Hunting season is well on it’s way throughout North America and many hunters have already harvested great looking animals to add to their trophy collection. There’s still plenty of time for many different species yet this year, and British Columbia provides some amazing hunting adventures.
Guide outfitters take hunting regulations very seriously. If we want to continue to enjoy hunting adventures we must all become excellent stewards of wildlife. While many specific regulations protect against over harvesting of many species, selecting an appropriate animal is up to the hunter’s discretion.
Try to remember the last time you’ve struggled with this dilemma.. It’s near the end of the season, and so far, your luck hasn’t been all that great. The weather has been miserable, your tag is still unpunched, you’re frustrated and probably quite worn out. When a small spike buck walks out and presents itself, there you are, struggling with two choices. Take him and finish the season with something to show for all your efforts, or let the fella go and just maybe he’ll be back next year, stronger and much more magnificent.
Shooting game that is perfectly legal, yet less than trophy quality doesn’t just mean your hunt story will be less impressive, it has long lasting effects on wildlife populations. Harvesting older male animals gives that species the best chance to thrive and not just maintain but increase in numbers. Hunting mountain goats is a great example of appropriate selection. There is no ban on hunting a nanny goat in BC, however, there can be a dramatic effect on herd populations when nannies are taken.
Here is some very interesting information from the Alaskan hunting regulations brochure regarding selection of mountain goats
- Females are late to breed having their first kid between 4 and 6 years old. Young mountain goats experience high mortality.
- Females may not reproduce every year.
- If you kill a female, you also take away offspring she would have produced to replace the animals that die from hunting and all other causes.
- Loss of too many females may cause the mountain goat population to decline to a level that allows very little or no hunting opportunity.
If hunters take the time to select males instead of females, more goats will be available for future harvest. In fact, by the end of a seven year period a small group of goats could double in size if females are not killed and the winter weather is moderate. The chart below illustrates the benefits of harvesting males and passing up females.
WSLO wishes you the very best of luck with your hunting adventures and would like to remind you to make appropriate hunting choices.
Enjoy the rest of this hunting season and may your great stories create a proud hunting heritage!
Whiteswan Lake Outfitters