Selectively shooting the big males (because the pelts bring more money) is bad.
However, trophy hunting can have a detrimental effect on polar bears based on the example of a sub-population in the area of Melville Island and northern Victoria Island. Liodden attributed a substantial drop in male numbers between the mid-1970s and early 1990s to sports hunts combined with regular harvests. Eighty-four of the animals were shot by trophy hunters between 1982-’91, according to Liodden
Polar bear harvests are co-managed in Nunavut by the Department of Environment and the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board. The total number of bears killed in 2017-18, the most recent available through government statistics, was 417 out of 484 permitted. Of those, 62 were sports hunts.
Polar Bears in northern Canada are doing fine.
Except for the ones shot and skinned and pelts shipped to Asia.
One of the people who oversees an Indigenous hunt of polar bears says the population is doing well, despite heart-wrenching photos online suggesting some bears are starving.
Every year, the Nunatsiavut government awards polar bear licences to Inuit hunters living in the northern Labrador settlement area.
The Inuit set a quota of 12 polar bears this winter. Nunatsiavut wildlife manager Jim Goudie said all 12 were taken within the first seven days of the season.
A 2007 study showed that there were roughly 2,150 bears in the Davis Strait region, which was nearly 1,300 more than previously thought. A new study is currently underway to determine if that trend has continued. (pbsg.npolar.no)
Goudie said it’s just the latest evidence that polar bears are on the rebound in northern Canada — a trend he said officials have been recording for years.
“There are lots of signs of bears,” he told CBC Radio’s Labrador Morning. “Lots of bears and a continuation of what we’ve seen over the last three or four years.”
Those who hunt bears are legally obligated to donate any meat they don’t use, but they are free to do what they want with the pelts.
Most opt to sell them to wealthy buyers from Canada to East Asia, and each pelt is embedded with a computer chip to prove it was acquired through a legal hunt.