Topics of Interest

No Bull in the West Kootenay

Management units 4-38 and 4-39 in the West Kootenay have not been included in the immature bull moose season which was recently introduced in Region 4.  “

The question resident hunters need an answer to is, “Why?”

All of Region 4 went to Limited Entry Hunting in 1991, eliminating over 80% of resident hunters.  Since then moose populations have increased significantly: resident hunter opportunity has not.  Since the LEH was instituted, non-resident hunters have increased from 6 in 1991 to almost 90 hunters in 2006.  The non-resident share of the harvest went from 4% to more than 25% some years despite half of the entire region having no guide-outfitter territories.

In some MUs non-resident hunters harvest in excess of 50% of the total harvest.  This is another hunt where residents have been treated as second class citizens in their own Province.

MUs 4-38 and 4-39 are part of the Caribou Recovery area.  These two management units have some of the highest number of LEH authorizations in Region 4 for bulls and the ONLY cow/calf LEHs in the entire region.  The Ministry of Environment is purposely trying to keep the population low to aid Caribou recovery.  So why wouldn’t there be an immature bull moose hunt?

Resident hunters and Hunter Advisory Committee members at both the Regional and Provincial level were not advised of this omission.  According to Wally Kampen, president of the West Kootenay Outdoorsman: “We discussed not having some of the management units in the Trout Lake area included in the GOS, because of low densities, but in the end we supported opening them all.  MUs 4-38 and 4-39 are gimmes as they support some of the highest moose densities in the Kootenay Region, not to mention all the cow/calf authorizations the Ministry decided to release.”

South of Mus 4-38 and 4-39 moose densities are extremely low yet there is an immature bull moose season.  Ironically enough, most of the West Kootenay is unallocated other than MUs 4-32, 4-38 and 4- 39 where three guide-outfitters have territories.  Of course GOABC has come out against the immature bull moose season as it doesn’t support their quality of hunt or trophy management agenda.

According to GOABC: “The management of big game must be conducted in a manner that grows trophy class animals and restricts provisions such as “spike-fork” seasons for immature bull moose.”

In the Kootenay hundreds if not thousands of resident hunters have lost their jobs and been laid-off yet the government is telling them they can’t go out hunting, enjoy the outdoors and feed their families.  Clearly the government has far more important priorities!

Who is managing wildlife in BC and who is it being managed for?

It clearly isn’t the lowly resident hunter.

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