The Trail Wildlife Association (TWA) is hoping to see some new blood come out for the Annual General Meeting on Monday.
Terry Hanik has served as TWA president for 18 years. He suggests the group is getting a little long in the tooth, so it’s time for a new generation of hunters to step up and become part of the voluntary conservation efforts.
“We are an older group,” Hanik told the Trail Times. “We would like to see the younger generation come in and help out, because we are getting on in age. And it’s important for them to come to the AGM (Annual General Meeting) if they want to have their say on the changes coming up.”
The Jan. 30 gathering is slated for 7 p.m. in the Local 480 Hall and will include guest speaker Katrine Conroy as well as an election of officers.
Conroy, the NDP MLA for Kootenay-West, will be talking to the membership about her party’s proposed ban on grizzly bear trophy hunting in the province.
She’ll also be discussing hunting regulations coming up in 2018 – in particular, regulation changes being considered in the Pend d’Oreille area.
Hanik says the TWA is proposing Limited Entry Hunting into the region because the elk and deer population is on a downward spiral.
“The animals that we have around here now, the numbers are down on deer and elk,” he said. “And we do have a lot of predators. So if we can get that put back in (Limited Entry Hunting) then fix the times to hunt, it’ll be a lot of help.”
He points out the suggested changes will become part of a bigger conversation when they meet with the West Kootenay Outdoorsmen on Feb 19. The outdoorsmen organization includes the West Kootenay Big Game Trophy Association and groups from Castlegar, Nelson, Nakusp, West Arm, Creston, and Grand Forks – as a whole, they will finalize which proposals will be submitted to the province for consideration.
“We did have a TWA membership meeting and came up with these changes,” Hanik clarified. “Now we want to present them to the AGM to see what kind of response we get.”
Limited Entry Hunting (LEH) provides hunting opportunities created through a random draw. Participation in the draw is available to any resident of B.C. with a valid FWID (Fish and Wildlife ID) and resident hunting credentials.
The province maintains that an LEH system helps the government achieve wildlife management objectives without resorting to such measures as shortening seasons or completely closing areas. Limited entry is only introduced where it has become necessary to limit the number of hunters, of animals that may be taken, or the harvest of a certain species or sub-species.
The TWA currently has 431 members but has been part of the local landscape since 1925 when it was called the Trail Rod and Gun Club. The club became the Trail Wildlife Association in the ’60s, and since that time has advocated for fish and wildlife habitat protection, as well as encouraged safe handling and proper care of firearms by providing range facilities and basic firearms training for young people.
“I think I may have the record for the most years as president,” chuckled Hanik. “So we are looking for new blood to join us.”
For more information, visit trailwildlife.com or contact Hanik at 250.364.1838.