Hunting regulations change for antlerless elk

A reduction in the elk population leads to closures of some open seasons in the South Trench zone of the East Kootenay

In 2008 the Kootenay Elk Management Plan called for a 25 to 40 per cent reduction in the elk population to decrease agricultural degradation, and this year those numbers have reached 35 per cent, close enough to the higher target to prompt an emergency change to the regulations. Those changes affect only the antlerless elk population in parts of the South Trench zone in the Kootenays.

“We did an inventory for the elk population in January,” said Tara Szkorupa, senior wildlife biologist for the Kootenay/Boundary regions. “We didn’t have that information prior to the 2012-14 synopsis being printed. When we did the inventory we found that the elk population was down more than 35 per cent. We had a targeted reduction of 25 to 40 per cent. So we’re getting close to our lower level of that reduction and so thought it was appropriate to make an emergency mid-cycle change this year to avoid further declines in the population.”

The changes close the following open seasons.

• General open season for antlerless elk in 4-03 Zone X, which includes portions of 4-2 to 4-5 and 4-20 to 4-22, from Sept. 20 to Sept. 30 is closed.

• Senior/youth season for antlerless elk in 4-03 Zone X, which includes portions of 4-2 to 4-5 and 4-20 to 4-22, from Sept. 10 to Sept. 14 is closed.

• Senior/youth season for antlerless elk in 4-26 Zone X, which includes portions of 4-25 and 4-26, from Sept. 10 to Sept. 19 is closed.

Szkorupa said that in the past six years, they have put radio-collars on over 100 cow elk, which has given them a good idea of the survival rates and recruitment of calves into the population, as well as the population trajectory over time.

“We suspected that the population would have continued to decline below 40 per cent if we kept those seasons open,” she said.

Szkorupa also noted that the reduction in the herd hasn’t had the desired effect on the agricultural side.

“We were all hoping when we worked on the elk management plan that we would have the same amount of reduction in crop degradation as the population declined, but we haven’t found that,” she said. “So what we’ve been doing, we have a committee that we work with agricultural producers and hunters and various stakeholders, so based on that relationship, we’re now trying to look at other options to try and reduce crop damage and crop degradation, while still maintaining healthy elk population.”

The elk management committee is looking at a number of tools to really target the animals that are causing the most degradation and she hopes it can come to a solution for that problem.

Every season, about 400 cow elk are taken by hunters in the South Trench.

“That’s the portion of the population that has more of an impact on population trends,” she said.

She also noted that the online version of the Hunting and Trapping Synopsis has been updated with the changes at

Just Posted

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

The Independent Investigations Office of BC is looking into a Castlegar incident. File photo
Police watchdog investigating Castlegar incident

IIO: Woman sustained a reportedly self-inflicted injury

Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook.
Graduation ceremony in the works for MBSS Class of 2021

The Mount Bake Secondary School Class of 2021 will have a graduation… Continue reading

After being forced to cancel in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Wasa Triathlon is being organized for August. Bulletin file photo.
Information released for Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon scheduled for August

In 2020 the COVID pandemic forced the Gerick Sports Wasa Triathlon to… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

B.C. ambulance station in Revelstoke is expected to get a new system called the Scheduled On-Call (SOC) this fall. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
B.C. ambulance changes could put Revelstoke residents at risk, warn local paramedics

Paramedics said to expect a substantial increase in ambulance response time starting this fall

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Most Read