Regulatory Changes Dramatically Impact Moose Hunting in Northeast BC – Vancouver Island Free Daily

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Changes to hunting regulations will have a major impact on moose hunting in northeast British Columbia.

For a year, there will be a limited entry moose hunt in the Peace region rather than a general open season, the Forestry Department said in a May 19 news release. This means that interested moose chasers will be entered into a draw and only successful applicants will receive permits.

The new regulations also closed moose hunting in the Peace region for the month of August and the first half of October.

Previously, any hunter with a license could travel to the area and attempt to shoot a moose between Aug. 15 and Oct. 31, without having to enter a draw.

Other changes to the region this year include the closure of caribou hunting and the closure of moose hunting in key areas around the Peace Moberly Tract and Moose Lake.

“The changes to hunting regulations in northeast British Columbia are an interim measure and part of broader actions to improve wildlife stewardship, enforce treaty rights and improve habitat conservation,” the Ministry of Forestry said.

Not having an open season in the Peace region will put more pressure on other regions, said David Lewis, BC Wildlife Federation president for the Skeena region.

In a press release, the Ministry of Forests said the decisions “were informed by extensive engagement with the public, First Nations, the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia and the BC Wildlife Federation.”

Lewis does not believe the proposed changes are based on science.

The changes to hunting regulations came after Blueberry River First Nation won a lawsuit against the province that claimed the cumulative effects of industrial development were infringing on their rights.

“So instead of coming in and dealing with industrialization, the government, in its infinite wisdom, came back and said, ‘We’re going to take the resident hunters off the land,'” Lewis said.

Less drastic regulatory changes have been made in other northern regions.

In the South Skeena region, limited entry hunting will replace the current general open season of October 20-22 and archery-only general open seasons in September and November.

The province said the changes will alleviate some of First Nations’ concerns about overharvesting.

“About several years ago, we went from a seven-day general open season to a three-day open season, but the three-day season still allowed local residents to get out and hunt, locally . Now there is no possibility to hunt in the area. It now becomes, either you’re in the toss, hope for the best, or you’re going to head north,” Lewis said.

Lewis is concerned the changes will have a significant impact on resident hunters and he said the BC Wildlife Federation has passed a resolution to contact the department about priority for residents, particularly regarding guide outfitters. .

Moose hunters in the Parsnip Valley in the Omineca area will see new regulations ending antlerless moose hunting seasons, which includes cows and calves. The valley is part of a caribou recovery project and so the province has said that if an increase in moose numbers leads to an increase in wolves in the area, it will consider reintroducing antlerless moose hunting. .

Also in the Omineca area, two weeks will be added to limited-entry moose hunting in areas where the animals cause the most damage to farms and ranches.


kaitlyn.bailey@blackpress.ca
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