BC HUNTING SYNOPSIS
The new 2016-2018 Hunting & Trapping Regulations Synopsis will be effective from July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2018. Below are the Hunting and Trapping Synopsis for each area in BC.
Region 1, Vancouver Island: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/sports-recreation-arts-and-culture/outdoor-recreation/fishing-and-hunting/hunting/regulations/2016-2018/hunting-trapping-synopsis-2016-2018-region1.pdf
Region 2, Lower Mainland: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/sports-recreation-arts-and-culture/outdoor-recreation/fishing-and-hunting/hunting/regulations/2016-2018/hunting-trapping-synopsis-2016-2018-region2.pdf
Region 3, Thompson-Nicola: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/sports-recreation-arts-and-culture/outdoor-recreation/fishing-and-hunting/hunting/regulations/2016-2018/hunting-trapping-synopsis-2016-2018-region3.pdf
Region 4, Kootenays: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/sports-recreation-arts-and-culture/outdoor-recreation/fishing-and-hunting/hunting/regulations/2016-2018/hunting-trapping-synopsis-2016-2018-region4.pdf
Region 5, Cariboo: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/sports-recreation-arts-and-culture/outdoor-recreation/fishing-and-hunting/hunting/regulations/2016-2018/hunting-trapping-synopsis-2016-2018-region5.pdf
Region 6, Skeena: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/sports-recreation-arts-and-culture/outdoor-recreation/fishing-and-hunting/hunting/regulations/2016-2018/hunting-trapping-synopsis-2016-2018-region6.pdf
Region 7A, Omenica: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/sports-recreation-arts-and-culture/outdoor-recreation/fishing-and-hunting/hunting/regulations/2016-2018/hunting-trapping-synopsis-2016-2018-region7a.pdf
Region 7B, Peace: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/sports-recreation-arts-and-culture/outdoor-recreation/fishing-and-hunting/hunting/regulations/2016-2018/hunting-trapping-synopsis-2016-2018-region7b.pdf
Region 8, Okanagan: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/sports-recreation-arts-and-culture/outdoor-recreation/fishing-and-hunting/hunting/regulations/2016-2018/hunting-trapping-synopsis-2016-2018-region8.pdf
Happy Hunting! Make sure you take some awesome pictures, and share them with us!
Chipmunks are mammals. They are a small member of the squirrel family. Chipmunks have a white belly and dark stripes plus a few white ones that run down their back . They range from 4 to 7 inches in length and weigh as little as 1 to 5 ounces .
According to National Geographic, there are 25 species of Chipmunks. Only one of those species, called the Siberian Chipmunk, lives outside of North America . Chipmunks make their nests in logs or bushes or in underground tunnels. They can be found almost anywhere where there are trees and brush.
Chipmunks are Omnivores. They eat anything from plants, seeds, and berries to insects, frogs, and bird eggs. Chipmunks store a large supply of food for the Winter. They generally start collecting their food at the beginning of the Autumn . In a single day, a Chipmunk can collect up to 165 acorns!
The average lifespan for a Chipmunk in the wild is 2 to 3 years . The gestation period of a Chipmunk is around 30 days after which a litter of 2 to 8 babies are born. Baby Chipmunks are hairless and blind and are about the size of a jelly bean. A female Chipmunk will have 1 or 2 litters per year.
Chipmunks are not social animals. They are the most active during dusk and dawn. Chipmunks play an important role in the ecosystem. As they gather and transport seeds and nuts, they help with the establishment of seedlings and a variety of other plants .
Moose are the largest species of ungulates. They have short tails, a shoulder hump, and large ears. They can weigh anywhere from 600 to 1,400 pounds . Moose hair is hollow to help insulate them from the cold . Males have very large antlers that are shed each winter. An antler can weigh up to 75 pounds!
Moose are native to northern North America and can be found in almost all of Canada and most of Alaska. During the warmer months, Moose can be found near lakes and marshes; however, in the colder months they are generally found in more forested areas.
Moose are Herbivores. Moose eat large amounts of Catkins and other tall grasses that live in the water. They also eat more woody plants such as Willow bushes. A Moose needs to eat about 50 - 60 pounds of food per day in order to maintain their size. Their stomach can hold up to 112 pounds of food at one time .
The average lifespan of a Moose in the wild is 15 to 20 years . Moose breed in the Fall and have a gestation period of around 231 days . Generally only one calf is born, weighing around 35.7 pounds. The calves nurse for six months, and are considered fully grown between the age of 4 to 6.
Moose are the most active during sunset and sunrise. They are solitary animals and do not travel in herds. Moose are also very good swimmers. They can even stay underwater for up to 30 seconds at a time !
Bighorn Sheep are ungulates. They are currently not endangered, with an estimated population of around 15,500 sheep in Canada and more than 42,000 in the USA .
Bighorn Sheep have light brown to grayish or dark brown fur. They also have a white rump and a white stripe that runs down the back of all four legs. The males have large, curved horns that can weigh up to 30 lbs ! The females also have horns, however, these are much smaller.
The Canadian Rockies are home to Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. They can be found in grassy mountain slopes, alpine meadows, or foothill areas near rocky cliffs and bluffs .
Bighorn Sheep are ruminants, meaning that they chew the cud regurgitated from its rumen. During the Summer, they eat grasses; in the Winter, when grass is difficult to find, their diet consists of more woody plants such as sage and willow. Because Bighorn Sheep are ruminants, they are able to rapidly eat large portions of food before retreating to cliffs or ledges where they can rechew and digest their food .
The average lifespan of a Bighorn Sheep is 6 to 15 years . Breeding occurs in the Fall, and lambs are born in the Spring. The gestation period is around 175 days . Lambs can walk within hours after birth. They continue to nurse up to 6 months.
Male Bighorn Sheep use their horns to compete for ewes in butting contests. During a butting contest, males can charge each other with speeds of more than 20 mph. Their battles may last as long as 24 hours ! During most of the year the females and young live in herds of about 10 sheep. The males live in bachelor herds. Once mating season arrives, herds gather together and form groups as large as 100 sheep.
Striped Skunks are currently considered to be on the “Least Concern” section of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . However, proper conservation is important, regardless of the species’ endangerment state.
Striped Skunks have thick, black fur with a white stripe that runs down from their neck and splits into two stripes (running down each side of the Skunk) just past the Skunk’s shoulders. Striped Skunks also have a thin, white stripe that runs along the top of their forehead down to the tip of their snout. They have strong, straight front paws that help the Skunk rip apart trees and shrubs in their search for food and helps it dig a den for shelter. On average a grown Striped Skunk weighs around 3.25 kg (7.17 lb.) .
Striped Skunk are native to North America, and can be found up North (Northwest Territories and Nunavut) all the way down to Central Mexico. The Striped Skunk generally prefers to live in open areas with a mix of habitat like forest and grasslands . In general Striped Skunks are found at elevations from sea level to 1,800 meters, but have been documented as high as 4,200 meters .
Striped Skunks are omnivores, and will eat anything from fruit and plants to eggs, small mammals, insects, reptiles, and even fish .
Skunks typically mate in early spring. They do not mate for life, and so one male will mate with more than one female. Generally there are between two and ten young born per litter. When they are born, skunk kits are blind and deaf. After just one week, they can begin to use their stink glands for defense . On average a Striped Skunk will live up to three years in the wild .
Striped Skunks are nocturnal. They are timid, non-aggressive animals that will not spray unless they have been provoked .
Currently coyotes are not endangered. However, proper conservation is always a good thing, regardless of the species’ endangerment state.
Coyotes have a grizzled gray or reddish-gray fur; long, rusty or yellowish legs; and large ears. On average a grown Coyote weighs between 20 and 40 pounds .
Coyotes are pretty much everywhere in North America. They live in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central America. Normally they inhabit forests, plains, and mountains, but they do occasionally enter cities and towns looking for food.
Coyotes are often thought to be only meat eaters, but they are actually omnivores - they eat meat and vegetation . They will eat small game such as rodents, birds, and rabbits. Larger game, such as deer. As well as insects, grass, fruit, snakes, and carrion. Because they eat just about anything, Coyotes play an important role in our ecosystem.
There is evidence that suggests that Coyotes mate for life . Coyotes breed in February or March. They have a gestation period of around 60 - 63 days and they generally deliver litters of about 5 - 9 pups. The female Coyote will stay in the den with her young until their eyes open - which typically takes 11 or 12 days. During this time, the male Coyote brings food to the den for the female. In the wild, Coyotes live between 10 and 14 years .
Coyotes are solitary animals and mark their territory with urine . During the colder Winter months, however, Coyotes can form packs for more efficient hunting. They are nocturnal, meaning that Coyotes sleep during the day and hunt at night. Coyotes are also very fast. They can run up to 40 miles (64 kilometers) per hour .
Bobcat? Lynx? What is it??
The tail is probably one of the bigger differences between the Bobcat and the Lynx. The Bobcat has a longer tail. The upper part of its tail has visible rings on it and the very tip is black. However, the entire underside is white. The Lynx has a short, stubby tail. It also has a black tip, but this tip goes all the way around the tip of the tail. It is visible on both the underside as well as the top of its tail.
The next difference is the ear tufts. The Lynx has long tufts that stick out of its ears, while the Bobcat has short, little tufts that stick out of its ears.
The coat of a Bobcat has distinctive spots and it is reddish-brown in colour. The coat of a Lynx has indistinct spots and is gray in colour.
The back legs of a Bobcat are pretty similar in length to its front legs. The back legs of a Lynx, however, are visibly longer than its front legs making its body slope downward from its hips to its head.
The back feet of a Bobcat are generally the same size as its front feet. The back feet of a Lynx, on the other hand, are longer than its front feet. The Lynx lives in the upper half of North America (mostly in Canada and Alaska). We generally receive more snow than the lower half, and so the Lynx’s longer back feet help it to better hunt and maneuver in the snow.
The overall size of a Bobcat is typically smaller than that of a Lynx. With the exception of the tail, all the characteristics that we mentioned are longer and larger for a Lynx. Of course each animal is different and you could run into a very large Bobcat or a small Lynx. Because size is not always an accurate indication of species, it is a good thing to note the other characteristics that we pointed out.
Ice Safety Tips
Ice safety is very important as breaking through the ice can be very dangerous or even deadly. The colour of the ice can indicate how strong it is. Of course, in our area the lakes are almost always covered with snow and so you can’t actually see the ice. However, before you get on the ice it might be a good idea to clear a small patch and observe the ice colours.
Gray Ice: If the ice is gray, it is weak. Often it turns gray after melting and then refreezing.
White Ice: White ice means that there are water-saturated snow freezes on top of the ice forming another layer. Often this white ice layer has air pockets causing it to be weak.
Blue or Clear Ice: Blue or clear ice is the strongest. However, its safety is still dependent on its thickness.
Mottled, Slushy or Rotten Ice: Mottled, slushy and rotten ice are all different names that mean the same thing. For this ice, it is not so much the colour but the texture. This ice is melting and slushy. Its strength is deceptive, so be extra careful around mottled, slushy or rotten ice.
When it comes to ice colour, an easy slogan to remember is this:
Thick and blue, tried and true;
Thin and crispy, way too risky
Other factors that play into ice safety are weather changes and the current temperature; Cracks or breaks; Standing water; Ice thickness; etc.
If you want to take your truck or car unto the ice, an extra safety measure is to make a hole next to your vehicle. If water starts to creep through, it is time to move your vehicle as it may mean that the ice around your vehicle is beginning to sink.
The Environment of Canada website has provided a glossary of ice terms and their definitions:
Photo by Nentori (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Snowshoeing in the Kootenays
In the winter months it is so enjoyable to go out snowshoeing or cross country skiing in our beautiful nature. But sometimes it is hard to think of a new location. Below are some common, groomed trails.
LOUIS CREEK TRAILS
The Louis Creek trails are beautiful cross country skiing and snowshoeing trails adjacent to Kimberley. Its trailhead is located at 8th Ave where it intersects with Elko Street in Kimberley.
LUMBERTON SKI TRAILS
The Lumberton ski trails offer approximately 30 km in trails. It utilizes unplowed logging roads and trails in the Lumberton area. The Lumberton turnoff is about 10 minutes South of Cranbrook on the Crowsnest highway.
The parking lot is located at N40.25.125' W115.58.807' You will see two trails: One leaving the parking lot area in a direction nearly perpendicular to the road and climbing up quite a bit. The other (the left one) gently angling away from the road and going up much more gently. For cross country skiing, take the left one and work your way uphill for around six kilometers (some take their snowmobile for this). The tracks are on the plateau. Remember tracks are prepared by volunteers. Situation and availability is subject to change.
Hosted by the Kimberley Nordic Club are the beautiful trails of North Star. North Star provides a large array of groomed loops through beautiful forest. The trailhead is located at the base of the ski hill. There is an entrance fee. Details about the rates can be found here: http://www.kimberleynordic.org/#!rates/c21kz
South Star offers a 25 km trail with a variety of loops suitable for novice to advanced skiers and snowshoers. The entrance is located at the end of 38th Ave., off the Gold Creek Road.
For the advanced snowshoer/cross country skier most of the trails mentioned here (https://www.mmoutdoors.ca/blog/hiking-trails-in-the-kootenays.html) are also available for winter sports. However, backcountry skiing/snowshoeing can be extremely dangerous and extreme caution must be used.
*** Mountain Man Outdoors is sharing this information as a service to her web site users and is not involved in the availability, suitability, maintenance and/or upkeep of these trails. Please use this information at your own discretion.
Spending winters in the mountains with nothing but white snow on all sides can be quite relaxing. For those wanting an adrenaline rush, the snow is a great place to go skiing, snowboarding and even having snowball fights. However, being on the slopes means one has to constantly be alert if they don’t want to get caught in an avalanche. The rapid descent of snow may seem harmless, but it can cause a lot of damage to life and property. This is why understanding of avalanches is necessary for those fond of spending their luxury time in the mountains.
On any slope, the snow is piled up and supported by a snow-pack. It keeps the snow from tumbling down all the time. Avalanches occur when the snowpack starts to weaken and allows the buildup of snow to be released. Small avalanches are generally made up of ice, snow and air. The larger ones comprise of rocks, trees, debris and even mud that is resting on the lower slopes. Contrary to belief... Read the full article here http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/types-causes-effects-of-avalanches.php.