Estimated Bear Harvest

REMINDER: It is MANDATORY to report on your hunting licence, regardless of success. The Department of Natural Resources relies on harvest reporting data for important management decisions, and so efforts to improve this reporting compliance level will be made over the coming hunting seasons.

Year

General Bear Harvesting Licences Sold

Senior Bear Harvesting Licences Sold

New Corrected Estimates (General)

New Corrected Estimates (Senior)

2016 3,726 5,665 410 147
2017 3,946 6,279 434 163
2018 3982 6685 438 174
2019 3869 5805 426 151
2020 3766 4822 414 125

How is bear harvest estimated?

In 2015, NR&R staff aimed to correct historical black bear harvest numbers based on licence sales. These correction factors are based on follow up calls to hunters that did not submit their mandatory bear harvest report. The following correcting methods were used to estimate harvest based on the number of licences sold:

General licences:
To determine a “kill” estimate:
(General licences sold) x (0.11) = Estimated number of licence holders that hunted and killed a bear.
To determine a "no kill" estimate:
(General licences sold) x (0.47) = Estimated number of licence holders that hunted and did not kill.
To determine a "did not hunt" estimate:
(General licences sold) x (0.31) = Estimated licenses not used.

Senior licences:
To determine a “kill” estimate:
(Senior licences distributed) x (0.026) = Estimated number of licence holders that hunted and killed a bear.
To determine a "no kill" estimate:
(Senior licences distributed) x (0.31) = Estimated number of licence holders that hunted and did not kill.
To determine a "did not hunt" estimate:
(Senior licences distributed) x (0.61) = Estimated licenses not used.

Note: there are a proportion of reports that come back “incomplete”; therefore the totals do not equal 100%.

Reported Black Bear Harvest by County*

County

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Annapolis 29 42 25 20 33 31
Antigonish 23 4 19 16 20 11
Cape Breton 1 0 1 2 3 4
Colchester 41 28 58 25 56 24
Cumberland 51 41 66 53 98 48
Digby 11 14 13 6 18 20
Guysborough 18 21 20 12 36 16
Halifax 35 36 39 28 22 28
Hants 20 7 23 16 23 24
Inverness 4 3 4 3 16 5
Kings 30 34 26 21 21 26
Lunenburg 15 21 13 11 8 21
Pictou 42 25 49 26 47 19
Queens 22 14 15 13 16 19
Richmond 1 0 0 0 0 0
Shelburne 5 8 8 8 6 14
Victoria 4 2 8 8 3 3
Yarmouth 6 13 11 12 8 18
Total 357 312 397 280 434 331

*These harvest numbers are only those that were reported. This table does not account for the estimation determined in the Harvest Table.

Part of Nova Scotia’s black bear management plan includes monitoring the age structure of the yearly bear harvest. Changes in age structure could indicate a change in the bear population that would need to be monitored and addressed.

Bear pre-molar teeth are submitted as part of a mandatory collection from hunters and trappers when successful in harvesting a bear.  The ages were determined by cementum tooth analysis performed by Matson’s Laboratory.

Black Bear Snaring Information: 2016-2020

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Harvest Information

 

 

 

 

 

Licences sold/distributed 299 354 319 328 352
Did not hunt 70 72 85 91 114
Returned blank 38 73 16 35 130
Returned no kill 46 50 41 47 50
Returned with kill 63 94 65 86 49

Sex Ratio

 

 

 

 

 

Male 15 28 26 38 26
Female 43 58 29 15 11
Unknown 0 8 7 5 5

Effort Information

 

 

 

 

Number of snares 214 313 229 267 170
Number of snare days 3309 6434 3094 3086 1969
Number of snare nights 1319 2895 1239 1442 1128

Please note all data for snaring combines senior and general license data.

REMINDER: It is MANDATORY to report on your hunting licence, regardless of success. The Department of Natural Resources relies on harvest reporting data for important management decisions, and so efforts to improve this reporting compliance level will be made over the coming hunting seasons.