Group wrong about bears

It’s time for the Alberta Fish and Game Association to take a reality check. Once touted to be Alberta’s largest conservation group, the organization is losing its touch.

It’s time for the Alberta Fish and Game Association to take a reality check. Once touted to be Alberta’s largest conservation group, the organization is losing its touch.

In a bone-headed bid this week, it urged the Alberta government to “immediately” reinstate the province’s grizzly bear hunt. Its press release, available at is a real knee-slapper.

Earlier this year, it made a pitch for the government to open up a hunting season on the magnificent sandhill cranes.

What was the AFGA thinking when issuing a press release calling on the government for the bear hunt to continue, based on backwoods observations usually afforded only to those living in isolated regions of the Great Smokey Mountains?

Association president Quentin Bochar wants the hunts to continue to bring under control what he calls “regular attacks” by grizzlies on humans and human habitation.

The association makes light of scientific studies that have determined the grizzly bear population is in dire straights. It counters those claims, saying: “. . . local citizens and the AFGA are sceptical about the numbers of grizzlies bandied about by environmentalists and biologists that less than 500 grizzlies exist in Alberta.”

“Bandied about?”

Those figures are based on solid studies, which included input from government biologists who urged an end to the grizzly bear hunts until populations could be accurately determined.

“The recent attacks on and killings of human and animals alike in the Sundre are concrete examples that removing the grizzly hunt was a big mistake as they are becoming bolder and bolder,” said the release.

In the past few years, one hunter in the Sundre area has been killed by a grizzly. More recently, a couple of miniature Sundre-area donkeys, worth several thousands of dollars, fell victim to two grizzlies.

“With all these attacks occurring on a regular basis you have to wonder just how many bears there really are,” said Bochar. “It’s common knowledge that the best thing to do to keep animals wild is to have a hunt,” he added.

Firstly, attacks on a regular basis? Hardly. Secondly, to keep them wild you have to shoot them? Impossible.

They’re deader than a doornail when shot — the furthest thing from being wild.

In its bid to re-open the grizzly hunt, the AFGA added: “We hope all Albertans will also express (our) support.”

Defenders of Wildlife, a reliable conservation group, has been monitoring the grizzlies with a passion.

“Alberta’s grizzly bears are in peril now more than ever before,” said Jim Pissot, Canada’s field representative for that group. “Grizzlies need more conservation, not more bullets.”

Proven scientific studies have placed the grizzly population at a generous 419 mark.

Documented studies more accurately say 323 grizzlies. But there are grizzlies missed, thus the 419 number which informed biologists are basing their studies upon.

It is incomprehensible the AFGA fails to address the fact the intrusion on grizzly bear habitat is the biggest threat now facing such a magnificent carnivore.

These are animals that demand a pristine wilderness with lots of room and no disturbance.

We are failing the grizzlies by failing to recognize their needs based on instinctive drives, compliments of Mother Nature.

Rick Zemanek is an Advocate editor.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chris Scott, owner of The Whistle Stop Cafe, was put in handcuffs after an anti-restriction protest Saturday in the parking lot of the business. (Screenshot via The Whistle Stop Facebook page)
UPDATE: Central Alberta cafe owner arrested after anti-restriction protest

The owner of a central Alberta cafe, which was the site of… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer now has 911 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 2,917 active cases

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre's expansion project is still a high priority, says Alberta Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer hospital ICU admissions stable, but rising, says surgeon

The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s intensive care unit is in better… Continue reading

Alberta recorded a single-day record of over 57,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered. (Photo courtesy Alberta Health Services Twitter)
Alberta hits daily record of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered

Central zone has administered 111,735 doses of the COVID-19

FILE - A firefighter wears a mask as he drives his truck. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward, File
VIDEO: Flames rip through Edmonton-area seniors complex, but no fatalities

ST. ALBERT, Alta. — Fire has destroyed part of a retirement complex… Continue reading

Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, is setting off a social media reaction with his calls to stop non essential shopping, such as "buying sandals at Costco", with this photo of his worn sandals, which he published to social media on Saturday, May 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Dr. Robert Strang, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Nova Scotia’s top doctor sparks meme with caution on non-essential shopping

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia’s top doctor has launched a social media meme… Continue reading

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Canada's chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Tam warns that full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Canada’s chief public health officer reminded Canadians on Saturday that even those… Continue reading

Carolina Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour conducts drills during NHL hockey training camp in Morrisville, N.C., Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
NHL relaxing virus protocols for vaccinated playoff teams

The NHL is relaxing virus protocols for teams that reach a threshold… Continue reading

Canada skip Kerri Einarson directs her teammates against Sweden in a qualification game at the Women's World Curling Championship in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, May 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Canada’s Einarson eliminated at curling worlds after 8-3 loss to Sweden’s Hasselborg

CALGARY — Canada’s Kerri Einarson was eliminated at the world women’s curling… Continue reading

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman didn’t expect to get hit with a double whammy at… Continue reading

A courtroom at the Edmonton Law Courts building, in Edmonton on Friday, June 28, 2019. The effect of the coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on the Canadian justice system warn a number of legal experts. The Alberta Court of Queen's Bench announced Sunday it would adjourn all scheduled trials across the province for at least 10-weeks limiting hearings to only emergency or urgent matters. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton mother found guilty of manslaughter in death of five-year-old girl

EDMONTON — An Edmonton woman was found guilty Friday of manslaughter in… Continue reading

A Statistics Canada 2016 Census mailer sits on the key board of a laptop after arriving in the mail at a residence in Ottawa, May 2, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Statistics Canada sees more demand to fill out census online during pandemic

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says the response to the census is higher… Continue reading

Travellers, who are not affected by new quarantine rules, arrive at Terminal 3 at Pearson Airport in Toronto, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Ottawa will create a new digital platform to help in processing immigration applications more quickly and efficiently after COVID-19 pandemic underscored the need for a faster shift to a digital immigration system, the immigration department said. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ottawa to create new system to tackle delays in processing immigration applications

Ottawa says it will create a new digital platform to help process… Continue reading

Most Read