Closures unlikely to affect local hunters

Minor changes have been announced to elk hunting in the East Kootenay, but Greater Trail hunters aren't likely to be affected.

The B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations announced some minor changes to elk hunting regulations in the East Kootenay but local hunters aren’t likely to be greatly affected by the changes.

The areas affected by the revised regulations are mostly east of Creston, ranging up through the Cranbrook, and into the area surrounding Invermere on either side of the Columbia River.

Closures are for antlerless elk including the general open season and the senior/youth seasons with dates ranging from Sept. 10 to Sept. 30 in specific hunting areas within the East Kootenay.

Terry Hanik, president of the Trail Wildlife Association, said that the new regulations probably won’t change the hunting habits of many big game hunters in Greater Trail who venture into the East Kootenay.

“Most of the guys who go from here go for bulls anyways, six point (antlers) or better,” he said. “With the changes a few years ago when they opened up the west we’ve got a lot more people coming into the Pend O’reille where we had transplanted elk trying to restore the population and the Castlegar area for the big ones around here.”

The elk hunting seasons in the east were expanded in 2010 in an effort to reduce agricultural crop damage in the area.