With opening day of the fall bear hunt fast approaching, professional First Nations bear guides are reminding BC hunters of their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to trade in their grizzly hunt tags for a chance to shoot bears with cameras, not guns.
Resident hunters who have successfully applied for a Limited Entry Hunt (LEH) authorization for a grizzly bear in regions 5-08 and 5-09 are invited to send in their tags by September 10 to be in the draw for a trip for two to Spirit Bear Lodge, an award-winning bear and wildlife viewing resort in Klemtu BC.
“I’ve dedicated much of my working life to bears and protecting them any way I am able.” said Douglas Neasloss, Stewardship Director for the Kitasoo/Xai’xais nation, and professional guide at Spirit Bear Lodge. “Until the BC Provincial government decides to end the trophy hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest, we’re going to do whatever we can within their rules to protect our bears—including giveaways like these to our resident hunter friends.”
The grand prize includes round-trip airfare for two, five nights’ deluxe island accommodation, and daily adventures deep into grizzly and spirit bear country with experienced professional guides. In addition, everyone who submits a tag will receive thank you prizes from local businesses and organizations operating in the Great Bear Rainforest, including Spirit Bear Coffee, QQS Project Society, Wuikinuxv master carver Frank Hanuse and the Bears Forever Project.
Hunters can mail or drop off their LEH tags at the Coastal First Nations office in downtown Vancouver - Suite 1660 - 409 Granville Street, Vancouver BC, V6C 1T2.The Grand Prize Winner will be selected via random draw on September 11, 2014. Once contacted, the winner’s name will be posted on the Spirit Bear Adventures Facebook page and website.
Coastal First Nations, an alliance of First Nations on British Columbia’s North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii, issued a formal ban on trophy hunting for bears with their territories in 2012. In the two years since that ban was enacted, internationally-respected biologists, professional economists and more than 10,000 British Columbians have voiced their support for the ban. Despite growing support for the ban from internationally-respected biologists, professional economists and more than 10,000 British Columbians, the Provincial Government continues to issue tags for the bear hunt.
“One of the big questions we heard when we launched this idea was whether or not anyone would be willing to turn in their tags.” said William Housty, Heiltsuk Coastwatch Director. “We’re thrilled to say we’ve already heard from several hunters who successfully applied for a tag and want to send them to us. And every single tag turned over represents another bear that gets to live on and thrive for another season in the Great Bear Rainforest. That feels like winning to us.”
The bear hunt opens on September 10 and runs through November 30.