Township council asking Province to address increase in bear encounters

With bear encounters seeming on the rise locally, Brock Township council is asking the provincial government to examine the issue.

At a recent committee meeting, council directed staff to contact the Ministry of Natural Resources – as well as area MPP Laurie Scott – to request information on why there has been a noticeable increase of bears in urban and rural areas of the Township and if there are any current plans to rectify the situation.

“We obviously have a problem,” said Ward 1 Councillor Mike Jubb, noting that bears have been spotted in all three villages in recent weeks.

His colleagues agreed and unanimously supported the motion.

“The bear hunt is warranted now,” Mayor Debbie Bath-Hadden said.

The motion came after council received a letter from Beaverton resident Adam Sale.

“I’ve been a resident of Beaverton my whole life. In the last few years, it has become very evident that the bear population has been increasing. It is uncommon to talk to someone around town who hasn’t directly seen one or heard of one recently,” the letter reads.

“As a hunter I’ve had dozens on camera the test few years. Several adults at a time. Two seasons ago, a hunting partner and I had 6 bears in front of us. Four cubs and two adults. The two adults circled us for close to an hour. In April of this year we moved to Thorah Concession 6 in Beaverton. In the short time we’ve been there we have had bear sightings almost daily.”

The sightings include a pair of close calls, Sale wrote.

“Two weeks ago, I was walking in the woods behind our home with a forestry management advisor and our dog spooked one and it charged at us stopping at about 10 feet from us. Last weekend, I was working in my garden while my wife and children were piaying at the other side of the yard and an adult came through the hay between us terrifying my wife and kids,” the letter reads.

“Although we haven’t had any violent or damaging incidents yet, I believe it is only a matter of time if the population continues to grow unchecked.”

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