Hunting regulation changes up for public feedback

Many changes include more vehicle prohibitions in Telkwa Mountain area and less mule deer hunting.

The BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources is seeking public comment on a series of hunting, trapping and motor vehicle regulation changes, to be implemented by 2020.

The provincial body has released a set of proposed changes for regions across the province, including the removal of the female cougar hunting quota, as well as amendments to trapping exemptions and regulations on hunting wolverine, elk, wolf, big horned sheep and more.

The ministry is looking to remove the female cougar hunting quota because harvest numbers over the past years have been well below the 15 animal limit. Wolverine hunting season is proposed to be shortened by one month, to now span from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, instead of Jan 31.

This change is intended to reduce the harvest rates for the animals.

Skeena region

Changes for the Skeena region include more prohibitions for motor vehicle use in the Telkwa Mountain area.

Current Regulations:

The use of motor vehicles for the purpose of hunting is prohibited year round in a portion of Management Unit 6-9 (Telkwa Mountain Area, Map F48 in the 2017-2019 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis), excluding the main trail to the “gas stop” location on Grizzly Plateau.

Proposed Regulations:

This proposal is seeking to prohibit all use of motor vehicles within the Telkwa Mountain area (Map F48 in the 2017-2019 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis), excluding the Grizzly Plateau from Nov 1-Apr 30 and the Meat Cache from Dec 15-Apr 1.

Mule deer hunting

There is also a change proposed to bring down the number of mule deer buck bag limit, from three to one per year.

Current Regulations:

The Provincial bag limit for deer is 3 (not including Haida Gwaii/QCI). Hunters may not harvest more than 3 deer in one licence year. Hunters may harvest 3 white-tailed deer (if they purchase 3 white-tailed deer licenses), or 3 mule deer (if they purchase 3 mule deer licenses), or a combination of white-tailed and mule deer (1+2 or 2+1) providing they do not exceed the provincial limit of 3. The reason hunters may purchase more than 3 deer licenses in total is to provide hunters with the flexibility to harvest any combination of white-tailed or mule deer up to a maximum of 3.

Proposed Regulations:

This proposal seeks to reduce the current Provincial bag limit for Mule deer buck from 3 to 1 from any interior region.

There are two classes of bag limits, Provincial and Regional, neither of these bag limits can be exceeded.

The Provincial bag limit for deer is 3 (not including Haida Gwaii/QCI). Hunters may not harvest more than 3 deer in one licence year, but only 1 may be a mule (black-tailed) deer buck from Regions 3, 4, 5, 6, 7A, 7B and 8 combined. Hunters may harvest 3 white-tailed deer (if they purchase 3 white-tailed deer licenses), or 3 mule (black-tailed) deer (if they purchase 3 mule (black-tailed) deer licenses), or a combination of white-tailed and mule (black-tailed) deer (1+2 or 2+1) providing they do not exceed the provincial limit of 3 and not more than 1 mule (black-tailed) deer buck from Regions 3, 4, 5, 6 ,7A, 7B and 8 combined. The reason hunters may purchase more than 3 deer licenses in total is to provide hunters with the flexibility to harvest any combination of white-tailed or mule (black-tailed) deer up to a maximum of 3.

Moose hunting

The bull moose hunting season would also be shortened from seven days to three days.

It is now Oct. 20-26, and would be changed to Oct. 20-22 if changes are approved.

All changes affecting the Skeena region and the rest of B.C. are available at the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development’s Angling, Hunting and Trapping Engagement website apps.nrs.gov.bc.ca/ahte.

The public comment period closes on Jan. 19.

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