Whether or not a hunter is from British Columbia determines what big game lotteries they can enter, and after the provincial government rebalanced the allocation late last year, resident hunters are feeling ripped off.
The formula weve been using worked very well. Why all of a sudden is it not being used? asked Rick Hoar, president of the Lake Windermere District Rod and Gun Club.
The hunting of big game animals such as moose, grizzly bears and mountain goats is controlled through an allocation system, which requires hunters to enter into a limited entry draw.
According to the Canadian Press, the previous allocations were 6,200 tickets going to resident hunters and 1,350 to non-resident hunters. The province had originally tweaked the numbers for allocated game to 6,100 for residents, leaving 1,450 for non-residents.
After enduring a backlash from B.C.s hunting community, the B.C. government decided that, for the roughly 7,550 big game animals controlled through the system, 6,140 of tickets will go to resident hunters, and 1,410 to non-resident hunters.
So the initial changes were set to increase the number of big game tickets to non-resident allocations by 100 which has to be subtracted from the residents stock, reducing that number to 60, which has still not appeased the hunting community. But its not just the balance of allocation that has some people upset.
In our area, its less the number of animals that are actually involved and more to do with how (hunters) see this as a backroom deal, said Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald.
This ties into the central failing of the BC Liberals, he said, which is the loss of natural habitat.
They havent looked after habitat effectively, he said. They dont do proper science; they dont do inventory work to see how many animals are out there.
As an attempt to correct a symbolic issue, Andrew Weaver, the legislatures single Green Party MLA, put forth a private members bill on Monday, March 2nd, which would require hunters to harvest the entire carcass of a grizzly bear that they kill.
The chance of an opposition members private members bill passing is very slim, Mr. Macdonald said, though he supports Mr. Weavers initiative.
Its unnecessarily wasteful to leave a carcass in the bush that could provide food.
A call to Doug Clovechok, Region 2 director for the BC Liberals, was not returned before press deadline.