Hunters fight to save wildlife

Elk Valley hunters are taking dwindling wildlife populations into their own hands.

Elk Valley hunters are taking dwindling wildlife populations into their own hands after reporting one of the worst years in memory.

The Fernie Rod and Gun Club (FRGC) is partnering with the Elkford and Sparwood clubs, East Kootenay Wildlife Association and BC Wildlife Federation on improving wildlife management and restoring numbers across the Valley.

Discussions were due to start on Tuesday, with a committee to be formed and new Fish and Wildlife Projects Director Brian Fantuz to spearhead projects on behalf of the FRGC.

Last year was one of the worst in president Kevin Marasco’s memory.

“It was tough for a lot of the hunters,” he said.

“The population hasn’t been this low for 20 years.

“They have reduced quite a bit of the tags coming up for hunting already that you have to apply for, which is a good start but it’s a combination of a lot of things that should be done.”

Marasco believes harsh winters and a rise in predators and highway kills could be to blame for the decline in wildlife populations, such as the Rocky Mountain Elk.

Projects the FRGC is looking at include the restoration of feeding grounds.

“We want to make sure the feed is out there for the animals, so we’re thinking about different ways to take care of the land better for them,” said Marasco.

These wildlife projects will be funded using money raised at the club’s annual awards banquet and fundraiser, held at the Community Centre last Saturday.

The fundraiser usually takes place at the Fernie Memorial Arena, which can accommodate more people but remains closed after the October 2017 ammonia leak.

Marasco is hopeful this year’s event will have raised $20,000, despite the smaller location restricting numbers.

“We thought it went quite well for the number of people we had,” he said.

Proceeds from the banquet will also go towards running the club’s outdoor youth programs, which start on May 7 at the Coal Creek Range.

More than 100 children aged between 3-18 are expected to take part over summer, with the FRGC to provide all equipment and training.

One of the big drawcards of Saturday’s event was the lucrative prize pool.

Loretta Johnson of Fernie won a hot tub, while Darren Whitson, also from Fernie, took home a new ATV Quad.

Sparwood’s Ken Morrow was the lucky recipient of the Gunwerks rifle package.

Awards were also presented in a range of categories, including fishing, shooting and photography.

The FRGC has about 3000 members across the Elk Valley and hopes to return to the arena for next year’s banquet, pending the reopening of the facility this fall.

Just Posted

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

UPDATE: Fire forces closures and delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

Motorists should detour using Kootenay Lake ferry

Bisaro Anima cavers return from expedition

22 cavers spent a week logging 150 surface sinks, rifts and holes, and mapped 1km of new passages

Evacuation alert issued for City of Kimberley

Three hours after an evacuation order was issued for the St. Mary Valley, an evacuation alert was issued for the nearby community of Kimberley.

Show N’ Shine attracts bumper entries

The 2018 Show N’ Shine attracted over 1100 people and 80 entries – the most in the event’s history

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Safeway union urgest rejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Federal government announces over $115 million to Royal Canadian Navy

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was at Victoria’s CFB Esquimalt to announce missile system upgrades

RCMP nab prolific car thief after month-long, B.C.-wide search

A province-wide warrant was issued for Brian Robert Stephan in June for a litany of offences

Most Read