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October 28, 2017 1:24 am

Education Campaign to Deal with Bowhunting Concerns

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 @ 3:49 PM

Prince George, B.C. – Expect an education campaign when it comes to bowhunting in the near future.

That seems to be the consensus following a meeting between the Spruce City Wildlife Association (SCWA) and Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall last Friday.

The meeting was sparked by concerns the city was considering a change to a bylaw which allows bowhunting within city limits.

“The meeting was very good and for me it was an educational meeting,” says Hall. “And an opportunity to understand their position on bowhunting within the municipalities boundaries.”

He adds a lot of the conversation centred around the vast territory available to bowhunters within city limits.

“So obviously that was a big discussion piece and I don’t for a minute think that there will be bowhunting in Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park but it’s about bowhunting within the municipality and where it’s predominately done and so it was a real education piece.”

SCWA director Steve Hamilton agrees it was a positive meeting, adding his group is looking forward to putting together “an educational sort of teaching package” to help dispel some of the myths floating around town.

“A lot of people don’t know the restrictions regarding bowhunting from a legal point of view,” he says.

“One of the misconceptions out there is that you’re going to see somebody in camouflage running down your street chasing an animal through your garden and that’s completely 100% false.”

Hamilton says the current city bylaw states you can’t walk through any open space area controlled by the city with a weapon of any sort, including a bow.

In addition, he says provincial regulations prevent people from hunting 100 metres of an occupied dwelling.

“So if I’m within 300 feet of my own house and I’m not slaughtering livestock, I’m breaking the law,” says Hamilton. “We’re well aware of that, there’s so many laws and we have to get certified to even have a hunting license.”

But what about the three complaints regarding bowhunting the city has received this year, including one of a moose getting shot by an arrow on Hoferkamp Road?

“I asked the mayor when this happened and he said April and I said there’s no moose season in April so you’ve got a poacher,” says Hamilton.

“And whoever is doing that isn’t going to be abiding by provincial, federal or city bylaws as it is. It’s a complaint where even if we put in the most strict rules, that person is going to do it anyways.”

He adds that’s where the education campaign comes in. “Don’t punish the many for the actions of the few.”

As for when the education campaign begins, Hamilton says it will “take a while to put together” but says they do plan to bring it back to mayor and council.


The only thing that I have heard about this that has been proven is that the deer was within city limits and had been shot with an arrow, not that it was shot within city limits.
This should make Skakun a happy noise maker, he got some attention.

Nothing has been proven. It’s all hearsay.

Best thing about this meeting is Skakun wasnt there.. good call by all involved.. no grandstanding, just a meeting of information.. Nice to see the mayor open to this type of meeting.

No hunting areas

It is unlawful to hunt or discharge a
firearm within 100 metres of a church,
school building, school yard, playground,
regional district park, dwelling house, or farm
or ranch building that is occupied by persons
or domestic animals. Owners and occupiers
or their employees or agents are exempted
near dwelling houses or farm or ranch buildings for the purpose of slaughtering livestock.
No Shooting areas

It is unlawful to discharge a firearm in a
No Shooting Area (see Definitions section).
No Shooting Areas as prescribed under the
Wildlife Act are open to the use of bows
(including crossbows) unless specifically
restricted (see regional sections).

Municipal Restrictions

Most municipalities have local bylaws restricting and controlling the use of weapons, firearms and bows within their boundaries.
Consult municipal clerks for details of closures.

Firearm – includes a device that propels a
projectile by means of an explosion, compressed
gas or spring and includes a rifle,
shotgun, handgun, pellet gun, “BB” gun or spring
gun but does not include a bow

Bow – means a longbow or crossbow.

Compound Crossbow – means a crossbow
on which the bow string runs through pulleys.

Crossbow – means a bow fixed across a stock
with a groove for the arrow or bolt and a
mechanism for holding and releasing the string.
(NOTE: The use of crossbows is permitted
during special bow only seasons unless otherwise
indicated under the regional schedules.

I have not seen anyone comment on the issue of private lands.

While the City can make some limited regulations about hunting within the city limits, it is the private landowner who has the final say as to whether one is allowed to enter onto his/her lands and hunt. Just because the City and the province allows hunting within a specific distance from a building or residence does not mean the property owner whose building is located on 5 or 80, 160, 640 acres of land will allow hunting on the land.

Ignorance of property limits and ownership should not be an excuse. An owner within city limits should have the expectation of privacy with no trespass.

The City has ownership maps of lands within the City limits. Can we have a look at that map or at least some reporting out to us of the amount of vacant acreage which is owned by the province, by the city and by private owners so that we can get a bit more understanding of the issue than the simplistic notion of what is the difference between a bow and a firearm.

Some of the issues as I see them, based on what some other jurisdictions say about hunting in cities are:

1. The rights of private property owners and the typical requirement to get permission to hunt on their property – such requirements as sharing of game meat are in place in some communities in the mid-west of the USA.

2. The notion that animals in closer proximity to urban development are accustomed to such areas being relatively “safe” to the extent that they walk into people’s back yards or parks and bed down for the night. Such hunting would make it similar to a canned hunt. While not illegal, it is an unethical hunting practice.

3. Nuisance – are deer and moose overpopulating the City and causing it to be unsafe and a nuisance so that relocation or a cull may be necessary as called for by the Conservation officer in charge.

4. Locally, a report regarding trail systems recommends that the safety of people using rural trails is an issue because bow hunting is allowed in the City. That report is about 10 years old and the issue has obviously not been resolved.

“And whoever is doing that isn’t going to be abiding by provincial, federal or city bylaws as it is. It’s a complaint where even if we put in the most strict rules, that person is going to do it anyways”

Sort of like people committing murder, isn’t it? We have laws against it, but people kill others anyway.

So, we might as well remove laws against murder.

I have never heard a more ridiculous argument in my life!!!!

The truth is, is that a poacher is a poacher and that’s illegal. The argument for murder is just ridiculous and short sighted just as closing archery with in city limits.
Just as safety being an issue on rural trails. As I know it there has never been a safety incident regarding archery and someone getting hurt (other then their feelings) with a stray arrow.
An no go pg 2015 deer hunting within a city’s limits is not a canned hunt and I can assure you that archers across North America do not believe this. Or do the vast majority of hunters believe it is a form of unethical hunting.
At least the mayor has open mindedness to actually sit down and talk with spruce city wildlife rather than blowing them off and avoiding the group as Mr. Skakun has repeatedly done over the course of at least 6 months. Through their meeting we now have a chance of educating the public and archers about where and where not to hunt within the city and hopefully prince george can be a fore runner in this province to municipalities opening up the archery hunting and showing them what a great sport archer and archery hunting can be.

I’ve bow hunted some in the city limits. on private posted land with permission from the owner. closest road 800 meaters, house 1k. don’t think I’m any danger to the public. or deer I’m still skunked.

Given the wolves I have recently heard howling behind the Caledonia Nordic Ski Centre and the story of walkers on those trails having their dogs chased by wolves, bow hunters in the city might be a good news story.

Nechako man, are you referring to the Otway Ski Area? While I have seen bears, foxes, coyotes, lynx & even cougar tracks out there, I have never seen or heard even one iota of wolf sign. As for stories of wolves chasing dogs at Otway? I suggest that it is exactly that, stories.

Yes, Detoe44, heard the story last Friday from several sources and heard the wolves two days later on Sunday. They weren’t coyotes, either. My daughter saw one a few years ago while driving on North Nechako, so it isn’t the first time they have been in this area in the last few years.

Nechako man, I don’t doubt you heard wolves howling, I have heard & seen wolf sign at the back end of Forests For the World/ Greenway. What I find a little iffy is that wolves are chasing dogs at Otway, if a wolf was chasing a domestic pet in all likelihood it would be caught & eaten. The last sentence of your first post; Are you advocating hunting wolves in city limits? Or that bow hunters are somehow going to “save” us from the big bad wolves? I’ll take my chances with a wild unharmed animal over those with a wounded, confused & angry animal. Especially an alpha predator.

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