Two Day Delay on Species Licences

Regulation Number: 
2020-0-06
Status: 
Decided
Region: 
Province-Wide
Regulation Type: 
General Open Season
Limited Entry Hunting
Species: 
Caribou, Mountain Goat, Mountain Sheep, Wolverine
Closing Date: 
January 19, 2020 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

No decision was considered at this time as First Nations consultation on this change is still in process.

Current Regulations: 

Species licence not valid until 2 days after the date of issue

6  A species licence for bobcat, caribou, cougar, lynx, mountain goat, mountain sheep or wolverine is not valid until 2 days after the date of issue.

Proposed Regulations: 

Remove caribou, mountain goat, mountain sheep, and wolverine from the list of species that have a 2-day delay on species licence validation:

Species licence not valid until 2 days after the date of issue

6  A species licence for bobcat, cougar, or lynx is not valid until 2 days after the date of issue.

Rationale: 

Hunters are required to hold a specific species license to hunt specific big game in B.C.  Species licences (a.k.a. tags) for bison, black bear, deer, elk, and moose are valid on the day they are issued. For bobcat, caribou, cougar, lynx, mountain goat, mountain sheep or wolverine they are not valid until 2 days after the date of issue.

The delay for cougar, mountain goat and mountain sheep species licences has been in place since 1977, for caribou since 1989. In 1999 bobcat, lynx, and wolverine were reclassified from small game to big game and the two-day delay was an added provision for their species licences.

Given the length of time these regulations have been in place (20-40 years) the original rationale for the two-day delay is not known; however, it is likely that it was meant to reduce the ability for hunters to harvest these species opportunistically, without having the proper species license, and obtain the appropriate licence afterwards. Generally, these species are not commonly encountered and there is usually some level of planning and preparation required to successfully hunt mountain goat, mountain sheep, caribou, or wolverine.

There is no conservation/biological rational for the two-day delay; however, for felines (cougar, bobcat, lynx) there is an ethical component.  Cats are usually pursued by hounds and treed.  There is concern that a cat could be kept in the tree while someone went to town, purchased the appropriate species license, and returned to harvest the cat; the two-day delay on feline species licenses makes this scenario less likely. The two-day delay on species licenses for felines is not being proposed to change.