Limited Entry Hunting is becoming a voting issue in B.C.

BC's provincial election and STV referendum takes place Tuesday May 12th.
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usquebaugh
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Limited Entry Hunting is becoming a voting issue in B.C.

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This is the Judie Steeves' article to which these letters to the editor (in the Kelowna Capital News) are referring.

Tag hunt system benefits trophy hunters

To the editor:

I was enraged after reading Judie Steeves' article about how B.C. resident hunters are being cut out of their opportunity to harvest meat to feed their families.

Recently, the B.C. government started a campaign to recruit more resident hunters, but now apepar to be trying to squeeze the residents out by not allowing enough resident tags to be issued to meet harvest numbers. The allocation policy has been unfairly implemented in a way to guarantee that residents would have less chance to harvest their share of moose, and thereby increase the number of animals allocated to guides who cater to wealthy American and European hunters.

At 20:1 odds of even drawing a moose tag, it's no wonder that residents can't meet their harvest goals. I've gone years without drawing a moose tag, yet a wealthy foreigner can buy a tag every year and shoot a trophy for their wall while my freezer remains empty.

With unnecessary antler restrictions on many ungulates, seasons designed to promote "trophy style" and not "meat" hunting and the limited number of resident Limited Entry Hunting (LEH) tags made available, I wonder who the government and wildlife managers are working for.

It seems they are working for the guide-outfitters who profit from the sale of hunts to wealthy foreigners who come to B.C. to trophy hunt. They sure aren't working for the residents of B.C. who are trying to fill their freezers with organic meat for families to eat.

~ Clarke Gatehouse, Pemberton


Government selling off wildlife same as water, hydro, oil and timber

To the editor:

I am writing in response to the recent article regarding the hunting allocations by Judie Steeves.

The way the provincial government is managing the allocations between resident and non-resident hunters is very disturbing. As stated in the article, the government is taking on an attitude that hunting should be a commercially-viable business. As a B.C. resident, and also a resident hunting, I find this extremely frustrating!

My family and I spend far too much time, money and energy in the B.C. outdoors on wildlife conservation to have some foreign, non-resident come over to B.C. and hand over cash to a guide outfitter in order to harvest trophy animals in which the meat will not even be taken home and used.

The second troubling fact is the government's mandate on wildlife priority states that conservation is first; First Nations second, B.C. residents third, and lastly, non-residents fourth.

Instead of hunting being managed by science and sound conservation practices such as sustainable harvest (which allows harvest to continue with no decline in the population long term), decisions have been made based on politics and our B.C. wildlife is essentially being sold to off-shore hunters. With LEH permits not being fairly distributed to B.C. residents, the government has been managing wildlife to promote more trophy quality animals, rather than issuing more LEH permits to B.C. residents for increased opportunity and more chances to harvest an animal. What this is boiling down to is that the average Joe resident meat hunter, like myself, is finding it more and more difficult to fill his freezer for his family, something which is becoming increasingly more important during these difficult financial times.

In closing, I would just like to express my disappointment in the provincial government for allowing this kind of management to take place on what I see as such a vitally important resource that thousands of B.C. resident hunters have used and enjoyed for decades.

It is not only a personal insult to my family's heritage as third-generation B.C. residents, but it is sad to see that the government would look upon a resource such as wildlife as a commodity and choose to sell it off like they have water, hydro, oil and timber.

~ Jared Wilkison, Kelowna


Local hunters just want to fill freezer each fall

To the editor:

It was very interested to read the recent Judie Steeves article on resident moose hunting in the Okanagan Region.

I'm very sure Mr. Springer's frustrations are shared by many across the province since the situation he describes is widespread across B.C. and is most assuredly not limited to the Okanagan.

For example, in the East Kootenay we have witnessed the non-resident moose quota assigned to guide-outfitters rise from 15 to over 100 since moose went on Limited Entry Hunting (LEH) in 1991. At the same time a B.C. resident must put in for a moose draw at 20:1 odds, basically the same as saying he can only go moose hunting one every 20 years.

In the Skeena region, moose quota has increased five fold for non-residents while resident moose hunters are on a limited draw system.

Thinhorn sheep harvest in the north is dominated by non-resident trophy harvests.

Nearly all moose and goat hunting in the province is now LEH.

Non-resident hunters are allocated about 25 to 30 per cent of the overall wildlife harvest in B.C., while at the same time non-resident harvest is limited to 10 per cent in nearly all other western states and provinces.

Is the emphasis on big game management in B.C. leaning too far toward providing trophies for wealthy foreigners, thus making it increasingly difficult for B.C. resident hunters to fill their deep freezes?

Perhaps this question can be answered by observing that in the East Kootenay bull elk are on a six point antler restriction, even though the East Kootenay is practically over-run with elk.

Mule deer management across the province is dominated by four point antler restrictions, and even white tailed deer in the Peace River are managed with a four point horn restriction.

The Caribou region is planning to restrict mule deer harvest even though agriculture depredation by mule deer is at an all time high. Why? Because there is a concept there are too few mature (trophy) bucks. Add that to the fact that in many regions deer are the only species left that resident meat hunters can pursue without putting in for a high odds draw.

Maybe it's time for a change in attitude in game management in B.C. There are 80,000 resident hunters whose primary interest is only to put some high quality meat in the freezer each fall. In spite of increasingly stable game populations, filling the freezer appears to be more difficult every year as management emphasis appears to be shifting more and more toward attracting non-resident trophy hunters.

~ A. Pezderic, Golden


Voting issue

To the editor:

The Ministry of Environment promised to review Limited Entry Hunting; implement a hunter recruitment and retention plan; and where applicable place LEH on general open seasons.

I'm tired of my family's freezer being empty while foreign head hunters load up. I'm tired of a ministry that has lost touch with its citizens. I have lost all faith that they ethically and morally represent the best interests of British Columbians. I will be voting for change on May 12.

~ Mike Langegger, B.C.


I typed up all four letters available in this Sunday's Capital News, and I was surprised that not one contained a letter supporting the provincial government's position on LEH. I suppose that must mean that most B.C. resident hunters who responded to the article think the Liberals' management of LEH is indefensible...
Where oh where’d my body go?
Africa or Mexico?
Where or where’d my body go?
Where’d my body go?
Have you seen my ghost?
Staring at the ground?
Have you seen my ghost?
Sick of those *bleep* clouds

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