Wildlife Committee

Wildlife Committee Chair:

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December 7, 2016

BC NDP on Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt Ban

The BC New Democrats recently released their position on the British Columbia Grizzly Bear hunt; a number of questions arose from our membership regarding that release.  

Here are the BC New Democrat Party’s answers to questions about the details of their proposed ban submitted by the BCWF to John Horgan, Leader, New Democrat Official Opposition. 
QUESTION: Under the new proposed policy would residents of B.C. have opportunity under the LEH system to continue to harvest Grizzly bears? 
• Yes. This is not about being opposed to hunting. This is about being opposed to the grizzly bear trophy hunt and only the grizzly bear trophy hunt. 
• B.C. hunters will continue to have the opportunity under the LEH system to harvest grizzly bear utilizing the entire bear. We will ensure we use science-based decisions to determine the numbers of LEH tags allowed in various areas. If there aren't enough bears there won’t be a hunt and vice versa. 
QUESTION: Under the new proposed policy would non-residents of B.C. continue to have opportunity to harvest Grizzly bears? 
• Yes. We are not proposing changes to any hunting regulations except as they relate to the grizzly bear trophy hunt. 
• That said, the 2015 changes to allocations for resident/non-resident by the liberal government were wrong. We stood with hunters in 2015 when the government took away hunting rights from British Columbians to give more to foreign hunters. Resident hunters make a significant contribution to B.C.’s rural economy and way of life, hunting to feed their families with B.C. game and contribute to wildlife conservation activities. 
BCWF: Under the new proposed policy would the NDP commit to manage the Grizzly bear harvest using the best available science? 
• Yes. The government has been cutting boots on the ground and scientific research on wildlife for 15 years, so there’s considerable dispute about the actual animal population numbers. We agree with the BC Wildlife Federation who point out that a failure to adequately fund biodiversity conservation is one of the biggest challenges B.C. faces. 
• We need funding for research into grizzly bear and other animal populations. Ministry staff needs stable and ongoing research funding to know if their population numbers are reliable. These concerns are reflected in the recent review of the grizzly bear management system released by MoF and FLNRO: 
• Resources dedicated to grizzly bear harvest management are inadequate. Additional funding to improve population inventory, monitoring, data handling, and analysis is needed. 
• Resources should be provided in a predictable manner to facilitate management needs and research requirements. 
• The NDP tabled a bill last spring, the Sustainable Wildlife Management Act, to provide new and alternative funding, give wildlife and habitat a priority, and engage all hunting and wildlife groups to work collaboratively toward short and long term plans for fisheries, wildlife and habitat. The government rejected our bill. 

For Immediate Release - November 24, 2016

Surrey, B.C.

Today party leader John Horgan announced a New Democrat government will ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia. 
The ban would not affect first nations' treaty rights. The NDP propose to work with First Nations on a government to government basis to implement this ban and manage their objectives.
Key points of the proposed NDP provincial ban: 
- The ban will not affect people who hunt for food.
- A Provincial ban is long overdue to stop the needless killing of grizzly bears for sport.
- Grizzly viewing creates more jobs and brings in about 10 times more revenue than grizzly hunting  
The BCWF Response
President of the BC Wildlife Federation, Jim Glaicar, represents 50,000 members and more than 100 hundred individual clubs operating in 10 regions of the province.
Glaicar said, "The BCWF supports science based wildlife management for all species, including grizzly bears, throughout the province of B.C.  As an organization the BCWF stands with the majority of B.C. residents in our ongoing support for hunting for sustenance."
The BCWF recognizes the value of all users on the landscape and is committed to working with stakeholders to ensure the long term sustainability of our fish, wildlife and habitat.
The BCWF expects to see increased investment in wildlife and landscape management for bears and other species. It is critically important to the overall health of fish, wildlife and their habitats to ensure adequate funding is in place for wildlife inventories, harvest monitoring and other supporting services. 
In addition, the BCWF supports access to our resources by all British Columbians.               
The BCWF encourages governments to continue to implement recommendations made in the Scientific Review of Grizzly Bear Harvest Management System in British Columbia by an expert panel consisting of Mark S. Boyce and Andrew E. Derocher, of the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton and David L. Garshelis, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota in 2016. 
The BCWF agrees with the review that deteriorating habitat conditions are the biggest threat to long term grizzly bear sustainability.
We concur there is an urgent need for improved wildlife management planning to set population and habitat objectives at the Grizzly Bear Population Unit level, as well as increased research and monitoring, particularly on human bear conflict management in rural and urban interfaces including transportation corridors.
The review recommends better joint planning between government ministries such as the Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Ministry of Environment to address the increasing pressures of expanding resource extraction and the associated road development and use that lead cumulative impacts on the landscape which jeopardizes the longer-term status of the species.  
The report also recommends monitoring of habitat including forage for bear, including salmon and berries that affect the productivity of bear habitats.
The BCWF continues to recommend that the Province dedicate all hunting licence and surcharge revenue to wildlife management. Further, government should be collecting rent and dedicating a portion of it to fish and wildlife conservation.
Activities such as ecotourism, wildlife viewing, mining, heli-skiing, oil and gas, and logging should all contribute to natural resource conservation.   
For more information, contact:
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Director of Strategic Initiatives, BC Wildlife Federation @ (250) 480-9694
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , Resident Priority Program Manager, BC Wildlife Federation @ (250) 878-3799

Bill C-246

The BC Wildlife Federation has raised concerns about the new federal Bill C-246 that was introduced into Parliament on February 26th 2016 to amend a number of acts.
C-246 has shifted the focus of the Criminal Code from cruelty to killing an animal as offences unless there are lawful excuses (which are not defined). The act casts a wide net that potentially includes medical research, pet ownership, veterinary practise, and certain religious slaughtering practises (kosher and halal butchering).
Animal vehicle collisions could be an offence under this act if the operator was deemed to be reckless, i.e. was not taking into account changing conditions. Many of the activities covered by the bill are activities regulated under existing federal and provincial law. There also may be conflicts with aboriginal rights in terms of traditional harvesting practices.

You Can Help: Share Your Sightings of South Okanagan Similkameen (SOKS) Bighorn Sheep


Synergy Applied Ecology is appealing to the public for help with sheep observations in the South Okanagan for the SOKS Bighorn Psoroptes Monitoring Project:

They are interested in sheep observations anywhere in the South Okanagan and Similkameen, from Kelowna to Keremeos.

Record the date, time, location, group size, number of lambs, and a description of any collars and tags.

The researchers would also love to see your photos as well! Send in a picture of the whole group if you can, as these type of images provides great deal of useful data.

Click here to submit your sheep reports and photos here or share them as a public post or private message on our soksbighorn Facebook page.

For more information on the SOKS Bighorn Psoroptes Monitoring Project, click here.

Kootenay Mule Deer Research Project Update
Mule deer are a highly valued species in BC, and have recently declined in the Kootenay Region. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations initiated a 5-year project to monitor mule deer doe survival, fawn recruitment and cause of doe mortality in 4 populations that represent distinct habitat types occupied by mule deer across the region. The long term objective of this project is to identify potential factors limiting population growth and provide recommendations to increase abundance. GPS collar data will be used to identify important seasonal habitats and migration routes for Ecosystem Restoration (ER) activities.
The following report provides a brief update on work completed up to June 2015 and next steps:

Wildlife Allocation in BC
The Province of B.C. announced a new Wildlife Allocation Policy for B.C. that will have significant negative impacts on resident hunters in favour of our province's guide-outfitting industry.

More information on this critical issue to hunters in B.C. is available on the Wildlife Allocation page.

Government Acting to Save Endangered Caribou


The Province of B.C. has announced a plan to save endangered caribou herds in the South Selkirk Mountains and South Peace areas that are at risk of being wiped out due to wolf predation.. The new plan will see 24 wolves culled in the Selkirk Mountains and 120-160 in the South Peace through shooting them from a helicopter.

According to an Information Bulletin from the Minisry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, the cull is necessary because "Hunting and trapping of wolves have not effectively reduced populations and may even split up packs and increase predation rates on caribou. Habitat recovery continues to be an important part of caribou recovery, but cannot address the critical needs of these herds in the short term."

The BCWF is pleased that the Province of B.C. is taking action to save these endangered caribou herds, and is in full support of the plan.

The full text of the Information Bulletin from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations is below.

For additional background information, click here.

Province of B.C. Information Bulletin: Government acting to save endangered caribou
VICTORIA – The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is taking immediate action to save caribou herds under threat from wolf predation in two separate and targeted actions: one in the South Selkirk Mountains and the other in the South Peace.
The South Selkirk herd is at high risk of local extinction. The population has declined from 46 caribou in 2009 to 27 in 2012, and to 18 as of March 2014. Evidence points to wolves being the leading cause of mortality.
The South Selkirk is a trans-boundary herd, and caribou move freely between B.C., Washington and Idaho. Officials from B.C., Washington and Idaho States, First Nations, the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been working together on a research project and have collared six of the remaining 18 caribou to help investigate the cause of decline. Wolves have killed two of the remaining caribou (11% of the herd) in the past 10 months.
Ministry staff will aim to remove up to 24 wolves by shooting them from a helicopter before snow melt.
In four caribou herds in the South Peace (Quintette, Moberly, Scott and Kennedy-Siding), populations are also decreasing and wolves are a key factor. At least 37% of all adult mortalities have been documented as wolf predation.
Working in partnership with Treaty 8 First Nations, the ministry’s goal is to remove up to 120-160 wolves in the South Peace, again by shooting them from a helicopter before snow melt. Caribou populations in a larger South Peace herd (Graham) will be monitored, but receive no predator control measures, in order to allow for comparison on the effectiveness of the program.
Hunting and trapping of wolves have not effectively reduced populations and may even split up packs and increase predation rates on caribou. Habitat recovery continues to be an important part of caribou recovery, but cannot address the critical needs of these herds in the short term.
The operational plans for both the Selkirks and South Peace have been independently peer-reviewed.
Media Contact:
Media Relations
Ministry of Forests, Lands 
and Natural Resource Operations
250 356-5261

Provincial Moose Winter Tick Survey
The B.C. Wildlife Health Program is asking B.C hunters to record their observations of moose winter tick. All observations of moose should be recorded using the Moose Winter Tick Survey Form for consistent data collection.
This observation record is important to Ministry Wildlife staff as it will allow them to develop an index of moose tick infestation over time. Your assistance is greatly appreciated!

Wildlife Allocation Policy Petition - CLICK HERE TO SIGN!

BCWF has started a petition to urge the Government of B.C. to rescind their recent decision on Wildlife Allocation, which will result in lost hunting opportunities for our province's resident hunters. (For more information, click here to visit the Wildlife Allocation page.)


The petition calls on the Government of B.C. to overturn the decision to change the Wildlife Harvest Allocation Policy which gives a larger share of hunting permits to BC guide outfitters and a smaller share of hunting permits to BC resident hunters.

The petition is available at the following link: Wildlife Harvest Allocation Policy Petition, and will be submitted to the B.C. Legislature.

Please note: Your personal information will become part of a public document submitted to the provincial government. Read our full privacy policy.

For more information on B.C.'s new Wildlife Allocation Policy and how it will impact B.C.'s resident hunters, click here.

B.C. Caribou Videos - Boreal Caribou and Southern Mountain Caribou

The following videos are part one and two of a three part series commissioned by the 14th North American Caribou Workshop hosted in Fort St John, B.C. in September 2012 on B.C.'s iconic cariboo species.

Boreal Caribou of B.C.

One of Canada's icons, the B.C. Boreal Caribou, lives in BC, but numbers are dwindling. Watch some amazing footage of wilderness, caribou, and the and the problems their populations face. Even the caribou do some filming - click here or on the image above to view the short 5-minute video!

Southern Mountain Caribou

The southern mountain caribou herds in British Columbia are threatened and in some areas they have already disappeared. We as a society have said we’re not ready to let them go. Watch how biologists are working to bring these herds back from the brink - click here or on the image above to view the video!

The video is also available on Youtube by clicking here.
You can help caribou and raise awareness of the issues they face by sharing this video and learning more about the herd that lives closest to you.
Funding for this project came from the generous donations to the 2012 North American Caribou Workshop - view a list of sponsors by clicking here

Big Horn Sheep Die-Offs in British Columbia: The Need for a Provincial Wild / Domestic Sheep Separation Strategy

The Environmental Law Centre (University of Victoria) recently completed a study on the issue of the spread of fatal diseases from domestic sheep to wild bighorn sheep and the legal changes and management practices that are needed to address the problem. The report contains a number of findings and recommendations, and was prepared by Law Student Harrison Porter under supervision from Environmental Law Centre Legal Director Calvin Sandborn.

From the report's Introduction:

"Perhaps the most critical threat to British Columbia’s iconic bighorn sheep population is the threat of disease from domestic animals. This report recommends legal changes to ensure best management practices are implemented to prevent the spread of fatal diseases from domestic livestock to wild bighorn sheep, thinhorn sheep and mountain goats. The disease of primary concern is the transfer of pneumonia-causing bacteria from domestic sheep to wild bighorn sheep."

Download a PDF copy of the report (31 pages) by clicking here

2014 / 2015 Migratory Bird Regulations

Environment Canada has released the 2014 / 2015 Migratory Bird Regulations.

2014/2015 Migratory Bird Regulations - British Columbia (Webpage)

2014/2015 Migratory Bird Regulations - British Columbia (Summary in PDF format)

For more information, and to view regulations in other provinces, visit the Environment Canada website.

2014 Fall LEH Results Now Available

The 2014 Fall Limited Entry Hunting Draw results have finally been posted by the Province of B.C.  Have your hunter number ready and click on the following link - if successful, your draws will be listed by Hunt Code(s).

2014 Fall LEH Results

2013 BCWF Wildlife Committee Year End Report

The BCWF Wildlife Committee's 2013 Year End Report is available for download here:

2013 Wildlife Committee Year End Report

2014-2015 Limited Entry Hunting Synopsis Now Available, 
LEH Deadline: May 23rd, 2014

Applications are now being accepted for 2014-2015 Limited Entry Hunting. Applications must be received by 4:30 pm on Friday, May 23rd, 2014.

Letter to Minister Thomson RE: 70(1)b Permits

The BCWF Wildlife Committee recently sent a letter to Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson regarding the issuance of special permits to guide-outfitters to guide for species outside fo their territories. The letter raises concerns about the criteria required for the permits and the fact that the BCWF and resident hunters have not been consulted at all on this issue, despite the potential for negative impacts.

Click here to read the full text of the letter

ORV Legislation Will Keep B.C.'s Backcountry Safe

The Province of B.C. recently announced the new Off Road Vehicle Act, which will replace the 40-year old Motor Vehicle (All terrain) Act with a modern management structure designed to align with existing regulatory regimes at minimal cost. BCWF was able to provide input to the legislation, which was considered long overdue by many.

The new Off Road Vehicle Act has the potential to improve hunting opportunities by increasing the ability to report people using off-road vehicles to poach wildlife and  damage the environment.

Click here to read the news release from the Province of B.C.

Moose Tracks - Update on the Provincial Moose Research Project in 5-04

The Province of B.C. has issued an update on the 5-year moose study taking place in the B.C. Interior that was announced earlier this month.

The update touches on several aspects of the ongoing project including:

  • An update on 40 moose that were collared in the Big Creek area
  • How First Nations and volunteers can become involved in the project
  • Tips for hunting / harvesting collared moose 
  • An overview of what wildlife biologists are hoping the new study will tell us

Click here to download the "Moose Tracks" Update in PDF format

South Thompson Wildlife Stewardship Pilot Project

BCWF President Bill Bosch recently wrote a letter to Mr. Jeff Morgan, South Thompson Wildlife Stewardship Pilot Project Government Lead for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations regarding the BCWF's position on the South Thompson Wildlife Stewardship Pilot Project. The body of the letter is included below, and a PDF copy can be downloaded by clicking here.

February 21, 2014,

Dear Mr. Morgan,

RE: South Thompson Wildlife Stewardship Project

The provincial body of the BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) appreciates the opportunity to provide the organization's recommendations regarding the South Thompson Wildlife Stewardship Pilot Project.  The project has been both interesting and challenging to participate in.  The BCWF membership wishes to thank all participants in the pilot for their commitment to wildlife stewardship and especially the Kamloops Indian Band for their special consideration and generous hosting of the many meetings over the past number of years.

The BCWF was reluctant to participate from the outset because of the controversy associated with the provisions of the pilot.  The auctioning of wildlife has been a very controversial subject to say the least.  However, we were assured it was strictly a pilot.

The Board of Directors for the BCWF have carefully considered the options for the South Thompson Wildlife Stewardship Pilot Project.  Discussion regarding the overall strategic vision of the organization for wildlife management in BC for both the present and future, along with determined membership direction, guided the deliberations.  It was important for our organization to have the Board of Directors deliberate as they provide direction in absence of the Annual General Meeting of the membership.

One of the purposes of the BCWF as a society is to "Ensure the sound long-term management of British Columbia's fish, wildlife, parks and outdoor recreational resources in the best interests of all British Columbians..."

The Federation membership does not advocate for the expansion of Special Permits for wild sheep or any other wildlife species.  It is firmly believed that the auctioning of wildlife will neither benefit present wildlife management nor its future in BC.  There are many members of the general public who do not support this method of generating revenue.  It is extremely important for the BCWF membership that wildlife is revered and not considered as an economic commodity.

The funding for conservation by the pilot is relatively small compared to the effort required to manage it.  Funding for wildlife management is a key BCWF issue and will not be resolved by these types of pilots.  The Federation believes they distract the hunting community’s collective attention and capacity away from the important provincial funding for wildlife management.  Our membership insists that sustainable and sufficient funding be provided by the provincial government.

After careful consideration, the BC Wildlife Federation Board of Directors recommends:

  1. The California Bighorn Sheep be managed through LEH and regulations consistent with current wildlife management policy.
  2. No allocation for non-residents for the species occurs in unallocated territory as per the Allocation Policy.

The BCWF recognizes First Nations rights for food, social and ceremonial, after conservation needs have been met.

The BCWF believes that the South Thompson Stewardship Pilot Project should cease and that management should occur under the normal framework for wildlife management in the province.  We believe that all stakeholders need to pursue sustainable and adequate funding for wildlife management.

The BCWF recognizes that First Nations may enter into fee for access agreements to their private land thus gain economic rent for hunting.  This is the choice and the decision of the successful Limited Entry Hunting applicant or hunter.  However, fee for access to wildlife or fisheries is not supported by the Federation membership.

The BCWF wishes to express their appreciation to all those who participated in the pilot project.  We hope that everyone recognizes our commitment to placing the wildlife resource to the forefront for the future for wildlife management in BC.  It would not be fair to consider the STWS pilot project a failure.  It was a pilot project to test new management possibilities and that is what it did.  Not all of the proposed ideas were feasible, or tested, however they provided us experience and improved the dialogue and understanding between the participating parties and their interests in wildlife.

Yours in Conservation,

Bill Bosch
President, B.C. Wildlife Federation

Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area: UVIC Environmental Law Clinic Report

BCWF retained the UVIC Environmental Law Clinic (ELC) to examine the implications of the proposal by the Province of B.C. to repeal the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Act and replace it with the Wildlife Act for the purposes of protecting the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area.

The report was transmitted to BCWF in late January, and is now available for download here.

An excerpt from the preamble to the report:

"The scope of this research is such that it is impossible to be completely exhaustive in the time allotted. Still, based on the research I have conducted, I have concluded that the CVWA affords the Area much stronger protection than the Wildlife Act would. This conclusion is based on a study of the relevant legislation, common management practices in the CVWMA and other Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), and case studies that highlight problems with specific WMAs governed by the Wildlife Act."

Click here to download the report

Province of B.C. Undertaking 5-Year Moose Study

A comprehensive five-year moose study that will investigate recent moose population declines in B.C.'s Interior is now underway.

The study will engage 11 wildlife biologists, one wildlife veterinarian and several other staff over its five-year duration. Over 200 moose will be radio collared, their movements tracked and all mortalities will be investigated to determine cause of death.
Read the full press release here: Province Launches Comprehensive Moose Study

Letter Re: Proposals to Amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations

The following letter was sent to the Director of Population and Conseravtion Management Division of the Canadian Wildlife Service expressing BCWF's support for proposed amendments to migratory bird regulations:

Dear Director,

The BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) wishes to express its support and appreciation for the current Proposals to Amend the Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations (including Regulation Proposals for Overabundant Species) December 2013.

While there are no regulatory changes proposed for British Columbia for 2014-2016, we appreciate the fact that the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) has included regulation proposals for overabundant species.  It is important for our membership to protect the impacts of overabundant species for habitat conservation.  In addition it recognizes impacts to agricultural operations which provide for migratory bird hunting opportunities.  The setting of population objectives is important in maintaining healthy populations of migratory birds.

In addition, the regulatory amendments for increased hunting and harvest opportunities support the recruitment and retention of migratory bird hunters which are very important initiatives to our membership.

The membership of the BCWF appreciates the opportunity to provide comment to the proposed Canadian Migratory Birds Regulations for 2014-2016 hunting seasons.

Yours in Conservation,

BC Wildlife Federation
Wilf Pfleiderer, Chair, BCWF Wildlife Committee

A PDF copy of the letter can be downloaded by clicking here

Mule Deer Fact Sheets

The following Mule Deer Fact Sheets from the Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies' "Mule Deer Working Group" contain fascinating and practical information on a wide range of topics:

Fact Sheet #1 - Relationships Among Mule Deer and Their Predators

Fact Sheet #2 - Understanding Mule Deer and Winter Feeding

Fact Sheet #3 - Highway Effects on Mule Deer Movement and Survival

Fact Sheet #4 - Competition Between Mule Deer and Elk

Fact Sheet #5 - Carrying Capacity: How Many Deer Can We Have?

Fact Sheet #6 - Understanding Mule Deer and Antler Point Restrictions

Moose Winter Morality and Fencing Study - Year 2 (CN Moose Study)

Part 1

Part 2

An excerpt from the report's Executive Summary:

"McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. was contracted by Canadian National Railway Company (CN) to identify and investigate moose-train interactions over the last two winter field seasons on the Telkwa Subdivision between Endako and Smithers, British Columbia. During the winter season of 2009-2010 two objectives were set including improving our ability to quantify moosetrain interactions and monitoring a trial fencing treatment. The primary purpose of this project was to establish an accurate and repeatable methodology for collecting information on total yearly moose-train interactions that is responsive to local and seasonal weather variations.

The secondary objective was to monitor the fencing mitigation sites such that influences on moose movement patterns could be detected and that the effectiveness of fencing on reducing mortalities through redirection to safer crossing locations could be evaluated..."

October 30th, 2013: Changes to Mule Deer Seasons in Peace Region

FORT ST. JOHN – The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has announced changes to the mule deer hunting season in areas of the Peace.For this fall, the mule deer hunting seasons in select areas of the Peace region will be as follows:

  • The Three-Point Buck season running from Nov. 1 through Nov. 30, 2013, has been changed to a Four-Point Buck season (affects Management Units 7-20 to 7-22, 7-31 to 7-35, 7-43 Zone B to 7-47, and 7-54).
  • The Nov. 15 through Nov. 20, 2013, general open season for antlerless mule deer in the Agricultural Zone (Management Unit 7-20A) has been closed and replaced with a Limited Entry Hunt for antlerless mule deer from Dec. 1 through Dec. 20, 2013.
  • The fall antlerless bow season also was cancelled earlier in the season.

Click here to read the full text of the bulletin from the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations

August 26th, 2013: Migratory Bird Regulations Error (Canadian Wildlife Services)

There is a typo in the Migratory Bird Regulations distributed by Canadian Wildlife Services: 

In Region 7-Omineca, the actual Open Season for Ducks, Coots, and Snipe starts on September 16th, NOT September 10th as is indicated in the Regulations.

August 9th, 2013: B.C. Resident Hunter Expenditure Survey

In March 2013, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations completed a telephone survey of over 2,500 resident hunters The purpose of the survey was to better understand hunter expenditures and the economic importance of resident hunting in British Columbia.  The survey data was used to estimate the number of hunter days and the related expenditures in 2012/13. Statistics were broken down by various factors such as species hunted, region hunted, region of residence and hunter age.

It is estimated that over 79,000 adult hunters were active in the 2012/13 hunting year and that on average they spent $2,900 each for total annual expenditure of approximately $230 million.  The survey found that the most popular game species in the province are deer, moose and elk.
The report, entitled ‘Expenditures of British Columbia Resident Hunters,’ is posted here.  A comparison report entitled ‘Expenditures of British Columbia Resident Hunters: A Comparison of British Columbia and United States Hunting Expenditures’ is also posted here.
All of the information obtained was considered strictly confidential and personal information will not be retained or made available to the public.
The cooperation of British Columbia hunters is greatly appreciated.  The information gathered through this survey will be used to help inform future management and program delivery decisions.

July 12th, 2013: B.C. Hunting Licence Program to Receive Major Upgrades 

Click here to read the official News Release from the Province of B.C.

Great news this morning for hunters in B.C.!

The Provincial Government has announced long-awaited upgrades to the Hunting Licence Program that includes an "online service that will be flexible, convenient, user-friendly and fit for the 21st century." The new electronic services will enable hunters to purchase Hunting Licences and apply for Limited Entry Hunting opportunities online and will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
"The new electronic licensing system is a fundamental step forward in improving access to hunting and will help support sustainable wildlife populations by creating a reliable system to collect hunter participation and harvest information. The BCWF commends the provincial government for moving forward with this important initiative," said BCWF President Bill Bosch.

April 17, 2013: Harvest Allocation Policy Update

The BCWF WIldlife Committee recently received a letter from Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, regarding the government's response to the ongoing "Harvest Allocation Policy" issue.

The letter outlines the Minister's plan to establish an "Allocation Working Group" to examine how to better manage wildlife allocation so that the concerns of a number of stakeholders - including professional guides and recreational outdoor enthusiasts - are adequately protected.

Click here to read Minister Thomson's Letter

BCWF Position Statement:

Sustainable Fish and Wildlife Populations


Wildlife Health Website:

Government of BC Ministry of Environment - Wildlife Health / Stop Chronic Wasting Disease

HCTF Report

HCTF has now posted the 10 year summary report of the accomplishments of the Special Permits Program, designed to directly benefit wild sheep and elk in BC. The report highlights the fact that, via the Special Permits Program, hunters in BC provided nearly $1.6M in revenue to 46 conservation projects targeted at sheep and elk across BC.

More generally, the report contains:

  • General information about the uses of special permits by other jurisdictions;
  • A brief history about the policies and partnership agreements used to administer special wildlife permits in the Province of British Columbia;
  • Summaries of revenue received from auctions, lotteries, donations and interest;
  • The intake and selection process for investments of revenue in conservation projects;
  • Summaries of project investments; and
  • Descriptions of sheep and elk project investments by region.

This accomplishments outlined in the report are a direct testament to the successful partnership between the following agencies:

  • Province of BC
  • Wild Sheep Foundation
  • B.C. Wildlife Federation
  • Guide Outfitters Association of BC
  • Wild Sheep Society of BC
  • Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation

The report is available for download at

BC Wildlife Federation's Response: Canadian Wildlife Service’s Proposal for a Three-Year Regulatory Cycle

BCWF has put together a response to the Canadian Wildlife Service regarding the proposal for a three-year Regulatory Cycle.

BC Wildlife Federation's Response: Draft Management Plan for the Grey Wolf in British Columbia

BCWF has put together a response to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations' draft Management Plan for the Grey Wolf in BC.

BCWF's Response: Draft Management Plan for Grey Wolf in BC (December 2012)

BC Wildlife Federation Review of Roosevelt Elk Management in British Columbia: A Discussion Paper

BCWF submitted a discussion paper on Roosevelt Elk Management in BC.

BCWF Review of Roosevelt Elk Management in BC (August 2012)

Mule Deer Survey Administered by Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO) staff are developing a mule deer management plan for the Kootenay-Boundary Region. If you hunt mule deer in the Kootenay-Boundary, we are encouraging you to complete a brief survey, which will be used to assess satisfaction with the mule deer hunting experience and current management. It is equally important that we get input from new mule deer hunters as well as the veterans. If you have received a paper copy of this survey in the mail then please do not complete the web version.

Link to survey:

Background information on mule deer population status and management in the Kootenay-Boundary can be found here:

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations News Release: Moose Management Agreement Reached in Chilcotin

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations just published a news release on the agreement between the BC government and  the Tl’etinqox‐t’in office regarding moose management in Chilcotin. They have resolved to immediately implement a joint resource stewardship plan to recover moose population in the Anaham Range and mitigate potential causes for their recent decline.

Moose Management Agreement Reached in Chilcotin [MFLNRO News Release] (August 2012)

Provincial Wildlife Harvest Allocation Policy Discussion Paper and Related Appendix from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations

The Discussion Paper considers a number of possible options regarding implementation of the Harvest Allocation Policy.


The BCWF Wildlife Committee welcomes your comments as a resident hunter on the Harvest Allocation Policy Discussion Paper. Please forward any comments to Wilf Pfleiderer, BCWF Wildlife Committee Chair, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by September 4, 2012.

Letter to Ministers Mary Polak and Steve Thomson re: Moose Management

A letter was sent to Minister Mary Polak, Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, and Minister Steve Thomson, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, regarding the moose population in central BC. The letter calls for a prompt reply outlining their commitment to a rebuilding plan to address the current decline in moose numbers.

Letter to Ministers Polak and Thomson re: Moose Management (August 2012)

Letter to Minister Steve Thomson, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations re: Limited Entry Hunting Policy and Procedure Review

A letter was recently sent to Minister Steve Thomson, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, regarding the Limited Entry Hunting Policy and Procedure Review. The BCWF Wildlife Committee stated three main reasons for not supporting the review at this time.

Letter to Minister Steve Thomson  re: LEH Policy and Procedure Review (August 2012)

Summary of the Limited Entry Draw for 2012

Number of Authorizations

Successful Applicants













Note that both winners of 5 authorizations applied for at least 1 under-subscribed hunt.  Also, these calculations do not include First Nations applicants.

For more information about the Limited Entry Hunt, visit the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations website
If you have any questions, you may contact the LEH Office at: 250-356-5142 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Letter to Mr. Mike Ramsey, Wildlife Section Head Region 5, re: Proposal to Transplant Elk

A letter was sent to Mr. Mike Ramsey, Wildlife Section Head Region 5, expressing BC Wildlife Federation's concerns in the manner with which a proposal to transplant elk from the Quesnel area was dealt with by Region 5 staff.

Letter to Mr. Mike Ramsey re: Proposal to Transplant Elk (July 2012)

Open Letter to Resident Hunters re: Moose Population in Region 5

Open Letter to Resident Hunters (July 2012)

Letter to Minister Don McRae, Minister of Agriculture, and Minister Steve Thomson, Minister of Natural Resource Operations, re: Wild-Domestic Sheep Conflict

A letter was sent to both Minister Don McRae and Minister Steven Thomson that outlines the increasing issue of wild-domestic sheep conflict.

Letter to Minister Don McRae and Minister Steve Thomson (June 2012)

Provincial Wildlife Allocation Policy
Letter to Premier Christy Clark re Provincial Wildlife Allocation Policy (April 2012)

Moose Regulation in Skeena North

Letter to Jane Lloyd-Smith, Director of Resource Management- Skeena Region, Ministry of Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations (January 2012)

Letter Response from Jane Lloyd-Smith, Director of Resource Management   1 | 2 (February 2012)

Letter to Mayor Stewart and Council re: Proposed Amendments to Discharge of Firearms By-Law  #2068

Letter to Mayor Stewart re: Proposed Amendments to Discharge Firearms By-Law (February 2012)

Trends in Renewable Resource Management in BC

Trends in Renwable Resource Management in BC (February 2012)

Letter to Felice Griffiths, Assistant Senior Wildlife Policy Analyst, Fish and Wildlife Branch, Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations re: Special Weapons Hunting Policy and Procedures

BCWF comments on the latest draft of the Special Weapons Hunting Policy and Procedures.

Letter to Felice Griffiths, Assistant Senior Wildlife Policy Analyst, Fish and Wildlife Branch (February 2012)

Letter to Virginia Poter, Director General, Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada re: Consultation on Amending the List of Species under the Species at Risk Act (SARA)

BCWF addresses the proposed additions for species found in BC to the Species at Risk Act (SARA) for Terrestrial Species.

Letter to Virginia Poter, Director General, Canadian Wildlife Service (January 2012)

Letter from Andrew Wilson, Director Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management re: Implementation of Harvest Allocation Policy 2012/13 Hunting Season

A letter from Andrew Wilson, Director of Fish, Wildlife and Habitat Management re: Implementation of the Harvest Allocation Policy for the 2012/13 Hunting Season.

Letter from Andrew Wilson re: Allocation Policy for 2012/13 Hunting Season (January 2012)

Mountain Caribou Recovery

A letter was sent to Minister Steve Thomson, MLFNRO, regarding the protection of the endangered Mountain Caribou and urges the government to move forward with a predator management program to try save these populations.

Letter to Minister Steve Thomson re: Mountain Caribou Recovery (December 2011)

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease in British Columbia: Wildlife Health Fact Sheet
A fact sheet about Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), an acute, infectious, often fatal viral disease of some wild ruminants.

EHD Fact Sheet (August 2011)

British Columbia Task Force on Species at Risk (SAR) Report

BCWF submitted a response to Mr. Bruce Fraser MoE re: the January 31, 2011 BC Task Force SAR Report which provided recommendations to the BC government to help it update its vision for the conservation of species and ecosystems at risk and ensure British Columbia remains a leader in environmental sustainability.

Response to Mr. Bruce Fraser MoE re: BC Task Force SAR Report (August 2011)

Black Bear Regulation

The committee has communicated with the government regarding black bear regulation. Click the links below to view Wilf Pfleiderer's, Wildlife Committee Chair, letter and the letter of response from Assistant Deputy Minister, Jody Shimkus.

Letter From Assistant Deputy Minister re: Resident Harvest Regulations for Black Bears on Haida Gwaii (June 2011)
Letter to Premier Christy Clark  re: Black Bear Regulation (April 2011)

Blackwell Moose Quote Appeal

Click  here to read letter requesting the opportunity for the BCWF to be recognized with standing (intervener status), in 2011-WIL-004 Blackwell v. March 29, 2011 Decision of Regional Manager, Skeena Region for 2011/2012 Moose Quota and Administrative Guidelines.

Review of the Trumpy-Harvest Allocation Report

Review of TRUMPY Report- Cover Letter (May 2011)
Review of TRUMPY Report- Final (May 2011)

Hunting in BC Presentation for MLAs

The Wildlife Committee has prepared a powerpoint presentation on Hunting in BC for MLAs. Click  here to view the presentation in pdf format.

The Intended Consequences of Wildlife Allocations

Wildlife Allocations have become extremely complex and confusing over the past 30 years, making it a difficult issue to understand. Click  here to download a document that gives a brief overview of the history and impact of allocations and regulations on resident hunters and the British Columbia economy.

Black Bear Harvest Restrictions on Queen Charlotte Islands

Click  here to read an April 28 letter sent to Premier Clark regarding  Black Bear Harvest Restrictions for Residents on the Queen Charlotte Islands

Yukon Grizzly Bear Study

BCWF has been advised that Yukon Environment staff is resuming trapping for their study of grizzly bear movements in the Southern Lakes area of southern Yukon.  There is a chance that marked bears will cross the border into management unit 6-27 and it would be useful if any BCWF members that were hunting bears in those areas were aware of the study in case they encountered marked bears.Click  here for a brief summary of the study. 

Allocation Policy Review

Attention Resident hunters:

Click  here to read the Harvest Allocation Policy Report.

Click  here to read Minister Thomson's cover letter accompanying the report.

Please be aware that the recommendations in the Harvest Allocation Policy Review are not binding, but any of these recommendations could be adopted by the Province.  It is unfortunate that the Province did not recognize that resident hunters have been impacted too.  Allocations is a complex subject and must also be considered with the histor and harvest data through the first allocation policy to be fully understood.

Letter to Tom Eithier regarding  the  Big Game Harvest Allocation Policy & Procedures 2012

Michael Langegger of the Northwest Fish & Wildlife  Conservation Association wrote a letter to Tom Ethier, Director of Fish, Wildlife and Habitat, regarding  the  Big Game Harvest Allocation Policy & Procedures 2012. Click  here to read the letter. Click  here to read Mr. Ethier's response.

Annual Hunter's Survey (February 2010)

BCWF Brief: Coastal Grizzly Bear Hunting (January 2010)

Okanagan Moose Survey (December 2010)

Val Geist Grizzly Report: A Review Edited (2010)
Letter from T. Ethier RE: Running Allocation Calculator in 2012 (March 2010)
Letter from Ministry of Environment RE: Moose Quotas for Guide Outfitters Region 5 (October 2009)
Independent Analysis of Region 5 Mule Deer Data (August 2009)

Articles and Papers on Wildlife Issues
White-tailed Deer: Management Choices (April 2009)