Grizzly bear hunting in B.C. is managed through an annual lottery hunt. (Douglas Brown photo)

Letter: Thin arguments for B.C. trophy hunt

Re” Killing bears, one way or another”.

In a recent letter to the editor, Mike Morris, MLA, offers comments in support of his opposition to the coming ‘ban’ on Grizzly bear trophy hunting in B.C.

The legislation isn’t really a ban, except in one B.C. region.

For the remainder of the province’s grizzly territory, hunters apparently can still request hunting permits. However, they will not be allowed to retain the head or specific body parts of any grizzly killed, which kind of defeats their prime reason for seeking the permit.

Mr. Morris isn’t happy with this coming change, but the reasons he gives in support of his opposition waiver somewhere between irrelevant and suspect.

The MLA points out that, as a former policeman, he was often called upon to kill problem bears. While that may be, it is an oddly illogical argument, as its premise seems to be that since problem bears are being killed anyway, a few more taken by trophy hunters won’t much matter. But, he overlooks the moral difference between the often reluctant killing of a problem bear, and the purposeful killing of one for whatever reason trophy hunters adopt as their motivation.

While I am no authority, I would like to see some research backing the MLA’s claim that “ bears have a devastating effect” on the deer, moose and caribou populations. Game department opinions, re the declining population trend, don’t single out bear predation as a significant factor, nor do the current population estimates support the “drastic” decrease in numbers that Mr. Morris alleges.

Finally, it is a bit of a stretch to try to clean up trophy hunting’s tainted public image by pointing out that any remnant grizzly carcass does not actually “go to waste,” as some opponents suggest. The remains go on to provide food for various woodland scavengers. That may be fact, but it’s a mighty thin argument to offer in support of the grizzly trophy hunt.

Sherwood Inglis