Plan your spring bear hunt for safety and to obey regulations

Mac Olsen
Spotlight
Hunters, as you put your trail cameras out and plan for your spring bear hunts, here are some things to keep in mind.

“We want to remind hunters to follow the regulations for the upcoming black bear season,” says Cole Smith, District Fish and Wildlife Officer, Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch, in High Prairie.

Make sure your bait sites are marked properly, to alert the public of potential hazards.

Signs should be legible, with the hunter’s name and Wildlife Identification Number; and if required, the big game outfitter guide permit number or big game guide designation number.

Signs for the bait sites must be posted along main access points for public awareness.

Bait sites that are left unmarked pose a safety hazard, especially to petroleum workers.

Baiting for black bears is only permitted in certain Wildlife Management Units, please refer to hunting regulations for specific details on locations.

You can also contact your local Fish and Wildlife Officer for more information before setting up a bait site.

Bait sites in some Wildlife Management Units are not permitted due to potential of grizzly bear encounters, as hunting them in Alberta is prohibited.

At the end of the spring bear hunting season, remove your bait barrels from the sites and clean up all garbage. Fish and Wildlife officers receive many public complaints about this issue, adds Smith.

Hunters must identify the bears before shooting them, to ensure they are not sows with cubs. It is illegal to hunt a black bear under the age of one year or a female black bear accompanied by a cub under the age of one year.

Bear tags purchased for the spring hunt, can also be used during the fall hunt if they are not filled. Check Page 60 of the ‘2016 Alberta Guide to Hunting Regulations’ for further information.

Alternatively, if you have any questions or uncertainty about bear hunting, contact your nearest Fish and Wildlife officer for more information.

Alternatively, call 310-0000 toll-free to be directed to the nearest office.

If you see or suspect poaching taking place, please contact the Report a Poacher Line at 1-800-642-3800 or go their website at www. reportapoacher.com.

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