Moose are the most popular target for B.C. resident hunters

B.C. wildlife management overhaul coming

Hunting licence revenues may be put in dedicated fund, with wildlife organizations involved in big game management

The B.C. government is considering putting revenues from hunting licences and tags into a dedicated fund for wildlife management, Forests Minister Steve Thomson says.

A similar shift was made with fishing licence revenue last year to boost the budget for the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. by $3 million a year for its lake stocking program. The province is in discussions with the B.C. Wildlife Federation and others to do something similar, Thomson told Black Press in an interview.

The ministry has expanded its multi-year study of declining moose populations into a broader modernization of wildlife management, with the funding increase on the table.

“We have Al Gorley, the former chair of the Forest Practices Board, engaged with the groups currently, both on a moose population enhancement program but also engaging in discussion around modernizing wildlife management going forward,” Thomson said. “[That] includes a discussion around how we would potentially see those licensing revenues move to a model where they would have more active say and management in the use of those resources.”

Thomson revealed the plan after Kootenay West NDP MLA Katrine Conroy called for more support for wildlife management in the B.C. legislature last week. She presented a private member’s bill calling for a special purpose account to support wildlife management.

“I’ve been talking to First Nations, resident hunters, guide outfitters, trappers, people who just recreate with wildlife, and everybody has expressed concern about the habitat of fish and wildlife in this province,” Conroy said.

“Hunters who have been out there, they know for instance the mule deer in the Kootenays is disappearing, whereas they’re told it’s not. Up north it’s moose in some areas.”

Thomson acknowledged more needs to be done. He said an additional $12 million in his ministry budget this year is to support wildlife inventory and habitat improvement.

He said provincial hunting advisory teams are in place, and it is not necessary to legislate a permanent wildlife roundtable as suggested in Conroy’s bill.

Hunting has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. Moose are the most popular big-game target for resident hunters, and some areas have restricted moose tags through regional lotteries used for less abundant species such as elk.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

Non-venomous ball python missing in Vic West

Snake was reported missing to Victoria police Tuesday morning

Crews respond to medical incident on West Saanich Road

Incident appears to be cleared, witnesses say

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

Most Read