Hunting Season Set to Start
Prince George, B.C.- Hunting season for certain species in the 7A region (Omineca) gets underway tomorrow, and Conservation Officer Eamon McArthur is reminding those who plan to harvest animals to know the regulations.
(click on image at right for synopsis on 7A regulations)
“The most common mistake is people need to take time, and make sure they are well versed in the regulations” says Cst. McArthur. He says there have been some changes in the regulations as they pertain to compulsory inspections of sheep and goats but changes are easy to spot in the synopsis as they are written in green.
He says people don’t spend enough time watching the animal they plan to harvest “Then we get the report that someone shot a three point instead of a two point or something like that, You really have to take the time because the onus is on you to make sure you are within your right to take that animal.”
He advises that if a hunter plans to hunt on private property, the best thing to do is to get the property owner to give you written permission “That way no one can argue if the hunter had been given permission to be on that property.”
Shooting from vehicles is illegal, as is having a loaded firearm in the vehicle ” People need to remember they need to have their firearms licensing with them and they need to make sure that on a quad, in a truck in a boat, whatever it is, any kind of vehicle, the firearm needs to be unloaded, that includes all the ammunition out of the firearm, they cannot have ammunition in the magazine” plus it has to be a proven safe firearm.
He says people should be prepared when they are in the back country. If they don’t have access to a satellite phone, then make it clear to someone not in your hunting party just where you plan to hunt and when you plan to be heading home “You should have a plan, so that at the very least, should something happen, there is someone who knows you are overdue and missing”.
An added dimension this year is the call for deer heads to be inspected for Chronic Wasting disease. Although not yet in B.C, the disease has been confirmed in Alberta and Biologists want to make sure it hasn’t crossed into this province. In Prince George , those deer heads can be dropped off at the Fish and Wildlife office at Forests Lands and Natural Resources.
He also asks hunters to be respectful of hunting in the proximity of range lands. Often hunters will clean out the animal where it has been harvested, leaving a pile of waste behind. There have been concerns expressed at the Regional District of Fraser Fort George that such piles attract predators, who deal with that waste, then turn their attention to sheep, goats or cattle that may be grazing nearby. McArthur says hunters should just be conscientious “If you know you’re in an area that’s right beside someone’s cattle property, or you’ve been given permission to hunt on private land and there are cattle in the area, have a shovel handy and bury the pile.”
McArthur says people do make mistakes, and it’s better to own up before Conservation Officers finds out “When you do self-report ( a mistake) it will be investigated, but it will be looked on differently than if we find it, and have to chase some people down. The RAPP line is there, mistakes are made, it looks like a 2 point and you watched it for a while, you shoot it, and it’s really a 3 point. You won’t get to keep your moose, but you might come out of it with a warning instead of a bunch of fines.”