Open Collections

BC Sessional Papers


Item Metadata


JSON: bcsessional-1.0059853.json
JSON-LD: bcsessional-1.0059853-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcsessional-1.0059853-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcsessional-1.0059853-rdf.json
Turtle: bcsessional-1.0059853-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcsessional-1.0059853-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcsessional-1.0059853-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Printed by William h. Cullin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1915.  To His Honour Frank Stillman Barnard,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour :
The undersigned has the honour to present the Tenth Annual Report of the Provincial
Game Warden.
All of which is respectfully submitted.
A Uorney- General.
Department of Attorney-General,
Victoria, 15th February, 1915. Provincial Game Warden's Office,
Vancouver, B.C., February 4th, 1915.
Honourable W. J. Bowser, E.G., M.P.P.,
Attorney-General, Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith my Report for the year ending December
Slst, 1914.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
Provincial Game Warden. REPORT FOR 1914.
In making the tenth Annual report two matters of especial interest with regard to the
value of game have been brought to notice. The first one is of great interest not only to this
Province, but also to Canada and the British Empire, as it has a bearing on the defence of the
This year has seen the beginning of the greatest war in the world's history with the
British Empire, whose actual existence is at stake, in pressing need of men. Canada has been
able at a short notice to recruit a large contingent of men of the very finest kind of material,
men of splendid physique, with plenty of self-reliance, and, what is of the greatest value, they
are men who can shoot. They may not have had the training of regular troops, but in the use
of firearms they are probably the equal of the very best regulars, and certainly the superiors of
any other raw troops on the face of the earth. With these qualifications training will be an
easy matter, and they should develop in a short time into a most valuable body of men.
Now, Canada has already sent a contingent of over 30,000, a second contingent is almost
ready, and a third being got ready, and there are still some thousands of the same class of men
available; and, while some of them may have attained their knowledge of the use of firearms
by target practice, most of them did by actual hunting.
Athletics and all field-sports will develop a boy into a man of good physique, but they do
not develop the self-reliance and initiative so necessary in first-class troops or make him so
capable of standing exposure and hardships in the same degree that hunting does, nor do athletics
and field-sports teach him to shoot, and it is men who can shoot that are needed. Lord
Kitchener, when speaking of recruits, said: "Teach them to shoot; never mind about their
drill." Canada has sent men who are not mere target shots, but can do the shooting required
of them, and this is due to there being game in the country for men to shoot at; also, the
more game there is the more proficient and greater number will there be of this class of men.
It is to be hoped that this war will be the last the present generation will be called upon
to take part in; it is possible that such a war may never occur again, but one can never tell;
and if the game of the country is of assistance in developing the rising generation into a class
of men, who are especially fitted to assist in the defence of their country in its time of need,
for this reason alone the protection of game becomes a matter of great importance.
The value of game has also been prominently brought to notice this year in another way.
Owing to the war and consequent financial depression, there has been a good deal of distress
not only among people living in the towns, but in the country also. It was suggested that
there should be an extension of the deer season on this account, but as this would have meant
that hundreds of deer would have been killed by people who were not in actual want it was
not considered advisable, but that special permits should be issued to those people who were
in actual distress and to whom a deer would be really of value. This, of course, was out of the
question in big cities, as anybody who could afford to go out and hunt deer would have money
to buy food, but in the country and small towns it will be a great help to many people. The
Government Agents, Chief Constables, and Beputy Game Wardens are acting in conjunction
in investigating cases of distress, and already a great many of such permits have been issued,
though the matter has not been in hand long at the time of writing, and undoubtedly a very
large number, not only to whites, but Indians as well—the latter in the interior suffering on J 6 Game Warden's Report. 1915
account of the poor run of salmon and low price of furs—will have to be issued. As deer are
very easy to obtain at this time of year, most of those to whom permits are granted should
have no difficulty in getting them. That this action is being taken will probably result in a
very large number of deer being killed that would not have been otherwise ; still, even if 1,000
more deer are killed it will not make much difference, and for such a purpose deer are of more
value than for anything else. That the Province has them for such a purpose is entirely due
to the active measures taken for their protection by the Government during the past few years.
The new "Game Act" passed at the last session of the Legislature has proved a great
success. There are also a few alterations and additions which might be made with advantage,
but, taking the Act as a whole, it is such an excellent one that its defects do not warrant any
amendments being made this year.
The clause in the Act requiring from surveying parties operating in unorganized districts
a statutory declaration giving details of the amount of game killed by them has been, with one
exception, totally disregarded. This was probably due to ignorance, and was excusable, as this
regulation was a new one, and it is probable that most, if not all, parties had left before the
Act came into force. An effort will be made this year to notify all heads of surveying parties
before they leave.
The returns of big game, trappers, and guides was also very incomplete; only 765 general
licences were received out of a total of over 2,500. The trappers were much better in making
their returns, 947 sending in their licences out of 1,700. The guides, however, were much
more careful, only seven having failed in this respect.
From the returns received, the following amount of game was killed in the season of
Beer  1,223
Moose  90
Sheep  15
Caribou  91
Bear  721
Goat  252
As, however, most of the general licences returned are from the more settled districts
where game is not so plentiful, they are of little value in giving even an approximate estimate
of game killed during the year. Even if full returns had been received, under the present
regulations, the holders of ordinary, farmers', and prospectors' licences and Indians not being
required to make any returns (some 35,000 licences in all), no statistics of any great value
could be obtained.
With regard to fur-bearing animals, the returns are of much greater value. From the
returns of 947 trappers, the following figures were secured of pelts obtained :—
Weasel  16,299
Lynx  1,108
Musk-rats    ,  26,511
Fox  90
Racoon  682
Mink  4,614
Otter  275
Marten  6,693
Beaver  5,928
Wolverine  102
Fisher ,..   .. 308 5 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. J 7
With the price furs were last year the value of the above pelts represented a considerable
sum of money, though, if divided up among close on to 1,000 trappers, it would not be much
to each man for a winter's work. According, however, to returns received, it was very
evident that the majority of the trappers either had no experience in their work or did not
try. A few made big wages, quite a number made good wages, but a large number hardly
their expenses.
The returns received represent only a small proportion of all the pelts taken in the
Province. Indians do not make returns, and, while it is hard to get anywhere near the
approximate number, it may be safely said that there are ten Indians trapping for one white
man; and, while the best of the Indian trappers are poor in comparison with a good white
trapper, they average a great deal better than the whites, and therefore the average number
of pelts brought in by Indians will in consequence be larger than by white trappers. In any
event, even if the above suppositions are not correct, it is very evident that, with the price of
furs at even a moderate value, the money brought in the Province from this source comes to
an amount of great importance.
With regard to abundance of game, this year has been very satisfactory. Birds, on the
whole, have been quite as plentiful as last year, while big game seems to have been generally
more abundant.
The Orders in Council with regard to the open seasons seem to have given more satisfaction
this year than formerly, but there were one or two bad points in them which will be hard to
get over.    The chief difficulty is with regard to the deer season.
On Vancouver Island and Islands Bistrict the season did not open until October 1st,
whereas on the Mainland and all islands north of the 50th parallel it opened on September 1st;
the consequence was that the people on Vancouver Island could not shoot deer until October
1st, whereas the people living on the islands north of the SOth parallel, often only a mile away
from Vancouver Island, might kill them on September 1st. The season for deer has opened
on September 1st on the Mainland for years past, and unless the stock of deer needs extra
protection there is no reason why it should not open on that date next year, as bucks are then
in their very best condition and hard to get; it is also the ideal month of the year for a
hunting trip, and many people would sooner get out for a hunt in that month and never get a
deer at all than go out for a hunt later and get their limit without trouble. Now, the same
thing applies to Vancouver Island, and there is no reason why the season should not also open
on September 1st there, except for the fact that it is considered advisable to have the deer
and blue grouse come in on the same date, and, if possible, the pheasants also. A few years
ago this was certainly quite right, as the conditions of hunting on the Island were such that
men going out for deer used guns and buckshot, and then the temptation to kill grouse was too
great. There has, however, been a big change in the last year or two, as the game laws are
being pretty well enforced; moreover, numbers of men who a few years ago thought nothing
of killing game out of season are now most careful in observing the laws.
Under these circumstances, it might be advisable next year to have an earlier date on the
Island as a trial ; there is a pretty good stock of deer, and little harm, if any, would be done.
With regard to the opening date for pheasants and grouse on Vancouver Island being
different and pheasants being shot by men out of season, this also need not be a serious
The only very plausible argument now for the dates being identical, and it certainly
seems a good argument, is that attention is divided between the two species, some going after
pheasants, others after grouse, with a lessening of the number of each species killed.    There is, J 8 Game Warden's Report. 1915
however, one weak point in this argument, and that is, if the grouse opens on October 1st
very few men consider it worth while to go after them, and the majority confine their attention
to pheasants after all. Also, October 1st almost comes to the same thing as a close season for
blue grouse on Vancouver Island. The best suggestion of the difficulty so far made seems to
be to have the season for grouse open on September 15th one year and October 1st another.
With regard to the open seasons on the Mainland, there is not so much difficulty, as
conditions are not so complicated as on Vancouver Island, and after next breeding season
there should be little trouble in deciding on the dates.
There have been a good many suggestions that Fire Wardens should be made Game
Wardens, and some go so far as to say that they should do all the work; there are even those
who argue that the Provincial Police could do the work of both. The last suggestion is so
utterly out of the question it does not need commenting upon. With regard, however, to the
Fire Wardens, some comment might be advisible, as to those you do not understand the
subject it may really seem a good idea. The idea of making Fire Wardens also Game Wardens
has already been tried, and it was an absolute failure. Their work is totally different, and a,
man who might be a most capable Fire Warden is generally utterly incapable of doing the
work of a Game Warden, and vice versa. There are exceptions, but it would be a matter of
extreme difficulty to find sufficient men capable of filling the dual position. Supposing,
however, that the men were found, what would be the result? During June, July, and
August the Fire Wardens' whole energies should be concentrated on their own work; if they
relax their vigilance even for a day or two, a small fire might break out and spread over an
enormous area ; numerous infractions of the " Game Act " might be brought to their attention,
and to attend to them would necessitate neglect of their own work. Now, these also are very
busy months for Game Wardens; in fact, August is one of the busiest months. The result
must consequently be that these men, with utterly different duties to perform, must completely
neglect either the one or the other of them, or, in attempting both duties, be certain of making
a complete failure of both.
There is also another point to be considered. At present there are only thirty-six Deputy
Game Wardens; these men's time is fully occupied. From year's end to year's end they carry
on their patrol regardless of weather; it is seldom they have any slack time. How, then, are
the Fire Wardens to do this work unless their staff is increased during summer and a number
kept on during winter? The expense would probably be more in the end, with the result that
neither kind of work would be properly performed.
All over the world all sorts of experiments have been made with regards to the protection
of game, and in no country has any sort of success been made of it unless there has been a
regular staff of men whose sole duties are to protect the game. Such men can on occasion
give valuable assistance to the Fire Wardens, and, the nature of their duties being more
similar, even more to the Provincial police, as they have done during the past year. The Fire
Wardens can also do the same thing, particularly during wet spells, but consolidation of these
three different kinds of work could only mean absolute failure, and can only be suggested by
men who have no real knowledge of the nature of the work they are each required to do.
A fairly satisfactory system of issuing licences was established this year, and there was
little trouble of keeping a good stock of licences distributed. Next year there should be no
cause for complaint at all.
The revenue collected this year is not as large as last year, but, taking everything into'
consideration, it ought to be considered highly satisfactory. Considering the war and general
financial depression, it is wonderful the number of licences that have been sold this year.
Men who are fond of shooting if it is to be had will get shooting, and will forego almost any- 5 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. J 9
thing else first. Many men living in the country, even if they have had to buy licences, have
found game of particular value this year, and that the cost of a licence is nothing in comparison
with the value of meat they have obtained. There was, of course, a good deal less taken in
for non-resident licence fees; then the low price of furs reduced the number of resident
trappers' licences; this alone meant a decrease of about $7,000; then the change in the Act,
giving farmers further privileges, resulted in another decrease, but probably the biggest
decrease of all was due to the fact that a very big percentage of men who joined the troops
would otherwise have purchased licences. As it is, the actual number of licences taken out
this year is 39,163 in comparison with 39,597 at this time last year, a decrease of 434 only.
It is therefore very apparent but that for the number of men enlisting, in spite of the hard
times, the revenue would have been equal to last year's, and had conditions been normal,
considerably greater.
Revenue derived.
The total amount of money paid to the Treasury this year is as follows :—
Resident licences—
O.F.L., 26,450   $66,125 00
G.F.L.,    2,111      10,555 00
S.F.L.,    1,019      10,190 00
Guides, 39  195 00
F.F.L.,    7,053	
P.F.L.,    2,587	
$87,065 00
Less refunds  575 00
3,490 00
Non-Resident licences—
General, 30  $3,000 00
Bear, 15  375 00
Anglers, 120  600 00
Weekly bird, 1  5 00
Season's bird, 3  150 00
$4,130 00
Less refunds         190 00
        3,940 00
Special licences to trap foxes         1,400 00
Branding permits    $     19 00
Exportation permits  65 00
Sale of confiscated beaver pelts and hides  15  20
Sale of confiscated guns ,         105 00
  204 20
$92,034 20
Fines imposed under the " Game Act"   $5,040 00
Less moiety of fines         414 50
 4,625 50
These figures, while only up to January 31st, will practically cover the whole of the fiscal
year, but there may be an addition of a few hundred dollars. J 10
Game Warden's Report.
The following is a detailed statement of licences issued in each electoral district and the
principal towns :—
Revenue derived from the Sale of Gun Licences.
Richmond Electoral District:
Balance of district	
Esquimalt and Cowichan Elec
toral Districts:
Balance of district	
Cariboo Electoral District:
South Fort George	
Balance of district	
Okanagan Electoral District:
Balance of district	
Comox Electoral District	
Kamloops Electoral District:
Balance of district	
Fernie Electoral District	
Ymir Electoral District:
Balance of district	
Skeena Electoral District:
Prince Rupert	
Balance of district	
Newcastle, including Nanaimo .
Columbia Electoral District..
Yale Electoral District	
Cranbrook Electoral District
Chilliwack Electoral District.
Dewdney Electoral District..
Similkameen Electoral District .
Alberni Electoral District	
Greenwood Electoral District..
Revelstoke Electoral District..
Delta Electoral District	
Lillooet Electoral District	
Grand Forks Electoral District
Kaslo Electoral District	
Slocan Electoral District	
Islands Electoral District	
Atlin Electoral District	
No.     Amount.
- 57V
No.   Amount.
$9,345 00 278
2,205 00 12
1,652 50      13
6,165 00
2,672 50
890 00
1,732 50
1,262 50
1,480 00
2,480 00
3,547 50
2,265 00
1,225 00
1,032 50
1,442 50
.$1,390 00
60 00
65 00
160 00
90 00
830 00
1,120 00
135 00
130 00
210 60
90 00
145 00
335 00
275 00
10 00
30 00
45 00
1,055 00
225 00
465 00
15 00
45 00
130 00
220 00
120 00
625 00
30 00
260 00
170 00
305 00
135 00
$10,555 00
No.   Amount.
$1,160 00
60 00
90 00
130 00
80 00
940 00
1,930 00
110 00
180 00
240 00
330 00
220 00
190 00
90 00
220 00
510 00
120 00
560 00
310 00
240 00
20 00
40 00
250 00
120 00
250 00
460 00
10 00
230 00
30 00
180 00
90 00
$10,190 00
$140 00
$12,035 00
2,325 00
1,807 60
6,455 00
2,842 50
2,685 00
1,595 00
1,557 50
1,817 60
2,660 00
4,782 50
1,507 50
1,790 00
2,930 00
1,402 50
1,780 00
$16,167 50
7,442 50
6,227 60
4,437 50
4,280 00
3,585 00
3,182 50
2,962 50
2,900 00
2,407 50
2,395 00
2,217 50
2,170 00
2,137 50
1,967 50
1,782 50
1,752 50
1,662 50
1,617 50
1,067 50
712 50
697 50
507 50
212 50
$87,065 00 5 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. J 11
Enforcement of the Law.
In last year's report mention was made of the fact that the Magistrates had, generally
speaking, imposed suitable fines. This year the very reverse has been the case, and the result
was most disastrous, many of the fines having been so low as not only to be an encouragement
to offenders, but in one or two cases as to actually make a farce of the whole thing.
It is true that times have been hard, and what might have been a low penalty last year
was a heavy one this ; there have also been a good many cases in which there were very
extenuating circumstances, or even in more serious cases where the defendants were in very
reduced circumstances and only the minimum penalty asked for; but when only $5 fines are
imposed on men not only of good position, but also of considerable means, for such offences as
having grouse in possession or hen pheasants in their possession out of season and no reasonable
excuse to make, it was no wonder the work of the deputies had little effect.
Unfortunately, numbers of these small fines were imposed at the very time when a few
heavy penalties were most needed; in consequence, there were more infringements of the
" Game Act" than ever known before. For about two months a regular stream of complaints
were sent in, many of which it was impossible to attend to. The deputies worked well and
succeeded in getting plenty of convictions—in the month of October there were sixty-two
convictions—but the majority of the fines were so absurdly low they had no effect. Finally,
some of the Magistrates were induced to impose a few heavy penalties, the good effects of
which were noticeable immediately.
Attention must also be drawn to the number of " suspended sentences " imposed this year.
Under the new Act a minimum fine of $5 has to be imposed if a conviction is given ; the
Magistrate has no right to do anything else, and yet in twenty-six cases they suspended
sentence without the power to do so, and in four cases firearms were confiscated in lieu of fines.
A great many hen pheasants were killed this year, many more than for several years past.
Probably many of those killed were unintentional, but there are a certain number of men who
do it deliberately, and such men will kill young hens with as little compunction as old ones. It
is pleasing to be able to report that one of the heavy penalities imposed was for such an offence.
Complaints with regard to damage done to cattle and frequent narrow escapes of human
life from men using pit-lamps were even more plentiful than last year. It seems almost
incredible that there should be so many men who will carry on this illegal practice in spite of
the danger to human life. This year at least two men have had very narrow escapes, while
as many, if not more, cattle have been killed or injured. All the Coast deputies have spent a
great deal of time in endeavouring to catch these offenders, often taking great risks in doing
so. The. result of their work has been infinitely more satisfactory and some six convictions
obtained, one of the convicted getting a gaol sentence. It is doubtful, however, whether the
imposition of fines will do more than check this practice. When the Act comes up again for
amendment, it would be advisable to do away with fines for this offence and make a minimum
penalty of not less than one month in gaol. Men who will continue this practice, in spite of
all that has been said and written against it, should be treated as criminals and no mercy
shown them. The practice of shooting wild-fowl by moonlight has also received special
attention and a number of convictions obtained.
A careful watch has been kept, not only by Game Wardens and Provincial police, but
also by municipal police, for men carrying firearms without licences, and there have been a
large number of convictions for this offence.
In spite of the fact that it would appear almost impossible to catch Orientals using one
another's licences, there have been seven convictions for this offence this year, two being
Chinese and two being Japanese. J 12
Game Warden's Report.
There have not been the same number of complaints of Americans crossing over to hunt
without licences; this is probably due to the fact that two were arrested for fishing and one
for trapping, and all three fined. A party of six came up from the Sound cities and managed
to obtain resident licences, though they were not entitled to them. Informations have been
laid against them and warrants got out for their arrest, as some of them are in the habit of
coming over here on business, and it is to be hoped that they will be arrested and fined before
During the year, as far as returns have been received, there have been 334 informations
laid, of which six have not yet come up for trial. Of the remaining 328 cases, fines were
imposed in 273 cases, eight sent to gaol, twenty-six suspended sentences, and twenty-one cases
dismissed.    The total of fines imposed amounted to $5,040.
Convictions under the "Game Act."
of Cases.
Description of Offence.
Deer in possession out of season   	
Killing deer out of season	
Buying deer out of season	
Selling deer out of season	
Selling deer without head on	
Deer in possession under one year of age	
Killing deer under one year of age	
Venison on premises of a restaurant during close season
Shooting doe deer in Okanagan District  	
Hunting deer with dogs	
Shooting pheasants out of season	
Pheasants in possession out of season	
Shooting hen pheasant	
Hen pheasants in possession	
Shooting grouse out of season	
Grouse in possession out of season	
Selling grouse	
Buying grouse	
Shooting ducks out of season	
Hunting ducks out of season	
Shooting ducks on prohibited waters	
Ducks in possession out of season	
Ducks on premises of a restaurant during close season .
Game in possession during close season	
Selling game out of season	
Offering big game for sale without head on	
Allowing dogs to hunt birds in close season	
Trespassing in pursuit of game	
Killing beaver during close season	
Mink in possession during close season	
Killing sea-gull	
Exceeding bag limit of mountain-sheep	
Carrying firearms without any licence	
Carrying firearms without proper licence	
Using another person's badge    	
Trapping without a licence	
Trapping during close season	
Non-resident trapping without licence	
Non-resident fishing without licence	
Hunting between sunset and sunrise	
Hunting with head-lights	
Pump guns not plugged    	
Automatic shotgun in possession    .
Firearms in auto during close season	
Discharging firearms in prohibited area	
Hindering Deputy Game Warden	
Total Penalties
$720 00
125 00
42 50
105 00
25 00
170 00
5 00
35 00
15 00
20 00
75 00
30 00
15 00
230 00
75 00
480 00
5 00
10 00
25 00
10 00
35 00
30 00
15 00
110 00
150 00
25 00
20 00
75 00
25 00
5 00
2 00
25 00
890 50
40 00
350 00
272 00
25 00
50 00
100 00
80 00
190 00
92 00
15 00
50 00
5 00
30 00
$4,924 00 5 Geo. 5
Game Warden's Report.
J 13
one   month,   and three   months
Imprisonment in Lieu of Fines.
3—Deer in possession   out  of   season,   three   months,
1—Selling venison out of season, three months.
1—Carrying firearms without any licence, thirty days.
1—Hunting between sunset and sunrise with head-lights, fourteen days.
1—Pump gun not plugged, one day.
1—Automatic shotgun in possession.
Suspended Sentences.
1—Deer in possession out of season.
1—Buying venison out of season.
14—Carrying firearms without any licence (firearms confiscated in lieu of fines).
1—Non-resident carrying firearms without any licence.
1—Carrying firearms under sixteen years of age.
1—Game in possession during close season.
1—Deer in captivity.
1—Shooting blue crane.
1—Hunting duck from sailboat.
1—Wilfully supplying false information.
1—Interfering with Deputy Game Warden.
1—Allowing firearms badge to be used.
1—Trespassing in pursuit of game.
2—Deer in possession out of season.
1—Shooting hen pheasant.
3—Grouse in possession out of season.
1—Duck-eggs in possession.
1—Hunting pheasants during close season.
1—Trapping pheasants.
3—Carrying firearms without any licence.
3—Carrying firearms and traps without any licence.
1—Unlawfully allowing traps to remain set.
1—Game in possession during close season.
1—Exceeding bag limit of mountain-sheep.
1—Prairie-chicken in possession out of season.
1—Auto refusing to stop for Deputy Game Warden.
1—Allowing firearms badge to be used.
Convictions under the Dominion "Fisheries Act."
of Cases.
Description of Offence.
Fishing with grappling-hooks	
Trout in possession under 8 inches in length
Offering trout under weight	
Killing fish with explosives	
Fishing during close season	
Selling fish out of season	
Total Penalties
$21 00
50 00
5 00
30 00
5 00
5 00
$116 00 J 14 Game Warden's Report. 1915
Destruction of Noxious Animals.
In last year's report it was stated that, while the number of bounties paid on coyotes was
very small, it was quite probable that there would be a large increase of these pests.
Unfortunately, this prediction has proved only too true, and bounties have been paid on a
record number of these animals. From observations made during past years, it becomes more
and more apparent that the number of coyotes depends to a great extent on the number of so-
called rabbits (really the northern hare and not a rabbit at all), as when the rabbits are in
great numbers the coyotes can easily obtain an abundant supply of food at all times, and,
consequently, during the breeding season bring up their pups in a healthy state ; on the other
hand, when the rabbits are scarce the coyotes have to depend on deer, dead cattle, and grouse
(many of which they kill when nesting), and, food being hard to get, many pups die of starva"
tion, only a small percentage of those that are born ever reaching mature age. For the past
two years there have been great quantities of rabbits, but, as they are reported to be dying
off from a disease which affects them periodically (not necessarily every seven years, as
commonly supposed), it is quite possible that next year or the year after, according to whether
the rabbits die off this winter or not, there will again be a disappearance of coyotes.
That this theory is a correct one is not certain, but, if it is, it does not appear probable
that anything more than keeping the numbers of coyotes within reasonable bounds is being-
accomplished, and that any permanent reduction of numbers cannot be looked for under the
present system. To increase the bounty would be very costly, and at present out of the
question, even if it were likely to produce any beneficial effects, which also would not likely
be the case. With coyotes in their present numbers, keeping sheep is out of the question in
some districts ; while, even in districts where they are by no means plentiful, sheep have to be
constantly under watch, so that, apart from the great amount of game they destroy, their
destruction is most important. Probably the use of poison, especially just after the rabbits
die off and food is scarce, would be the best experiment. In most of the Interior where
coyotes abound, if ordinary precautions were used it would be quite safe, and if put out
systematically might be the means of destroying large numbers of these pests and eventually
lead to their extermination.
On Vancouver Island there have been eighteen bounties paid on wolves this past year, in
comparison with thirty-one for 1913 and twenty-seven for 1912. All reports seem to agree
that wolves are reduced to a minimum. It is worthy of note that all through the north end
of the Island a great deal of poison was put out.
On the Mainland many more wolves have been killed this year than last; most noticeably
is in Grand Forks District, where fifty-eight bounties were paid. In the north wolves were
becoming greatly reduced, but as soon as we begin to get them down others come in from the
Yukon, where they are very numerous and no attempts made to kill them off. A very
strenuous effort should be made to induce the Yukon to pay the same bounty we do. They
also have a splendid game country and yearly lose thousands of head of valuable game through
wolves.    As long as the Yukon is indifferent our efforts must be to a great extent nullified.
Altogether 280 cougars were accounted for this year, 118 of which were on the Mainland,
and twenty-seven of these in the Richmond District, and most of them in the immediate
vicinity of Vancouver, one or two being shot actually within the city limits. Before meeting
their fate they succeeded in getting away with several small dogs, cats, a calf, and numerous
chickens, and causing a great deal of uneasiness among the people whose neighbourhood they
frequented. One was actually bold enough to go up on to the verandah of a house, but no
human beings were attacked. 5 Geo. 5
Game Warden's Report.
J 1{
On Vancouver Island 162 bounties were paid, in comparison with 116 last year. It is
doubtful, in fact very improbable, that there are actually more of these animals themselves,
but there are more men who understand the business of hunting them. Last year only twenty-
seven cougars were killed in the Cowichan Bistrict, though there were known to be a good
many there. This year some men with good dogs have been hunting them systematically and
have accounted for eighteen up to date; with those killed by others, a total of forty-three
cougars have been accounted for in Cowichan Bistrict. This means that anywhere from 1,000
to 2,500 deer have been saved in that district this year. It is no wonder that all reports
agree as to a tremendous increase in deer in that neighbourhood.
The following table gives the number of bounties paid in the various districts during the
past calendar year. It is not absolutely correct as to the exact locality in which the animal
was killed, as sometimes a bounty is paid out of the district where the animal was killed.
A comparison of the totals of bounties paid for the past two calendar years, and also for
three fiscal years previously, will prove interesting.
Bounties paid during 1914.
Cariboo (North)	
n       (South)	
Comox (Mainland)	
Grand Forks	
Vancouver Island.
Cowichan and balance of Island
Golden Eagles.
71 J 16
Game Warden's Report.
Comparative Table of Yearly Totals.
Golden Eagles.
Calendar years—
Fiscal years—
What promised to be an exceptionally good year for non-resident hunters proved, owing
to the war, to be the very reverse. In all, 169 licences were issued to non-residents, but out
this number there were only thirty for big game, in comparison with fifty-four issued last year.
From the inquiries received in the spring there was every indication that there would be more
big-game hunters here than for some years past, but when the war broke out all those from
Europe cancelled their engagements for guides, and our only visitors were from the United
In spite of the trouble last year in the Cassiar District, a few tourists went there, though
the district had got such a bad name that this was not expected; the wonderful bags made in
previous years evidently proved too enticing. Those who went there were well rewarded, as
it was an excellent season for big game, and the Indian guides were on their best behaviour,
so much so that each hunter took the trouble to leave a signed statement to this effect.
No doubt some of the guides were greatly influenced by the fact that under the new Act
they had to take out guides' licences, and that at the end of the season these licences would
have to be returned to this office, and that a statement as to their behaviour would be written
on the back and returned to them to use as a reference, and also by the fact that it was possible
to refuse them a licence next year.
It has, however, to be reported that one tourist had trouble with some of the Skeena
Indians, who refused to allow him to pass through their reservation on his way to the hunting-
grounds, and, as this was the only way to go, he turned back sooner than run the risk of
trouble. As he had been preparing for the trip months ahead and had come all the way from
the Eastern States, it was most unfortunate.
There were only two parties hunting in the Lillooet District and one or two in other
places, so that guides had bad luck in not getting work the very year that it was so badly
A good many inquiries from the United States are already being received, and one or
two parties have already engaged guides for next season. As there will be practically no
tourist travel in Europe next year, unless the war comes to a sudden end, it is quite possible
we may have an unusual number of visitors from the United States.
Importation of Red Deer and Wapiti.
Since the last report was written the importation of red deer has become an accomplished
fact. Four red deer fawns, one stag and three hinds, arrived here on June 23rd from New
Zealand. As is generally known, New Zealand imported a few head from Great Britain some
fifty years ago, with such splendid results that the experiment seemed worth a trial here. 5 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. J 17
For several years attempts were made to get some of these animals from Great Britain, and
though on two occasions the crates were actually made for them, each time an " embargo,"
owing to foot-and-mouth disease among sheep, prevented their shipment at the very last.
After two such failures the attempt had to be given up for good, but luckily the Province had
a visiting sportsman from New Zealand who took a great interest in such matters. This
gentleman, Mr. J. Dunning, of Penrose, Auckland, New Zealand, after enjoying a successful
hunting-trip here, took the matter in hand on his return home, and succeeded in getting a few
fawns which he had raised by hand and eventually shipped out here as a present to the Province,
not only paying out of his own pocket the cost of catching and raising the animals, but also
the freight, so that if the importation proves the success it is hoped to be the future generations
of sportsmen will have a great debt of gratitude to Mr. Dunning.
These red deer on arrival were just about six months old, and, owing to the differences in
the seasons between here and New Zealand, had their winter coats on, which they began to
shed just as our winter arrived. At present they are being well cared for at the Burnaby
Prison Farm, and are quite fat and in the best of health notwithstanding the change in climate.
Some wapiti were also imported; one bull and four cows were purchased in Wyoming,
U.S.A., and arrived on February 11th. They are all fine young animals, but, unfortunately,
owing to a lengthy confinement in their crates, one or two of them arrived in bad condition.
The first bull purchased died before he was actually shipped, but a second one was sent subsequently and arrived safely. They all recovered from the bad effects of the journey, but none
of this lot had calves. They are at present at the Government Farm at Coquitlam, where
they are now doing well.
A bull and a cow were also obtained from the Park at Tacoma, and both arrived in
splendid condition. The cow had a bull calf about the middle of August, which is at least
two months later than usual, and, under ordinary circumstances, would not be likely ever to
grow into much of an animal. Owing, however, to the great care he has received he has done
wonderfully well; in fact, to-day he is so big and healthy it is almost incredible that he was
born so late in the year. With the care that is being taken of him he will probably develop
into a fine specimen.
These two animals are at the Burnaby Prison Farm in an enclosure adjoining two red
deer. The Warden of the gaol takes a great interest in them, and they will be perfectly sure
of being well cared for while in his charge.
Fox-farming has become an established fact in the Province, and it is to be hoped will
prove a success. A number of persons are also experimenting on a small scale with other fur-
bearing animals, but as the majority of them appear to have had no previous experience their
attempts are very liable to prove failures. The outlook for fox-farming is much more hopeful,
as most of the farms have a splendid stock of young animals, and a fair amount of capital is
available, so that the animals will be given a fair chance.
Last year foxes were an unprotected animal, and although extremely valuable as fur-
bearers were given no protection at all. In the new " Game Act" there is now a close season
and the export of live foxes prohibited without permits. The result has been that the promiscuous digging-out of the pups in summer has been almost stopped, and next year will be
entirely, except under special permit and upon payment of a fee of $100. Fourteen such
permits were issued last year for the express purpose of stocking farms in this Province; the
permits did not include exportation, and were only granted to responsible men who really
intended establishing fox-farms in this Province.   Owing, however, to lack of previous experience J 18
Game Warden's Report.
in such a matter, it was impossible to foresee all the complications that would arise, and the
permits did not have sufficient restrictions with regard to the number or methods by which
these foxes were obtained. In consequence, several of the permit-holders engaged far too
many men to dig out the foxes and had more brought them than they required. If any
permits of this sort are issued next year, only a limited number should be allowed for each
$100 permit.
The following is a list of such permits issued, with the number of foxes caught under each
permit.    Some eighteen subsequently died from disease, escaped, or were accidentally killed.
Cassiar Silver and Black Fox Company,  Ltd.
F. E. Blitz	
Thorman & Williams	
A. J. Charleson	
J. V. Valkenberg	
W. B. Conroy	
S. H. Colwell	
Landry & Demorest & Co	
M. Ross	
W. W. Lefeaux	
O. S. Haywood	
Dr. J. J. Gillies	
Wm. Lennox	
Thos. Swanson	
or Black.
Owing to this being the first year and full returns not having been received from all
those who had foxes previous to the new regulations, it is impossible to get an absolutely
complete list of all foxes in captivity. However, to those obtained by special permit this year,
as above, there can be added the following number that have been recorded : Silver or black,
11 ; cross, 24 ;   red, 6.
An effort is being made to obtain from each breeder particulars as to feeding, results of
crossing, etc., so that information on such matters can be obtained by any person engaged or
proposing to engage in the industry.
Fur-bearing Animals.
Owing to the high price that furs were fetching two years ago and the tremendous
number of men trapping, there was danger of many species of fur-bearing animals, especially
marten, being exterminated. Now, owing to the general financial depression, the price of furs
has dropped to such an extent that few trappers can make anything like wages, unless they
have the luck to find some ground that is still well stocked, and there is little such ground left.
The present price of furs is not extremely low, only so in comparison with the fancy
prices of a year or so ago; probably eight or ten years ago the prices were little better than
those of to-day, and there is not a great prospect of any great increase for some years now.
This will be an excellent thing in many ways, as only a small amount of trapping will be done,
and it will be confined to a few Indians and regular professional white trappers, who may still
be able to make a fair living, whereas with the same number who were trapping a few years
ago nobody would be able to make anything. In addition, the animals themselves will have
a chance to increase.
Marten are getting extremely scarce, what with the forest fires and excessive trapping, so
much so that unless the price of furs had dropped a close season would have been necessary. 5 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. J 19
Beaver are again getting scarce in some parts of Cariboo Bistrict, though in southern
British Columbia there is still a good stock.
With the craze for fox-farming and the digging-out of dens to get the pups for sale, it
would have taken only one or two more years to have completely depleted the northern
districts had not measures been taken to put a stop to the practice.
Mink and all other fur-bearing animals, with the possible exception of musk-rats, were
getting down to an extremely low ebb, so that the present low price of furs is really for the
best, as if after a few years there is again a big demand for furs there is a chance of a much
better stock being in existence.
Big Game.
Moose.—In the north moose still appear to be on the increase and spreading down farther
to the south. This year a few of these animals made their appearance close down to the
Chilcotin River, which is the farthest south in this direction they have ever been reported.
In East Kootenay some of the finest moose ever known in that district have been killed this
season, three of them measuring 531, 58|, and 60 inches respectively. Until this year it has
been the general opinion that the East Kootenay moose never had horns of large dimensions,
and a 45-inch head was considered a good one for that district. There is no doubt that in
former years the bulls never got a chance to grow big horns, as they were all shot too soon,
but with the better protection they have had during the past few years there is an improvement, and the value of the game in East Kootenay has been greatly increased.
Wapiti.—Reports from Vancouver Island are much more encouraging than they were;
several quite big bands and a number of small ones are known of in certain places, and these
bands are larger, at any rate, than they were thought to be when the last report was written.
Also calves have been reported for the first time for several years, so that there is good reason
to believe that there is an increase. Now that wolves are getting quite scarce and cougars
hunted more and more, the calves will have a much better chance, and the prospects for the
future are much better.
Wapiti in Southern East Kootenay are still doing well. In the northern part of that
district wapiti have been reported on the western side of the Columbia. This is the first time
such a report has been received. If it is true, and they have established themselves there, it
will be a splendid thing. Years ago wapiti used to winter right along the benches of the
valley, and, though the lower benches of the valley are too much settled up for this to happen
again, there is and will be plenty of range for them for years to come along the foot-hills.
Caribou.—In the southern part of the Province, except in the vicinity of Revelstoke, the
reports of caribou have not been so good. One or two favourite ranges appear to have been
almost deserted this season. As an extra number of w7olf and cougar bounties have been paid
in the neighbourhood of these ranges, the reason is apparent. On the other hand, reports of
caribou in the north are better than for several years, one hunting-party in Cassiar having
seen some 1,200 heads in a few days' hunting.
Information has also been received of magnificent caribou-ranges in a part of the north
district hitherto almost unhunted even by Indians. The report states that, one day while
travelling some twelve miles, small bands of caribou were constantly in view, and that one
large band of close on to five hundred head were seen.
Sheep.—Sheep appear to be doing very well in Lillooet, and it is very satisfactory to hear
of a larger number of lambs having been seen this year than for many seasons past.
In the north the Stone sheep are quite numerous, but it is to be regretted that a great
many of those killed were found to have what is commonly called " lumpy jaw." Some years
ago almost every sheep killed hatl this disease, but for several years past it has not been J 20 Game Warden's Report. 1915
reported. Whether it has a very serious effect upon the sheep is doubtful; certainly it does
not appear to effect them very seriously, as those killed were all in splendid condition. It is,,
however, a fact that there was a decided decrease in sheep shortly after it last appeared.
The Okanagan sheep have done well this year, and one or two bands have become very
tame. A most interesting photograph has been received of some ewes and lambs quietly
feeding with some horses and paying no attention to the photographer, though he must have
been within 20 yards of them.
There are more sheep on the Ashnola Range than there were thought to be; over a.
hundred head were seen together this fall.
A few more sheep than usual have been killed in East Kootenay ; reports that have been
received are better than last year.
Deer.—There have been more deer killed on the southern mainland coast and adjacent
islands than for some years past. This is not because they were very plentiful, as owing to
another unusually mild fall the deer stayed high up in the mountains until very late, and, in
consequence, during the open season they were none too numerous. Owing, however, to hard
times, there was a tremendous amount of hunting done, partly by men who wanted the meat
for their own use, but during the season for sale ; market hunters, both whites and Indians,
were exceptionly busy hunting for the market. To such an extent was market hunting carried
on this year that in some places the stock of deer has been seriously reduced, and if the men
who hunt for their own use are to have any chance at all in the future, further restrictions on
the sale of venison will now have to be made. For some years past there has been no sale of
venison on Vancouver Island, though on the Mainland a six-weeks' period has been allowed.
This was because deer became very scarce on Vancouver Island, whereas there was not supposed
to be the same diminution on the Mainland, nor was the demand for venison in the market a
fraction of what it is to-day. As matters now stand there are probably more deer on Vancouver
Island than on the southern mainland, and as the people of Vancouver Island have managed
to get along very well for some years past without any sale of venison, there is no reason why
the people of the Mainland should not also.
The worst feature of allowing market hunting for deer was very forcibly brought to notice
this year. Bucks only are allowed to be sold, but it has been proved this year that many of
the market hunters kill any deer they even get a glimpse of (many are shot by aid of pit-
lamps). If the deer proves to be a buck, it is worth the trouble to carry out and sell; on the
other hand, if a doe or a fawn, and no meat needed for the hunter's immediate use, it is left
there to rot. That this sort of thing is going on is not mere conjecture ; it is an absolute fact
that such practice is only too common. On Nelson Island alone one of the Deputy Game
Wardens found several does left there to rot; not deer that had been wounded and died
subsequently, but deer killed outright. It is utterly impossible to get a conviction against
men who do this sort of thing; the only thing to do is to do away with the sale of deer
Goats.—More people hunt goats than formerly, but the number killed is so small as to
have no effect in the enormous number of these animals. Except in one or two places very
easy of access, they are as numerous as ever they were.
Bear.—Since the prohibition of the trapping of bear south of the Canadian Pacific Railway was done away with and an open season all the year round was declared, the rumours of
danger from bears seem to have died down; at any rate, the stories that were so prevalent
last year have not reached the head office. On the other hand, while the bears themselves
seem to have become less dangerous, there has been a real danger from the traps themselves,
and a Chinaman lost his life in consequence of walking right on top of a bear in a trap.    As 5 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. J 21
the man was dead when found, what actually happened can only be surmised. From the
report received, the man had no idea of the trap being set and went along a trail to look for
some cattle. When a bear gets in a trap, after dragging the trap until tired, he hides under
a log or any convenient place and will not move sometimes until actually touched. Such a
thing as a bear in a trap actually chasing anybody is entirely unlikely, and with a steel trap
and with a big clog on the trap he would have little chance of catching anybody if he tried,
so it is more than probable that the man must have stumbled right on to the bear.
Steel traps have also been set in the immediate vicinity of towns. One was found not
far from Westminster in a place much frequented by men hunting grouse, and as it was
carefully hidden it was just pure luck somebody did not get caught in it. In this particular
instance the man who set it had not a trapper's licence, and he was prosecuted and the trap
confiscated, but when such traps are set by men with trappers' licences nothing can be done.
A report has just been received that a man has been injured by a bear-trap not far from
New Westminster.    A full report has not yet been obtained, so particulars cannot be given.
There were a fair number of pheasants this season, but not so many as was expected after
a mild winter and what appeared to be an excellent breeding season.
On Vancouver Island, apart from Saanich, where pheasants seem to have been scarce,
there was about the usual stock of birds.
On the Mainland there was quite as many, if not more, birds in both Chilliwack and
Dewdney Districts. In the Delta the shooting was disappointing, but this can be accounted
for by the farmers not combining to enforce the " Trespass Act" this year, and, in consequence,
there were far more hunters than usual, and what birds there were were either shot or driven
off within the first day or two.
A few days' open season was allowed in Okanagan, and it is estimated some eighty birds
were killed without in any way affecting the stock. This may not be a great number of birds
compared with the thousands that are shot on the Coast, but it is really wonderful considering
the original stock of birds only consisted of one cock and five hens, and that it is only four
years ago that the experiment was made.
The pheasants at Creston are reported to be doing well, and it is quite probable that a
short open season will soon have to be allowed there also, as, similar to the Penticton birds,
there seem to be too many cocks.
In addition to fresh stock having been sent to Penticton and Creston, a few birds were
also sent to Kelowna, Lillooet, Queen Charlotte Islands, Saanich, and Cowichan • and eggs to
Sproat Lake, Edgewood, Shoal Bay, Thurlow, Manor Estate, Ashcroft, Penticton, and Bowen
There was only a month's season for pheasants on the Mainland this year, and the general
consensus of opinion is that it was quite long enough. There are a great many men who think
November 1st quite early enough for the opening date, and the extra fortnight would make a
big improvement in the number of young birds that are shot, very many of which are only in
half-plumage on October 15th. Certainly opening the season on November 1st would be a
great protection to the birds, as the weather is much more likely to be wet, and an extra
fortnight would make many of the late birds quite strong on the wing.
On the Coast snipe have furnished better sport than for three or four years past. Ducks
have varied considerably. In the early part of the season there were quite a number of birds—
more than last year—but later on they became quite scarce; in fact, in the Interior, where J 22 Game Warden's Report. 1915
there is nearly always good shooting when the northern ducks come south, there were no birds
at all, while on the Coast, though there were a few birds all fall, they were not at all plentiful
until just lately. Now a very large number have come into the Lower Fraser Valley, but most
of them immediately took to feeding on salmon in the creeks, and consequently are not fit for
food. A fair number of wild-fowl have also come into the tidal waters; good sport has been
obtained on stormy days, but not otherwise, except in very remote places, as the birds have
been too much shot at to come close in unless forced to by bad weather.
At the mouth of the Fraser there have been more geese than usual, but in the Interior
the northern geese, like the ducks, never came in at all; there were, however, more local-bred
birds than usual. There evidently must have been a very mild fall in the north, and when
once the birds did start south they kept right on to the regular winter quarters.
Brant-geese are rapidly becoming a thing of the past on the Coast. The great diminution
of their number may be accounted for by the fact that for several years thousands of their
eggs were used for food in the north. Nevertheless, we are certainly partly to blame. For
years past it has been the custom to shoot them on the Coast at all times, even as late as April
and May, when they are mating and about to start for their breeding-grounds. This late
shooting cannot be right, no matter what arguments the men who shoot them at this time of
year may bring to bear. This year all shooting of geese ends on the last day of February, and
is about time that the change was made.
Shortening the season for ducks did not give general satisfaction, though most fair-minded
sportsmen approved of it. Anyway, whether it is generally approved of or not, seeing that
there is an attempt all over the United States and most of Canada to endeavour to protect the
rapidly diminishing stock of ducks by the prohibition of shooting as soon as ever they begin
to mate, this Province ought to be the first to set a good example, even if it entails some self-
Taking the Province as a whole, blue grouse were very plentiful this season, but on
Vancouver Island very few were shot owing to the season not opening until October 1st. In
the Bry Belt of the Mainland blue grouse were hardly as plentiful as the previous year, but,
nevertheless, in most places there was nothing to complain about. It is, however, to be feared
there will be a big decrease next year if the rabbits all die off this winter, as they appear to be
doing, as the coyotes will then prey on the grouse during the breeding season.
Reports as to the number of willow-grouse have been very variable; in some places they
have been unusually plentiful, but, on the other hand, in some of the places where usually
there are any amount of birds the very reverse has been the case. In the southern portion of
Vancouver Island willow-grouse are extremely scarce, and there seems to be a consensus of
opinion that there should be a close season for them next year. If this were done and an open
season allowed for blue grouse, some willow-grouse would certainly be shot also, but even if
this were the case there is no doubt that a close season would be most beneficial.
There were the usual number on Vancouver Island. On the Mainland the Californian
quail sent into the Interior appear to be doing better than the bob-white variety, the latter so
far having proved an absolute failure. Around Penticton the Californian quail have increased
enormously, and the prospects for their future success appear at present to be very good. The
quail sent to the Nicola District are increasing, and a bevy of about fifty birds has just been
reported. 5 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. J 23
European Partridges.
There is nothing much to report about these birds. Though they are doing well in certain
portions of the Delta, they are not spreading as" they should. In Chilliwack District there
does not appear to have been any increase in the last year or two. Very little news of these
birds has come from Vancouver Island, but they are certainly not doing very well over there
These birds are hardly as plentiful as the year before, though, generally speaking, there
was nothing to complain about.    They seem to be steadily increasing in the Nicola country.
Printed by William H. Ctjllin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items