Bear Hunt Update
On behalf of bear outfitters, NOTO has continued to advocate that a recent change to bear baiting regulations have caused unsafe conditions for both our employees and our guests. These changes also cause an expensive burden on the small businesses that operate bear hunts.
NOTO staff and a member of the bear outfitting community met with MNRF in Queen’s Park mid-June regarding this challenging restriction in hopes of getting it eliminated entirely or at the very least reduced to a much more reasonable distance.
We have asked that the distance be reduced to 30 metres in Northern Ontario and 50m in the more populated southern areas of Ontario
The current regulation states; "bait sites to be 200 metres from a right of way for public vehicular traffic OR a recreational trail that is established and maintained by an organization for the use by the general public." Since this regulation was put into place, we have noted that this definition is interpreted differently across many MNRF Districts. To help provide clarity, we have also asked for commercial resource extraction roads to be excluded from this restriction.
We are very optimistic that we will see these changes come to fruition by the Spring 2018 bear hunt based on the legislative schedule.
At the Bear Outfitter Consultation sessions that were held in the spring, MNRF made a commitment to have 2018 bear “allocations” out to bear outfitters in July of 2017. We are hopeful that they will meet this target and would like to hear from bear operators their thoughts on the number of forms they are given. We are continuing our discussions with MNRF about how to make positive changes to the method that Form 33s are allocated. We encourage bear outfitters to contact the office if you have suggestions on how to improve the current system. We have heard from many of you but if you have more to share, we welcome your thoughts. NOTO is currently working with its Bear Task Force to develop a strategy that will be shared with bear outfitters over the coming months.