It is difficult for people capable of reasoned thought to believe a Fish & Wildlife bureaucracy would wantonly destroy wildlife populations when the results are guaranteed to compromise the future of hunting and would also result in a firestorm of protest from the non-hunting public, many who are anti-hunters.
For decades Fish & Wildlife staff in Victoria have been steadfast in their belief that they are the only ones who know the true status of wildlife populations they also believe due diligence on the ground with credible hunters and concerned citizens is not necessary by virtue of the legions of wildlife studies that validate long hunting seasons, high road density and quad bikes/4X4 trucks will not compromise the wildlife resource.
There is no better example that illustrates the indifference and contempt for wildlife management than showcasing the management of the whitetail and mule deer in the three wildlife management units that parallel the border in Washington State below Grand Forks. Washington State hunting regulations highly restrict hunting opportunity in the three wildlife management units, BC has done exactly the opposite and the results are in your face for anyone who participates in time and site specific field trips.
The BC Liberal Government after the 2005 election mandated Fish & Wildlife staff to listen to hunters, principally the BC Wildlife Federation member clubs. The objective was to increase revenue by making it more attractive to hunt.
Hunters demanded more hunting opportunity and Fish & Wildlife certainly obliged, seasons in many cases are longer to-day than decades ago.
Hunting regulations have been harmonized province wide which means no more short seasons for a species that is in decline in one region of the province but not in other regions.
Contrary to the tenants of responsible wildlife management many species of animals can be hunted at the same time province wide.
You add it all up and our wildlife resource is nothing more than cheap chattel goods managed by a bureaucracy that long ago outlived it's usefulness, a provincial government that has totally abandoned its statutory responsibility and a hunting movement that puts no premium on conservation. Bottom line; hunting has a grim future.
The recent e-mail I received from biologist, Brian Harris is truly an accurate measure why nothing less than a credible provincial wildlife management review is the only hope of saving the province's wildlife resource. Brian's e-mail will get plenty of attention in due course. After all, he is stating that he can find no evidence that the Boundary deer herd is in trouble.
Recently seven of us veteran hunters had a coffee with NDP candidate, Sam Hancheroff and his wife, Barbara in Midway.
The story never changes when you talk to hunters of 30 to 40 years experience; wildlife management today is a disgrace.
I have made it very clear that under no circumstances do I or most people in my circle want another four years of the BC Liberal government.
-- Letters represent the opinion of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board.