Two years have passed since this site was created and the meetings and testimonials took place.
What has changed?
At at February 2012 meeting in Grand Forks a number of people voiced their displeasure, opinions and observations.
Below you can watch and listen … and hopefully learn something.
Contrast what you find here with how it is dealt with just south of us in Washington state in the text below on this page.
How different are Washington state and British Columbia? What’s different?
Below is an email from Jay Shepherd regarding this:
Hi Mr. and Mrs. Brandow,
I jointly interviewed Woody Meyers (Wa. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife mule/white-tailed deer and elk researcher with approx. 30 years of experience in the western and eastern Okanogan among other places) and Dana Base (Steve Zender’s replacement in Colville, 14 years in the area now as he worked for Steve for 12 years). Steve Zender was out of the area. The answers below are a summary of their combined answers while sitting together.
1. Why does Washington State game units; 101, 105 and 108 have a 9 day mule deer buck rifle season with a 3 point minimum?
We have low current numbers compared to historic numbers as you know. This may be due to some harsh winters, drought conditions for several years, and other habitat problems associated with fire suppression, weeds, cattle etc…We also have a very crowded west side of the state and so we have a large population of hunters. The relatively conservative harvest approach limits vulnerability and may increase deer numbers. Many want a full cessation to antlerless harvest which may occur in 101 during archery.
2. Why have Washington State biologists not accepted the BC argument that healthy sex ratios of 20 bucks per 100 does is an acceptable wildlife management strategy that justifies long rifle seasons on small wildlife populations?
Actually, and unfortunately we have a recommendation of “ greater than 15 bucks per 100 does” in our Game Management Plan. We are just not there yet in our thinking either and Woody suggested studies are showing even 20 is low given the that mule deer bucks do not breed like white-tail bucks, and are more sedentary and pursue does less, and therefore more bucks may be needed in a mule deer population.
Mule deer in the Grand Forks area once numbered in the thousands have declined to a few hundred and yet management Unit 8-15 (Grand Forks area) has a 52 day rifle season on the buck.
3. Why does Washington State Game Units 101, 105 and 108 have a 14-15 day rifle season on the whitetail buck?
Basically the same answer as Question #1. We have low current numbers compared to recent numbers before the 2007 and 2008 numbers. The current numbers are due to harsh winters and other habitat problems associated with less agriculture, particularly the reduction of alfalfa and hay. We again have a very crowded west side of the state and so we have a large population of hunters.
4. Would Washington State Game Managers consider a 3 week whitetail doe season state wide? Please explain why yes or no.
No, the politics would stop consideration of that idea. We would not do this because our hunters want higher densities and we need to regrow out population after the hard winters a few years back. We just cut back on antlerless hunts in some units and now have a 4–point minimum in our 2 best white-tail units.
5. In the Grand Forks area the whitetail buck rifle season is 82 days long. What impact would an 82 day rifle season have on the whitetail buck in Units 101, 105 and 108?
It would reduce escapement of bucks and would not support good hunting in those units and be sustainable in the long term.
BC is encouraging people to hunt and one of the tactics is to allow hunting opportunity on a significant number of animals at the same time contrary to past wildlife management practices of first and foremost considering the impact on the animals.
6. What is the [position of Washington State Game Managers on the smorgasbord approach to game management? Do you encourage hunting regardless of the impact on specific animals?
We have some multi-species seasons to be honest. We do not encourage hunting to the extent the long-term effects on a species can not be sustained.
7. In BC you can hunt with rifle, bow and cross bow.
Why do hunters in Washington State have to declare and subscribe to only one method of hunting?
Our hunters demanded less crowding, mainly lower hunters numbers. We are also attempting to reduce direct pressure indirectly by choose your weapon and encourage escapement of more animals for all of the above mentioned reasons.