British Columbia

B.C. Wildlife Federation says hunters furious about new allocations

The B.C. Wildlife Federation says its membership is rising every day with hunters angered by the government's decision to increase permits for guides and their out-of-province clients.

New hunting regulations increase permits for guides and visiting clients, says federation

Big horn sheep near a viewpoint in the Columbia-Shuswap. Under B.C.'s new Wildlife Allocation Policy, residents will get 70 per cent of the Limited Entry Hunt permits for big horn sheep, with guide outfitters getting 30 per cent of the permits. (urbanworkbench/Flickr)

The B.C. Wildlife Federation says its membership is rising every day with hunters angered by the government's decision to increase permits for guides and their out-of-province clients.

Earlier this month B.C.'s Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations quietly announced it was changing the rules for the 2015 hunt, giving even more permits to guides and their clients.

The government claims it's trying to help the guiding industry that was hurt by the economic downturn and they'll be keeping a close eye on the new harvest allocation.

But federation president George Wilson says the increased permits for guides come at the expense of local hunters and Victoria can expect a battle.

"Our membership is growing like crazy over this issue. People want to get into this fight. They see the unfairness in it," said Wilson.

"The government has pushed a button here that has got resident hunters extremely upset."

The federation is holding meetings across the province and has started a petition to try and reverse the government position.

East Kootenay resident and hunter Carmen Purdy has thrown his name into the draw to get a moose permit for 30 years, but he's never once been drawn.

Meanwhile an American hunter has no problem bagging a B.C. moose, he says.

"He doesn't have equal status with us because as long as he's got the money he can hunt a moose every year," says Purdy.

Purdy says he's never seen local hunters so mad.

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