Letters: Hunting allocations wrong direction

Dear Editor,

I strongly oppose the new allocation policy reductions for resident hunters and increases for guided alien hunters proposed by B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson. 

Allocations have gone from bad to ridiculous! 

I fail to understand the logic of awarding increases to guide-outfitters when they’ve experienced a client decline of 30 per cent, while at the same time, resident hunter numbers have increased. 

Why set a policy that takes wild, sustainable food from our citizens’ mouths? If this decline in GO business continues, will residents stand to lose more share to alien hunters?

There are good reasons why some guide-outfitters are experiencing financial hardship. Younger guides, far too eager to get into the outfitting business, have over-paid previous owners for the purchase of pieces of paper that grant exclusive access. 

With the 30 per cent decline, on top of paying too high a price, some are in danger of going broke. That’s business, and they should go broke.

I’ve always thought BC Liberals backed free enterprise. I was wrong. Instead, they’re choosing to bail out those with poor business instincts. 

I feel I have a fair sense of science-based management policies. This is my 70th year of hunting. 

I began hunting in September of 1944, just before my sixth birthday, when I shot a blue grouse with mother’s .22 pump while Dad helped and Mom, Nana, and Grandpa looked on. 

Then I was instructed how to dress and clean the bird. The memory is still vivid. 

I cannot count the numbers of wild fish and game meals I and my family have had over my lifetime. 

As the years progressed, I took on an active role in conservation work. During the 35 years I taught high school, I sponsored extra-curricular outdoor activities for students, including both fishing and hunting. 

The Outdoor Club I sponsored was one of the popular clubs, the perfect vehicle for Outdoor Education, which for a time included CORE. Get our youth out on wilderness camping, hiking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, fishing, and hunting trips, and their values are set for their lives.

The new allocation policy gives me pause to worry about future harvests of wild fish and game by my four grandchildren, and for all of our B.C. youth. The minister is reducing opportunities for them at a time when these opportunities need to be increased. 

A policy reducing residents’ share opposes the goals of our special youth season. Given growth in resident hunter numbers and our population growth, the new allocation policy ignores residents’ needs today and into the future. It makes no sense whatsoever. 

Larri Woodrow, Langley

[Larri Woodrow is director, Lower Mainland Region, of BCWF (43,000 members); a volunteer with Langley Environmental Partners and the Salmon River Enhancement Society, a member of the Sports Fishing Advisory Board, South Coast Region, Fisheries & Oceans Canada; the B.C. Wildlife Federation rep for Mission Rod & Gun Club (3,400 members); and director of the Trails Society of BC, as well as a 20-year volunteer on the Trans Canada Trail.]