The B.C. government is providing up to $100,000 for urban deer management and population control for communities across the province. (Black Press Media)

Hunting and fishing group seeks bylaw exemption

Sooke guns and bows bylaw ill-considered, says association

The continuing saga of Sooke’s firearms and bow bylaw has taken another unusual twist.

Terrance Martin, a representative of the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association, wants any bylaw passed by Sooke council to provide for an exemption on RU1-zoned land which many of the association’s members hunt on.

The area, owned by the Timberwest Forest Corp., has been available to licensed and insured members of the association for hunting and fishing since 2017. More than 500 hunters have registered access to the lands.

The ill-starred Sooke bylaw would prohibit this activity — a bylaw that has been before council five times without resolution — is unreasonable and ill-considered, Martin said.

RELATED: Bylaw sent back. Again.

“The area in question is remote from any populated area and access is controlled by a locked gate on Butler Main,” Martin said.

“This is not an area where the general public is permitted, and our association have invested time and money to arrive at this agreement with the owners.”

Martin pointed out a few additional salient facts he claimed have been either overlooked or ignored by the drafters of the proposed bylaw.

“The Municipal Act says that bylaws have to be consistent with the [official community plan] and the OCP says thatthe district should work to maintain the rural character of Sooke. Few activities define rural character more than hunting,” he said.

Martin said the bylaw may be unnecessary, given most of the concerns raised by the bylaw are already governed by provincial regulations.

RELATED: Bylaw misses mark

That’s a position supported by Coun. Al Beddows.

“I think that maybe what we need to do is remove the bylaw entirely, or at least slim it down to address only those things that provincial regulations don’t address,” Beddows said.

“This whole thing (the proposed bylaw) has morphed into something it was never intended to be, and needs to be totally reworked.”

Martin also made a case that bows should be removed from the bylaw.

“Bows can be an effective tool in wildlife management and represent a very low risk of harm to people. In fact, we invite people to contact us for help in managing deer, geese, and other animals that are doing damage to their property.”

In response to those who would decry the concept of hunting on ethical grounds, Martin said the management of deer populations are best done through hunting.

“You have a problem with urban deer and every year people are injured and vehicles are damaged when deer are hit on our highways. Other methods of controlling deer are just not as effective and are hugely expensive,” Martin said.

“Take that money and spend it on other social issues. When we hunt the bucks, we’re preventing that buck from inseminating maybe 20 does. That is effective management.”

Council heard both Martin’s presentation and supportive presentations by a series of other hunters, but did not make any decision.

The firearms and bow bylaw is not expected to return to council soon.

“I think we realize that the whole bylaw has some flaws, and I anticipate that we’ll be directed to engage with this group (the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association) and others before we return with any bylaw recommendations,” Sooke chief administrative officer Norm McInnis said.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Felix Townsin, shown here with his sister, Lexi, who died on Oct. 19, 2019. Felix is a big part of a family initiative aimed at finding a cure for Blau Syndrome. (Photo contributed by the Townsin family)
Quest to cure Blau syndrome a family affair

John Stubbs student produces film for late little sister Lexi

An untitled Emily Carr painting of Finlayson Point was donated to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria by brothers Ian and Andrew Burchett. The painting had been in their family for several decades. (Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria)
Newly public Emily Carr painting depicts well-known Victoria view

Painting among several donated to Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

An incident on Sooke Road is slowing traffic Wednesday evening. (Courtesy of Mona Hazeldine)
Sooke Road incident snarls evening traffic

Witnesses report two-vehicle collision

Investigators seized sophisticated equipment including credit card embossers, credit card PIN machines, heavy duty printers and computers used to create fraudulent cards. (West Shore RCMP handout)
West Shore RCMP arrest two, find 1,000 pieces of stolen ID in Langford

Investigation began after fraudulent bank draft used to buy vehicle in Colwood

Police continue to investigate a break-and-enter in this Sidney jewelry store in the 2500-block of Beacon Avenue. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Thieves hit Sidney jewelry store

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP says incident is not part of a larger trend

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps by 287, another senior home outbreak

Two more deaths recorded, community outbreak in Okanagan

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Oct. 27

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

MMFN First Nation has said that it will restrict access to portion of Highway 28 that passes through the Nation’s land until a road use agreement is reached. (Black Press file photo)
Vancouver Island First Nation blocks highway access to logging trucks in Gold River

Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation restricting access for Western Forest Products pending road deal

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
Rescued bald eagle that came to life in B.C. man’s car had lead poisoning

Bird is on medication and recovering in rehab centre

The B.C. Centre for Disease control is telling people to keep an eye out for the poisonous death cap mushroom, which thrives in fall weather conditions. (Paul Kroeger/BCCDC)
Highly poisonous death cap mushroom discovered in Comox

This marks first discovery on Vancouver Island outside Greater Victoria area

Cowichan Search and Rescue set up near the Silver Bridge in Duncan on Wednesday morning, Oct. 28, 2020 to rescue a dog from the Cowichan River. (Citizen file)
Cowichan Search and Rescue save dog from icy Cowichan River

Search and Rescue’s swiftwater team was called in

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read