The B.C. Government is seeking the public’s feedback on proposed hunting regulations, including trapping, motor vehicle use and firearm restrictions for 2020 to 2022.
The intent of the changes is to promote wildlife conservation and habitat, along with optimizing sustainable hunting and trapping opportunities.
According to the government, this gives hunters and trappers who are not affiliated with stakeholder groups, and members of the public, to have a chance to provide input on the regulatory process.
Provincewide regulations are being proposed to disallow the use of infrared optics and scopes on crossbows during archery-only seasons and wireless-linked trail cameras during the fall hunting season.
There are currently no regulations preventing big game hunters in B.C. from using primitive or alternative weapons such as slingshots, spears and airguns; a proposed rule would make bows and firearms the only implements allowed for hunting big game.
Proposed regulation changes to Vancouver Island would include the closure of Salt Spring Island’s general open season for ravens. Currently, hunters must obtain permission from landowners before hunting on private land. The original intent of the regulation was to allow farmers to protect their livestock from ravens on Salt Spring. The proposed regulation change would see the removal of raven hunting on Salt Spring Island, but if there is still a need for protection of property or livestock by farmers, a nuisance permit can be applied for.
Another proposed regulation change would see hunting season on Denman and Hornby islands open from Sept. 10 to Dec. 10 for mule deer, opposed to the current season which is only open from Oct. 5 to Dec. 10. According to the government, Denman and Hornby islands, as with many other Gulf Islands, are one of the many areas where high frequencies of deer, human conflict occur. There are no conservation concerns for deer there and residents continue to raise concerns and file complaints over abundant deer populations. “Ecological damage is occurring on all the Gulf Islands and a reduction in deer numbers will help the ecosystems to recover,” states the government.
The government is also purposing a bow only season for bucks and antlerless deer from Aug. 25 to Sept. 9 be added to Gulf, Denman and Hornby islands, along with closing Zone F for elk limited entry hunting.
Further information on all of the proposed hunting regulation changes is available at apps.nrs.gov.bc.ca/ahte/hunting. The comment period on most of the regulation changes is open until Jan. 17, 2020. Regulations that are adopted will be in effect from 2020 through 2022.
— With files from Jim Elliot