Evidence of Beard for Harvested Turkey

Regulation Number: 
2022-04-01
Status: 
Proposed
Region: 
Region 4 - Kootenay
Region 8 - Okanagan
Regulation Type: 
General Open Season
Species: 
Turkey
Closing Date: 
January 23, 2022 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

Pending

Current Regulations: 

A person who possesses the carcass of a game bird must leave one wing and its plumage naturally attached to the carcass.

There is currently no requirement for hunters to leave, naturally attached to the carcass, or one part of the carcass in the person’s possession, evidence that proves that a turkey harvested during a "bearded turkey only season" is a bearded turkey. 

Proposed Regulations: 

Require hunters that harvest a turkey during a bearded turkey season to leave the beard naturally attached to the carcass, or one part of the carcass in the person’s possession, until the carcass is given to a meatcutter or the owner or operator of a cold storage plant, the carcass arrives at the person’ normal dwelling place and is butchered and stored there for consumption on the premises, or the carcass is presented to an employee of the ministry for which the minister is responsible or other person specified by the Lieutenant Governor in Council for inspection.

Rationale: 

For all wildlife species in B.C., with the exception of turkey, hunters must be able to provide evidence that shows lawful harvest when the animal is harvested during a season that is restricted by sex or physical characteristics of the wildlife (i.e., buck, bull, cow, 4 pt. mule deer, bearded turkey, etc.). These regulations enable enforcement of these seasons to ensure hunters are compliant with the rules.

Enforcement of “bearded only” turkey seasons is a challenge when hunters are not legally required to prove that the turkey they harvested is bearded.