The British Columbia government has released the allocation report that covers the next five-year allocation period starting in 2017. Allocation refers to how hunting opportunities for big game animals are split between resident and non-resident hunters. The annual allowable harvest (AAH) is the optimum number of animals that can be harvested annually by hunters from a herd or population which will be replenished through the population’s natural reproduction to meet management objectives and is determined by the government’s regional wildlife managers. The AAH is supposed to be based on current scientific bast practices and current inventory work, but sometimes the inventory work is outdated. The AAH also considers conservation at the forefront and secondly First Nation’s needs for food, social and ceremonial purposes.

The attached document has some explanatory comments and the information can be a little hard to interpret, but one trend is very evident — there are fewer hunting opportunities in the upcoming five-year allocation period.

There are three variables included in the tables that impact the AAH:

First Nation’s Impact: this is determined by different methods around the province and is far from exact science as most First Nations do not report their harvest numbers or composition (cows, calves, bulls etc).

AAH Impact: Is largely based on wildlife inventory work and the impact on allocation depends on whether game populations have increased or declined.

Policy Impact: In February of 2015, Minister of Forests, Lands and Resource Operations, Steve Thomson set the allocation splits between resident and non-resident hunters. The result of the Minister’s decision caused a shift in allocation between residency groups. The splits are contained in the FAQ document.

A detailed breakdown of the allocation impacts for the 2017-2021 allocation five-year period was provided by government in March 2017. (You have to divide the allocation by five to get the annual allocation and hunting opportunities can fluctuate after the first year depending on what the actual harvest data is.) You will notice that for the most part thinhorn sheep in region 6 are not included in the policy (only a couple of management units where resident hunters are on LEH) and that thinhorn sheep in region 7B are totally managed outside of the allocation policy