The recent outcry over hunting contests has arisen due to member frustrations over lack of effective wildlife management by successive governments. Government wildlife biologists are tasked with managing all animal species yet are not permitted to manage habitat or predators other than through hunting and trapping regulations, and through larger scale initiatives to protect species at risk such as caribou. This contradiction has resulted in an imbalance between habitat, predators and prey.
The BCWF supports predator hunting and trapping, predator control initiatives related to caribou recovery and short and long term objectives for critical habitat. This sort of intensive management of habitat and predators for caribou recovery does not occur for other commonly hunted ungulate species, but it needs to.
Predator contests organized by hunters provide illegitimate special interest groups with a public relations issue and wide media coverage that paints an unfair image of hunters. This in turn, potentially diminishes the effect of contributions that hunters make, both financially and in time as volunteers, towards wildlife and habitat conservation programs.
Our position going forward is to press the government for far greater funding for wildlife management and direction to wildlife biologists that habitat and predator management are legitimate tools for managing all wildlife. Predator management is required to achieve a balance between predators and prey, particularly across disturbed landscapes until they recover.