The Chair of BC Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is disappointed with the incoming ban on grizzly bear trophy hunting.
Bill Hanlon is speaking after the BC NDP government announced Monday grizzlies across the province can only be hunted for the purpose of harvesting meat after November 30th.
All hunting of the species within the Great Bear Rainforest will be prohibited as well.
Hanlon, who is based out Cranbrook, says industrial development and recreation and overall human encroachment are bigger threats to grizzly populations than hunters.
He goes on to suggest hunters work in the best interest of grizzlies by advocating for habitat protection.
Hanlon explains groups like theirs try to keep backcountry wild to minimize human-bear conflicts, to protect grizzly bears’ natural homes and large areas they can be roam freely.
His biggest concern is if you remove “hunter-conservationists” from the equation it delivers a detrimental blow to populations because they are fighting for the protection of their habits.
He does admit the trophy hunt is a controversial issue and that’s why they continue to push the Province to create a comprehensive wildlife management policy.
The policy was discussed during a wildlife round-table in Cranbrook in March.
Hanlon believes government should always take a science based approach to wildlife management decisions, not their social agenda.
There are an estimated 15-thousand grizzly bears in the province and about 250 have been taken each year by hunters since the hunt was reinstated by the Liberals 16 years ago.
– BC Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Chair Bill Hanlon