2013

Wildlife Heritage Forever November 28, 2013

The province of B.C.’s wildlife resource is in serious trouble. Many wildlife populations have declined dramatically because the resource cannot compete with long hunting seasons, especially hunting seasons on female ungulates, monstrous road access that gets larger every year, 4X4 trucks and the new problem: the quad bike hunter.

In the background are the never ending survival problems for many wildlife species; hard winters, predators, vehicle wildlife collisions and land alienation.

The Boundary deer herd, the largest in our province for decades, is in a death spiral. Sound bites from credible hunters and concerned citizens make the point that if there is not immediate cancellation of the three week whitetail doe season and a dramatic reduction of hunting pressure on young males the whitetail, like their mule deer cousin, will be a rare sight on its historic range indefinitely!

The critical mass of the mule deer in the Boundary has been lost and a credible mule deer recovery plan will endorse a dramatic reduction in hunting opportunity. After all: the only immediate help we can give wildlife populations in steep population decline is a significant reduction in hunting pressure and thus a significant decline in the harvest.

The government rationale for destroying the whitetail deer population “The provincially white-tailed deer season was implemented based on sound wildlife management principles and experiences throughout North America” is a complete failure in the Boundary.

Furthermore, because both the whitetail and mule deer populations have collapsed there is no conflict between them during the critical time in winter that determines if they live or die Feb/March.

If the BC Liberal Government is determined to maximize revenue from the province’s wildlife resource then they should immediately abandon maximizing hunting opportunity that has resulted in many wildlife populations in steep decline and embrace the only sensible, prudent, responsible sustainable management agenda-manage wildlife not hunters!
– Barry Brandow Sr.

Those words are Barry’s but I, Les Johnson, tend to agree.
I’ve heard these ideas and complaints from others which you can listen to on the testimonials posts.

Growing up in the city I had little to do with wildlife. While others in my extended family hunted and lived in rural locales I never took up hunting myself. Now I’m living in a small rural town in the interior of British Columbia I run into the ironic situation that those who are clamoring for things to change to help the animals on the wilderness turn out to be the hunters and guides. It makes sense though:

  • These are the people who actually go out to where the animals are, year after year. They would be the ones to have experienced the decline in numbers, and change in habitat, personally.
  • The health and welfare of the animals, and their herds, directly impacts on the activities of these people. In the case of guide / outfitters it also impacts on their livelihoods.

I may not hunt or spend much time in the bush but every week I travel the highways in the area from Nelson to Kelowna. Day time and evenings. And while I might sometimes see deer on the way home, the only sure place I see deer every time is right in town when I return home. The only danger they face in town is the vehicles they run into. (ok, sometimes the vehicle runs into them.)

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