Last week I highlighted some of the local wild meat that could be harvested in Region 1. This column will cover the rest of the province plus common species we can harvest within the balance of the province.
The biennial 2012-2014 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis is in some respects not much different than a shopping catalogue that we spend hours looking at in a dedicated effort to find the best deal for our interests, money and time available to plan successful hunts.
Climate change will have a positive effect on public perception of recreational hunting in so far as it will be seen as an economical way to control nuisance wildlife populations and harvest British Columbia grown meat – while taking part in an important recreational activity with significant economic benefits to the community and province as a whole.
Pictured with this column is a display of some of the wild meat in our deep freeze from past seasons. Along with the meat are some frozen peas and blueberries from our garden plus fresh vegetables. Our meat is vacuum packed and as such will keep its quality for more than one season. Displayed are moose and elk roasts, venison steak, three types of hamburger plus pepperoni, smokies and garlic sausage – all locally grown and harvested in our province.
As illustrated the vast majority of hunting is about harvesting high quality, organic grade meat for home consumption.
Regulation changes are high-lighted in green and a bold text. This set is awash with green print in virtually every region. It is paramount that you pay attention to these changes in any region you may wish to hunt.
Youth seasons are highlighted in many management areas. In Region 1 we have a special youth-only firearms season for antlerless black-tailed deer from Sept 10 to Dec 10. We also have Waterfowl Heritage Days for youth as listed on bottom of page 29. These special seasons are for youth under the age of 18 who qualify for licenses. They are quite generous. A point of clarification on local bag limits for deer, see the table on Page 17. There are also special limited seasons for seniors over the age of 65 in some regions.
A Thanksgiving wild turkey dinner is a possibility if you hunt in Region 4 or 8. It would be good planning to combine a deer hunt with a turkey hunt. Wild turkeys are now in sufficient numbers that there is a season as far north as Salmon Arm in Region 8 and throughout the Okanagan Valley and southern portion of the region. They are also abundant in Region 4 where multi-species hunts are possible.
Throughout the province black bears get an increasing amount of bad press. It should not be overlooked that they are important sources of meat in many places in our province. Black bears feeding on grass, berries and farmers’ corn produce excellent meat. Avoid harvesting bears around garbage dumps and salmon runs.
British Columbia is blessed with greater variety of birds and animals that we can hunt than any other place in North America. Our wildlife resources have a long history of being well-managed dating back to the wildlife management policies and practices developed by the late Dr. Ian McTaggart Cowan and Dr. Val Geist, among others. The British Columbia Wildlife Federation has long been a responsible citizen’s voice in our on-going successful hunting regulations.
Climate change will effect our hunting in the future. The pine beetle invasion has clear connections to milder winters. The ecological impact of the loss of huge tracks of pine forests on wildlife populations is not yet clearly understood. There will be winners and losers – stay tuned.
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Important Event: The Pacific Salmon Foundation (PSF) is holding its annual fundraising banquet with silent and live auction and dance at the Filberg Centre in Courtenay on Saturday, Sept. 22. Tickets are $60 per person. Silent auction viewing at 5:30, banquet at 7 p.m. followed by live auction and dance.
The PSF in their annual magazine (celebrating 25 years – 1987 to 2012) reported on challenges and successes of the past 25 years and more importantly looked at the future of the next 25 years. Next week I shall try to convince you of the importance of supporting the PSF and its efforts to save our salmon – “A Keystone Species.”
Ralph Shaw is a master fly fisherman who was awarded the Order of Canada in 1984 for his conservation efforts. In 20 years of writing a column in the Comox Valley Record it has won several awards.