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)

2015 3,808 5,217 419 136
2016 3,726 5,665 410 147
2017 3,946 6,279 434 163
2018 3982 6685 438 174
2019 3869 5805 426 151

How is bear harvest estimated?

In 2015, DNR 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

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

*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: 2015-2019

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Harvest Information

 

 

 

 

 

Licences sold/distributed 299 299 354 319 328
Did not hunt 122 70 72 85 91
Returned blank 28 38 73 16 35
Returned no kill 55 46 50 41 47
Returned with kill 92 63 94 65 86

Sex Ratio

 

 

 

 

 

Male 26 15 28 26 38
Female 51 43 58 29 15
Unknown 9 0 8 7 5

Effort Information

 

 

 

Number of snares 291 214 313 229 267
Number of snare days 3534 3309 6434 3094 3086
Number of snare nights 1553 1319 2895 1239 1442

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.