t hunting.

“If you want to do something great for grizzly bears, let’s work on habitat. Shutting down small businesses in this province isn’t going to help grizzly bears,” Werner said.

With files from Rafferty Baker and Ash Kelly

The B.C. government has announced plans to end the controversial grizzly bear trophy hunt, following up on a campaign promise made before the election.

Animal trophy hunting documentary misses the mark

“Trophy,” a documentary that explores the commodification of threatened and endangered African species, which premiered earlier this month at the Quad Cinema in New York City, is enough to have Cecil the Lion rolling over in his grave.

While the directors should be commended for putting the issue in the spotlight, it feels more like an attempt by the trophy hunting industry to save face following the public backlash after the tragic death of Cecil the lion at the hands of an American trophy hunter in Zimbabwe in 2015. And it’s no wonder, since the movie’s narrative unfolds after the directors attend the Safari Club International’s (SCI) annual hunter’s convention.

They drank the Kool-Aid.

To appease the public, the trophy hunting industry claims that without it there would be no money in Africa for conservation. In the movie, well-heeled American trophy hunters are the unsung heroes whose money is helping to save Africa’s magnificent animals from the bad-guys—local poachers driving these animals to extinction. It’s hard to stomach the hypocrisy—American trophy hunters think their money makes killing ok.

The idea that it doesn’t is not broached by directors who promise to tell both sides of the story with critical examination. The movie never considers that legal trophy hunting is one of the reasons that Africa’s Big Five face extinction in the first place and that legal trophy hunting fuels poaching.