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

Nanaimo RCMP say busts and arrests will have an impact on organized crime

Over $350,000 worth of drugs seized by police after busts in Nanaimo, Vancouver and Richmond

Nanaimo byelection candidates outline their priorities

Candidates provide their reasons for running and their priorities, in their own words

Investigation ongoing after hit-and-run in downtown Nanaimo leaves woman injured

Police say a Toyota Camry found abandoned on Cliff Street in Nanaimo

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Respect ferry etiquette

Letter writer suggests that we consider the ferry terminal and the ferry itself as a ‘village’

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Nanaimo byelection candidates get their first chance to debate

NDP, B.C. Liberals, Greens participated in Forum for Millennial Leadership debate Monday

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

‘Dr. Lipjob’ avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

New Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores how languages change and disappear

‘Athut/Words Bounce’ features work by artists Patrick Cruz, Joi T. Arcand and Susan Hiller

Most Read