Whither the whitetails of the local woods?

General Open Seasons on Female Whitetailed Deer To Continue for 2015  

The Ministry of Forests Lands and Resources has decided to continue with wide-open doe seasons again this season.

The Ministry of Forests Lands and Resources has decided to continue with wide-open doe seasons again this season.

F.J. Hurtak

D espite some opposition from people such as myself and others, the Ministry of Forests Lands and Resources has decided to continue with wide-open doe seasons again this season.

In 2012 the bag limit was increased to two, which caused doe harvest to nearly double in the East Kootenay. In 2013 antlerless harvest actually decreased substantially, but increased again in all Game Management zones in 2014 according to Ministry figures.

Ministry officials have told me that anecdotal reports from hunters suggest fewer  whitetails in the East Kootenay as a result of the liberal seasons but any population reductions are not yet apparent in harvest data numbers, as both buck and doe harvest success rates are relatively high in East Kootenay GMZs. Data, they have stated, comes from provincial hunter surveys, spring ground surveys, observation from aerial surveys and hunter observations.

The season on antlerless  whitetail is again October 10-31, followed by a youth season from November 1-30.

As I mentioned in an article last year, I keep a diary of my personal sightings on whitetails during the rutting season in November, and I am seeing 50 per cent less in my traditional areas, of what I was seeing five years ago. I won’t argue that back then there was indeed a surplus of does, but that surplus, in my mind, is now long gone.

The age class structure of the bucks in the system is also very dismal and there is sufficient evidence available to indicate less than five bucks per 100 does in many areas. The days of quality bucks in the 140 -plus category are almost non-existent, as a result of previous and current management strategies.

Nevertheless, the recommended Management direction for  2016-20 from the Ministry is to manage for the highest sustainable harvest of both bucks and does, and maintain current antlerless GOS unless GMZ success rates drop below 20 per cent for three consecutive years. However, although the antlerless seasons will  remain in effect again this year, it has been recommended that the  antler-less bag limit be reduced to one starting in 2016.

That, from my standpoint anyway, is a step in the right direction.  I certainly hope they follow through with that recommendation. Allowing hunters to kill two does each, year after year, is nothing short of ludicrous in my opinion. For every female deer killed, we are actually killing a potential three deer, one of which will likely be a buck, so I think wildlife managers have to recognize that the impact down the road can be far greater on the populations than what they might imagine.

Regardless of whether you agree with me or not, I think it’s important that all hunters deserve a say, especially those who don’t belong to, or have a club to make their views known for them. So make your own personal views and field observations known to Ministry officials. The more data they have available from locals the easier it will be to formulate decisions in the future, and in fairness to the Ministry people whom I disagree with, on a regular basis it seems, I know they welcome that kind of input.

 

F.J. Hurtak is the author of the books Elk Hunting in the Kootenays and Hunting the Antlered Big Game of the Kootenays, available at selected retailers in B.C. and in Southern Alberta. All profits go to land for wildlife or habitat restoration here in the Kootenays.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

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
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read