A shortened moose season in the North Peace and new restrictions on hunting near Moberly Lake are among the hunting and trapping regulation changes B.C. will roll out July 1.
B.C.'s forestry ministry is implementing six major changes to hunting rules for the Peace Region, affecting the moose and elk hunts in specific management areas in Northeast B.C.
- Season dates are being shifted for 6 point bull elk in the Kechika wilderness area
- Transferring the Tuchodi anterless elk general open season to limited entry hunting
- Shortened any bull moose seasons in the North Peace
- A no-shooting prohibition within 400 metres of the East Moberly Indian Reserve (Saulteau First Nations)
- Moose hunting restrictions in parts of Management Unit 7-31 and 7-32 (Peace-Moberly Tract)
- Compulsory inspection requirements for moose in Management Unit 7-52
The regulations take effect July 1 and will be in place through June 30 2018.
Andy Waddell, president of the Dawson Creek Sportsman's Club, said the shortened bull moose season was the biggest change in the new regulations.
He said provincial wildlife managers hoped moving the start of moose season in four North Peace Management Units would improve the ratio of bull to cow moose. The season will start Aug. 23 instead of Aug. 15.
"I think that's a good thing, but for that first week of August it's going to increase pressure on other zones," Waddell said. "(Hunters are) just going to go to another area."
Gerry Paille, of the North Peace Rod and Gun club, agreed.
"Typically, what that shortened season does is crowd more people into a shorter time," he said. "Sometimes it reduces the harvest, sometimes it doesn't."
New restrictions on moose hunting in the Peace-Moberly Tract—two management areas on the Peace River near Moberly Lake—are a result of Site C dam construction.
The provincial government is restricting moose hunting in the area to allow First Nations hunters greater access to struggling moose populations.
In a presentation to the Joint Review Panel appointed to study the project, West Moberly First Nation Chief Roland Willson said the tract was "one of the two remaining best moose habitats in B.C.," the other being "an industrial zone for shale gas on the north side of the river."
Two other proposed regulations did not pass, Paille said. Those include the removal of "bag" limits on wolves, aimed at taking pressure off ungulate populations. The province still allows unlimited wold hunting under 1,100 metres elevation, allowing farmers to kill wolves threatening livestock.