Bear necessities

Most of us want to know what to do when we encounter a bear. Right?
But let’s turn this around – what would bears want to know when they encounter us?
Like this rare Kermode bear (photo: Tom Leeman) we came upon on one of our trips?

Most of the time they don’t get the chance for a meaningful ‘tete-a-tete’ because we either run, spray or shoot.

A group of conservationists in British Columbia is making it possible to protect more bears by simply buying the hunting rights in outfitter territories when those come up for sale! So far they have ended commercial trophy hunting over much of British Columbia’s central coast.

Throughout this vast area, people armed only with cameras can find grizzlies feeding on spring sedges or wolf pups playing in tidal mud flats. The apprehensions of the past – when fears that the next set of watchful eyes were behind a hunting scope – are now gone.

In 2012, they secured a second hunting territory: the primary place in the world where spirit bears (the white coloured phase of the black bear, aka Kermode) roam free.