The Cariboo will see some changes to hunting and trapping regulations, which will come into effect July 1.
The province this week published its new 2018-2020 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis, which details the most current rules and regulations for hunters in B.C.
The ban on motor vehicles for hunting in the Chilcotin Plateau, which was put in place after the 2017 wildfires, has now been lifted.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development says the ban was put in place to address concerns around the potential for overharvest, as limited entry hunting (LEH) authorizations were already issued and could not be revoked.
“This year, the potential for increased hunter success is being addressed through adjustment of the number of LEH authorizations being issued and the motor vehicle prohibition for hunting is no longer required to meet wildlife management objectives,” says a spokesperson for the Wildlife and Habitat Branch.
Motor vehicle prohibitions that were in place before the 2017 wildfires will remain.
Other changes are to the ATV and snowmobile prohibitions in the South Chilcotin.
In South Chilcotin management units 5-3, 5-4, 5-5, 5-6, and 5-14, there has been a year-round ATV and snowmobile for hunting closure from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. in place for many years.
The closure has now been reduced from year-round to Sept. 1 to Dec. 10, to cover the deer, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goat seasons, to protect ungulate species.
“The change is intended to allow the use of ATVs and snowmobiles while hunting for cougars, wolves or bears outside of the ungulate hunting season. The change also aligns the use of ATVs and snowmobiles from December to August with the regulations in the North Chilcotin,” says the Wildlife and Habitat Branch.
Finally, there is an increased hunting opportunity for full-curl big horn sheep in MU 5-4, south of Alexis Creek and near Chilko Lake, and a reduced opportunity for Nuit and Ottarasko mountain goats, for which there was previously a general open season. It has been replaced with LEH authorizations.
The new hunting and trapping rules will be in effect until June 30, 2020.