Wildlife protection activists call out 'wolf whacking' ads on Facebook
Letter to province says 3 predator hunting contests are currently being hosted in B.C.
A Facebook advertisement for a so-called "wolf whacking contest" has sparked a coalition of 54 environmental groups and adventure tourism operators to call out the practice.
The Wildlife Protection Coalition says it's aware of three separate contests in British Columbia, where hunters are invited online to kill predators — like wolves, coyotes or cougars — and win points or a prize.
"Right away, we felt that this was wrong and this is something that how could this be happening in super natural British Columbia," said Eric Boyum with the Ocean Adventure Charter Tour Company.
In an open letter to the Minister of Forests Lands and Natural Resources, Boyum and others expressed concern with bounty contests.
No wolf bounty in B.C. since 1955
The ministry replied in a written statement that while it "does not condone or encourage these types of events," there are no rules preventing properly licensed hunters from participating in these contests, as long as all laws are followed.
It adds that "wolf populations are healthy and self-sustaining throughout the province."
The last time B.C. offered a wolf bounty was in 1955.
Gun club says wolf hunt protects cattle
The Creston Valley Rod & Gun Club is one of the clubs advertising a "predator tournament" on Facebook "to assist young ungulates (fawns & elk calves) to survive the winter."
Club representatives could not be reached for comment. However, the Creston club's website says that "predators have been hunted for their fur, to protect livestock and to maintain a balance with other wildlife populations."
Boyum says some hunters believe this is a way to prevent predators from over-killing deer and caribou.
"I'm angry when I hear that."
While he agrees the province doesn't endorse the kills, he says it's time to change the laws to outlaw them.
With files from Yvette Brend