Ontario is expanding the spring bear hunting pilot to gather further information to assess concerns voiced by northern communities about human-bear conflicts, and to support economic growth and tourism in the north.

The spring bear hunt pilot expansion will include:

? Extending the pilot by five years, through 2020
? All 88 wildlife management units currently have a fall bear hunt
? Non-resident hunters.

Under the expanded pilot, it will still be illegal to hunt bear cubs and females with cubs. Anyone convicted of this offence could face a fine of up to $25,000 and up to one year imprisonment. In most cases, each licensed hunter will only be allowed to hunt one bear in each calendar year.

Baiting of bears during all bear hunting seasons will be regulated to help address public safety concerns, including:

• Bait must not be placed within 500 metres of a residence unless written permission is obtained from the residence’s owner
• Bait must not be placed within 500 metres of a public building
• Bait must not be placed within 200 metres of a right of way for public vehicle traffic or a marked public recreational trail.