There is no evidence to suggest the bear population is increasing:
The Ministry of Natural Resources disputes this notion, saying on its website, www.bears.mnr.gov.on.ca, that the bear population could have increased as much as 7.5 per cent per year since the cancellation of the spring hunt , but it's "extremely unlikely."
Jolanta Kowalski, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Natural Resources, says the bear population has remained consistent in Ontario with anywhere from 75,000 to 100,000 bears, although certain areas seem to be experienced an increase in occurences.
I've never been a big fan of bear "hunting" in general, which seems to consist mostly of half-drunk Americans, sitting in a tree, with a bait station below, enticing the bears, then firing a shot or arrow at close range, with NO skill required. I liken the "sport" to nothing more than visiting a garbage dump and shooting a bear from the back of a pickup. You have to wonder about the ethics of habituating the bears to the bait, given weeks in advance of the actual hunt, to ensure a huntable population for the big dollar Americans. The meat is secondary, what is really prized is the picture with the carcass, not to mention the pelt. My opinion is besides the point, the fall bear hunt will continue and it does provide revenue for economically challenged areas in the north.
Before someone accuses me of being an ignorant "southern Ontario" elitist, I should point out that I once worked in Algonquin Park and was lucky enough to spend some time with the biologist doing bear research. I also lived in rural British Columbia, where one summer we had a nightly visitor and her two cubs, which made late night exits from the car to the house quite interesting. I've had a few close calls, that turned my stool to mush (nice visual). In other words, I'm quite familar with living in bear country, and I appreciate and respect the risks.
What bothers me about the complaints, is people seem to want to be in nature, but they would prefer the sanitized version, without the nuisance of actual potential predators:
At the Delta Rocky Crest Resort, a 65-room resort on Hamer Bay in Parry Sound, general manager Alan Boivin says most sightings occur on the prized golf course, but staff is so fearful of a bear encounter that employess don’t walk alone to the trash bin at the clubhouse.
At the Cranberry Cove Resort, which has 43 rooms on 43 acres in Muskoka, owner Shawn Leon, 48, says some vacationers are “quite stupid” that they walk up to bears hoping to snap a close-up picture.
Leon says repeated calls to the Ministry of Natural Resources to set more traps go unanswered and he’s thinking of calling in the police to shoot them. “From a liability standpoint, we don’t want bears on the property because we have guests,” he said. “We can’t fence the whole property.”
Sandy Cornell, assistant manager at Clevelands House, says the ministry needs to set more traps.
If a bear is aggressive, then that animal must be shot for obvious reasons. However, people must accept the reality that bear/human encounters are part of the package, when you visit these areas. As a matter of fact I've always thought that was part of the allure, food chain and such. People are encroaching on bear habitat, so pardon me if I'm not terribly sympathetic to bears on the "golf course" or dangerously close to the "resort". Deal with it, there is a slight risk, that's the reality. Off my soapbox now :)