Letter: North Shore resident in favour of proposed spring bear hunt

Dear Editor:

First of all, let me say that I immediately contacted the Environmental Registry at Ontario and let my support for a spring bear season be known.

I also told them, more or less, what I am about to divulge to you!

Of course I am in favour of anything that will rid the farms and forest of those big carnivorous boar bears. I have lost count of how many calves I have lost over the years to them. I think I found enough remains to get paid for one, maybe two; others were just bloody spots and a few dribbles of blood as the squalling calf was carried away. I have no way of estimating the grain destroyed, or the hayfields packed and fences broken, nor can I but guess at how many moose calves are gobbled down by these vermin each year. Not to mention the 54 people who were killed by black bears since 1960! I, myself have had several nasty confrontations and my mother’s legs were covered with scars from a bear attack. There should be a bounty on them! They should be shot on sight! And many hunters do! And if you want to eat one, go right ahead, you can have my share; I wouldn’t eat a carnivore or omnivore unless I was starving—I don’t have to!

So I am all for a bear season in the spring, However, I feel that telling a non-resident landowner that he cannot hunt them on his own property, or that an Ontario resident cannot guide his non-resident family members is a bit…what? Cheap? Grasping? Unfair?

Oh, I know why those rules are there. For the same reason as so many forest access roads are closed off to create artificial “remote” areas. It is to put money into the pocket of the tourist outfitters! They want the bush cut up into Bear Management Areas, and they certainly don’t we unwashed peasants free lance guiding Yankees, nope, they want them sitting on their fat bottoms on tree stands that are baited and restricted for clients of the outfitters only. If you want in on this money, why, you can go work for the (often American) outfitter. “Yes sir! No sir! Thank you! Please!”

Now don’t get me wrong. I understand why those lodge owners want that, I can even sympathize, sort of. We all like to make a buck, we all want to control our industry as much as we can. What I can’t understand is why the run of the mill outdoorsman that belong to the OFAH supports this attitude, because now our ox is getting gored. What’s in it for Joe from North of Somewhere if the only guy who can cash in on guiding the bear hunters is the local tourist outfitter?

Charlie Smith