PHRAAC Presentation Bowhunting Opportunity June 2, 2008
Why UBBC? • The United Bowhunters of BC came to be as a result of a joint bowhunter’s meeting with then Minister Barisoff in March 2004 • Minister Barisoff indicated that if bowhunters would organize themselves into one voice, then united, that voice would be given opportunity to be heard.
Status Quo • Many bowhunters in local (regional based) clubs and in the provincial UBBC, TBBC, and BCAA feel under represented • The concerns, interests, and input that the bowhunting fraternity want to have heard and considered has historically been disregarded. • Bowhunting needs consideration. • Provides another avenue to meet Provincial objectives • Many hunters enjoy the challenge of a bow and would prefer to hunt with a bow full time.
Current Discussions • A number of BCWF member clubs representing a significant portion of the total BCWF membership are supportive of the UBBC, TBBC, and BCAA’s interests in having a voice either through a seat at the PHRAAC table or at least through formation of a sub-committee of the BCWF’s Wildlife Committee. • The BCWF President is consulting his executive this month and will decide on forming such a committee.
Bowhunter Objectives • Support Government’s youth recruitment objectives • Support hunter recruitment • Continued wildlife conservation • Increase in “bow only” seasons as a legitimate alternative to current strategies that result in a loss of opportunity • Quality “bow only” seasons • Less ‘competitive’ approach than GOS (more relaxing) • Identify new opportunities for wildlife management • Recognize bowhunters are adaptable • Determine a non-confrontational approach to resolving issues important to hunting and bowhunting. • Bowhunting Education
Bowhunter Objectives • Parity • If a Regional proposal for a new “Bow Only” Full Curl Ram opportunity is turned down because it “may” take away another’s opportunity (Current MOE Special Weapons Policy) then, • A GOS whitetail deer doe season would clearly compromise any late season bow only opportunity and should be considered on the same basis.
Recruitment • Archery as an outdoor sport attracts non-hunters. • No firearms course or license exist as a barrier to entry. • Children enroll in 3-D Archery shoots each year which provides a breeding ground for new hunters • Encourage schools in BC to introduce archery as part of the physical education curriculum • Increased interest within the bowhunting community to have the IBEP course mandatory • BCAA/UBBC are committed to having a dozen new instructors trained this calendar year. • Creating quality bowhunting opportunity will encourage retention for cross-over hunters
Archery/Bowhunting • Favourable entry point for youth • Safe • Less regulation (than Firearms) • Easier for a non hunting parent to support • Use of 3D • Youth become aware of the hunt • Non-hunters may accept • Learned skills and philosophy • Healthy lifestyle
Archery/Bowhunting • Close in activity (intense) • Great satisfaction • Places success in the experience not the kill • Learned skills and philosophy • Provides for ‘Micro-Management’ opportunities • Community / Rancher / Wildlife Conflicts (Zone ‘X’) • Interface areas • Cautious beginnings
Retention • Bow only areas and seasons (in addition to the GOS) increase the odds of success. Wildlife is much more elusive once firearms are introduced. • More opportunity = better chance of success = satisfaction and nothing breeds commitment like success. Providing more bow only opportunity will encourage bowhunters to stay actively involved. • Bowhunting attracts rifle hunters that are looking for a greater challenge. Some of those hunters might drift away from hunting if a viable and realistic bowhunting season is not available.
Conservation • Bowhunters are typically avid sportsmen and are committed to conservation values. The bowhunting community contribute volunteer hours per year on various habitat and wildlife projects • Bowhunters put in significant time in the field and have intimate knowledge of game populations that should be valuable to PHRAAC allocation committee. • Bowhunters do not harvest a significant amount of game as to effect populations dramatically therefore increased bow-only seasons pose little threat. Average success rate is one big game animal in 7 years
Technological advancement - better rifles, more efficient muzzleloaders, faster bows, variable scopes, and four-wheel drive vehicles - ushered in regulations such as limited-entry hunting, road closures and restricted hunting seasons. Each time technology surges forward, killing wildlife becomes a little easier, more people join in, wildlife become more vulnerable, and more regulations are needed. -David Stalling, Space Age Technology, Stone Age Pursuit
Finally • Additional seasons, keeps hunters in the field. • An increase in bowhunting opportunity will entice young people to participate and seasoned hunters to continue hunting. • Bowhunting is a healthy lifestyle alternative and archery in schools, and bowhunting opportunity for all has benefits that go beyond hunting.
Some ideas • Hunter Questionnaire • No bowhunting data collected • (previously agreed to with Minister Barisoff (March 2004)) • Bowhunter Conservation License • (previously discussed with then Minister Barisoff (March 2004)) • Allows for immediate capture of data • Propose a “mandatory” check box on the hunting license Rifle/shotgun Bow Both
Current Status • Regional Advisory groups have representation from the BCTA, BCWF, GOABC and UBBC. • PHRAAC does not • PHRAAC meet to assess GOS and LEH opportunity. • There is no regular/coordinated assessment of Bowhunting, the opportunities and the impacts. • Bring the bowhunting community on board, provide them the background to understand, support and participate.
Solution • BCWF create an Archery sub-committee • The Chair of the archery sub-committee may be offered a seat at PHRAAC
Moving Forward Special Weapons Hunting June 02, 2008
We refer to it as a Special Weapons Policy & Procedure. • What is the issue we are attempting to resolve with this policy? (it must serve a purpose) • What is the objective of this Policy? (…to “support” new bowhunting opportunity?) • Do we need to define/clarify “opportunity”? • How do we measure ‘opportunity’ • Are we suggesting Policy • Is there an opportunity to amend point number 3 of the Policy to support the Procedure point 4 (a) “(3) support opportunities for archery hunting where socially acceptable and where there are restrictions on the discharge of firearms;” • (3) support opportunities for archery hunting where it will create more hunter opportunity in harvest sensitive situations and where there are restrictions on the discharge of firearms;
Procedure • Clarity, Point 4. “….if regular general open seasons (GOS) and Limited Entry Hunting (LEH) have been considered first…” • What do we mean by “considered”? (LEH is a priority over archery?) • Does that mean that if it is not bioligically acceptable to have a GOS that we must go to LEH before a bow only opportunity can be sought? • What conditions upon LEH must be met or not met that allow a bow only season to be considered? • What is meant by the phrase…. ...."and it is determined that an archery season will provide maximum overall hunting opportunity while meeting conservation needs" • With the above statement, our position – to which we must agree – there is not a lottery driven LEH season today that might provide more “overall hunting opportunity” relative to an open bowhunting opportunity.
Opportunity Potential Loss of Opportunity • Does this policy suggest, that if a moose GOS can not be sustained, that an LEH season must be considered, prior to a bowhunting season? Potential to Open a new opportunity • Does this policy suggest that if Gov is looking to open up a new season and there is a biological concern of over harvest that LEH will be considered, prior to bowhunting opportunity?
Impact of Applying the P&P Bow proposal • 1) If, there is currently a GOS sheep hunt for full curl, is it possible to recommend a Full curl sheep hunt in the archery only season? GOS Proposal • 2) If a whitetail doe hunt is proposed, "if" it is deemed to have a biological impact on whitetail populations, will it be considered to have a negative impact on a late season bow only opportunity? And if this is the case, will it not be supported?