(1) 250.472.8528
andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca

IMG_20151117_100932_editToday in the legislature I tabled a private members bill entitled: Wildlife Amendment Act (No. 2), 2015. The purpose of this Bill was to reduce the preferential treatment of non-resident hunters.

Limited entry hunting (LEH) is a lottery based management system used to organize the harvest of species in situations where there are too few animals and too many hunters. Currently the Wildlife Branch has different rules for resident and foreign hunters when it comes to obtaining LEH permits:  Residents must enter a lottery draw, but foreigners (who are required to hire guide) can simply buy their way in.  By eliminating the minister’s discretion to make separate rules for each group, this bill requires ALL hunters to enter a lottery for their LEH tags, as is done in other jurisdictions.

As it currently stands, residents may enter a lottery year after year and still not get drawn, while a non-resident can buy his or her way in every year if they want. This bill seeks to ensure certain groups do not have unfair access to LEH permits.

While people may wonder why we need a lottery system for non-residents when they are already restricted by the allocation split, it is worth noting that the split between permits allocated for resident and non-resident hunters is as high as 60% – 40% for some species. By comparison, Alberta sets non-resident allocations between 2-7 percent with a maximum of 10 percent and Washington State has limited non-resident wildlife allocations to approximately 5 percent. Non-resident hunters in B.C. are already getting a bigger share here than anywhere else in North America – and they are pay significantly less too. A non-resident hunter coming to B.C., for example, can buy a moose tag directly for $250.00 Canadian. In Washington State they would have to enter a draw and if their application got randomly selected they would have to pay $1,652.00 USD.

The price and availability of hunting permits is, of course, influenced by animal abundance and hunter demand. In B.C. compared to other jurisdictions in North America, however, they also seem to favour guide outfitters and their non-resident clientele over resident hunters. I tabled this bill today to reduce some of that unfair legislation.

Below I provide a video of my introduction along with its transcript. At the end i also include a copy of the proposed bill


Video of Bill Introduction



Text of Bill Introduction


A. Weaver: It’s my pleasure to introduce this bill — which, if enacted, would remove the minister’s ability to designate and exempt classes of applicants from having to enter lotteries or other methods of random selection when seeking limited-entry hunt permits. If enacted, these amendments would require all hunters to enter draws for their limited-entry hunt permits, regardless of resident, non-resident or non-resident alien designation, as is done in other jurisdictions.

As it currently stands, local hunters have to enter a lottery if they want to harvest an animal managed under the limited-entry hunt system, but out-of-province hunters can simply buy a permit for the same species and management unit area. Foreign hunters coming to B.C. already enjoy cheaper permits and greater allocation percentages than nearly every other jurisdiction in North America. It’s clearly unfair that they can buy their way into limited-entry hunts year after year, when British Columbians are left entering lotteries in the hopes of being granted the opportunity to harvest a public good in their home province.

The limited-entry hunt system is an important management and conservation tool. Its designation through the lottery system should be implemented across the board, mirroring other jurisdictions that require non-resident hunters to enter limited-entry hunt lotteries. Like every state in America, this legislation envisions a separate draw for local and out-of-province allocations.

I look forward to second reading of this bill. I move that this bill be placed on the orders of the day for second reading at the next sitting of the House.


Text of Bill M230

Wildlife Amendment Act (No. 2), 2015,


THE WILDLIFE ACT [RSBC 1996] Chapter 488. The Act is amended by:

Section 16 of the Act is amended by striking out sections 16 (1) (b.1) and 16 (3)

Limited entry hunting authorization

16  (1) The minister, by regulation, may

(a) limit hunting for a species of wildlife in an area of British Columbia,

(b) provide for limited entry hunting authorizations to be issued by means of a lottery or other method of random selection among applicants,

(b.1) provide for exceptions that the minister considers appropriate to the random selection among applicants in conducting a lottery or other method of random selection among applicants under paragraph (b), and

(c) do other things necessary for the purposes of this section.

(2) An application fee collected under a lottery or other method referred to in subsection (1) must be paid into the general fund of the consolidated revenue fund.

(3) In making regulations under subsection (1), the minister may define classes of applicants and make different regulations for different classes of applicants.

21 Comments

  1. Harley Belt-
    November 21, 2015 at 10:31 am

    We need a petition for hunters and BCWF members to show their support for this bill. Also to show that we hunters in BC are aware and can be politically active if necessary through numbers of votes if Provincial Government not responsive to our concerns!

  2. Cliff Rempel-
    November 20, 2015 at 12:18 am

    I hunt for subsistence and I support our economy Year Round. Thank you for challenging this issue, I believe, on behalf of ALL B.C. residents. Amendments to Section 16 of The Wildlife Act should also strike Section 16(1) (c). Clearly, Section 16 (1) (c) could function quite nicely in place of Section 16 (1) (b-1) and Section 16 (3). It must be removed as well, for removal of the other 2 items to be effective. I am a Born-in-B.C. resident and as such I am a steward of this land. To have my heritage sold to the highest bidder or special interest group is a serious misinterpretation of the ministry’s mandate.

  3. John Findlay-
    November 19, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    I am totally in agreement with your bill. Resident hunters should have a better chance to obtain a limited entry hunt. Where every year one’s chances improve on getting a draw. I’m now 71 yrs old and have been putting in for island Elk since the 60’s and Never been drawn.I hope your bill is passed.yours truly
    John Findlay

  4. Northern hunter-
    November 19, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    im a resident hunter of bc, always have been, always will be. However I don’t understand how someone could try and pass a bill without even understanding how everything works?! A Resident hunter of BC is fully capable of purchasing ANY tag that is available to a non-resident….meaning the non-residents have no “unfair advantage” over residents in obtaining a tag.

  5. Byron Trask-
    November 19, 2015 at 8:40 am

    Thank you MLA Weaver for your efforts – this Bill is certainly a step in the right direction; equal opportunity of a public resource. Reading through the initial comments, I MUST also reiterate what Mr. Schroeder states; even though he has been identified to have an invested interest in guide-outfitting, he nails the current situation of many of our ungulate species in most Regions here in BC. Without some Regulation adjustments regionally and real money put in place to protect and increase our deer populations, it will be young people like Ryan above who may rarely ever be drawn using the current LEH system, yet even if so, it is quite possible he may never even see his drawn for animal… . WE are now only one severe winter away from seeing a complete collapse of many of our ungulate populations. Strategic intervention MUST start now.

  6. Otto Schulte-
    November 19, 2015 at 4:10 am

    This is an excellent and overdue Bill amendment. In our extended family we put in for 6 separate group moose draws this year in the area we have hunted for over 35 years spanning 3 generations of family. But we came up empty handed. It is frustrating knowing that a rich American or German or whatever was able to simply buy his way into our old area and harvest a BC moose right under our noses, so to speak. I support the amendment and also think the fees should be cranked way up for non residents. Same for salt water fishing!!!

    • Dave-
      November 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm

      You need to read this bill again…It will do NOTHING to increase your odds of drawing a LEH authorization.

      The only purpose behind the bill is to be a thorn in the side of the GOABC.

  7. Gordon Schuk-
    November 18, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    Some years bad winters harvest far more moose than all the hunters put together, and lately, the wolves, and cougars are decimating our wildlife. I know that our predator huggers (primarily city slickers) think otherwise, but facts are facts.A wolf or cougar eats at least one deer a week.Consider this also A pair of wolves this year, will be three pairs next year, and the year after it would likely be 12 pairs, and the year after you could be looking at 36 pairs, well you get the picture. So if you want to do something meaningful start handing out free permits to hunt wolves, cougars etc. and bring the population to a more sustainable level. I am not only a long term resident hunter, but also have a goodly number of hunters as well as members of our family either guided or continue to guide non-resident hunters. Our Dad quickly found out that guiding resident hunters did not pay, because the following year they would be back, with their buddies, but not hire Dad, because they knew where to find the game, and often would almost shoot anything that moved. In those days, hunters would brag about getting off some “good sound shots” Some would be so drunk, they could barely walk. Without some other measures, your private members bill will do no one much good. The guides are cutting back on the number of hunts, because of all the quotas, length of hunting season, and so forth.

  8. Nolan Osborne-
    November 18, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    Mr. Weaver,

    While your support of hunting, and resident hunters, is appreciated, I do believe that your choice of words and aim are misleading and somewhat misguided. You imply that a non-resident may simply “buy a moose tag directly for $250 Canadian” but fail to mention that a guided moose hunt, and a non-resident must hire a guide, run upwards of $8000USD, sometimes nearly doubling that figure.
    As Mike Schroeder pointed out, we have much bigger problems facing our wildlife currently. At a time when funding for wildlife and conservation is already at risk, would it not make more sense to raise the royalties on non-resident tags, as well as set the LEH and tag monies aside for wildlife and conservation specific initiatives?
    For those who think they have done more than “wealthy non-residents” consider organizations such as the Wild Sheep Foundation, who raise millions of dollars annually to preserve our wildlife, and our future as hunters. These organizations are funded by non-residents.
    The world already has enough negativity, perhaps instead of driving a wedge between two groups of like minded individuals we could come together and support the future of what we love. Perhaps instead of trying to model ourselves more like our neighbours we could build a more progressive model that supports the future of what we love.
    And perhaps before tabling a bill that affects tens of thousands of residents, you could consult with them on what they really want.

  9. Jukka Pirhonen-
    November 18, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    I am very grateful that someone is taking a task to try and correct the “atrocious” favoritism shown to the commercial hunting & guiding, and in my opinion, all of the the tax paying population, should be given the priority and, of course,follow the same rules, and all others would only given permits to hunt, if there is any left-overs ! Being a hunter and conservationist for the past 45 years, I have applied, on average 8 x L.E.H. permits every year… bison 38 x times and elk 22 x times, grizzly 20 x times, moose 28 x times, not even mentioning the mt. goat and mt. sheep and white tail & mule deer, caribou etc. and so far received 3 x moose permits, 3 x deer permits 2 x mt. sheep permit, 1 x caribou permit, 2 x grizzly permits… (unfortunately, I was either unable to hunt, or unsuccesful in all my hunts which would be considered as trophy animals…) these numbers are just based on memory, and may not be completely accurate, but, of course, easily verified by the government computer records if deemed necessary… I mainly hunt with my sons in every opportunity, but do have other hunting partners also..and as far as I know, we all seem to face the same dilemma… we just can’t hunt, because we are “penalised” for being just ordinary tax paying residents, and not part of some “preferred group” or having a whole lot of money in our disposal… so thank you very much for trying to correct this “oversight” by our government ! It truly is the time… yours truly Jukka

  10. Gerald Pimlott-
    November 18, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    I to am in support of this bill ,it’s about time this came about I live on north Vancouver island most of my life I’ve put in for the LEH for elk almost every year since I was a kid and I’ve got one tag, I’m now 62 years old. I see people hunting elk from all over the mainland and interior and it pisses me off to no end, it just doesn’t seem fair,yes I to support this bill and to you I wish the best of luck, I know I couldn’t afford a guide ,but I don’t need a guide ,I know where the elk are…thank you

  11. November 18, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I agree with this proposed legislative change. Resident hunters do have the opportunity for guided hunts but the average resident can’t afford it. And I think the allocation of permits and or LEH draws should benefit resident hunters before non-resident. It should be ;10% or less going to non-resident hunters. Our LEH system already has it’s own issues. I know of people locally that have been drawn at least 2 years in a row for moose in the same region and I personally have only been drawn once locally since I started applying. In that time I can count the number of draws I have acquired on one hand since the LEH system started. And that includes all species I have applied for each year.

  12. Darryl Hill-
    November 18, 2015 at 9:24 am

    I am also in favour of this bill.. I have been applying for years for limited entry draws to no avail. The very least that our government can do is put the l e h hunting system on a basis similar to Alberta where your chances increase each year unlike our current system where its basically a crapshoot and you may never get drawn.
    Our system of wildlife management seems to change as often as the wind does. Its seemingly being managed by book smart people and not by (bush smart) people. Little credence is paid to input by hunters!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Dave-
    November 17, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Either drop the LEH province wide or change the lottery to place of residence only. Therefore if you live in zone 6-8 you can only submit a draw for that area. Too many hunters from Vancouver, Vancouver Island and elsewhere are reaping the moose and deer from the northern part of the province. Take the Dease Lake area it’s almost wiped out of fertile Bulls.
    As far as non-residence up the tag price no draws aloud. These draws are not working anyway as far as management of wildlife. Numbers are down this winter and the local aboriginals are now shooting Cows after the rut.
    I would say look at the numbers your biologist come up with before changing the way the system fees work. 23 years ago Smithers area had a 40 day moose hunt now it’s down to six days. The last year of the longer hunt a yearling calf hunt was aloud. In one area south of Houston over 60 calves where taken in one day. There was allot of brood stock gone!
    In my area I counted 8 hunting parties all from down south in 30 km of forestry road. I never bothered buying a noose tag this year. In six days here it’s like the Hunger Games.
    I won’t even get started on the illegal hunting going on by non residence or the amount of LEH the WWF submit.
    There are 4 CO’s to cover a area from Burns Lake to Terrace north. There is no way the legal aspect can be managed.
    Leave the guiding to the guides. Charge more for out of province and get rid of the LEH and consult with native population about selective management.
    Sorry to say you don’t have enough info to make your bill work.

  14. Arne D. Anderson-
    November 17, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    i am definitely in favor of this bill tabled by Andrew Weaver ! The huge allocation discrepancy between B.C. and other neighboring and western jurisdictions simply can not be left to stand ! The resident hunters of British Columbia are the backbone of wildlife and its management here in this Province and in my mind the wildlife BELONGS to the taxpayers of British Columbia ! In my almost fifty years of supporting and funding wildlife management here , I have contributed considerably more than any nonresident showing up to pay their way to the top !

  15. Mike schroeder-
    November 17, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Resident hunters have EQUAL opportunity to purchase the SAME hunts from outfitters that non-residents do. Often outfitters will even give discounts for resident hunters. You may want to do more research next time.
    My suggestion is that you forget your war on non-resident REGULATED hunting and do something meaningful for wildlife, not only is it an untapped opportunity to do great thing for our animals (ex. Funding ER projects) but we have WAY WAY WAY bigger problems facing many species currently. You really want to be a problem solver, come help us raise money for to grow wildlife!

    • November 17, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      Thank you for the comment. What you are saying is that a wealthy resident can buy their way to the front of the line but the average BC resident can’t. I’m certainly not supportive of that.

      • Steve-
        November 17, 2015 at 10:51 pm

        It should come as no shock that Mr Schroeder is not in favor of this bill- as it can and will affect his bottom line.

        Mr Schroeder runs a territory for Jim Shockey.

        http://jimshockey.com/about/team/mike-schroeder

        I support this bill, and thank you for once again stepping up to support the Resident Hunter

    • Arne D. Anderson-
      November 17, 2015 at 11:24 pm

      Well Mike Schroeder , I can surely see where your interests and allegiance lie ! I don’t even need to investigate who you are or where you are guiding / outfitting ? It’s a given that you
      are ! I guess when your pockets are lined by nonresident hunters that’s where your allegiance will be ? You may want to consider that those nonresident hunters , in almost all cases , have NOT been paying taxes in this province for years and years and also they have not been kicking in $ to wildlife management on an ongoing basis year in and year out ? Mostly they are “one time big spenders ” who come to buy their way to the soul of British Columbian heritage ! And now with outfitters being able to purchase and run an outfit without even having to be a resident of B.C. or maybe even Canada , where do YOU think those outfitters monetary gains go ?
      Not B.C. that’s for sure !

  16. Ryan-
    November 17, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    I am a 18 year old avid hunter that has been putting in for draws since I was 12 years of age and had never been drawn up until this year when I was drawn for mountain goat. Along side my dad and my grandad We have been putting in for leh moose for along time and have never been drawn. I am in favour of any improvement on the leh draw system.

  17. Robert Mattes-
    November 17, 2015 at 7:43 pm

    Good luck with this. I will be encouraging my MLA to vote in favor of this. Thank you!