|Written By: Jim Grayston
Former NOTO Executive Director
|Originally Published in the July/August 1996
issue of The Outfitter Magazine.
The Bear Alliance has called an end to their much publicized media campaign.
In a letter dated June 17, 1996 they advised that there will be no more newspaper ads and that they have directed Mediacom to remove the billboards by June 30th.
This act comes as a result of a number of things happening. I believe first and foremost that the campaign was not as successful as they had hoped. Clearly, there were individuals, organizations, bureaucrats and politicians who realized that this was a smear campaign full of misinformation and untruths.
They could not provide one piece of scientific evidence which demonstrated that the spring hunt was having a negative impact on bear population or genetics.
They could not fight the economic argument. The spring bear hunt means big dollars, not only to operators but to communities and the Ontario Government.
Their pitiful argument of comparing bear baiting to shooting birds at a bird feeder simply did not wash.
The second reason for the end of the campaign was their desire to negotiate with us and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH). When approached by the Bear Alliance to negotiate we have refused. Why would we be interested in talking to a group that was out to put us out of business?
We advised them in no uncertain terms that unless the campaign was discontinued then we would never be able to further any discussions.
I believe that these two factors have caused them to take this action. We should not however, feel that the campaign will not return. I’m certain that come next spring that Mr. Robert Schad will provide the necessary funds to begin the campaign again.
NOTO continues to work with the Honourable Chris Hodgson, Minister of Natural Resources to keep our Government’s support. At present, the Minister remains committed to the spring bear hunt. As I have mentioned in the past, to keep that support we need to demonstrate that the harvest is at a sustainable level.
We continue to work on that number, but clearly we need to get there and, as an industry, support it.
In last month's Tracker, we asked you to provide information on nuisance bear situations.
We still need that information, so please either telephone, fax or write to us.
Bud Dickson on TV Ontario
On the evening of June 17th, Past President Bud was on TVO’s Studio 2 program.
This is a live, phone in show. Bud was on the show representing the industry to discuss the topic of the spring bear hunt. Many operators saw the show and we have received many positive calls complimenting Bud on a job well done.
In addition, Bud, NOTO member Roy Bennett and son Darryl were in a film clip which started the show. The TVO film crew had gone to Roy’s place to film the hunt. Roy, Darryl, and his guests did a very good job on what must have been a very difficult situation. On behalf of NOTO thanks Bud, Roy and Darryl.