Ep. 75: BC Limited Entry Hunting (LEH) MasterclassTravis Bader is joined by BC’s Data Licensing Unit Head Sarah McKinnon, and Policy and Regulation Analyst Stephen MacIver as they delve into the inner workings of BC’s LEH and answer questions posed by Silvercore Club members. British Columbia is unique in its massive biodiversity and recognizes the need to involve the public and interested stakeholders in effective management. There will always be contrary opinions on best practices, but one underlying sentiment that shines through in this episode is the level of care that all parties have in the sustainable management of wildlife.
Increase your odds of being drawn, and of having a successful hunt by better understanding BC’s Limited Entry Hunting in this LEH masterclass.
- How do enhanced odds work?
- When will the LEH be announced or drawn?
- How do group hunts differ from shared hunts?
- When is a possession limit considered reset?
- How are draws determined What should you be considering before choosing your draw? And so much more…
If you are outside of BC we would love to hear how wildlife management works in your area. Are there things BC could be doing differently with greater success? What works for you and what would BC residents like to see changed?
It’s this sharing of knowledge that enhances wildlife management for the betterment of all, so please let us know by sending an email to [email protected] or calling us at (604) 940-7785.
[00:00:00] Travis Bader: I'm Travis Bader. And this is the Silvercore Podcast. Silvercore has been providing its members with a skills and knowledge necessary to be confident and proficient in the outdoors for over 20 years, and we make it easier for people to deepen their connection to the natural world. If you enjoy the positive and educational content we provide, please let others know by sharing commenting,
[00:00:35] and following so that you can join in on everything that Silvercore stands for. If you'd like to learn more about becoming a member of the Silvercore Club and community, visit our website at Silvercore.ca
[00:01:07] Today, I am joined by Sarah McKinnon, who is the data licensing unit head for the province of British Columbia and Steven McKeever, the provincial policy and regulation analyst, and in this episode of the Silvercore Podcast, we're going to attempt to delve into all aspects of limited entry hunting in British Columbia, Sarah, Stephen, welcome to the Silvercore Podcast.
[00:01:31] Stephen MacIver: Thanks.
[00:01:32] Travis Bader: You know, I find that so often when people call up of a government, they overlook the fact. They're not that they're not just talking to some faceless entity, rather they're talking to their friends or neighbors or their associates. And to that end, I'd like to be able to provide the audience with an opportunity to get to know a little bit more about you, like a little bit about your background and how you came to be in the role that you currently have.
[00:01:59] And Sarah, maybe I'll put you in the hot seat first.
[00:02:03] Sarah McKinnon: Oh boy. I don't know where, uh, what you're looking for, but, um, you know, I I'm from BC, uh, born and raised in BC and, uh, went to university, uh, got a degree in math and statistics and, um, and joined the branch, the wildlife and habitat branch in, um, 2011, I believe.
[00:02:28] Uh, um, Yeah, yeah. Analyzing data, working on the system that we use to issue licenses and, uh, Leh applications and authorizations.
[00:02:44] Travis Bader: Yeah. And, you know, you're, you're very involved in all of that. I think the first time we met was up, uh, somewhere in Northern BC at a, at a, at a wildlife event. That was a what, four or five years ago now.
[00:02:58] Sarah McKinnon: that sounds about right.
[00:03:01] Travis Bader: Yeah. And how about you, Steven, your background and how you got into your current role?
[00:03:06] Stephen MacIver: Um, I was born and raised in Kamloops, spent most of my, uh, childhood there. And, uh, at the age of 18, I kind of went into the Bush and I didn't come out for about 15 or 20 years tree planting, forestry, wildlife work, things like that.
[00:03:22] Uh, Got a degree from the university college of the caribou it's Thompson rivers university now, and that natural resource science program started with the wildlife branch in 2007. And so been there about 15 years now.
[00:03:41] Travis Bader: Wow. So Leh limited entry hunting, NBC. It's something that seems to be wrought with, uh, misinformation, different ideas, different concepts.
[00:03:53] And I'm not entirely sure why, because the provincial government does a pretty good job of putting out information online and within the Leh synopsis. And I'll have a link to your online resources in the show notes and on, uh, in the YouTube description as well. But you know, some areas that I think would be interesting for us to start was, would be.
[00:04:20] Uh, how did Leh kind of come about and BC, uh, or maybe a little bit of the history of Leh from, from your understanding? Yeah.
[00:04:29] Stephen MacIver: Uh, funny, I was talking to some colleagues about this the other day, actually, an Leh was originally put in place as a, as a method to distribute hunters. Um, it's good to have people not concentrated in one place, hunting a specific species.
[00:04:46] I mean, if everybody goes to the, that place, that's the hot spot that's close to town. I mean, it doesn't take long for the populations there to, to become, you know, decreased and stuff. But it's a really important, we want people to get out broadly. We want hunters to be in the back country in the front country.
[00:05:05] We want distribution of hunters. And Leh was originally used as a tool to distribute people, to kind of force people to go into newer places or go drive maybe a little bit farther to get to their hunting grounds. Uh, it has evolved since then. I think the first Leh draws were in the eighties. Something like that four comes to mind, but I'm not sure.
[00:05:28] Um, it has evolved. I mean, now for the most part, and I'd say over the last, since I've been around anyways 15 years, Leh is more about supply and demand. If the demand for a specific species of wildlife exceeds the supply. More moose hunters out there, then the resource can sustain. There has to be a way to control the number of hunters.
[00:05:56] You know, our, our, our first priority as a wildlife branch is conservation. And anything else comes after that. Right? So that, that's, that's the first thing we, we turn our minds to when, when looking at regulations, when looking at, you know, Leh, whether it's an appropriate tool and things like that. Um, but it's, it's now I would say the vast majority of Leh funds in the province are about supply and demand where the resource just can't sustain the general open season.
[00:06:28] Travis Bader: Right. Well, how was that determined? I mean, uh, is there a group of scientists that will go out and, uh, Is there consultation with, uh, uh, local groups to, to determine what the current supply is looking like. And, uh, and then the demand, I guess, with Leh in place is going to be simple to figure out because if it's an Leh only area, the demand is going to be self-evident and someone like Sarah can look at those numbers and figure that out pretty quick.
[00:06:58] Um, how do, how is that supply and demand kind of figured.
[00:07:05] Stephen MacIver: Species-specific there's different ways to do it for different species, but the overall formula is, uh, a population estimate. You know, what starts with a population estimate of biologist in a, in a, in an aircraft flying around counting animals. And then there's a lot of science behind that too. And, you know, wildlife inventory, there are standards that biologists have to use when they're doing these inventories and they have things like site, correct stability factors where, you know, you know, you're not going to see every single moose on the landscape.
[00:07:37] And depending on the conditions in the snow and the weather and the fog and whatever the conditions might be, you can actually say, you know, under these conditions we saw 70 moose and our correction factor. There's probably closer to a hundred, that kind of thing. So all of it starts with a population estimate.
[00:07:55] And then largely thanks to our neighbors, to the south, who, who spend a lot of money researching, you know, wildlife and sustainable harvest limits and things like that. We have a pretty good idea of what the maximum sustainable harvest rate can be on a population. When I say sustainable, I mean, hunting won't have a negative impact on the numbers, on the number of animals out there.
[00:08:22] And it varies from species to species. And then, and it'll also vary depending on habitats. You know, it's not one blanket thing across the, across the province, but through some species like mountain goat, we use a 3% harvest rate for populations over a hundred, I believe. So. You know, if you see there's a hundred mountain goats on a, on a hill, the sustainable harvest rate that we have.
[00:08:48] Management plan is 3%. So three mountain goat can be taken. If this isn't an area that's close to town and there's roads that access it. And we know that if it's a general open season, there's going to be 50 hunters going up there, hunting mountain goat. It's probably going to result in an unsustainable harvest that herd will, you know, the population will decline, especially if nannies are taken.
[00:09:12] Um, so that's an example of where we'd say, okay, we need to limit the number of hunters hunting that mountain cold Turkey. We'll put it on the entry hunting and we'll give out a number of authorizations to try and hit that 3% number
[00:09:27] Travis Bader: when issuing that let's say the 3% number. So if we had a hundred mountain goats and we're going to now issue three Leh permits to harvest those three goats.
[00:09:40] Is the actual efficacy of the harvest taking into consideration. Let's say those three go out and all three were unsuccessful. Is that, is that part of the calculation process? Like, is there a, uh, uh, an estimated success rate, like, would you then issue five or, uh, would you just hedge your bets and say, Nope.
[00:10:00] Three is where it's at.
[00:10:01] Stephen MacIver: It's exactly how we do it. And it can be tricky when we have a new Leh hunt and we don't have that success rate, that historical harvest rate mountain goats, a good example to use because they're on compulsory inspection. We have a pretty good idea how many mountain goats are out there being, being filled by know, licensed hunters.
[00:10:19] So, um, we do look at the six success rates. Generally, you will use the last three or five years in an average of that, you know, any, anything past there. We're probably getting a success rate that doesn't represent real life today. You know, there may be new roads in there. The cost of gas might be down.
[00:10:37] The habitat might have changed. You know, there's all sorts of factors that change over time. So we'll use the last three to five years depending on the species and get an average success rate each year. If, I mean, if in the last five years there has been 20 Leh authorizations issued for that particular mountain goat hunt.
[00:10:56] Our compulsory inspection data set shows us that 10 mountain goats have been harvested. We have a 50% success rate. So we will use that when we factor calculate the next number of authorizations available, we want three goats hunted. We have a 50% success rates. Generally we'll give out six authorizations for that there's exceptions to every rule, but that is the general formula that we use.
[00:11:24] Um, there's issues when we have new homes. And, you know, we don't have that historical kind of harvest data to go off of. There's a few things we can do there. We can look at adjacent areas. Maybe there's an Leh in an area that's close to there with similar kind of environmental conditions and access and stuff like that.
[00:11:43] And kind of infer from those success rates. And we also have a minimum success rate, you know, if there's been 20 authorizations given out in the last year and we have had one goat harvested, I mean, in, in, and we want 10 per year, there's a point where the success rates. So low times it by the number of animals that you want to get killed, we'd be given out hundreds and hundreds of authorizations.
[00:12:12] We can't do, we are limited through the wildlife act regulations with the number of authorizations we can issue. It's a, it's a real range. Yeah, generally. So every single Leh, Hans has a minimum and a maximum. Set by cabinet that, that we can, or set by the minister that we can issue. And we can't, we can't go outside.
[00:12:34] Usually they start at one, not always. And they range up to some, some species like goat, for example, you know, maybe it's one to five or one to 10, and then we've got some hunts for deer and agricultural zones. They can go up to 5, 600, 1500, I think we've had in the past kind of thing.
[00:12:55] Travis Bader: Right. So, you know, a person they get into hunting.
[00:13:00] They've got there, they've gone through their, uh, safety training. They've done their safety testing. They've got their fish and wildlife. They go out and buy their tags and they want to hunt in a certain area only to learn, Hey, this is going to be an Leh hunt, limited entry. So I'm going to have to make an application.
[00:13:21] Um, we've got three different types, I guess you can apply individually. You can apply as a shared hunt or you can apply as a group hunt. Uh, would you guys be able to kind of break that down for the audience, kind of what that process looks like?
[00:13:39] Sarah McKinnon: Sure. Do you want me to tackle that one, Steve?
[00:13:43] Stephen MacIver: Yeah. Okay.
[00:13:45] That one
[00:13:45] Sarah McKinnon: me, um, any hunter can apply for a individual hunt. Um, all Leh applications are available for individual hunting and it is, uh, just as it sounds, you apply on your own and you hope to win an authorization, uh, for moose and bison. I believe those are the two ones. Is that correct? Steve, just moose and bison for shared hunts, though.
[00:14:15] If you apply for a moose and bison, you can apply as a shared group. And what that means is a group of individuals up to four can apply to receive. Each of them would receive authorizations, but there's a group limit. And the goal is that a group of three or four people, uh, could be authorized to harvest two animals and a group of two or a two, two individuals could go out hunting together each with an authorization, but together they're only allowed to harvest one animal.
[00:14:53] So that's a shared hunt application, only available for most invasin. And basically it allows everybody to go out hunting together, but not everybody to harvest an animal. The other kind of applications are group applications for the other species. Um, and that is where a group of hunters up to four, again, want to go out hunting together, but in this case they would each receive an authorization to harvest an animal.
[00:15:24] So all four individuals could harvest an animal. Um, so, uh, if a hunt only has an, an Leh hunt only has two authorizations available and a group of four people apply, they cannot win because there are not for authorizations available for that animal.
[00:15:49] Travis Bader: Right. So what would be the advantage of going in on a group hunt?
[00:15:54] Would it increase your odds of being drawn? So one person on that group ends up getting. Drawn the rest of the group kind of tags along.
[00:16:04] Sarah McKinnon: It does not in the group. Applications does not increase your odds of being drawn. The group goes into the draw as one application. The benefit is that you get to go out with your group of friends, um, and you all get to go together.
[00:16:20] You don't want to go hunting alone in this area, perhaps. And so the benefit is you get to all go together and you all get to hunt together. Um, a shared application on the other hand does increase each person's odds because each application goes in on its own. Um, not as just one group, but as each individual application.
[00:16:45] So yes, if you're a friend, uh, Comes up on the list first and they get drawn, then the entire group will win. And so even if you're, you know, number 180,000, um, in the list, uh, but your friend got drawn, you'll also win an authorization. But again, um, the number of animals available to harvest is, is not one per hunter.
[00:17:15] Travis Bader: Right? Okay. So, uh, last season I did my very first fly-in hunt and went up to the spats CZ plateau. And uh, was doing a caribou hunt. Didn't see a caribou the entire time still had a fantastic time, was there with my wife and my son and man, just what a great experience. There was one other group that was up there as well.
[00:17:40] And they had a shared hunt for moose, and there was a bit of commotion and concern because when they got up there, they realized in all of their packing and all of this stuff that they brought up, they forgot to bring some paperwork that's required for a shared hunt that isn't necessarily required for a group hunt.
[00:18:02] Luckily, they're able to. Make contact with one individual and their group hadn't flown in yet. And he was able to, uh, work to get the paperwork they needed and they got it all flown in there. So it worked out, it just put them back for a few days. But are you able to talk a little bit about the difference of what's required for a Sherratt hunt, as opposed to let's say an individual or group on,
[00:18:26] Sarah McKinnon: uh, yeah, for sure.
[00:18:27] So, um, for individual and group hunts, uh, a hunter actually doesn't have to carry their Leh authorization with them. Um, uh, but they do of course need their species license. Uh, but because the. Each individual is allowed to harvest one animal. Um, there's no concern of over harvest with the shared hunts because a group of four, for example, is allowed to harvest only two animals.
[00:18:58] Uh, it's really important that they know if an animal has been harvested and they've reached their maximum of two, that they can't continue hunting for that species. Um, so that's, uh, why as your, uh, as your, uh, story, um, alluded to there, the importance of having a harvest record. Basically the requirement is that if you have a shared authorization with a group of hunters immediately upon killing an animal, you must communicate that to the other hunters in your shared group.
[00:19:38] And each of them must write on their harvest record, uh, where, and when that, uh, kill occurred so that we can make sure that if a shared group before kills two animals, that no more, uh, get killed after that.
[00:19:57] Travis Bader: Okay. Good information. Now, you know, I guess a little, you know, I'm going to save this other, uh, this tag question to the end, cause I don't want to take us off the, uh, off the track that we're currently on. Um, can you apply for multiples of a single species?
[00:20:14] Sarah McKinnon: Nope. One application per person per space.
[00:20:21] Stephen MacIver: Only one exception to that rule.
[00:20:24] Sarah McKinnon: There we go. Steve, go ahead.
[00:20:28] Stephen MacIver: If somebody applies for a sheep in the Skeena region, we have an earlier draw for that. It's the spring draw. If they're unsuccessful in that early scheme as sheep draw, they can then apply for his sheep somewhere else. Okay. If in the early sheep draw, then they can apply for another one.
[00:20:49] Travis Bader: And that makes sense. What about a, high-tech? Why isn't there some special,
[00:20:54] Stephen MacIver: wow. It's part of the early draw because there's a, there's, there's a spring season there, but there's also a fall season. Um, so there's no, there's no second draw for high to quiet Blackberry. There's no, you know, we've got our spring draw that's earlier in our fall draw, which is coming up in early June kind of thing.
[00:21:15] Um, yeah, for Heidegger wide Blackberry there's there's. One application opportunity. That's it.
[00:21:21] Travis Bader: Okay. And then for, let's say dear provincial bag limit, uh, does Haida Gwaii kind of count outside that I know it's going a little outside of Leh as, as this one,
[00:21:33] Stephen MacIver: but fake limits are in independent, so I'm not sure I understand the question.
[00:21:39] Travis Bader: Uh, so for the province of BC, uh, how many deer could you take in a year? Uh,
[00:21:44] Stephen MacIver: three, unless you're on high to Guam, then you can take 15.
[00:21:49] Travis Bader: Okay. So that, that was just one of the points that a little bit outside of Leh, but figured it might be.
[00:21:58] Stephen MacIver: Elliot's story. Um, you know, that, that, that, that regulation change. It wasn't contentious. I won't get into that, but, uh, sure. Prior to the black bear on Heidegger, I going on to Leh, we had our harvest data suggested, you know, four to 10, maybe six, you know, not a whole bunch of black bears being harvested, uh, by resident hunters, um, annually, the number was quite low, not a lot of interest.
[00:22:24] I mean, our, our harvest data, isn't, isn't a hundred percent accurate. We'll never claim that it is, but you know, when we've got years and years of data that suggests that the harvest is lower than 10, you know, there's probably something to it. Maybe it's a bit higher, but, uh, you know, not a whole bunch. And so not a whole bunch of interest in hunting blackberries on high to acquire.
[00:22:47] Then we went to Leh. And how many applications do we yet for people to hunt on high-tech wine for black bear? Now it's two. Nope, just that kind of people want things that are, that are rare or harder to get or whatever it is. The interest in hunting in black bears on the hideaway skyrocketed once it went to Leh and there's probably all kinds of reasons for it, but
[00:23:12] Travis Bader: isn't that funny, you know, everybody wants what they can have.
[00:23:16] It seems to be right. Kind of
[00:23:17] Stephen MacIver: thing. And they also probably look at it along the lines of I've always wanted to go hunting there. Now, the only way that I can is if I go through Leh, so I better start applying now just for that kind of, you know, once in a lifetime or that dream opportunity that I've, that I've always wanted to do, but you know, it, once it went on Leh, it seems like the interest in hunting there just increase that amazingly
[00:23:44] Travis Bader: interesting just from my human psychological perspective.
[00:23:48] Yeah. And I wonder if that's something that, that you guys have seen born out in other areas. Like if that's part of the planning process, if you say, okay, this area is now going to Leh or making a change to Leh, it's like sticking your finger in the bowl of water and not expecting to see ripples. And some of those ripples can be positive and some of those poles can have some very unintended
[00:24:09] Stephen MacIver: consequences.
[00:24:10] Yeah. And it, honestly, it's not something that I would, uh, that we would turn our minds to, you know, we'll go to Leh somewhere and then more people may be interested in hunting there. Um, now I'm curious myself. And so while whilst Sarah probably answers the next question, I'm gonna actually find that, that, that exact number.
[00:24:30] Travis Bader: Fair enough. Um, so, so Sarah, I see that there's Leh for Turkey. Now, do you know if there's any thoughts of any future additions to Leh?
[00:24:40] Stephen MacIver: I probably have to answer that one too.
[00:24:42] Sarah McKinnon: You better answer that, Steve? I don't know.
[00:24:47] Stephen MacIver: Yeah. Um, I mean, I wouldn't pre predetermined what kind of proposals or decisions are going to be made in the future?
[00:24:54] We are proposing this year, a December private land general open season Turkey hunt in the Coutnies. Um, we've got that posted online as one of the, one of the, one of our regulation change proposals. Um, I mean, maybe it's, it's impossible to say we do have Leh for Turkey. I think that's a December season as well.
[00:25:18] Um, again, it's supply and demand. You know, if we find that that, that there are conservation concerns or sustainability concerns with Turkey hunting, then we would think about it. But from what I understand, talking to the regional bio or a biologist and stuff, you know, there's, there's no conservation concerns for Turkey and the Coutnies that I'm aware of.
[00:25:40] Travis Bader: Is that essentially how the conservation concerns would be relayed through the regional biologists? Or are there groups that would come up and just say, Hey, look at, we're really concerned about the population in this area. Are there other, uh, third parties or individuals that raise these concerns?
[00:25:57] Stephen MacIver: It's like the roots of a tree.
[00:25:59] I mean, they come from all over the place we hear, we hear about, I'm not just going to say conservation concerns, cause it goes both ways. We get information on wildlife from first nations, stakeholders guide, Outfitters, ranchers. I mean, anybody in the public, you know, nature clubs, uh, non-government organizations.
[00:26:21] We hear about wildlife information from the public all the time. And you know, that that, that can help wildlife biologists and setting what their priorities might be for studying and the, in the, in the coming years. Yeah, that's, that's happened quite a few times where we hear from multiple sources that, you know, there's a, there's a concern about a specific species in a specific area.
[00:26:48] And so we may allocate some money in some time to go and fly and do a bit of, uh, studying of that, of that particular population, their situation.
[00:27:00] Travis Bader: That makes sense. Yeah. Well, this might be a SIRA question. Sarah, can you provide some further details on the weighting of the odds? Let's say against somebody that has already been drawn, like for example, would a person be in the proverbial penalty box for three years after a successful moose straw after which time their odds reset?
[00:27:21] Sarah McKinnon: Yep. That's exactly how it works. Yup. That's exactly how it works. So I think the odds, uh, came in in 1993, from what I recall, um, uh, From complaints or, or really just increase in applications. And so, uh, individuals having less of a chance of winning. Um, and so odds were implemented to try and help people who hadn't won before, have a better chance.
[00:27:52] Um, and so that's exactly right for, uh, moose and elk. It is it's three years, but if you have one, an authorization and the last three years, uh, your odds are reduced by 66%, um, in, in the current draw. And then three years later, if you still have not won anything for three years, then your odds go back to, um, uh, no penalty basically against, uh, against your application and for, uh, Other species in the province.
[00:28:30] It's just one year back, a 50% reduction in odds
[00:28:37] Travis Bader: just for one year, just for one year. So my understanding, okay. And my understanding of how that works is essentially everyone who applies is given a random number in those numbers are put out onto a giant spreadsheet. And based on the lower, their number is these spreadsheets that starts going through 1, 2, 3, 4, but if you've been drawn, every, let's say a third entry of a drawn person will now no longer be eligible to be drawn.
[00:29:09] So you're basically just going down the list. And if you are a number of happened to be on the. Three and one, two and three have all been drawn ups three you're out. Is that basically how it works out for the 50%? It's every second person. That's
[00:29:21] Sarah McKinnon: exactly how it works per species. And of course it's not on a spreadsheet, it's all done by the computer now.
[00:29:29] So it's, it's all been coded. Uh, we don't use a spreadsheet anymore. Um, so it's been coded into the, into the computer system. Um, and by species that's exactly what happens. It goes through, uh, issues, authorizations to each individual. And, uh, if it reaches a person who has, um, reduced odds and it's a 50% reduction.
[00:29:58] Skips that person moves on to the next. And then when it finds somebody, the next person with reduced odds, it grants them an authorization. And then the next person with reduced dogs comes along and it skips them and on and on and on, um, uh, 50% or every second application that has reduced odds.
[00:30:21] Travis Bader: Is there ever sort of the opposite approach?
[00:30:24] Yeah, it does make sense. Is there ever an opposite approach, uh, looked at, whereas let's say somebody is a brand new hunter or maybe to encourage youth hunting or, um, that they have increased odds or is it just, we just take those who've been drawn before and they're there in the proverbial penalty.
[00:30:44] Sarah McKinnon: Uh, we have definitely looked at other jurisdictions.
[00:30:48] Um, and what other jurisdictions do? There are several different ways of, uh, reducing odds, trying to make sure that the draw is random yet. Uh, people have a fair chance of getting drawn and some provinces, uh, I know have a system where over time your odds increase. So, you know, if you've been applying for 10 years and you've never won.
[00:31:17] Uh, your odds start going up so that you, you actually get a chance, um, that doesn't work so well in BC because we have so many hunters. And so that method, um, discourages new hunters from applying because they know, oh, my odds are so low as a new hunter. Um, because I'm not given that incentive until after 10 years of applying.
[00:31:44] Um, uh, we don't have a system where, uh, new hunters have a better chance. Um, like you mentioned Travis, uh, maybe, you know, to increase recruitment, um, because of course that then penalizes the other people who have been applying for a long time. So there's, there's pros and cons. You know, unfortunately it's also just luck of the draw.
[00:32:09] So some people get annoyed, you know, I haven't one for so many years, but, uh, I keep applying for the loan to
[00:32:23] Travis Bader: well, and he mentioned, uh, like new hunter recruitment. And I know within conservation organizations, new hunter recruitment and hunter retention are our big things. And throughout north America, they're looking at different models to, uh, bring more into the fold. Is that something that the province looks at as well as a, um, uh, as a priority within the wildlife area,
[00:32:51] Sarah McKinnon: uh, to answer that.
[00:32:56] Stephen MacIver: We did have a, a hunter recruitment and retention strategy back in around 2000, let's say 2008 to 2009. Something like that. Um, the number of hunters was low. I believe it went down to about 84,000 and we had a goal of, you know, getting up to a hundred thousand hunters by 2000. And so somewhere between 2010 to 2020, I can't remember what the exact date was, but, but we did get there.
[00:33:23] Um, we ended up now we have over a hundred thousand hunters in the province and I'm not aware of any government initiative or program right now to recruit more hunters into the, into the activity sports. Um, No, there's no real pressing pressing thing at the moment for recruitment or retention.
[00:33:48] Travis Bader: So Sarah, when you're talking about, and I've heard, I heard of, I hear it a lot.
[00:33:54] I put in every single year, I never get drawn. What's going on. Right? It's it's rigged. It's against me. There's there's gotta be something wrong here. Uh, do you have advice for people like that who never get drawn, uh, to perhaps increase their odds in some way, shape or form?
[00:34:12] Sarah McKinnon: Uh, well, it's really about, uh, the odds in terms of how many authorizations are available and how many applications we receive.
[00:34:23] So of course, uh, we can't tell you in advance of the draw, how many applications we're going to get. Um, but we do publish the previous year's odds. And so that's a good indication if this is a popular area and there's always many, many hunters who apply and there's. One tentative authorization that it's going to be really hard to get that one authorization.
[00:34:52] Um, so, so that's really, the only advice I can give is just, um, look at the odds. Uh, if it's, uh, a hunt that was opened last year and, uh, thousands of people applied for that one authorizations that it's likely going to be the same scenario and it's going to be hard to get an authorization. Um, of course that's often, uh, in, in areas that are more easily accessible.
[00:35:19] Um, so you might have to travel a bit farther, but just checking out those odds
[00:35:27] Travis Bader: and you guys make that readily apparent, and I've always questioned myself. Why don't people do that? These people who are complaining, why don't they just look at the eyes and make a commitment? Okay, I'm going to travel, but I've got way better odds.
[00:35:39] If I go out to this one area, Then, if I try to do it within, let's say close to the lower mainland, I, uh, looking at the odds that that was the only one that I
[00:35:49] Sarah McKinnon: know of. Yeah. Yeah, no, it's very true. It's just of course making the commitment to, to do that travel and the extra time and coordination and planning, um, I think is really the, the big, uh, drawback, I guess, but then you get out in the middle of nowhere with nobody else, so you can enjoy it.
[00:36:10] Travis Bader: That's not a drawback to me personally. I don't mind trying to set aside a little bit of time, you
[00:36:15] Stephen MacIver: know, there's another aspect to that too. Right? You can't just look at limited entry, hunting in isolation without looking at the other hunting opportunities and VC. I mean, so you didn't get nearly H draw compared to almost everywhere else in north America.
[00:36:30] I mean, you're still gonna have a chance to hunt something close to home. Um, yeah, you can't, you can't look at Leh and isolation. I don't know how else to describe it, but there's still going to be ongoing opportunity. If you don't get your early HDR, you still got a chance to make some plans and get out in the woods with your friends and your family and have those experiences.
[00:36:53] Travis Bader: Yeah, we're, we're definitely blessed in that regard. You know, I had a podcast recently, a fellow out of Idaho. It seems Brad Brooks, he's got a company called our galley and he's got a media company as well, puts out some really good content. And, uh, he was saying, you know, you guys are so blessed. Like you've got a general open season for sheep.
[00:37:16] I mean, we, we just don't have that. How do you have that? I did a float hunt this last season. I wasn't successful, but I was successful in having a heck of a lot of fun. And I took a whitewater raft on the Fraser river for a week and checked out some pretty interesting areas. But you're right there. We are pretty lucky to have these opportunities that lie within and outside of the limited entry hunting.
[00:37:42] Yeah. One of the things he brought up though was, uh, as an American, um, what are the rules? What are the rules for me to be able to come in and, and do a hunt in, in BC as a non-resident? Can he do an Leh? And does he need a guide if he does that?
[00:38:01] Stephen MacIver: There's a couple of ways. Sarah, do you want me to
[00:38:04] Sarah McKinnon: go ahead Steve, to do
[00:38:05] Stephen MacIver: that one non-residents can't apply for Leh.
[00:38:09] Leh is only available to resident hunters, and you have to prove your residency through your hunter, three-year fish and wildlife ID and all that stuff. Uh, there's specific to big game. There's two ways that a non-resident can hunt big game in BC. One is to hire the services of a licensed guide Outfitters.
[00:38:28] And the other one is to get the resident of BPC BC to apply for a permit to accompany for them. Those are the only ways that a non-resident can hunt big game in the province.
[00:38:40] Travis Bader: So a permit to accompany is that, uh, sorta done by lottery as well, or is that a, you pay your fee and you're good. That's the
[00:38:49] Stephen MacIver: discretion of the regional manager, wherever it, whoever that might be there's nine different regions, but I think there's eight different regional managers and they will review the permit to company applications.
[00:38:59] And if somebody wants a permit to hunt moose in an area where moose hunting is extremely important and popular to resident hunters, they're probably not going to get it. Um, you know, whereas if somebody wants a permit to a company to hunt white tail deer somewhere they're abundant, they reproduce quickly.
[00:39:17] There's really no concerns in most of the province about them. You know, they'll probably going to get it. Permit to accompany is more likely to be approved. If the interest in resident hunting for that species in that area is lower. If there's high interest for resident hunters, it's less likely that the permit to company will be
[00:39:36] Travis Bader: approved.
[00:39:38] That makes sense. Yeah. And
[00:39:39] Stephen MacIver: just to add to that again, for me at the discretion of the regional manager
[00:39:45] Sarah McKinnon: and permit to accompany our, not for limited entry hunting, it's just for general open season hunting.
[00:39:54] Travis Bader: Good point. Good point. So here's another question I hear. I put in every single year I pay my money.
[00:40:02] What's that money going towards
[00:40:07] Stephen MacIver: Steve? I'm going to look in the wildlife act. So the wildlife act is the, is the legislation that, um, that that's most of the hunting related things. I mean, if anybody on the podcast wants to just have a look through it, it's. It, as far as legislation goes, it's pretty fascinating to read. Um, you know, especially I like the, uh, the wildlife act itself and then the designation exemption regulation, that's confusing, but you know, there's lots of good stuff in there.
[00:40:35] So I'm just open it up here now. And, uh, the wildlife act has a list of the fees and then the S and then the H the habitat conservation trust foundation surcharge on top of each one. So every time somebody buys a license or a permit under the wildlife act, a portion of that will go to general revenue, hospitals, schools, highways, you know, whatever that might be.
[00:41:01] And then a portion will go directly to the HCPF generally on average, it's about 25 to 30% of, of the fees that people pay, go to the H CTF. And I'm trying to find the list for Leh licenses, but, um, I need to go somewhere else to find those. So you might have to bear with me or going to the next question.
[00:41:23] Travis Bader: Yeah. And we can always throw it in the notes again after two. Uh, and that's the, the old trope, they always say, you know, hunters support conservation in, sorry.
[00:41:35] Stephen MacIver: The application fee is $5 and then a surcharge of $1 per Leh application goes to HCPF.
[00:41:43] Travis Bader: Okay. So let me just take a look. I got a few different questions here.
[00:41:48] Uh, we talked about the weighting of the draws. Um, you know, Stephen, you're mentioning a boat, looking to her neighbors sound to the south of book, how they look at conservation and they've done some great research on that. When I look at Washington, I've never hunted in Washington, but I've been reading a boat, a mentorship program that they have there and where state approved mentors, people who've been hunting for X period of time, clean criminal record checks all, all the rest.
[00:42:19] They look like a good person to be out there, mentoring others and showing them ethical and legal ways to, to haunted harvest animals are provided an incentive in following years for their, uh, limited entry hunting. Is this something that's ever come up with, uh, in discussion in BC that you're
[00:42:38] Stephen MacIver: aware of?
[00:42:38] I have never heard that before. I didn't know that Washington had such a program in place. We have something kind of similar in BC with the initiation on their license. I mean, it's hard to get into hunting without somebody to show you the ropes. It's not one of those things that you can just pick up and be good at and in a week or so.
[00:42:57] It takes a lot of time and, and, and experience and somebody to show you what. Not always, but that's sure it's helpful. Um, so we've got the initiation, the hunting license in BC that is kind of aimed. That was part of our hunter recruitment and retention strategy actually was that initiation license.
[00:43:14] Where if a person isn't sure that they want to become a hunter, they, they're not sure that they want to invest the time and that bit of money to take the hunter safety training program. They can get a license still. They have to be accompanied and supervised by somebody who meets some qualifications.
[00:43:32] Essentially that means that they have to be accompanied and supervised by an experienced hunter while they're doing it. Anything that they kill would come off the bag limit of that supervising hunter. I think we sell around a thousand to 1500 energy initiation hunting licenses a year. I like to think that a lot of those.
[00:43:51] Enjoy themselves. And, you know, then move on to take hunter safety training and then get their own hunting license and their own bag limit. You can only get one initiation hunting license in a lifetime. She didn't get your one shot to try this thing out that maybe you're curious about, but there we've never talked or thought or brainstormed how that could be connected to some sort of Leh system or preference system that I know of.
[00:44:21] Travis Bader: Interesting. Yeah. I guess the thinking is as a mentor going out as similar to the initiates every word. Yeah. That's it. Cause they're, they're losing their time, but they're gaining. They're gaining more hunters out there and people doing it properly, which is when you say it's hard to get into it is it's expensive and there's so much information.
[00:44:41] Most people will never become quote unquote experts in it throughout their lifetime. They might get really good in certain areas, but it's, it's a very broad spectrum. So to be able to gain that knowledge from others who are experienced in the field is I think beneficial to the province from a, from a monetary perspective, beneficial to wildlife in the management.
[00:45:03] And you know, when hunters talk about hunter retention recruitment, I think there's a lot of, there's a lot to be said for, for having reward systems like that. Just my two bits. Um, so, you know, off-air, we're talking about some funny things as well, Sarah, but what are some of the, uh, common or maybe interesting things, common questions that you receive.
[00:45:32] Or interesting things that people might not necessarily think about when it comes to a limited entry hunting or just hunting in general in BC?
[00:45:41] Sarah McKinnon: Uh, well, uh, I guess I can speak maybe to the, the applications process in general. Um, you know, uh, previous to the current online system where people can apply online, we had the paper Leh application cards.
[00:46:02] Boy. I remember those cards coming in in the bucket fall and we would hire, you know, six exhilarate staff, young students, usually to come in and help process those boxes. And they were piled high. Especially in that last week, we would get, you know, 90,000 paper applications and every single one of those applications had to be looked at, make sure we can read the writing, uh, typed into a computer.
[00:46:34] So a. It was fun, but it was definitely took a lot of time after the closing date. It's fun looking back at it at the time, maybe it wasn't. So, um, but you know,
[00:46:50] Travis Bader: the dates, analytically
[00:46:51] Sarah McKinnon: minded, the closing date would come and go and we'd still for weeks be sorting through those paper application cards. Um, so we get a lot of questions about, you know, why don't you just run the draw right away after that closing date.
[00:47:10] Um, and, uh, and, and, you know, previously when it was paper-based that always took us a while to get through those paper application cards, but even often, and, and now, uh, definitely, um, the applications are all in and ready to go, but. The final number of authorizations still haven't been finalized. You know, there are, uh, potentially concerns about the number of authorizations to be issued and work still being done on those estimates.
[00:47:44] But Steve talked about in terms of harvest and success rates and the population estimate and, and sustainable harvest. So oftentimes we've got everything in ready to go in the draw and we're waiting to make sure those numbers are right. And those numbers get signed off before we can now push the button and the system does the draw for us.
[00:48:07] But I would say that's one of, one of our biggest questions. Why haven't you run the dry yet?
[00:48:14] Travis Bader: Right. Okay. Yeah. And that's, that was actually going to be one of my questions, like how was that draw date determined and it really. There isn't a set date aside from making sure we're within the spectrum before everything happens and we've got the best possible information to make the best possible decision.
[00:48:35] Is that
[00:48:36] Sarah McKinnon: that's exactly it. Yep. And, and we use the hunter sample survey that goes out every year, in addition, uh, to the, the population estimates, um, uh, and other factors that go into determining those, those authorization numbers. So, uh, you know, we're, we're tabulating the hunter sample survey data, the results of, of what people have told us they harvested last year, um, and hunted for last year.
[00:49:04] So it all goes in. And, and so those are all pieces of information that feed into that final decision. Um, I don't know if you have other pieces to talk about related to that steam or, or if that covers of.
[00:49:20] Stephen MacIver: Which covers most of it. I mean, we're bound on one side with the application deadline, usually it's the end of may.
[00:49:26] And so obviously we're not going to run the draw prior to the deadline and then pass then. I mean, we, we do try to run the draw as soon as we can. We understand that people need to make plans. You know, some of these are really remote. People need to book holidays, all that stuff. We are always conscious about that.
[00:49:43] And we're always trying to run the draws soon as we can, but there is a balance to it. And, uh, you know, there's a, there's a bit of a tipping point sometime in mid June, sorry, early June where. Sarah's wonderful staff has crunched the numbers. They've produced the Leh harvest survey and the hunter survey and all of those numbers that, that then the biologists can take a closer look at it and compare with their inventory numbers and, and other factors, you know, maybe there's some people out with concerns.
[00:50:14] Maybe there's a new road going into a place that makes them a little anxious about giving out too many authorizations. But there's a balance between running the draw as soon as possible to give hunters time to plan and giving wildlife managers and ultimately the director of the wildlife branch who signs off on that, that though on those numbers, giving that person a high enough level of comfort that, you know, he or she knows that they have the most recent complete data on which to make the decision.
[00:50:43] So, you know, if there's a delay, a long delay, for example, between when the. Deadline is. And when the draw happens, it means that in the background, there is some piece of information that we're still trying to figure out. Some survey results, some results from an inventory, maybe there's negotiations happening somewhere in the province about some topic, you know, there's, there's, there's going to be some piece of information.
[00:51:09] Once we have that all collected, we run the draw as soon as possible after that
[00:51:15] Travis Bader: good information. Um, so Sarah, we've got like a first and second choice, uh, options that we can put on our Leh. Can you, can you talk a bit about that and how that works?
[00:51:28] Sarah McKinnon: Uh, yeah, for sure. So, uh, the first choice, uh, hunt code that people put in it's really, um, their main.
[00:51:38] Opportunity to win an authorization. Um, the S the, uh, the computer system goes through and looks at that first choice and awards, uh, people, their first choice hunt opportunity where possible. Um, and, and it goes through, as we talked about, um, with reduced odds, and then it goes through the list again, if there are more authorizations available and grants authorizations to people, even if they have reduced odds, um, If there's a third pass, uh, that the computer does that then looks at, you know, we have a few authorization numbers available for this species.
[00:52:23] And everybody who asked for this hunt code on their first choice, uh, received an authorization. So now it starts looking at second choices. So an individual who applied for something and didn't get it on their first choice. Um, if their second choice is a hunt that was under subscribed. So not as many applicants as authorizations available, it then starts issuing second choice authorizations, um, to those people.
[00:52:56] Uh, we used to have a substitute hunt, a choice as well, but, um, that was only for grizzly bear and, uh, that's no longer available.
[00:53:08] Travis Bader: Right. And I don't know if I want to even talk about that one right now, because that might be a little bit too hot of a topic.
[00:53:15] Stephen MacIver: You know, the second kind of thing. I mean, the policy intent behind that, I was mentioning earlier, we want to distribute hunters. If a hunter, as Sarah said, is under subscribed, which means that the supply actually exceeds the demand.
[00:53:30] There's a hundred authorizations available and only 65 people have applied for them. Everybody who applied for a first choice got their hunt. We still want people to go hunting there. There's a reason it's under subscribed. And it's probably because it's remote, but we still want people to go hunting.
[00:53:46] There, there is a sustainable harvest limit that can be taken and, and, and we kind of want that to happen all over the place. So it's an incentive or an initiative or a nudge for people to get into those more remote places. If somebody applies for a second choice hunt for airy Roosevelt elk on Vancouver island, they're never going to get it because those hunts are never undersubscribed first choices.
[00:54:10] The first is the first pass in the first past. Every single authorization for Roosevelt elk on the island is, is subscribed. So when you're picking your second choice hunting, you got to pick those places that if you want to take that kind of chance and learn a new place, explore a bit more of the province.
[00:54:28] You have to pick that second choice area that is chronically under subscribed. If you want a guaranteed hunt or, you know, close to that, one-to-one odds ratio. Um, but any hunt that is oversubscribed where there's more applications than authorizations available, there's no second choice hunts being issued.
[00:54:49] Travis Bader: And that makes sense. Yeah. Has the promise ever contemplated partnerships with landowners with access by Ellie aids for let's say agricultural or property protection.
[00:55:02] Stephen MacIver: Yeah. Yeah, we've tried it. I mean, there's one ongoing right now in Princeton for elk and whoever gets in the Leh authorization for an elk in the Princeton area, I think it's managed me to eight.
[00:55:14] I can't remember eight, nine or something like that, but, um, you know, anybody who gets an authorization for elk in that Princeton hunt will get a letter saying, here's your contact for the landowners and call it, you know, call this person. Then they can set you up. There was a similar program in the peace region back in 20, 20 12 or so I think, I can't remember what it was called and it's really 10 years ago.
[00:55:37] Um, but it, it, it, it just fizzled away. And I believe there was a Kooteny one for a little while too, and it fizzled away. So the only one I know of right now is the Princeton one. They just don't, they just don't seem to gain traction. I don't know. Hm.
[00:55:54] Travis Bader: Okay, good. Interesting. Um, you know, if I were to let the ADHD kick in and just kind of delve off Leh or just a second here and talk about beg limits.
[00:56:05] There's one question that I've often heard over and over again. So, so we've got our possession limit and our bag limit, and I've gotten different answers from different people I've spoken to and different provinces will approach us differently as well. When does your, so let's say it's, uh, uh, 10 30 let's as an example, you're allowed to, let's say migratory game to 10 and then, uh, for your, uh, limit for the day and then 30 is going to be your possession limit.
[00:56:38] So let's say you're out in the field for four days and you take your 10 a day, 10 a day, 10 a day, fourth day. You're not taking any because that would exceed your possession. When does your possession limit reset when you get
[00:56:52] Stephen MacIver: home? This is the regulation in the similar thing is in place for your quota for fish as well.
[00:56:59] Um, the possession limit regulation is a it's. It's harder on people that are hunting farther from home. That's it? I mean, if somebody goes on a seven week hunting expedition and they drive for 24 hours or 10 hours or whatever to get there, I mean, the, that possession limit limits their ability to, to get birds or whatever animal it is into their freezer.
[00:57:22] Or as the person who's hunting right out their backyard, they can have a hundred piece in their freezer once they get home, that possession limits reset. And then they just get that 10 every day, every day, the same applies to fish, trout, and salmon and all sorts of stuff. You know, that that position limit doesn't count when it gets into your normal residents.
[00:57:43] I believe so. Your. You're normal residents. You know, where, where you put your address on when you use your, when you file your income taxes, you know, that kind of stuff. It's not your, not your wall tent. It's not your camp. It's not your boat, you know, unless you live in your boat, I guess, but you know, it's gotta be your normal residence.
[00:58:04] Nothing else really applies.
[00:58:07] Travis Bader: Well, you've answered that one pretty easily. Cause I've heard people say, well, no, you have to consume it. And I've had authorities say, no, it's got to be consumed. I've also heard when you're in your normal residence or your normal home. Well,
[00:58:19] Stephen MacIver: Travis, if I'm wrong about it, we'll edit this part out of the podcast.
[00:58:23] No problem.
[00:58:25] Travis Bader: No problem. I don't think you are right.
[00:58:28] Stephen MacIver: I don't think you was. I've been at this for 15 years and you know, once you get home, your possession limits reset.
[00:58:36] Travis Bader: And I talked to Nova Scotia and they're like, yep, you get home, your possession limits reset. I talked to others, but there's always going to be some that have a little bit of eye confusion.
[00:58:48] And that's the purpose of this podcast is to try and bring some normalicy to the common questions that are coming out. So we have a, what do they call it? Normative process. They have what what's normally done. People have a common understanding.
[00:59:03] Stephen MacIver: Yeah. Um, well, you know, it's, it's interesting when we, when we develop the hunting and trapping synopsis, right?
[00:59:09] It's in everybody's best interest that we use the same wording that is in law. You know, that way, if, if there's something that goes awry, you know, everybody's got the same wording and the wording and the synopsis should, for the most part, be the exact same wording is in the wildlife act. There's not a lot of leeway that we have to expand on that.
[00:59:27] We don't want this synopsis to be 200 pages and have like a layman's version as well. I mean these kinds of conversations, make it a bit easier to explain those things.
[00:59:38] Travis Bader: Oh, totally. And you know, you put a layman's explanation and then you bring that into the courts and you're going to have some issues.
[00:59:45] And I think that's why in the synopsis, I think synopsis specifically means like condensed version of on page one. I think it is at the very bottom. It says, this is not a legal tax for a full, proper legal reference, uh, refer to the regulations. And that's actually a test question for, could possibly be a test question that people need to know about when, uh, applying for their, um, uh, getting there with, um, yeah.
[01:00:14] You know,
[01:00:15] Stephen MacIver: I, I, I might have to backtrack here. I might have to, uh, I'm just looking at the definition of possession limits. So for gross or things like that, The, the possession limit only applies when, when, while hunting or returning for hunting. So we've got, you know, basically Upland game birds, things like that, where we've got a daily limit and a possession limit migratory game birds are managed by the federal government silent kind of like salmon.
[01:00:39] When a, when a species is crossing national borders, it's managed federally, you know, BC doesn't work with the United States on salmon kind of thing. It's a, it's a federal thing. And I'm just looking in, and it does say except for migratory game birds, where the possession limit applies at all times. So, um, it's a bit outside my jurisdiction when we start talking about migratory game birds and the regulations that apply to them.
[01:01:04] So, um, I might have to look into that a little bit more. That would be a regulation under the migratory game bird, a migratory bird convention act of 1917 federal regulation. So it, sorry for the confusion.
[01:01:20] Travis Bader: Oh, no, it's okay. I mean, there's, there's always going to be these, these areas where hunters want to know exactly what to do or what not to, cause it can get confusing with the overlap, just like fishing.
[01:01:33] There's going to be federal regulations, provincial lake regulations. If you're fishing in, um, uh, for salmon, if you're a freshwater fishing, the provinces involved in saltwater fishing and as it's all defined, one of the other areas that I wouldn't expect you to have, uh, an answer on, but maybe you've heard before, or maybe you do have an answer on.
[01:01:58] So when people purchase their species tags now, uh, under the new and I'm going to do air quotes new because it's been a few years system, uh, they're required to keep those species tags on. And be able to present them to a conservation officer or authority, went out, hunting along with some form of photo ID.
[01:02:20] So even if that species, uh, license, if that tag has been canceled, these are still legally required to hold that on them. When they're, let's say I'm out moose hunting, but I've already got my, uh, my deer tags filled, um, when they go out for migratory bird, which is now hunting. So I guess a province is okay.
[01:02:44] Yes, you can hunt in our province, but migratory bird, you know, hunting for a federally regulated species, do they still have to keep their provincial tags with them? Do you know? Or if you've ever heard that one before and the safe answer is, yeah, just keep it with you. Right. And that's the, that covers their basis.
[01:03:04] But I don't know if that's something you guys have ever encountered or heard. It's a question that was asked.
[01:03:12] Sarah McKinnon: I have heard that question before, and I think it's a bit of a gray area. If you're out hunting, it's really hard for a conservation officer to know, are you only hunting those migratory birds? Maybe because of the area it's obvious, but, um, I think to be on the safe side because of the hunting regulation and if you are in BC and you're hunting, um, that regulation states you should carry, uh, all of your licenses, your species licenses with you.
[01:03:43] Well hunting. I think it's a safe bet to just have them on you.
[01:03:50] Travis Bader: Yeah, that's sort of where I was leaning as well. Just when, whenever there's a gray area or area of confusion, just make it abundantly obvious. Should you? We have one instructor. He says, it's all about CYA. He asked the class, you know, what CYA stands for? And everyone showed. So the normal he's like, no, it's, can you articulate if you had to stand in front of a judge, can you articulate why you're doing what you're doing?
[01:04:15] And so it's way easier to articulate if you're going above and beyond what the, uh, whenever there's areas of confusion like that CYA principal.
[01:04:28] Stephen MacIver: So CYA going back to the migratory game birds, um, don't exceed your possession limit at any time. Now, just looking at the federal Reagan. And I mean, if somebody wanted further clarity contact the Canadian wildlife service, but CYA on my part, don't exceed the possession limit for migratory game birds, even in your normal.
[01:04:50] Travis Bader: Good. Okay, good. Good to know. I just looked through their rigs. Good. Okay. Do not exceed at any time. Okay. Um, what does the future for Leh kind of look like? I don't know if, I mean, obviously elections happen, things change, but is there anything in the works? Anything that, I mean, we've got a big one up north.
[01:05:13] That's a, probably not something we want to get into, but it's probably tying up a lot of your time at this moment. Uh, um, what's the future of Leh and BC
[01:05:23] Stephen MacIver: look like we'll continue to upset and anger hunters. Province-wide uh, I mean, that, that is a reality, you know, and we talked about that supply demand curve when we've got 180,000 people applying for 10,000 authorizes.
[01:05:40] People are going to get upset. It's just the way it is. I mean, even my brother, you know, whenever the draw happens, he phones me and he gets mad and some reason thinks it's my fault that he didn't get this moose tag or his moose moose draw this year or next year. Right. Um, I mean, we will, people will get upset.
[01:05:57] There is, as far as I am concerned, no way to make everybody happy every year with Leh, it just can't happen unless like I was linking it to the general open season. If we, you know, found some way to increase the number of Leh authorizations to do that, we'd have to either increase the number of animals out there, which is the ideal solution or, um, you know, reduce the general open seasons or something.
[01:06:24] I mean, there's still that first priority of conservation, but, um, The future of Leh, there may be changed. We know it's not perfect. You know, we know we're going to upset people. We know it's not a perfect system and there's going to be room for improvement. I don't think there's any jurisdiction. That's really nailed it.
[01:06:41] And I don't think it's fair or appropriate necessarily to compare BC to other jurisdictions because there's nuances that change everything. Um, you know, point systems, for example, if, for some of the hunts, if you were to apply a point system in BC, people wouldn't be getting their first Leh authorization until they were 115 years old, you know, or they would just never get one that, you know, things like that.
[01:07:08] It just, you can't really compare BC to other places. Our buyer diversity is different. Our, our society is different. There's just a whole bunch of differences. We need something. Each jurisdiction needs something that's tailored to the people and the wildlife and the habitats and environments where the.
[01:07:26] Um, but, but there are ways I think that we can improve the system, at least at least give it the perception that it's being more fair or, you know, doing a better job of distributing those hunting opportunities to a broader range of people. You know, things like that. Maybe we'll see some changes in the coming years around, you know, those kinds of things, the stuff to say.
[01:07:48] But, but we, we, we are looking at it. We are interested in, in, in any improvements that we can do while still meeting that conservation objective.
[01:07:58] Travis Bader: Well said, is there anything that we haven't talked about that we should probably talk about? Or are there any common questions that kind of come through that you'd really want people to know about or anything you guys personally want BC residents to know about?
[01:08:19] Sarah McKinnon: We have covered everything.
[01:08:22] Stephen MacIver: Yeah, we haven't talked about tentative numbers, which I think might be worthwhile mentioning. So, um, when we produce the limited entry hunting synopsis and, oh, we don't print that anymore, by the way, if anybody's interested, we stopped printing it when COVID hit. Cause we had no way to distribute it to hunters.
[01:08:41] We still had the name, same number of applications when it wasn't printed. And it seems, uh, not an efficient use of our resources to print that thing. It's only got a shelf life of a couple of months and then it's useless. Plus you have to go online to apply anyway. So why not go online and see the actual Leh synopsis?
[01:08:59] So, so when we produce that Leh synopsis and when we get our Leh application page up and running, it's got a tentative number of authorizations listed. And we try as artists, we can to have the tentative number of authorizations as close as possible to the final decided. But there, there are often changes.
[01:09:23] When I, when we ask the regional biologists for their tentative numbers, we just kind of say, what do you think? You know, how many authorized authorizations do you think we'll be looking at for this particular hunt code for this particular species in this area, you don't have to give us an exact number.
[01:09:41] And I know you can't give us an exact number because you haven't got the Leh harvest survey data. Yet you don't have the hunter survey data yet. Maybe you're waiting on some consumer compulsory inspection information. You know, we know you don't have all the information to give us a final recommended number, but we need something to give people, to give hunters and applicants an idea of what to expect for this hunter coming up.
[01:10:06] So we use that tentative number it's as close as possible. But we can get, but, uh, you know, there are changes between it. So if anybody's wondering anyways, what that tentative number is, that's, that's kind of it
[01:10:19] Travis Bader: interesting. Okay. That, that helps explain some things too. Well, anything else we should touch on before wrapping up?
[01:10:27] No, I think I'm good. Okay. Well, Sarah, Stephen, thank you very much for coming on the Silvercore Podcast and providing your expertise really appreciate you taking the time. And thanks for having me. This was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed this.
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