The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.
TIMMINS – A call to bring back the spring bear hunt through a newly created social media page is quickly gaining support. In less than a month since, the Bring Back Spring Black Bear Hunting page on Facebook has garnered more than 2,460 likes.
“Lately, it’s been like 200 a day,” said Raymond Boisjoli, the Kapuskasing resident who created the page. He said the concern has reached a point where Northerners are afraid to go for a walk if they live near the bush.
“I used to go in the bush in the summer and just walk. You can’t do that anymore because it’s too dangerous,” said Boisjoli, who also plans to launch a petition in the coming weeks.
The petition will be available at various locations throughout the North and eventually presented to the provincial government. “Something needs to be done,” he said. “A lot of people feel they can’t go into the bush or do as many activities as they used to.
“The bear population is getting too high and it seems they are not really that scared of humans anymore … Especially for people in town who have had bears in their backyard. It’s ridiculous.”
He said one option for the government could be to give the spring bear hunt a one-year trial to see if it makes a difference in the number of nuisance bear complaints and encounters with humans.
Boisjoli said he was spurred to launch this campaign following numerous incidents in Ontario this year of people being attacked or stalked by bears.
There were at least three reported attacks in the province this year.
One occurred just outside Cochrane this past spring, in which a Toronto man was severely mauled. The others reported attacks occurred in Thunder Bay and Peterborough.
There was also a local incident reported in which a bear was persistently stalking and exhibiting aggressive behaviour towards a biologist who was working in the bush near Foleyet.
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