Concern new hunting regulations favour out-of-province hunters

B.C. hunters are speaking out over what they’re calling unfair changes to the province’s hunting regulations.

“It’s just a money grab, that’s all I think it is,” says Dino Piccolo, one of many hunters from this province who believe new regulations give an unfair advantage to outside groups.

At issue is a larger percentage of certain hunting licences – mostly for large animals – being reserved for guide-outfitters and the tourists who use their services.

It means the local share of moose tags will drop by 10 per cent in some regions, and Vancouver Island Elk dropping 12 per cent. In the last 10 years, the number of B.C. hunters has grown by 20 per cent, while the number of foreign hunters in B.C. has dropped by 30 per cent.

“It’s the concept of a public resource…being removed from British Columbians ability to go out and use it,” argues Jesse Zeman of the BC Wildlife Federation.

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His groups and others have circulated petitions and held meetings, hoping to pressure the government into reversing their decision. However, Natural Resource Minister Steve Thomson argues that the changes are fair, and will impact less than 200 animals.

“The new decision will provide the certainty both organizations need,” he says.

“We can focus on building and growing the resource which will benefit both residents and guide-outfitted.”

– With files from Jeremy Hunka

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