The request by The Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. for a wildlife allocation increase to 25 to 40 per cent for non-resident hunters is astounding!
Aside from sheer greed and the desire to chase the almighty dollar, I can see no other reason why GOABC would push for a change to our wildlife allocation policy that would grant more hunting privileges to non-residents and that would see the hard working, tax paying residents of our province lose their hunting privileges to an already declining trophy hunting industry in British Columbia.
The norm for most provinces in Canada, and states in the USA, is an allocation of five to 10 per cent of their wildlife to non-resident hunters.
This has proven to be a healthy and sustainable allocation of the wildlife populations and has allowed for ample hunting opportunities for both resident and non-resident hunters alike.
So, the request by our province’s Guide Outfitters Association for an allocation of 25 to 40 per cent for non-residents seems a bit high to say the least.
We, as resident hunters, need to help regulate this sale of our precious wildlife to foreign hunters, by voicing our opinions to those in government who have the power to legislate fair allocations for all.
The number of resident hunters in B.C. has risen by 20 per cent over the last 10 years, from 85,000 to upwards of 102,000, while the number of non-resident hunters has seen a decline of 30 per cent over the same time period, from 6,500 down to 4,500.
That is 102,000 outdoorsmen, women and children who love to spend time in our wilderness while in pursuit of a healthy, organic and challenging source of food and who stand to lose their hunting opportunities to the mere 4.500 or so non-resident trophy hunters.
I am the father of young children, and I can only hope that in 10 years time, when they are old enough to hunt, that there will still be opportunity for them to do so in our province.
It is an experience as Canadian as hockey, and the opportunity to hunt, fish and enjoy the outdoors should remain a right for us, the residents of British Columbia.
I would ask that you, as a resident of B.C., hunter or not, please show your support for those of us that love this experience by writing a letter to our local MLA, to our premier or by simply signing a petition on www.change.org under the title “Don’t Take Away Resident Hunters’ Rights.” Every voice counts!