Greg Rensmaag and his son Connor travelled from Maple Ridge to Victoria to join a hunter rally at the B.C. legislature Monday.

Greg Rensmaag and his son Connor travelled from Maple Ridge to Victoria to join a hunter rally at the B.C. legislature Monday.

Government unmoved by hunter protest

Share for non-resident hunters and their guides still too big, hunters tell Forests Minister Steve Thomson at legislature rally

VICTORIA – Hundreds of hunters, some wearing camouflage and blowing duck calls, gathered at the B.C. legislature Monday to protest the share of big-game hunting permits set aside for guide-outfitters and their out-of-province clients.

About 300 hunters and supporters attended the rally, bringing petitions with thousands of names to present in the legislature. The largest petition called for a limit of 10 per cent share of moose and elk allocated for non-resident hunters, and 15 per cent for mountain goats and grizzly bears, prized by trophy hunters.

It was the latest of a series of protests that began in December when the government announced an increase of limited-entry hunting opportunities for guide-outfitters.

Sean Richardson, president of the Oceola Fish and Game Club in the Okanagan, said with the resurgence of hunting popularity in B.C., the government is moving in the wrong direction by increasing commercialization of wildlife harvesting.

“We need to stop managing a diminishing resource through social management, and we need to start working towards making more wildlife,” Richardson said.

Forests Minister Steve Thomson said he understands the principle behind the ongoing protest, but the latest allocation decision was made after 10 years of discussions with resident hunters and guide-outfitters, and he is not prepared to change it again.

When the plan was announced in December, the government estimated that it represented a shift of 168 animals in limited-entry hunt areas from resident hunters to guide outfitters. After resident hunters and the B.C. Wildlife Federation objected, Forests Minister Steve Thomson announced in February that is being adjusted to a shift of about 60 animals to guide-outfitters. But the protests have continued.

B.C. hunters are concerned that the share reserved for guide-outfitters is higher than anywhere else in North America. Under the latest policy for limited-entry hunts, that share is 20 per cent for elk, 20 or 25 per cent for moose depending on the restricted region, 35 per cent for mountain goat, and 40 per cent for grizzly bears.

Open season areas for moose and other animals remain in the southern Interior and northeast, where anyone can buy a license and tag to hunt. Abundant species such as mule deer, whitetail deer and black bear have no hunting quotas in any part of B.C.

Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver introduced legislation Monday that would require non-resident hunters to pack out the edible parts of grizzly bears they shoot in B.C. Trophy hunters should be subject to the same “eat what you kill” rules as resident hunters already face, he said.

 

Just Posted

The end of an Echo
The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

Princeton wildfire phots courtesy of Debbie Lyon.
UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers
VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

Aerial view south of Williams Lake Friday afternoon shows dry lightning storm passing over, leaving fire starts behind. Lightning sparked more than 100 new fires Friday. (Black Press)
VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017
DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase
59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

(Flickr/Andreas Eldh)
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage
Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds
UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Photo by: WeissPaarz.com
Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert
UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

A university study finds that about nine per cent of Canada’s Grade 11 and 12 students – roughly 66,000 teens – have driven within an hour of drinking and 9.4 per cent drove after using marijuana.                                 Photo: Now-
Leader file
One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records
Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read