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EIGHTH REPORT OF THE PROVINCIAL GAME AND FOREST WARDEN OF THE PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA. 1912. British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1913

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 EIGHTH   REPORT
PROVINCIAL GAME AND FOREST WARDEN
OP   THE
PROVINCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA.
1912.
THE GOVERNMENT OF
THE PBOVIKCE OF BRITISH COLUMBIA.
PRINTED  BY
AUTHORITY OF THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY.
VICTORIA, B.C.:
Printed by William H.  Cullin,  rrinter to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1913.  Provincial Game Warden's Office,
Vancouver, B.C., February 4th, 1913.
To the Honourable the Attorney-General,
Victoria,  B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith my Report for the year ending December
31st, 1912.
I have the honour to be,
Sir,
Your obedient servant,
A. BRYAN WILLIAMS, J.P.,
Provincial Game   Warden.  REPORT   FOR   1912.
The year 1912 has been a noteworthy one in the history of game-protection, as there has
been a marked improvement in almost every respect over last or any previous years; and this
has been entirely due to the fact that the Government is really in earnest on the question, and
has not hampered the Department by lack of funds or failing to give proper backing when
needed.
A few years ago there was a certain number of sceptics who thought game protection a
fad and money spent on it wasted. It is, however, safe to say that few, if any, such remain,
and that the people of the Province are unanimously of the opinion that the money has been
well spent. Nor will they begrudge the further additional expenditure that the rapid developments of the country demand. That such is the case is due to the fact that the money voted
for this Department has been judicially expended, and the general condition of game this year
plainly proves that better results have been obtained than even the most optimistic person
could have expected.
Last year's report gave a satisfactory account of the sport obtained, but this year's is even
better, and, considering the enormous increase in the number of men shooting, that there
should be any improvement is astonishing. As it is, there is little doubt that game birds have
been more plentiful this season than for the past ten or twelve years, while the condition of
big game is infinitely better than it was a few years ago. This statement, of course, refers to
the Province as a whole. There are a few exceptions, but not many, the most notable of which
is that of wapiti and deer in the northern part of Vancouver Islant.
The increase in game birds has been partly due to a couple of excellent breeding seasons ;
the past one especially so, as spring came early, and, while there was a good deal of rain, the
critical period after hatching was fine and warm, and the young birds were fairly strong before
the wet weather came again. In addition to this, the various diseases which occur periodically
amongst game of all sorts seem to have been conspicuous by their absence. It is true reports
of diseased grouse came in once or twice from Vancouver Island, but there could not have been
any disease of a virulent nature, or there would not have been such a splendid lot of birds.
In spite of good breeding seasons and absence of diseases, birds could not have been
plentiful had it not been for an increase in the number of deputies, and consequently a much
better observance of the close seasons. Take the population of the Province to-day with what
it was six years ago, and allow a proportionate number of men who break the game laws and
eliminate the work of the deputies, and there would hardly have been a game bird left within
fifty miles of any town, and very few anywhere else.
Of course, there will be a certain number who will say that birds have not been plentiful;
that the Game Wardens have not done their work ; and that game has been openly slaughtered
out of season or sold during the prohibited times of sale; but there are always bound to be
those men, just as there are bound to be some men who will break the laws no matter how
many Game Wardens there are or how vigilant they may be.
It is true that the opportunities for making big bags are getting smaller and smaller.
Free pheasant-shooting is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, while unoccupied land is
rapidly being settled up, and with these disadvantages comes an enormous increase of sportsmen
from the cities. For the past few years the number of men who use guns has been steadily
growing, but this year the increase was simply alarming, and,  while there have been a good 0 6 Game Warden's Report. 1913
many accidents, the only wonder is that there have not been more. On the Saturday and
Sunday following the opening days of pheasant-shooting there was an exodus of men from the
cities such as was never seen before. There were men, boys, and even women, with every
conceivable sort of weapon, and dogs of many and various breeds. About one-third of them
had very little knowledge of the use of firearms, others none at all; in fact, some acknowledged
that they were carrying guns for the first time in their lives.
In addition to the men from the cities and the regular residents of the country scattered
throughout the Province, there are numerous railroad and other construction camps composed
principally of aliens, the greater number of whom have firearms of some sort or description.
The majority of these men have only lately come to the country and have not the slightest
knowledge of the game laws, or if they have, they have no respect for them and will kill
anything at any time if they can with impunity, and when they are caught they plead ignorance.
The greater part of them are not residents, as understood by the Act, and have no right to
shoot without non-residents' licences, but it is impossible for the deputies to distinguish.
With all this army of hunters scouring the country, many of them not knowing one
species of bird from another and shooting at everything they see, it is really a wonder that
there is a head of game left; while the fact that there is an increase, and that, in spite of all
this, the men who have the ability to handle their guns have had better sport this season than
for years past, should be ample proof that good value has been obtained for the money expended.
An unsuccessful attempt was made to count the number of head of game that came into
Vancouver during the first few days of the pheasant season, but the number of deputies available could not begin to handle the crowd of men with guns. However, there is no doubt that
more pheasants and many more grouse and ducks were brought in than there were the year
before. The same applies to Victoria, in the vicinity of which city pheasants and quail were
especially abundant. Apart from the vicinity of these two cities, there are but few places in
the Province from which good reports have not been received.
Now, it is most satisfactory that this should have been such a good year for birds, but the
question is, how long can it be kept up in the vicinity of the large cities 1 With one or two
poor breeding seasons, severe winters, or a disease occurring, with such a rapidly multiplying
army of hunters, practically the whole stock would be wiped out in a year, and a number of
close seasons would be necessary. Even under favourable conditions it looks almost impossible
to keep a fair supply of birds unless further restrictions are brought into force.
There was a great deal less dissatisfaction over the Order in Council this year, as although
they were still unavoidably late in being published, they were out earlier than last year; also
a far greater number of notices were distributed, and the public were pretty well informed.
There were, of course, the usual number who started to shoot before the season opened, or
made a mistake with regard to the electoral district, and, as usual, if caught and prosecuted,
they claimed ignorance. As a matter of fact, the more trouble that is taken in informing
people on these points, the more will be expected; as it is, there are quite a number who seem
to think that it is the deputies' business to go around with a copy of the regulations and a
map of the electoral districts and explain the seasons and electoral districts to each individual.
The revision of the " Game Act" was a great blessing and it seems a pity to amend it, but
there are a number of changes which would be most beneficial. One of the most important is
further restrictions with regard to shooting on the waters near Victoria and Vancouver.
Another important change necessary is for the appointment of temporary Deputy Game
Wardens by other means than by Order in Council or being sworn in as special constables.
Also a clause further defining the powers of deputies with regard to trespassing in performance
of their duties, as well as some protection in cases of assault, insult, or obstruction in their duties. 3 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. O 7
Another clause which is badly in need of amendment is that with reference to shooting at
night, so as to enable convictions for shooting deer by the aid of pit-lamps to be more easily
obtained. There are also a number of minor amendments which might be made with
advantage.
Once again the importation of red deer has been stopped through an outbreak of foot-and-
mouth disease amongst sheep in certain parts of Great Britain, The embargo came into force
a short time before the deer were to be shipped. This Province was not the only one to suffer,
as New Zealand actually had deer sent as far as Liverpool. This is the second year that the
attempt has failed for the same reason.
Negotiations for the purchase of some wapiti in the States, and also for reasonable freight
rates on the animals, have been carried on, but without success at present as far as the rates
are concerned. The present rate asked is prohibitive. Had it not been for this, some forty
wapiti would probably have been wintering in the pen built for the red deer at the Colony Farm
at Coquitlam by now. In the spring the majority of them would have been turned out on
Vancouver Island and about ten head kept for breeding.
There have been no importations of game birds this year, as it has not been deemed
necessary.
The receipts for the year are a little more than last year, but this is owing to the large
amount of fines imposed; the amount collected for licences came surprisingly low. The receipts
are as follows :—
Licences   $5,985 00
Beaver-pelts ,        201  25
Fines under " Game Act"      3,674 60
Half fines under " Fisheries Act"  71 25
Total    $9,932 10
Enforcement of the Law.
A few years ago there were general complaints about the game laws not being enforced,
and there is no doubt that there were good reasons for such complaints. This year there has
been a most marked improvement in this respect, and, while there is still room for improvement
in certain districts, the advance made is most satisfactory.
This improvement has been brought about by the fact that several additions were made
to the staff of permanent deputies, and temporary men were employed in a number of different
places when their services were needed. Also, besides the help usually furnished by the
Provincial police, a large amount has been given by some of the municipal police and even by
city police. The work of the municipal police, some of whom are mounted men, has been an
important factor, especially in the immediate neighbourhood of Vancouver, where several
convictions have been obtained through them.
In spite of the activity of the deputies, there have been many infringements committed this
year, probably a far greater number than in former years. This is partly due to the fact that
the population has grown at a very rapid rate, but more so because game of all kinds on the
Coast was so plentiful, and temptation, in consequence, too strong to be resisted, in spite of
the danger of a heavy fine.
However, as long as there is any game in the country, the laws with regard to it, just as
much as any other laws, are bound to be broken more or less; but the fact that game birds
can be seen all around, and even within the limits of cities with such large and varied
populations as Victoria and Vancouver, should prove that there is, nevertheless, a great respect
for the game laws. Are there any other cities on the Continent where game birds can be
seen in like manner 1 0 8 - Game Warden's Report. 1913
During the first part of the year there was comparatively little trouble, and all complaints
received were easily attended to; but subsequent to the breeding season, when the birds had
grown to be of fair size, and especially so after the open seasons were published, there was a
very different state of affairs, so that the regular deputies had more than they could manage,
and a number of temporary men had to be employed.
Many of the complaints received were, as usual, groundless. Others came in too late,
and some offenders escaped in consequence; but some excellent work was done, and numbers
of convictions obtained and some heavy penalties imposed.
Most of the offences were committed in the neighbourhood of Vancouver, as, owing to the
enormous increase in the population, was bound to be the case; but the same thing was going
on more or less all over the Province, and there were prosecutions under almost every section
of the Act, and sentences imposed carrying from $250 down. There were also a number of
gaol sentences.
As a general thing, the deputies received plenty of backing from the Magistrates, although
there were a few exceptions, and for the first time in the history of game-protection two
appeals were taken against the decisions of the Magistrates who had given dismissals. In
both of these cases the decision was reversed and heavy fines imposed.
As usual, the foreign element gave a great deal of trouble. Many of them were new
arrivals in the country and under the impression that they could do as they pleased. Those
that knew better did not care so long as they thought they would not be caught. The
numerous construction gangs scattered all over the Province consist principally of this class,
and not only game of all kinds, but every living bird or animal that can be used for food, has
suffered severely by their depredations. If these men were bona-fide residents of the country
it would be bad enough, but, as it is, most of them have no right to carry firearms at all.
A few offenders escaped justice this year by giving wrong names and addresses. Others
that had done so were subsequently found, but it necessitated such an extra amount of work
that it became necessary to actually arrest anybody caught in the act.
Shooting deer by the aid of a pit-lamp and wildfowl by moonlight are two bad offences,
and it is very difficult to obtain sufficient evidence to warrant a prosecution. This year special
attention has been paid to this sort of thing and one or two convictions obtained, but until
the Act is amended to make convictions easier little good can be done.
An enormous number of hen pheasants were killed this season. If they had only been
old birds a lot of good would have been done, but unfortunately it is always the young birds
that get shot, and, at the rate they were going at one time, it looked as if there would be
nothing but old hens left. Nothing but heavy penalties will have any effect. As long as men
are let off easily they will kill hens on purpose or through carelessness. Nearly every man
brought up had the same excuse, "the sun was in his eyes." Such excuses are absurd. The
best of men may kill a hen by accident once in a while under peculiar circumstances, but such
is seldom the case; nineteen out of twenty are killed deliberately.
Some little trouble has been experienced with a few of the Indians in different parts of
the country, but taking them as a whole, they have behaved very well, a few even giving help
to the deputies.
The illegal sale of game has been reduced to a minimum in the big cities. A few
restaurants and hotels were prosecuted, but the offences were of a minor nature. There are,
however, a few wealthy people, who should set a good example, who regularly buy game at any
time they can get it. Not only do these people break the law themselves, but they encourage
others to do it also. It would have an excellent result if an example were made of a few of
them.     Unfortunately, although the people who do this sort of thing are pretty well known, 3 Geo. 5
Game Warden's Report.
0 9
to procure the actual evidence to convict them is difficult in the extreme. Sooner or later it
will be obtained ; in fact, one or two persons would have felt extremely uncomfortable last fall
had they known how near they were to having to appear in Court.
There have been the usual wild rumours and complaints of things that are supposed to
have happened a month or two, or even a year, before, but there has been a noted improvement almost everywhere in the amount of reliable information and practical assistance
furnished the Department.
Prosecutions.
As far as returns have been received, during the year 1912, 187 informations were laid
under the "Game Act." Out of this number there have been 167 convictions, fourteen
dismissals, and in six cases the defendants have not been found. Five gaol sentences of thirty
days and two of fifteen days were imposed in default of payment of fines. There have been
five cases in which sentence was suspended, and for the remaining 155 convictions a total of
$3,674.60 in fines was imposed.
In addition, there were eleven convictions under the Dominion " Fisheries Act" obtained
by Deputy Game Wardens.
The following statement shows the number of the various prosecutions :—
Convictions under the "Game Act."
No
of Cases.
7
21
1
6
3
1
3
1
2
2
1
4
1
1
1
7
7
7
1
15
10
8
16
6
1
2
4
6
2
2
Description of Offence.
Killing deer out of season	
Deer in possession out of season	
Buying deer out of season	
Selling deer out of season	
Offering doe for sale    	
Offering deer for sale without a head on	
Fawn in possession	
Killing fawn	
Beaver in possession out of season	
Buying beaver out of season	
Selling beaver out of season	
Trapping beaver out of season	
Exceeding bag limit on mountain-sheep	
Attempting to trap bear south of ■ C.P.R.....   .
Hare in possession out of season	
Pheasants in possession out of season	
Shooting pheasants out of season	
Hen pheasants in possession.....   	
Shooting hen pheasant	
Grouse in possession out of season  	
Shooting grouse out of season	
Ducks in possession out of season	
Shooting ducks out of season	
Offering ducks for sale out of season	
Quail in possession out of season	
Shooting prairie-chicken out of season	
Trespassing in pursuit of game	
Shooting between sunrise and sunset	
Non-residents carrying firearms without licence
Using automatic shotguns	
Assaulting a Deputy Game Warden	
Shooting within the harbour limits	
Shooting sea-gulls	
Killing a swan	
Insectivorous birds in possession	
Attempting to export trophies without permit .
Total Penalties
imposed.
$ 225 00
454 50
25 00
121 00
75 00
25 00
35 00
25 00
9 00
4 10
5 00
120 00
250 00
10 00
1 00
146 00
170 00
230 00
50 00
415 00
345 00
85 00
190 00
50 00
25 00
30 00
21 00
115 00
250 00
100 00
2 00
5 00
1 00
5 00
25 00
50 00
3,674 60 O 10
Game Warden's Report
1913
thirty days.
, thirty days.
Imprisonments in Lieu of Fines.
5—Deer-meat in possession out of season (fines $300): 2 two weeks; 3, thirty days.
1—Pheasants in possession during close season (fines
1—Grouse in possession during close season (fines
Suspended Sentences.
1—Killing mountain-goat out of season.
1—Ducks in possession out of season.
1—Hunting ducks out of season.
2—Beaver in possession out of season.
2—Killing deer out of season.
2—Selling deer out of season.
2—Venison in possession out of season.
1—Killing moose out of season.
2—Grouse in possession out of season.
1—Killing duck out of season.
2—Trespassing in pursuit of game.
2—Hunting between sunrise and sunset.
Defendants not yet found.
1—Killing pheasant out of season.
1—Pheasant in possession out of season.
1—Hen pheasant in possession.
1—Grouse in possession out of season.
2—Trespassing in pursuit of game.
Convictions under the  Dominion   "Fisheries Act."
No.
of Cases.
Description of Offence.
Polluting the waters of creeks	
Pishing with grapnel hooks  	
Offering for sale trout under weight
Young of fish (salmon) in possession
Penalties
imposed.
$ 50 00
15 00
12 50
65 00
$142 50
Destruction of Wolves, Cougars, etc.
Since January 1st, 1912, the supervision of the payment of bounties has been turned
over to this Department, and, while it has entailed a large amount of extra work, it has
resulted in the Department not only obtaining a lot of useful information, but checking a great
many irregularities and probably fraud also in the payment of these bounties.
Since the Government raised the bounty on wolves and cougars and inaugurated a $2
bounty on big-horned owls a very large amount of money has been paid out. It has, however,
been money most judicially expended, as not only must the destruction of these animals have
been the means of saving an enormous number of domestic animals, as well as game of all 3 Geo. 5
Game Warden's Report.
0 11
kinds, but it is steadily reducing the two worst pests, wolves and cougars, as a glance at the
following figures will easily prove :—
Bounties paid throughout the Province.
Wolves.
Cougars.
Coyotes.
B.H. Owls.
G. Eagles.
1910-11	
655
581
467
3S2
277
234
1,454
3,653
3,107
854
2,285
4,797
29
73
1911-12	
48
Total for three years....
1,703
893
8,214
7,936
150
The figures given are for the fiscal years ending March 31st, and taken from the Public
Accounts. The records actually kept by this Department commenced on January 1st, 1912,
and although returns are not yet all in, from the figures so far available it is very evident that
there will be a further diminution in wolves and cougars for the next year, and probably a
very large one in coyotes as well.
While there has been a decrease in wolves and cougars throughout the Province in
general, it has been most noticeable in the case of wolves on Vancouver Island and in a lesser
degree of cougars, as the following figures taken, out of the total already given, will show :—
Vancouver Island.
1909-10	
1910-11	
1911-12	
Total for three years
Wolves.
Cougars.
140
78
27
232
201
136
245
569
At the present rate of decrease of wolves, Vancouver Island would soon be entirely rid
of these animals, but this is about too much to be hoped for, as, should the deer again increase
at the north end of the Island, the wolves are certain to do as well unless they are well
hunted.
With regard to the cougars, while there has been a steady decrease, the fact that even
136 should have been killed in one year on Vancouver Island makes it very evident that there
must still be a great many too many, and that a special effort should be made to exterminate
them. To accomplish this it has been suggested that the bounty be raised to $25. If this
were done it would probably result in numbers of men keeping dogs, most of which would be
more likely to hunt deer and domestic sheep than cougars, and, while a few more cougars
might be destroyed, it is very questionable whether the extra number would warrant the large
additional expense.
It is possible that this suggested raising of the bounty might have the desired effect, but
before any such change is decided on it would be advisable to make an effort to obtain an
experienced hunter who has a number of well-trained hounds that will not run deer, and let
him hunt the Island systematically, then if this experiment failed, the question of raising the
bounty might again be considered.
The northern hares (commonly called rabbits) appeared this year in large numbers, and
with them came a regular plague of owls, with the result that the Government has had to pay 0 12 Game Warden's Report. 1913
an enormous amount in bounties. These birds came in such numbers that men, boys and
women were making big wages. Lines of owl-traps extending for ten to fifteen miles were by
no means uncommon, and some men were making close on to $200 a month on bounties.
Returns for the current year are not quite complete, but when all are'in the number of
bounties paid on owls will be close on to $13,000.
The destruction of such a number of big-horned owls would certainly have a marked
effect in favour of domestic chickens, grouse, etc., but unfortunately, owing to lack of
knowledge in some, carelessness in others who signed the certificates, about one-quarter of this
number were not of the big-horned variety at all, but of the long- and short-eared varieties,
with a few of the great grey, all of which do more good than harm.
There was also little doubt, though actual proof could not be obtained, in spite of several
attempts to get it, that a good deal of fraud was practised, so, taking also into consideration
that the return of the rabbits would furnish a food-supply for the owls and lessen the
depredation on the birds, it was decided to abolish this bounty.
Non-residents.
The total number of licences issued this year is 226, made up as follows : General
licences, 45; spring bear licences, 22; anglers' licences, 153; season bird licences, 3; and
special weekly bird licences, 3.
Fewer general licences were issued this year than for some years past. This is partly due
to the season for moose being closed in East Kootenay, and partly to the scarcity of good
guides, but the general condition of unrest in Europe probably had most to do with it.
Cassiar had an increased number of hunters, including two ladies, both of whom returned
with some good trophies they might well be proud of. The average head of game killed in
this district was slightly higher than ever, and this in spite of the fact that there were two
ladies, who might reasonably be expected to lower the average.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Cassiar District affords the best all-round big-game
shooting on the Continent, it is very doubtful if it will have any sportsmen at all next season,
as the Indian guides have decided to charge such exorbitant wages which even the wealthiest
men will hardly care to pay.
Lillooet had a good year as usual, and, as game was abundant, should do even better
next year.
East Kootenay had only eleven big-game hunters, whereas last year they had more than
any other district. It is a magnificent game country, but, except for moose, too difficult for
the ordinary tourist, and good guides are by no means easy to get.
Now that the Cassiar guides are on " strike," with the exception of Lillooet, there is a
great scarcity of first-class guides, and until this is remedied there is little chance in the
revenue from big-game licences improving.
Game Reserves.
The Yalekom Reserve, in the Lillooet District, the first game reserve established in this
Province, is in a flourishing condition. Though of small area, it now has a splendid stock of
sheep, mule-deer, goats, and beaver, which seem to be quite aware that they will not be
molested. Even the sheep are becoming tame; for instance, a party when passing through
the reserve last fall rode within full view of some fine rams, which continued to feed although
they were actually within easy rifle-shot. Any one who has stalked sheep in this district will
understand how very tame they must have become to allow such a thing. 3 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. O 13
The Elk River Reserve, in East Kootenay, is also improving; at any rate, so far as wapiti
are concerned, as these magnificent animals can now be seen in numbers where a few years ago
there was hardly a sign of them. There is no news of the sheep, their range not having been
visited for several years, as the old trails leading to them have become impassable since shooting
was prohibited; also, for obvious reasons, it has been deemed advisable not to clean them out.
Unless something in the way of a disease has occurred, there ought to be some nice bands
there by now.
The Fraser River Reserve was found to be of too large an area to be properly looked
after, so it was cut down to include the pick of the moose country between the Clearwater and
Little Smoky Rivers.    It has not been established long enough to show any improvement.
In these three reserves the Province has something of which it may well be proud, as they
without doubt, are not to be equalled anywhere on this Continent for variety and number of
animals. In addition, the Elk River Reserve is the equal for scenery of any other part of the
country, and the Yalekom Reserve, while of a different character is not far behind it in this
respect.
Moose.
Once more another increase in the number of moose in the Cassiar can be reported. Last
winter was an extremely mild one in the north, and moose and all other game wintered well.
In consequence, it was a much better year for heads than it has been for the past two years,
and some fine trophies were brought out.
In North-East Kootenay moose appear to be more plentiful than they were thought to be.
The past year's close season will have had good results, and there seems no reason why another
close season should be put on for a year or two.
In South-East Kootenay, where there is still a close season, there has not been much of
an increase, nor is that district ever likely to have a very large stock, as most of it is more
suited to wapiti.
In the Cariboo District moose have undoubtedly suffered through railroad-construction.
This was bound to be the case to a certain extent, although, had it not been for the protection
they received, there would hardly be an animal left. As it is, with the completion of railway-
construction, there should still be a fair stock left, although it will probably take a year or
two's careful watching to bring them back to their former numbers.
Wapiti.
Wapiti on Vancouver Island are in a bad way, and the outlook for them is much worse
than for any other species of game in the Province. It is doubtful if there are as many head
now as when the close season was started.
Around Cowichan the few animals that were left are reported to have increased, and a
small band or two have been seen in the neighbourhood of Comox, where none have been seen
for some years ; but at the north end of the Island, where they used to exist by the thousand,
a few scattered head are the sole survivors.
For years these animals were hunted and shot without discrimination, often for the sake
of their teeth or a few pounds of meat, and, when this was put a stop to, wolves and cougars
killed most of the calves of the few survivors, until to-day the greater part of the stock that is
left must must consist of very inbred animals or of those too old to breed.
Altogether the matter looks very hopeless, and would appear absolutely so were it not for
our experience in East Kootenay and the fact that wolves are nothing like so numerous; in
fact, they are becoming quite scarce compared to former years, and cougars are also diminishing. O 14 Game Warden's Report. 1913
The cougars are not the chief menace, but if any means can be devised by which they can
be completely done away with, the prospects would be brighter, and the addition of some new
blood might then work wonders in a few years.
The close season on Vancover Island expires next year. It should be extended in another
three years.
Throughout East Kootenay wapiti are steadily increasing, especially so on the Elk River
Game Reserve, where it has been discovered that a valley not visited for several years until
this fall, and at that time containing only a few wapiti, is now plentifully stocked.
There is a strong feeling that a short open season for wapiti might now be allowed in East
Kootenay. Probably this might be allowed with more good than harm if the shooting could
be regulated so that only old bulls were shot. As it is, if any open season were allowed, there
would be several hundred hunters out (if there happened to be a strike on at the mines it
would be thousands instead of hundreds), and anything with horns, and no doubt some without,
would pay the penalty; in fact, enough damage might be done in two weeks that would take
years to repair. Such a risk is too great to take, and before an open season is allowed there
must be special regulations made and strictly enforced.
Sheep.
The sheep on the Ashnola Range, in the Similkameen District, are not doing well at all,
and the optimistic reports received about them for the past two years were evidently not
correct.
This season special attention was devoted to this particular range, as, though of small
extent, it is one of the most beautiful pieces of sheep country in the Province, and in days of
old was fairly alive with sheep. There are still a few small bands scattered about, but as
their regular winter range is being fed off in summer by domestic sheep, the prospect is not
very bright.
In the Okanagan District the prospects are much better. There are a few nice bands
that are well looked after and are increasing.
The Lillooet sheep are doing well, and more rams have been seen this season than for
years past.
The Kootenay sheep have hardly been hunted at all this season, as the continual bad
weather made it impossible.
In Cassiar sheep seem to have been fairly plentiful, although in the Shesley Range, at
one time the pick of the country, they are still scarce. On the Muddy River and also south
of the Stikine there are still almost unhunted sheep-ranges, while in the vicinity of Atlin the
sheep seem to have increased.
Caribou.
Caribou were not quite so numerous as usual in the Cassiar, as the migration was very
late, although they were in sufficient numbers to enable everybody who went in there to hunt
them to get excellent trophies. One head with a spread of 55 inches was brought out, which,
as far as is known, is a record, while another with a length of 62 inches is very close to a
record.
Caribou are little hunted in the southern portion of the Province; even the Indians
seldom go after them now, and there is therefore good reason why reports as to their increase
should be true. 3 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. 0 15
Deer.
With the exception of a few localities, deer of all species have certainly done well.
Nothing like so many have been killed this season, but this is due to the fact that the mild
weather continued until the close of the season, and deer did not come down as soon as last
year; also, being in much better condition, they were more wary and harder to kill.
On the Coast the season was so exceptionally wet that the number of men hunting deer
was not as large as it would have been had there been more fine weather.
All through the south end of Vancouver Island and most of the islands in this vicinity
deer have been plentiful, but all the northern part of the Island, where a few years ago there
were thousands of deer, there are only a few scattered animals, and they seem to be still
getting scarcer. There were such numbers a few years ago that they could not have
disappeared as they have unless some disease had appeared amongst them, although it may
have been the result of one or two very hard winters, and the survivors fell a prey to wolves,
cougars, and hunters with pit-lamps. This is the only part of the Province of any large area
where deer are not increasing.
Along the southern coast of the Mainland deer have been numerous; in some places
exceptionally so. Even in the immediate vicinity of the City of Vancouver niorj deer have
been killed this year than for a nnmber of years past. The same thing applies to the whole
of the Fraser Valley.
Throughout the Interior mule-deer continue to do well. There are a few places in the
vicinity of construction camps, Indian reservations, etc., where they are scarce, but, taking-
the country as a whole, there is a most satisfactory increase. Apart from the better protection
they receive, the fact that there are nothing like so many cattle on the ranges, and so much
more feed left for them to winter on, has been a great thing in their favour. This winter, owing
to the wet summer and heavy crop of grass, there ought to be an extra good supply of food.
White-tailed deer continue to thrive; in fact, in some districts they are becoming as
plentiful as ever they were. Near Osoyoos Lake, where they were thought to be extinct,
there is now a nice little band, and, as a close season has been declared for them and they
are being carefully watched, there is every likelihood of their restocking the neighbourhood.
Thirteen more deer were purchased and sent over to Queen Charlotte Islands. Those
that were sent over last year are reported to be doing well, and some of them have bred.
In spite of a more or less general increase in the, number of deer, there is such a large
increase in the number of men hunting them that, if the present stock is even to be kept as
big as it is, the limit of five deer per man must be reduced. If everybody who hunted deer
spread his limit out reasonably over the whole season, it would not be so bad, but the majority
of the hunters wait until as late in the season as possible on the chances of the deer coming
down from the mountains, then they go out and make a slaughter. Last season many men
went out for a few days and returned with their whole limit. Not only was this more than
they could possibly use, but it is a pretty sure thing that in killing five they wounded three
or four more, which probably died during the winter.
The use of pit-lamps for the purpose of hunting deer at night becomes more and more
prevalent in spite of all efforts to stop it. This is one of the most disastrous methods of
hunting, as for every dqer shot and found two or three escape wounded, to die later on. In
addition, quite a number of domestic cattle have been shot this season, and two instances are
actually known of men themselves who only escaped through bad marksmanship. Most of
the men who depend on pit-lamps are seldom fit to be trusted with firearms, as they have
neither the skill nor requisite knowledge to kill a deer by fair means and have to resort to
such miserable methods.    A few gaol sentences would be an excellent remedy. O 16 Game Warden's Report. 1913
Bear.
Black bear are very numerous everywhere, although no authentic reports of their doing
damage have been received.
Grizzly bear have been fairly plentiful in the Kootenays, but are getting scarcer in the
nortti.
A year or so ago the residents of Alberni, on Vancouver Island, were anxious to have the
black bear receive greater protection in their neighbourhood, as they realized what a valuable
sporting animal he is. Now the Tahltan Indians of the Cassiar are becoming aware of the
value of the grizzly, and are asking for a limit of three a year to be allowed to be killed.
Unfortunately there is still the same outcry against the unfortunate bear, and a couple of
regrettable accidents have made it worse. There is an old saying that even a worm will turn,
and grizzly may also be expected to do so under a certain amount of provocation, and, as far as
can be learned in the case of at least one of the accidents, the bear received enough provocation
to make anything fight. One occasionally reads in the papers or hears of a man being treed by
a bear, or having an awful race for his life, but it is a curious fact that regular expert hunters
who go out especially to hunt grizzly bear find them one of the shyest and most difficult
animals to stalk.
Mountain-goat.
There is no further news of the reported disease amongst goats near Bella Coola, and it
seems probable that it was not a serious one.
A few more hunters than usual have been after goat on the Coast, and all of these seem
to have had no difficulty in killing all that they are allowed.
Beaver.
Owing to the season for beaver being open last year and the number of pelts placed on
the market very large, it was deemed advisable to declare another close season until November
15th, 1913. An exception was, however, made in favour of Indians on the Stikine, Liard,
and Peace Rivers. While it was as well to be on the safe side, it appears that the number of
beaver trapped last season was by no means larger than the supply warranted.
Numerous complaints of damage done by beaver to farm lands have been reported. In
some places they have simply been excuses made by those who wish to trap, but in the
majority of cases investigation has proved them to be genuine and permits to trap issued; the
conditions always being that one-third of the price realized for the pelts be retained by the
Government.
As it is certainly a fact that the stock of beaver is larger than it was first thought to be,
trapping might again be allowed after November 15th, when the present Order in Council
expires.
Pheasants.
The winter of 1911-12 was not so hard on pheasants as the previous one, as, although
some very severe weather came exceptionally early, the birds were in good shape to stand it;
they really suffered more from excessive shooting while the snow was on the ground than from
the weather.
Later on, when the second spell of bad weather came throughout the Mainland, the
accompanying high winds kept the fields fairly clear, and so the birds were able to procure
some feed; in addition, many of the farmers now make a point of regularly feeding the birds
when they are in want. 3 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. 0 17
It is very pleasing to find that complaints are seldom heard of damage to crops being done
by pheasants, as it is now pretty generally acknowledged that if they do any harm, they do a
greater amount of good in destroying injurious worms and insects.
We had an excellent breeding season, as spring came in good time, and, although there was
a great deal of rain, the critical period in the breeding season was fine and warm; moreover,
there were no floods on the Lower Mainland, so that many birds nesting on low-lying land,
subject to flood raised broods.
In addition to a good breeding season, the Mongolian pheasants which were turned out
have done well, and introduced a much-needed supply of new blood, so that, altogether, not
only Vancouver Island but the Mainland as well had a bigger stock of pheasants than ever
before in the history of the Province.
A new regulation limiting the number of pheasants per day to six was made for the first
time, and it was fairly well observed; although, with the enormous number of hunters going
out, few men could have exceeded this limit except on preserved land.
Owing to an unfortunate mistake, the season on the Mainland was allowed to run for a
fortnight longer than usual, but, as there appears to be an excellent stock left for next year's
breeding, no great harm has been done.
Pheasants have now been tried in several places in the Interior; notably in the Okanagan
District. A few birds of the Mongolian breed were turned out in the vicinity of Okanagan
Landing, and, although they appear to have wintered, no broods have been seen. Farther
south, in the vicinity of Okanagan Falls, five birds were kept in captivity and bred with
success. The whole stock was turned out in the fall of 1911 and wintered well. This fall it
is estimated there are 200 birds in this vicinity. The proportion of hens is, however, too
small for a satisfactory breeding stock.
Grouse.
There have been more grouse, both blue and ruffled, than for years past. This applies
practically to the whole of the Province.
On Vancouver Island, a few days before September 15 th, when the open season commenced,
the whole country in the vicinity of Victoria was alive with grouse. They could be seen in
just such numbers as used to be seen in the old days when men with guns were few in numbers.
Unfortunately for those who were anticipating some excellent sport, the last few days of
the close season were wet and stormy, and most of the birds on the opening day had moved.
Fair sport was still obtained, although it was nothing like what it might have been; in fact,
it was questionable, considering the big stock of birds, whether a little more shooting would
not have been an advantage in the way of thinning out and scattering the large coveys.
Another report of diseased grouse was received from Vancouver Island, but investigations
have not proved that there was anything of a virulent nature to be found amongst them.
On the Mainland coast, where the season for ruffled grouse did not open until October
15th, excellent sport was obtained, as birds were plentiful and strong on the wing. In the
Interior hundreds of willow-grouse were killed in the first two weeks in September, but they
were mostly young birds that would have been better left for another few weeks. On the
other hand, the blue grouse seem to have been well grown, and furnished, in certain places,
some of the finest sport known for years past.
Under such circumstances as these it is quite a problem to decide what date the season
for grouse should open. If it is September 1st, the willow-grouse are too young, and, owing
to the leaves still being on the trees, simply afford pot-shots. On the other hand, if the season
is opened later, the blue grouse have migrated, while to make different dates for each species
is worse still, as they would only be mistaken for one another. O 18 Game Warden's Report. 1913
Next year, if there is a good breeding season, most districts might have the same open
season, but, otherwise, shooting had better be put off for a month.
Wildfowl.
One of the most noticeable features of the year has been the abundance of wildfowl, not
only duck and geese having put in their appearance in greater numbers than for some years
past, especially so on the Coast, but swans and sandhill-cranes have been in evidence also.
Snipe-shooting was better than last year, but nothing like what it used to be a few years ago.
Shortening the period during which the sale of wildfowl was allowed was an excellent
move, and must have been an important factor in the improved duck-shooting.
A further improvement of great advantage would be to limit the repeating shotguns to
two shots. It is not so much the ducks killed that spoils the shooting as the ducks frightened
away by shooting. The majority of men who use repeating shotguns would get just as many
birds with two cartridges as with the magazine full, and frighten the birds a great deal less.
There has been more duck-shooting than ever from gasolene-launches, and this has been
especially noticeable amongst the Japanese fishermen at the mouth of the Fraser River. It
has done a great deal of harm, and a proviso should be inserted in next year's Orders in
Council prohibiting it.
Partridges.
A good many broods of partridges have been seen on Vancouver Island, but whether or
not they will turn out a success yet remains to be seen.
Two years ago the birds on the Mainland appeared to be thriving so well that a short
open season was anticipated within a year or two. At Chilliwack these birds were receiving
adequate protection and further prospects looked excellent. Now the reverse is the case, and
it- is doubtful if there are any more birds now than there were then.
In the Delta, prospects are a little more favourable, but there certainly has not been the
increase that there should have been.
The birds that were put out in the Colony Farm near New Westminster disappeared. A
few that were around Pitt Meadows and those at Port Haney also seem to have gone, while
at Langley a few scattered birds are all that are left of a number of fine strong coveys. What
the real trouble is it is hard to say. In the neighbourhood of Langley there is no doubt a
good many were shot, and, unfortunately, the culprits always escaped. A few have also been
shot in the Delta, but at Chilliwack they are pretty carefully watched, and, although one or
two may be killed once in a while by irresponsibles and others accidentally by hop-wires,
telephone-lines, etc., not enough to account for their not doing better.
Partridges nest much later than pheasants, and for the last two years the hatching season
may have been too wet; but, whatever is the cause, the birds are not thriving as they should.
Wild Turkeys.
Through an oversight, the last two reports omitted to make mention of the importation
of two pairs of wild turkeys. They were obtained in exchange for permission to export two
mountain-goats, and only cost their freight across the Continent.
The birds arrived in splendid condition, and were sent up to Chilliwack, where they were
kept in pens, and any eggs that were good were placed under tame turkeys. The experiment
was absolutely a failure. Most of the eggs were soft-shelled, and any that were hatched out
soon died. The trouble was probably due to their being too closely confined, as wild turkeys
require plenty of exercise. 3 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. O 19
Under these circumstances it was not deemed advisable to keep the birds any longer at
Chilliwack, so one pair was loaned to the Park in Vancouver, and the other pair sent to
Cranbrook. In both places the birds now have plenty of room to roam at will, and should
they be successful in raising any birds they are to be turned out at the discretion of the
Government.
Prairie-chicken.
Prairie-chicken are still very scarce in Grand Forks, Similkameen, and other parts of the
Okanagan, but everywhere else they have been in fair numbers, and in some places almost as
plentiful as ever.
The Cranbrook has been especially favoured in this respect, as also have certain portions
of the country along the Cariboo Road.
In Yale, where there was still a close season, future prospects are excellent; in fact, many
people think there are sufficient to warrant an open season next year. The reports from this
district are most encouraging, as a few years ago the birds were almost extinct.
There appears to be a great difference of opinion as to the date on which the open season
for these birds should commence, and, as the habits of the birds seem to vary a good deal in
different districts, it is almost impossible to make one date suitable for all.
Quail.
California quail were as numerous as ever in the vicinity of Victoria, and also on some of
the islands in the Gulf; many report that there are more than ever hitherto known.
The few birds turned out on Texada Island are reported to have multiplied at a great rate.
In the Interior an experiment was made with California quail, both in Nicola and the
Okanagan, and in both places they are reported to have done well, but whether they will
follow in the footsteps of the bob-white, which did splendidly for a time and then disappeared,
yet remains to be seen. As soon as they begin to get into big bevies a little judicial shooting
to scatter them might have excellent results.
On the Lower Mainland small bevies have made their appearance in several places, some
of them being bob-whites. There are also several large bevies here and there which always
seem to keep about the same number. Such appearances have frequently happened before,
but as soon as there has been any material increase they suddenly disappear.
Possibly a little judicial shooting to break up and scatter the bevies might turn out to be
the very best thing needed, and, as there is no doubt that so far they are an absolute failure,
it could do no harm to try it.
Ptarmigan.
In the Northern Interior ptarmigan of all species made their appearance in unprecedented
numbers; the willow-ptarmigan, or black-tail, being notably abundant. There nearly always
is a good number of small rock-ptarmigan, but the black-tail, which is the larger and better
bird in every respect, is often scarce.
This year one gentleman who was hunting big game in the Cassiar District, reported that
one day he must have seen between four and five thousand of these black-tailed birds spread
over a small area.    Similar reports have been received from other sources in the north.
Black Game or Capercailzie.
No further news that can be relied on has been received, although birds have been
reported which might be crosses between the black game and blue grouse.
VICTORIA,  B.C. :
Printed by William H.  Cdllin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1913.

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