There is an estimated 6

Goose could soon be on the menu in Metchosin

Bylaw amendment will allow hunters to eat the geese

Damage-causing geese are in the crosshairs of new bylaw amendments that could allow Metchosin farmers to take the problem into their own hands.

“I think this is a great example of how a practical approach can deal with things,” said Mayor John Ranns. “It’s a sensible, rural approach.”

He noted that geese have done significant damage in the municipality, especially on farms.

At Monday’s meeting, council voted unanimously to ask staff to prepare a firearms bylaw amendment that would allow farmers to kill more geese during hunting season (four two-week periods between September and March). Council’s decision followed a written request from the Capital Regional District. No locals spoke against the changes at the meeting, while a few residents spoke in favour of it.

The CRD board passed a motion in January requesting that rural municipalities such as Metchosin amend their firearms bylaws to allow more birds to be taken during hunting season.

“It will give farmers ammunition to protect their crops,” said Mike Hicks, chair of CRD Parks and the regional director for the Juan de Fuca electoral area.

A two-year crop damage permit, available from the federal Canadian Wildlife Service, is one of the aspects related to the initiative. This permit is issued to qualifying properties where migratory birds – including protected Canada geese – are causing or are likely to cause damage to agricultural crops or private property such as golf courses or parks, or pose a threat to human safety, such as on airfields.

The permit allows owners to nominate other hunters to shoot birds on their property. Other firearm requirements must also be met before a permit is issued.

Only a handful of properties across the CRD currently hold crop damage permits, Hicks said, emphasizing that only these properties would be impacted by the changes. It’s uncertain how many permit holders are in Metchosin, but it’s believed that the change in municipal bylaws could prompt more landowners to apply for the permits required.

The CRD is proposing that rural municipalities allow any landowners or nominees with a current crop damage permit, to hunt on their permitted lands using the federal migratory birds regulations.

Essentially, this will allow hunters to use blinds and decoys to take an additional 10 geese per day per person during hunting season. Hunters will also be allowed to keep and eat the birds they kill.

“It’s a totally different program,” Hicks said adding, “most importantly, they can eat the geese they hunt.”

He said there are an estimated 6,000 resident, non-migratory geese in the CRD. It is predicted that number will grow to 60,000 in the next 20 years.

“It’s out of hand now and causing tremendous problems for farmers,” he said.

Metchosin joins Sooke, Central Saanich and Saanich, all of which have directed staff to prepare bylaw amendments. The CRD also reached out to North Saanich’s council, but they have not yet voted on the matter.

“If everyone gets it done before hunting season, we could see some results,” Hicks said.

Did you know?

A federal Canadian Wildlife Service’s crop damage permit allows for between five and 10 birds to be killed per week throughout the year. Under this permit, hunters are not allowed to use blinds or decoys and are forbidden from eating the birds they shoot. By leaving dead birds in the fields, it is meant to scare away other birds and impact the entire flock. This hazing is supposed to prevent resident birds from returning.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tenessa Nikirk found guilty in Saanich crash involving Leila Bui

Nikirk was charged with one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

Greater Victoria man killed in Alberta accident was expectant father

Geordie Murray described as ‘wonderful husband, brother son and friend’

Canada Post aware of ongoing email, text phishing scams

Scammers pretending to be Canada Post will ask for personal and payment information

Suicide rates not impacted by seasons

While men are three times more likely to commit suicide, women have higher rates of depression

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Most Read