British Columbia Major Hunting Regulation Changes
The B.C. hunting and trapping regulation synopsis for 2010-11 and 2011-2012 is now online at http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/wildlife/hunting/regulations/; hard copies of the synopsis are being distributed around the province over the next 10 days and will be available wherever hunting and trapping licenses are sold.
This year's synopsis contains the hunting and trapping regulations for both the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.
Hunters and trappers are requested to keep the regulation synopsis for 2011-12, as there will be limited copies available in 2011-12. This year the Ministry evaluated all regulation changes with the objectives of harmonizing and simplifying regulations, increasing hunting opportunity, and affordable program delivery. While there were many regulatory amendments in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 synopsis; the most significant changes are highlighted below:
- 1) Proposal: Protection of Female Mountain Goats.
Rationale: Mountain Goat populations are sensitive to the harvest of females. This regulation ensures conservation objectives are met, while maintaining Mountain Goat hunting opportunities.
Regulation: There is no open season for a female Mountain Goat accompanying a kid, or a female Mountain Goat in a group that contains one or more kids.
- 2) Proposal: Spike bull Elk Season in Kootenay Agriculture Zone.
Rationale: A spike bull season will increase bull elk hunting opportunities within the Kootenay agricultural zone with minimal conservation risk.
Regulation: Spike bull elk means an elk having antlers which are composed of a main beam from which there are no bony projections more than 2.5 cm in length.
Spike Bull Season: Sept 10 to Sept 19 in Zone X of 4-3, Zone C of 4-6, and Zone A of 4-23.
- 3) Proposal: Spike-fork Moose Season Adjustments in Regions 3 and 8
Rationale: The harvest of spike-fork moose appears to be reducing bull/cow ratios below provincial standards in some portions of Region 3 and 8. Season dates have been adjusted to maintain hunting opportunity while shifting hunting pressure to a time period when moose are less vulnerable.
Regulation: MUs 3-12 to 3-20, 3-26 to 3-44, 8-1 to 8-15, 8-21 to 8-26; Oct 15 to Nov 15 (previously Sept 20 to Oct 31).
- 4) Proposal: Antlerless Mule Deer Season in the Peace.
Rationale: Inventory and population modelling suggest mule deer populations in the agricultural zone of the Peace Region have declined substantially and are currently at or near the population reduction target. A short GOS has been maintained to manage mule deer numbers at the target population level.
Regulation: Zone A of MU 7-20, Nov 15 to Nov 20 (previously Nov 1 to Nov 30).
- 5) Proposal: 6 point General Open Season (GOS) for Bull Elk in the West Kootenays
Rationale: There is additional recreational opportunity for harvesting bull elk in the West Kootenays. The 6 point GOS increases hunting opportunity with minimal conservation concern.
Regulation: MUs 4-8, 4-9, 4-14 to 4-17, 4-31 to 4-33, 4-38, 6 point or better, Oct 1 to Oct 20.
- 6) Proposal: Replace Mountain Goat LEH Hunts with GOS in MUs 4-27 to 4-30, 4-34, and 4-36.
Rationale: Mountain goat populations within these MU's can be managed with a GOS. The potential for overharvest is low, as access is limited. The current harvest rate is less than 1% (harvest rates up to 3% are sustainable for mountain goats). Increasing LEH authorizations is not an effective solution to increase opportunity as previous subscription rates were less than 1:1.
Regulation: MUs 4-27 to 4-30, 4-34, 4-36, Sept 10 to Nov 30.
- 7) Proposal: White-tailed Deer Seasons Coordinated Provincially
Rationale: White-tailed Deer have the highest potential growth rate of all North America ungulates, and compared to Mule Deer, are much less susceptible to overharvest. White-tailed Deer numbers and distribution are currently increasing through the province. A new provincial regulatory framework has been implemented for 2010-11 that simplifies the hunting regulations, harmonizes hunting regulations within and between regions, and increases hunting opportunity. Additional information on this initiative is available at http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/wildlife/managment-issues/docs/White-tailedDeer_QAs.pdf
Regulation: Province-wide (within the range of White-tailed deer): any buck (youth and archery), Sept 1 to Sept 9; any buck, Sept 10 to Nov 30. Additional antlerless GOS from Oct 10 to Oct 31 and youth either-sex from Nov 1 to Nov 30 in regions 3, 4, 8, and the agricultural zones of the Omineca and Peace regions.
- 8) Proposal: Mule Deer Seasons Harmonized in Regions 3, 4, 5, and 8.
Rationale: Harmonized mule deer seasons in September and October simplify hunting regulations and maintain hunting opportunity. While all regions have 4 point buck seasons in November, the season lengths could not be harmonized due to regional differences in mule deer vulnerability at this time of year.
Regulation: 4 pt buck seasons, Sept 10 to Sept 30; any buck in October; variable 4 point buck seasons in November.
- 9) Proposal: Moose Hunting Regulations in North-Central Skeena
Rationale: Accommodation of the Tahltan First Nations right to hunt for food, social and ceremonial purposes, while minimizing impacts in hunting opportunity to resident and guided hunters.
Regulation: Removal of most access road "400 m rut closures". Implementation of "400 m rut closures" on all major highways north of the Hwy 37/37A junction. Compulsory Inspection for all moose harvested in MUs 6-19, 6-20, and 6-22 to 6-25. GOS in MUs 6-17 to 6-19 and 6-21 to 6-29 from Aug 20 to Oct 31< (previously Aug 15 to Nov 15). GOS in the Klappan Valley (portion of MU 6-20) from Sept 15 to Oct 15.
- 10) Proposal: Motor Vehicle for Hunting Prohibition in North Williston (M.U.s 7-40 and 7-41).
Rationale: A request for road closures north of Williston Lake, Management Units 7-40 and 7-41, has not Bbeen implemented.