The spring bear hunt has wrapped up for the year. It is still too early for any kind of numbers to be released, but Timmins city council wants to keep the hunt going for next year.
Mayor Steve Black put the item on last night’s agenda, saying the pilot project pumps money into the economy, and keeps the community safe from bears. Police Chief Gauthier says although police work closely with the MNR, wildlife management isn’t their responsibility.
“However, public safety is,” explains Gauthier. “So from my standpoint, I will always have the officers attend bear call scenes where there could possibly be bear-human encounters. Which may turn out negatively.
Gauthier says the Timmins Police also aren’t trained to tranquilize bears. He says police have gotten 52 bear calls in June alone, and they are having an issue with nuisance bears in the backyards along 4th Ave. in Schumacher.
Black says he thinks they should keep the bear hunt while the MNR looks at the numbers for the last two years. That would be instead of the reverse, stopping the hunt, and then possibly re-instating it after the numbers are analyzed.