Last week in the Bulletin, we reported on a group in Wycliffe that was upset about the behaviour of some hunters. They cited numerous examples of witnessing hunters leaving gates open, leaving animal remains near trails, shooting after dark and more.
Also cited was the practice of shooting on Crown land without the permission of the lessee.
Tara Szkorupa, Wildlife Biologist for the provincial government says she has been contacted by hunters about the story, and she would like to provide some additional information about ‘leased Crown land’. It is true that hunters do require permission to hunt on leased Crown range, Sxkorupa says.
“However many people think all Crown land with cattle grazing is “leased Crown range”. This is not the case – there are only three parcels of leased crown land for grazing in the southern Rocky Mountain Trench, and these are generally surrounded by private land, are posted as no trespassing and essentially look like private land.
“Most cattle grazing on Crown land is permitted through Grazing Agreements. Hunters can hunt in these areas without permission of the agreement holder.”
Maps showing private land, Crown land and grazing leases can be found at http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/kootenay/wld/maps/GOS_ELK_R4X_A_10.pdf and here http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/kootenay/wld/maps/GOS_ELK_R4X_B_10.pdf