VFGPA Members,

We have several black bears on our property, i.e. one younger male, and one large female with 2 cubs.

The larger female has become an increasing challenge. She is “habituated” to the sound of shooting, and has been getting closer to people. She blocked the MP road yesterday, and could only be “pushed off” by a slow moving pick up truck. She has appeared on our archery, rifle, pistol and shot gun ranges. Sometimes alone, sometimes with one or both cubs. She almost collided with one of our staff members driving a gator.

The bears have been reported to the Conservation Officer Service. One of our neighbours had already complained as the bear was going through their garbage.

Please advise myself, our Manager (manager@vfgpa.org), and our Association Ranger (ranger@vfgpa.org) of any significant changes in bear behaviour, and it too will be reported to the Conservation Officer Service.

The expectation is the mother will likely separate from her cubs by August, and before that, all three should have left our property for areas with more food, i.e. berries and salmon. If any member is aware of berry fields on our property, please advise myself, the resident manager, and our Association Ranger of the location.

While most bear encounters result in the bear leaving an area, they can become more assertive or destructive when they have learned to associate humans and their activities with food. Do not allow your food to be consumed by the bears either intentionally, or by accident, and this includes any food waste. If this bear gets more aggressive, she will not be relocated the Conservation Officer Service. In fact, the policy is that she will be killed.

If you are concerned about your personal safety, consider carrying bear spray.

As we enter the summer season, and the relaxation of COVID restrictions, our already busy facilities are going to see an increase of use in all areas, including camping, fishing, sports shooting, and training. In addition, we have an active airsoft group, and when health restrictions permit, they will have over 100 youth crawling around in camouflage playing their games. Needless to say, we have a due diligence requirement to address member safety issues.

So, stay bear aware, communicate, and be safe.

 

Sincerely,

Douglas Bancroft
President
Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association