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Changes in Bear Rules in Cottage Country

Changes in Bear Rules in Cottage CountryThere have been some changes in bear rules in cottage country.  Last summer had far fewer bear sightings in cottage country compared to the past four or five years. When it was decided by the Haliburton Highlands municipalities to "bear-proof" land fill sites thus cutting off the bears' steady source of food, they began to forage for food in populated areas around our lakes. Nuisance bears became a common experience. The explanation given to the public was that over time the bears would return to their natural patterns for sourcing food and it looks like that information was correct. This has led to a change in who to turn to if you are in a situation with an unwanted bear.

So what exactly are the changes in bear rules in cottage county?  In the past it was the Ministry of Natural Resources who would come, usually to live trap the bear and transport it to outside of Haliburton County. This was largely found to be unsuccessful as most bears found their way back home. Now, it is the OPP who should be called and they will shoot the animal. Owners are also permitted to kill the bear if they feel that they are in a dangerous situation, although most aren't comfortable or able to do so. It's always best if confronted with a bear to back away, never run, and take shelter in a building or car.

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