Amend Ungulate Baiting Regulation

Regulation Number: 
2022-04-06
Status: 
Proposed
Region: 
Region 4 - Kootenay
Regulation Type: 
General Open Season
Species: 
Deer, Elk, Moose
Closing Date: 
January 23, 2022 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

Pending

Current Regulations: 

“bait” means any thing, including meat, cereal, cultivated crops, a restrained animal or any manufactured product or material, that may attract wildlife, but does not include a decoy;

It is unlawful to intentionally feed or bait ungulates and turkeys in the Kootenay Region   

Proposed Regulations: 

The definition of bait is not proposed to change.

It is unlawful to intentionally feed or bait ungulates and turkeys in the Kootenay Region. From December 1-20, hunters may place fallen tree limbs as bait.

Rationale: 

Placing fallen tree branches near stands is a common practice for archery hunters who pursue white-tailed deer in the December 1st-20th season and is believed to increase chances of success. Restrictions were placed on feeding and baiting ungulates and turkeys in the Kootenay Region in 2020, which was primarily targeting larger scale feeding programs that increase the risk of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) transmission. Preventing CWD transmission is of upmost importance, however baiting that occurs during the archery season is considered a low-risk activity as piled limbs are unlikely to attract large numbers of deer.

An exemption to the no feeding/baiting regulation is proposed for December 1-20 to enable archery hunters to place fallen tree limbs near stands.

Risks of wildlife feeding are well documented and summarized in a provincial fact sheet (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/environment/plants-animals-and-ecosystems/wildlife-wildlife-habitat/staying-safe-around-wildlife/ungulate-feeding-june8th.pdf). Many jurisdictions with CWD present have taken action to restrict ungulate feeding programs. The risk of enabling baiting with native vegetation during the December archery season was discussed with the provincial wildlife veterinarian and wildlife health biologist in July and it was deemed relatively low risk to enable placement of fallen tree limbs.