Cow Moose Sign project founder Dan Simmons is getting support from the BC Liberals in his quest to shutdown the antlerless moose hunt in B.C.
MLAs Donna Barnett and John Rustad are throwing their support behind Simmons by condemning the NDP for increasing the hunt for moose calves and their mothers in the province.
“At a time when moose populations are struggling, it makes little sense to put pressure on mother and their calves,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Barnett and Opposition Critic for Rural Development. “This is a step in the wrong direction and it has to stop immediately.”
Based in the Cariboo region for the past five years, the Cow Moose Sign project has raised awareness of the need to protect cow moose, particularly due to dwindling moose numbers. It has garnered the support of a wide range of stakeholders over the years such as hunters and guide outfitters, the provincial government as well as dozens of First Nations communities, who have sponsored signs which are put up in rural areas.
Himself a hunter and former guide, Simmons penned a letter to the Williams Lake Tribune recently, airing his frustrations with the government’s 400 tentative authorizations for cow or calf moose for 2020, up from 340 in 2019.
“I am sorry but killing antlerless moose by anyone in this province is not the right thing to do,” Simmons noted.
“This is a kick in the guts for me, as well as all the hundreds and hundreds of caring sponsors, and supporters of the Cow Moose Sign Project.”
Simmons goes on in the letter to challenge the government to give a reason for the increase in antlerless moose limited entry hunts.
In the meantime, the BC Liberals have rallied support for Simmons’ bid to end the hunt.
“I can’t emphasize how irresponsible it is to open up the hunt on moose calves and their mothers,” said Nechako Lakes MLA Rustad. “
The record wildfire seasons throughout the province in 2017 and 2018 have significantly reduced moose habitat, making them far more susceptible to predators such as wolves.”
Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia (GOABC) executive director Scott Ellis noted the association has long been a supporter of the Cow Moose Sign Project because of the impact antlerless harvest has on a population.
“The GOABC is concerned about moose populations in many areas of our province. Normally antlerless tags are only issued when a population needs to be reduced. Since this is not the case, we would hope the increase in ‘Cow or Calf’ Limited Entry Hunting authorizations is an oversight that can be corrected before the fall hunting season.”