Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka is suggesting a two-year moratorium on hunting antlerless whitetail doe in response to declining deer populations. Pixabay photo

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka is suggesting a two-year moratorium on hunting antlerless whitetail doe in response to declining deer populations. Pixabay photo

Kootenay East MLA suggests two-year moratorium on whitetail doe hunt

Tom Shypitka says the proposal is in response to declining ungulate populations

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka is calling for a two-year moratorium on the whitetail doe hunt in response to declining population numbers across the region.

Shypitka says his request, proposed for Region 4, is in response to feedback he has heard from local hunters and guide outfitters concerned about the state of the whitetail deer population, which has struggled due to factors such as over-harvesting and predation.

“We’re seeing these populations being decimated and the hunters — whom I proclaim and stand by, the best conservationists we have — are frustrated and they’re angry that we’re seeing these populations being wiped out.”

Wildlife management has been an issue in the East Kootenay region dating back to the 2017 provincial election, but declining ungulate numbers have been trending downward for years, according to Shypitka.

“We need dedicated funding, we need regional representation, we need science-based decision-making,” said Shypitka. “This is something I’ve professed over and over again and it’s not coming from me, it’s coming from the hunters and the people that have their boots on the ground. They’re not seeing any action.”

Shyptika added that wildlife should be managed as a natural resource just like forestry or mining.

Creating a wildlife management plan essentially comes down to funding, which would be used for collecting population data and analyzing exactly why ungulate numbers are plummeting, whether it be factors such as over-harvesting, predation, inability to survive harsh winters, lower fawning rates and impacts on habitat.

“This isn’t a small thing and I think this is largely why it hasn’t been addressed because once you dig into it, you realize this could be as big as health care,” Shypitka said, noting that wildlife management policies would affect forestry, mining, agriculture and environment ministries.

Current whitetail hunt rules in Region 4 stipulate an aggregate bag limit of two — one may be antlerless (doe) and one may be a buck, according to the B.C. Hunting Regulations.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is considering a proposal to prohibit whitetail doe hunting over the next two years, according to a statement from a spokesperson.

“The ministry has been monitoring the white-tailed deer harvest and population trends closely,” reads the statement. “As a result of the 2018/19 harvest data, changes have been proposed to the antlerless general open season to address enforcement challenges that occur in the overlap of the white-tailed deer and elk seasons, and to reduce antlerless harvest in areas where populations have declined.”

The proposal will be posted online for public comment and feedback, with an expected announcement next week to outline the consultation process.



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Today, on April 22, over 1 billion people will come together – virtually – to mark Earth Day.(Pixabay)
Earth Day 2021: a time to reflect

By Ruth Kamnitzer Today, on April 22, over 1 billion people will… Continue reading

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
54 more cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Thirty-two people in the region are in hospital with the virus, 11 of them in intensive care

While pharmacies across B.C. are using AstraZeneca for public immunizations for people 40 years of age and older, there is no availability currently in the Kootenays. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
No AstraZeneca vaccine availability in Kootenay pharmacies, says Interior Health

Vaccine has been opened up at pharmacies in other areas of the province to people 40 years of age and older

Balsamroot, pictured here, can be found on Sunflower Hill in the Kimberley Nature Park, Eager Hill, Wycliffe Buttes, and many other areas across the Rocky Mountain Trench. (Paul Rodgers file)
Spring’s yearly spectacle of balsamroot

Ever year in May, balsamroot emerges for a brief showy period

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Letisha Reimer, 13, was killed Nov. 1, 2016 in a stabbing at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
Second-degree murder conviction stands for Abbotsford school killer

Judge finds that Gabriel Klein is criminally responsible for death of Letisha Reimer

FILE – RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by as protesters opposed to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion block rail lines, in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, November 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

BCCLA said that speaking with communities could have avoided top-down approach

Ocean Legacy Foundation members conduct a shoreline pollution cleanup in Vancouver. (OLP)
It’s time to end ‘suffocating’ plastic pollution along B.C. shorelines, advocates urge

This Earth Day, Ocean Legacy Foundation is launching a free educational platform to educate the public about plastic pollution

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
B.C. teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. university rowing coach ‘deeply sorry’ after complaints

Barney Williams says he’s been committed to ensuring no other member of the roster had a similar experience

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. girl’s wish granted as her cat came back, two years later

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read