Bear hunt protest gathering steam

  • Apr. 14, 2008 6:00 a.m.

By Judy McKinley–As many as 100 protestors turned out Saturday in Tlell to protest the recreational bear hunt.The blustery winds had died down and the sun came up. “Say ‘honk’, say honk!” whispered the little boy’s Nonni. He giggled as he squeezed it out, then shouted it louder, his face wrinkling in delight when a car honked in response.The protestors were people of all ages, from all parts of the island, drumming, singing, playing guitar. A few were dressed as bears, greeting trucks and passersby. KC Cudmore, who has been keeping vigil at the camp, hosted the afternoon. Protestors signed postcard and petitions, shared food, and told bear stories. “We want respect for the bear and the spirit of the bear”, said one speaker.Later in the afternoon, as the rally was dying down, protestors signed a giant card and made their way to the Tlell River Lodge. It is the hunting lodge co-owned by guide outfitter Kevin Olmstead who was reputed to be arriving by ferry on Saturday. But the lodge appeared empty. The group left the card there, and said prayers for the bears and the hunters.What’s next? Mr. Cudmore and others will continue to maintain a presence by the bridge. One protestor from Skidegate says she hears helicopters goes by and wonders if hunters are just heading straight to Naden. Skidegate will hold a fire vigil where opponents to the hunt can gather in the evenings. Still no comment from the Premier’s office. The youtube video called Bear Hunting on Haida Gwaii now has more hits, and the issue has been reported on the CBC and Global National.