Here’s another excellent piece uncovering the mythology about the economic benefits of hunting and trapping. In short, hunters fund about 5% and trappers 0.1% of the total wildlife-based economy.
A price tag was put on the nature-based activities Canadians undertake in a quietly released report earlier this month. The 2012 Canadian Nature Survey – and yes, it was released in June 2014 – took a look at how much time and money Canadians spend on their nature-based activities, which includes everything from hiking to photography to – you guessed it – hunting and trapping.

Eighty-nine per cent of Canadians enjoy nature in some manner, with the majority simply relaxing or having a picnic (71 per cent), viewing or reading about nature (66 per cent), hiking, climbing and horseback riding (64 per cent) and gardening or landscaping (51 per cent).

The report indicated that in 2012, an estimated $41.3 billion in “natured-related expenditures.” That is a lot of money.

Of that $41.3 billion, roughly 5 per cent was figured into the hunting and trapping category, representing expenditures of $2.02 billion in 2012. But what the trappers may not want that well known is only 2 per cent of that 5 per cent is from their community, a total of 0.1 per cent contribution to our nature-based recreational economy.

Further, the eight broad categories offered during the survey (nature-based recreation; nature-based leisure; nature education; motorized recreation; nature conservation; fishing; birding; hunting and trapping) illustrated how frequently people who were actively engaged participated in the various activities the last 12 months. Hunting and trapping?

Eight per cent. When broken down even further into more specific categories, this note was found in the report:

“The small number of respondents that reported participation in ‘trapping wild animals’ is below the threshold for statistical reliability and is therefore not shown in Figure 11.”

The take away from this report is pretty simple for us: Canadians love nature. They love being in it, surrounded by it and participating in it. They don’t love trapping. And the proof of that is in the numbers.

Click here for the full paper.

Social behaviour of black bears at a garbage dump in Jasper National Park

by Stephen Herrero, faculty of environmental design, Univ. of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta

A minimum population of 34 black bears (Ursus americanus) visiting and feeding at the town dump in Jasper National Park, Alberta, were observed for over 750 hours on 141 days in 1968. Females with young of the year visited the dump more than any other group. Their average litter size of 2.67 for regular dump visitors suggests that food from the dump contributed
to reproductives uccess. Social interactions between bears were characterized by tolerance, avoidance and spacing, but we did observe 141 intraspecifica gonistici nteractions. In 89 out of 91 agonistici nteractions,f emales with young of the year dominated all other age/sex classes, including adult males. These females, even when not with their young, used agonistic behaviour to maintain an individuald istanceo f 3 to 30 m. Twelve posturala nd 4 vocal componentso f the agonistic repertoires are described and frequency of use is given for each identifiedb ear. Agonistics ignalsw ere stereotypedb ut not invariant;p hysicalc ontact was rare. Agonistic interactions were more frequente arly in the season than later. The dump was visited by 7,500 to 10,000 tourists; despite hundreds of close approaches, including 57 situations in which people threw rocks or chased bears, a bear never struck, bit, or
touched a person. Bears on 15 such occasions directed agonistic signals toward people; these were similar to signals used in intraspecific encounters. Subadults and females with their young climbed trees, where they appeared to find safety from harassment.Bears in trees were seen nursing, playing, sleeping, sheltering, relaxing, or cooling. The dump offered a food source which was concentrated high-quality predictable, and prolonged in time. Bearse xploitedt his resourceb y formings ocial aggregationst, olerating
other bears at shorter distances when at the dump than when away.

Click Stephen Herrero: Behaviour of black bears at a garbage dump in Jasper National Park for the full article.