Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 54° Cloudy
News >  Pacific NW

British Columbia bans most hunts of grizzly bears

A grizzly bear cub searches for fallen fruit beneath an apple tree Sept. 25, 2013, a few miles from the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Montana. (Associated Press)
A grizzly bear cub searches for fallen fruit beneath an apple tree Sept. 25, 2013, a few miles from the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Montana. (Associated Press)
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Alaska’s neighbor to the southeast announced a ban this week on most grizzly bear hunts.

A minister in the Canadian province of British Columbia said Monday that hunting bears is over, effective immediately, because most British Columbians don’t support it. The one exception is for British Columbia’s indigenous peoples, who in Canada are known as First Nations. First Nations can hunt a small number of grizzlies under treaty rights or for food, social or ceremonial purposes.

“It’s abundantly clear that the most British Columbians do not support the killing of grizzlies,” said Doug Donaldson, British Columbia’s minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, at a news conference in Victoria.

British Columbia is home to 4.6 million people and about 15,000 grizzlies. Donaldson said the provincial government received 4,180 emailed comments, 78 percent of which supported the ban.

Previously, hunters in British Columbia harvested about 250 grizzlies annually.

In Alaska, hunters killed 1,186 brown/grizzly bears in the 2016-2017 hunting season. Grizzly bears are the same species as brown bears, although in Alaska the term “brown bear” refers to the larger bears found in coastal areas. Grizzlies are smaller and are found inland. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimates about 30,000 brown and grizzly bears are in Alaska.

British Columbia joins Alberta, the province to the east, in instituting a ban. Grizzly bear hunting is legal in the Yukon, although bag limits restrict hunters to one bear every three license years.

Earlier this year, British Columbia banned hunting grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest on the province’s northern Pacific coast.

The province also restricted the hunt to a food hunt by not allowing hunters to keep a bear’s head, paws or hide — the parts with trophy value.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.