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Printed by William H. Ccllin, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.
1914.  Provincial Game Warden's Office,
Vancouver, B.C., February 11th, 1914.
To the Honourable the Attorney-General,
Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith my Report for the year ending December
Slst, 1913.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
Provincial Game Warden.  REPORT FOR 1913.
In this report for the year 1913 the chief matter of interest will be the new amendment
making it compulsory for everybody who carries firearms to take out a licence. As this
amendment is the most important legislation ever introduced with regard to the protection of
game, an account of how its introduction came about should be put on record.
For years past there has been an agitation for better game laws and stricter enforcement
of them. At first it was only those directly interested who supported the idea, but, by degrees,
as the value of our game became better known, the interest became general. As a result, a
certain amount of improvement was made yearly, and during the past two years game-protection has been placed on a good solid basis and there has been a notable increase of nearlv all
species of birds and animals.
With the rapidly increasing population, it has, however, been felt that, though a good
deal of money has been spent and more restrictions with regard to shooting brought into force,
it will certainly be necessary to spend more money and impose even greater restrictions. It
has also been felt that, though everybody who has any interests in this Province benefits either
directly or indirectly in all its assets and should pay a fair share towards their maintenance,
still the men who actually indulge in shooting get such a large share of the benefits of our
game that they should be called upon to pay for the greater part of its protection. As it
was, there were numbers of men, including Asiatics and foreigners of all nationalities, who
paid no taxes, not even a poll-tax, after it was abolished, and who contributed absolutely
nothing towards the protection of game, and yet of all the population, Indians included, were
the worst enemies of all wild life and to whose attention much of the deputies' time had to be
devoted. Taking these and other facts into consideration, it was therefore argued that it was
only fair to make it compulsory for everybody who wished to carry firearms to pay a reasonable fee for that privilege. For some time past the attention of the Government has been
drawn to these facts and the adoption of a resident gun licence urged upon them ; petitions
with thousands of signatures were got up and delegation after delegation interviewed the
Ministers with a view to its introduction. It was pointed out that the amount of the proposed fee did not involve a hardship on anybody, and that it would be willingly paid by all
who had any interests in game-protection; that it had been proved a success almost all over
the Continent, and that it was of vital importance not only for the revenue that would be
derived, but also for the great assistance it would be to the deputies in enforcing the game
laws. Being such a radical change, naturally the Government wished to give it due considera
tion, but, having come to the conclusion that the majority were in favour of it, the Bill was
introduced and passed at the last sitting of the Legislature.
Before the Bill was introduced an attempt was made to arrive at some conclusion as to
the number of licences that would be issued. As, however, no statistics were to be had from
the other Provinces in Canada, the only thing that could be done was to take those from the
United States. The number of licences issued in the different States varied a great deal, but
the general average of all the States together was about 3 per cent, of the population. Allowing the population of this Province to be 400,000, it would therefore appear that some 12,000
licences would be issued here. Working on this basis, yet thinking to be on the safe side,
some 20,000 licences were printed and a corresponding number of badges purchased, and for
a time it looked as if they would be more than enough, but towards the opening of the shoot- N 6 Game Warden's Report. 1914
ing season there was a rush for licences such as it was impossible for anybody to have foreseen.
In the head office in Vancouver there was an almost continuous stream of people purchasing
licences, and a continuous stream of applications from other offices and people authorized to
issue them, for further supplies; in fact, some orders were barely dispatched before a fresh
order for another supply would come from the same person. Order after order had to be sent
to Victoria for more forms, and though the Printing Office did its best to keep up the supply,
there were times when temporary receipts had to be given in place of licences. The supply of
badges also ran out for a time, and, though both licences and badges were subsequently mailed
to all who had taken out temporary receipts, it caused a lot of annoyance as well as extra work.
At first there was some complaint as to the difficulty of obtaining licences, and it must
be acknowledged that for a time there was ground for complaint. That there should be trouble
the first year was, however, inevitable. It was a matter of extreme difficulty to keep a supply
of licences distributed all over the Province, so that everybody could get them without going
to some little trouble. By degrees, however, this was rectified by allowing people to purchase
them by mail and also by increasing the number of places where they could be purchased, as
rapidly as responsible persons could be found to issue them. Eventually, a pretty fair system
was organized, and next year, with a knowledge of the number of licences required in each
district, the issuing of them should work smoothly.
The fact that holders of licences were required to wear badges met with a certain amount
of disapproval. Why this should be it is hard to say, as it is certainly much less trouble to
show a badge than get out a paper licence; also if the licence had always to be carried it
would wear out almost directly, and is much more liable to be lost than a badge which can be
securely fastened on. There is no doubt that a good badge not only saves a lot of trouble to
the owner, but makes the deputies' work a great deal easier. It is noteworthy that the Province
of Alberta proposes introducing the wearing of badges also. The badges issued this year were,
however, far from satisfactory; the pins used to secure them were very poor, and a few days'
exposure to the weather spoilt the badge itself. Next year it is proposed to have light metal
badges with a large hole in them, so that they can have a tape attached and w7orn in the same
manner as a watch.
It is to be regretted that many of the issuers of licences took little or no trouble to inquire
into the eligibility of the people applying for them. There is no doubt that a good many were
issued to boys under sixteen years of age without the request of their parents; also the free
licences issued to the farmers and prospectors were given to many people who had no right to
them. The section of the Act with regard to these licences needs amending. At the present
time anybody with a free miner's licence can demand a free firearms licence, and it has to be
issued, though it may be very obvious to the issuer that he is not a prospector at all. Free
prospectors' licences should only be issued for the district intended to be prospected, and also
for limited periods. If this were done it would be possible to refuse the barristers, hotelmen,
merchants, etc., who have miners' licences simply for the sake of holding mining rights, many
of whom probably shoot for sport on their free licences.
With regard to the popularity of the gun licence, when it was introduced it was expected
that there would be a certain amount of dissatisfaction over it, as there is over all legislation,
no matter how wise it may be. As it was, the dissatisfaction was noticeable by its absence.
A few, it is true, did grumble, though, curiously enough, the grumblers were principally those
who took out free licences • but, taking the people who shoot, as a whole, it was a most
popular measure and was enforced a great deal better than was expected. Later on in the
report a complete statement of the number of licences issued and revenue derived in each
district of the Province will be s;iven. 4 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. N 7
One of the most noteworthy features of the year has been the pretty general abundance
of birds. On the Coast and Lower Mainland ducks have been in greater numbers than for
years past; pheasants were not as plentiful as last year, but grouse, with the exception of a
few places, have been exceedingly numerous. Prairie-chicken along the Cariboo Road also
afforded excellent sport, so that, taking into consideration the number of men shooting, it has
been a good all-round bird year. Those who hunt big game have also had nothing to complain
of, though the deer-hunters did not have quite as good a year as usual, owing to the unusually
mild weather.
Owing to the extra work of issuing licences the staff in the head office had to be considerably increased, so much so that the present offices are very cramped. Before this report is
in print a change will have been made to the new offices now being finished. In connection
with them is a fine large show-room where specimens of all the game animals and birds will be
gradually collected for exhibition.
Owing to the great need of a launch for the deputy in the north, the launch in use on
Vancouver Island waters was sent up north and a fine new launch built to replace the old one.
The new boat, with a few alterations made, will be most satisfactory and, with a far greater
speed than the old boat, will be able to do a lot more work. There is, however, such a
tremendous length of coast-line that these two boats are not able to do all the work that
should be done, and, though there is a great improvement over former years, eventually something more will have to be done.
With the introduction of the gun licence there have been demands for more Game
Wardens from every district in the Province. Some more are certainly needed, but if all the
requests were complied with about treble last year's appropriation would be needed. There is
no doubt, however, that some districts without deputies should have them, and one or two need
additional men; particularly so is this the case on Vancouver Island. At the present time,
apart from the office staff, there are twenty-six permanent salaried deputies, and with close on
to 40,000 licences issued, taking Indians into consideration as well, the average number of
men shooting to each deputy will approximate 2,000. Of course, there are a few specials put
on at times and the Provincial and municipal police have given a great deal of help, particularly
so in enforcing the gun licence. That the laws have been enforced as well as they have by
these few men speaks well for the work they have done. There is, however, still room for
improvement, and a few more permanent men would make a vast difference.
The " Game Act" has again been the source of numerous complaints. In spite of the fact
that it was consolidated a couple of years ago, there is no doubt it is very unsatisfactory. An
entirely new Act has been drafted which it is hoped will be more satisfactory and intelligible
to the general public. It is, unfortunately, out of the question to make an Act that will meet
all the requirements of such a country as this and at the same time be simple to understand
without a certain amount of study.
Last year's Orders in Council with regard to opening the seasons gave fair satisfaction,
though in some places the open season for birds was too long. There was also very little
complaint about the seasons not being made public, as, in addition to the deputies, posters were
sent to all Government Agents and police and to every post-office in the Province, and several
thousand notices were given away to those purchasing licences.
Attempts are still being made to purchase a few wapiti for breeding purposes, and an offer
of a few head has actually been accepted. There always seems to be some unforeseen difficulty
in getting them, though it really looks as if the attempt would materialize this time, as the
last word received was that they were to be shipped in a few days. N 8 Game Warden's Report. 1914
As far as importing red deer from England is concerned, nothing more will be done, as
even if the " embargo" is taken off it is always liable to be put on again at short notice.
Now a visiting sportsman from New Zealand is interesting himself in the matter and hopes to
be able to procure a few head for us in that country. As, however, they will have to be
caught when only a few weeks old and kept until nearly a year old, there is not much chance
of them coming for some time yet.
There has not been much news of the deer that were turned out on Queen Charlotte
Islands, though last spring some of the animals themselves were seen and appeared to be strong
and healthy. Several people have seen tracks, including at least one of a fawn, so they may
be doing quite well. No actual record of the number sent there has ever been given. In the
spring of 1911 four deer were sent over, two of which are known to have died (they were
caught too late in the year and were in very poor condition). One of the first landed is known
to have had a fawn. Later in the same year eleven more were sent over. In November, 1912,
six more were turned loose, and another lot of seven more followed about the beginning of
1913. In all, twenty-eight deer were sent over, two of which died. This is not a very large
number with which to stock such big islands, but it is hoped that additions may be made from
time to time.
It would be an excellent plan if a number of mountain-goats could be captured and
turned out on Vancouver Island. There are none of these animals there, though many of the
mountains are most suitable for them. So far no attempt has been made to accomplish this,
as the difficulty and cost of getting the goats has hitherto been too great. It is, however, now
deemed possible to get them at a reasonable cost, and, if so, the thing should be done, as these
animals would add a great deal of charm to many of the high mountains now barren of any
Revenue derived.
The total amount of money paid to the Treasury this year is as follows :—
Licences (resident and non-resident) $105,820 00
Fines          4,287 50
Sale of beaver-pelts  140 90
Sale of " Game Acts " and maps  '. ,  15 50
Permits to exjaort ,  35 00
Branding fees       20 00
$110,318 90
Less refunds on licences $     677 50
n beaver-pelts     ,  40 60
  718 10
Total $109,600 80
Amount received from Non-resident  Licences.
General, 54 $ 5,400 00
Bear, 14         350 00
Anglers, 146         730 00
Weekly bird, 13  65 00
Season,  1  50 00
Carried forward       $   6,595 00 4 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. N 9
Brought forward       $   6,595 00
Amount received from Resident Licences.
O.F.L., 27,724 169,310 00
G.F.L., 2,527    12,635 00
S.F.L., 1,707   17,070 00
Guides, 42         210 00
Free, 7,639	
 99,225 00
Total of resident and non-resident licences $105,820 00
These figures, while only up to the end of December, practically cover the whole of the
fiscal year, as while a few more licences are being issued, and one or two delayed returns still
to be received, it is not probable that there will be more than a few additional hundred dollars.
The following is a detailed statement of licences issued in each district and the principal
towns. As, however, many people from the country purchased their licences in town either
personally or by mail, the number of licence-holders in the towns is not really quite as large as
would appear from these figures. N 10
Game Warden's Report.
Revenue derived from the Sale of Gun Licences.
F. L.
O. F. L.
. F. L.
Richmond Electoral District:
$10,630 00
2,467 50
1,400 00
7,880 00
2,452 50
795 00
945 00
1,467 50
1,080 00
3,242 50
2,862 50
1,262 50
4,087 5J
1,107 50
1,432 50
1,182 50
1,127 50
3,017 60
500 00
1,770 00
1,490 00
1,015 00
2,510 00
1,607 50
1,752 60
2,237 50
597 50
1,282 50
1,680 00
1,367 60
1,085 00
890 00
252 50
557 50
265 00
10 00
$1,875 00
165 00
125 00
205 00
90 00
845 00
1,590 00
160 00
125 00
540 00
230 00
165 00
680 00
625 00
375 00
125 00
65 00
25 00
5 00
1,135 00
280 00
945 00
15 00
510 00
130 00
65 00
600 00
110 00
45 00
45 00
25 00
155 00
375 00
5 00
106 00
15 00
§2,370 00
250 00
110 00
180 00
90 00
1,660 00
1,720 00
190 00
210 00
490 00
940 00
270 00
590 00
550 00
170 00
530 00
860 00
210 00
$35 00
$14,910 00
2,882 50
1,635 00
$19,427 50
Esquimalt,   Cowichan,   and  North   and
South Saanich:
8,265 00
2,632 50
10,897 50
Cariboo Electoral District:
3,300 00
4,270 00
15 66
5 00
10 00
7,570 00
Okanagan Electoral District:
1,822 50
1,425 00
4,272 50
5 00
7,520 00
Kamloops Electoral District:
4,037 50
1,697 50
5 00
5,735 00
5,362 50
Ymir Electoral District:
2,282 50
1,977 60
Balance, including; Rossland and Trail..
4,260 00
Skeena Electoral District:
1,837 60
2,052 50
3,890 00
Newcastle Electoral District:
3,262 50
505 00
400 0G
1,130 00
890 00
150 00
400 00
510 00
40 00
530 00
340 00
3,757 50
3,305 00
40 00
60 00
2,940 00
2,900 00
2,675 00
15 00
5 00
2,532 50
2,397 50
2,342 50
10 00
10 00
1,797 50
1,725 00
240 00
270 00
170 00
250 00
1,652 50
1,380 00
1,215 00
877 50
562 50
180 00
180 00
550 00
5 00
210 00
$69,310 00
$12,635 00
$17,070 00
$210 00
$99,225 00 4 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. N 11
There were 228 non-resident licences issued this year, including fifty-four to big-game
hunters, which is seven more than last year. The number of anglers' and bear licences showed
a small decrease.
As far as trophies were concerned, it was a splendid year for the big-game hunters, and
while there were no actual record heads taken away, there were several heads taken away that
were very close to it.
The Indian guides in Cassiar decided last fall that they also would follow in the white
man's footsteps by forming a sort of Guides' Union and go on strike for higher wages. The
price they decided to ask per day was $10 for head guides, with somewhat lower rates for
under-guides, cooks, etc. Finally, however, they listened to reason and agreed to a more
reasonable figure. Consequently, a fair number of hunters visited the district, and, though
they were successful in obtaining good sport, they had, with one or two exceptions, to endure
great insolence from the Indian guides ; also some of the guides are said not to have adhered
to the price for wages previously arranged. Many complaints were also made with regard to
the poor quality of the horses supplied, and also excessive rates being charged for everything.
The Cassiar District, after the behaviour of the Indian guides this year, will probably
have the reputation of being the finest all-round game country on the Continent, and also of
having the most insolent lot of guides and the worst pack-horses. If nobody goes there for a year
or two, which is quite likely to be the case after the reputation the guides now have, a good
lesson will be learned.
The Lillooet District again had a good year, and the guides, both whites and Indians,
appear, without exception, to have given satisfaction. The Lillooet Indians always have had
the knack of making themselves as pleasant and obliging as the Cassiar Indians do the reverse.
East Kootenay had a rather better year, and in the northern part of the district some
nice sheep were killed.
Proposed Treaty between Canada and the United States re Wildfowl.
A short time ago the United States passed what is known as the Week-McLean Act.
This Act was passed with a view to giving wildfowl and insectivorous birds better protection,
especially so with regard to doing away with the spring shooting of wildfowl. Before the
Bill was introduced a careful study was made of the mating-times of wildfowl in different parts
of the States, and a schedule of close seasons fixed to suit the conditions in each part of the
country. The scheme is undoubtedly a splendid one, as formerly each State fixed its own
seasons, with the result that perhaps one State would prohibit shooting in the mating season,
while the next one would allow it. If the new law is properly enforced there is not the slightest doubt that not only will the States benefit, but Canada will also.
Unfortunately, there seems to be an organized attempt to nullify the law through the
Courts, and while it is said that the law is constitutional, there is a possibility that this may
not be the case. It now appears that if Canada, through Great Britain, made a treaty with
the United States along the same lines, the integrity of the law would never be assailed. If
this is the case, there is no doubt British Columbia should favour the treaty, as the protection
of wildfowl is of the utmost importance, and the prevention of spring shooting in the States
to the south of us must have a most beneficial effect.
However, before this Province commits itself to a recommendation that the treaty be
made, some definite proposition with regard to the seasons should be settled, and there may be
some difficulty over this. For instance, to say that we will not allow the shooting of wildfowl
after the end of January would simply mean that practically all shooting of brant-geese would be N 12 Game Warden's Report. 1914
done away with, as these birds seldom visit us in any number until that date; moreover, there
is no reason why they should not be shot after that, as they do not mate until very late in the
spring. Also the season for ducks varies tremendously all over the Province, and it is going
to be hard to settle different seasons for different zones without a good deal of careful thought.
The principle of the theory is, however, excellent, and, provided seasons suitable to the conditions can be agreed upon, this Province should favour the treaty.
Enforcement of the Law.
There has been a decided improvement with regard to the observance of the game laws,
due in a great measure to the new regulations with regard to the carrying of firearms being a
great assistance to the deputies, and also to the fact that the number of deputies, both permanent and temporary, was increased.
There is not the least doubt that there was not anything like as much game killed before the
seasons opened as there was last year, and particularly so was this the case in the vicinity of
construction camps. Last year, just before the season opened, there was a regular epidemic
of poaching, but this year those that had licences any time before the season opened were
known by the deputies and pretty well watched, while those that had not got their licences
were afraid to go out (a few pretty stiff fines being responsible for this). Moreover, some of
the worst foreign element were not properly qualified and could not get licences at all.
It is doubtful if there has ever been any amendment to the " Game Act " easier to enforce
than the new licence. The Coast and some few remote parts of the Interior were not looked
after as they should have been, but, taking the Province as a whole, it has been wonderful how
few prosecutions there have been under this section, and this in spite of the fact that the Provincial and municipal police, as well as the deputies themselves, have been on the strict watch
for offenders.
Shooting deer by aid of pit-lamps and ducks by moonlight has again received a lot of
attention, but with little success in the way of convictions, in spite of the improved amendment to the Act and very strenuous efforts on the part of several deputies. Only one conviction
was obtained and a fairly heavy fine imposed, and though another case was brought into Court
it was dismissed. Every year numbers of reports of horses and cattle shot or wounded by night
by mistake for deer are received, and this year was no exception. The worst offenders in this
respect now appear to be men in automobiles.
There has not been enough attention paid to boys under sixteen carrying firearms, and
though two prosecutions were obtained, the penalties imposed were so light as to have no
effect. Under present conditions it is very hard to make any improvement in this respect.
It would be easier if all licences issued to boys had their age written on them, and those issued
to boys under sixteen should be marked to this effect.
There have been very few prosecutions this year for shooting hen pheasants, and though
there have been all sorts of reports of the number of these birds shot, and no doubt a good
many have been, still it was very evident that not so many have been killed as was the case
last year.
It is pleasing to be able to report that the Magistrates, generally speaking, have given the
deputies good backing, and in bad cases heavy fines or even gaol sentences have been imposed.
During the year 1913, as far as returns have been received, there have been 206 informations laid under the " Game Act," and ten by Deputy Game Wardens under the Dominion
" Fisheries Act."    Two of these cases have not yet been tried, but of the remaining 214 cases, 4 Geo.
Game Warden's Report.
N 13
fines were imposed in 171 cases, ten were sent to gaol, sixteen had firearms seized in lieu of
fines, and during the whole year only seven cases were dismissed. The total amount of fines
amounted to $4,287.50.
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	
Killing fawn    	
Fawn in possession	
Beaver in possession out of season	
Trapping beaver	
Pheasants in possession out of season	
Shooting hen pheasants	
Hen pheasant in possession	
Hunting pheasants with intent	
Trapping pheasants	
Grouse in possession out of season	
Shooting grouse in close season	
Shooting duck after sunset	
Offering wild ducks for sale out of season	
Buying wild ducks out of season   	
Quail out of season	
Non-resident carrying firearms without licence.
Shooting with free licence illegally	
Carrying firearms without licence	
Transferring licence	
Shooting big game on ordinary firearms licence
Automatic gun in possession	
Pump guns not plugged	
Killing wapiti    	
Exporting without permit	
Shooting partridge	
Shooting sea-gulls	
Killing a heron	
Firearms in auto	
Carrying firearms under sixteen years of age. . .
Non-residents fishing without a licence	
Prairie-chicken out of season	
Trespassing in pursuit of game   	
Total Penalties
$958 00
150 00
125 00
121 00
35 00
75 00
5 00
200 00
85 00
257 00
50 00
120 00
75 00
25 00
495 00
97 50
50 00
10 00
10 00
10 00
75 00
10 00
490 00
50 00
3 50
1 00
27 50
250 00
100 00
20 00
75 00
5 00
10 00
2 00
65 00
85 00
65 00
14,287 50
Imprisonment in Lieu of Fines.
1—Part of pheasant in possession, thirty days.
3—Grouse in possession out of season : 3, two months.
4—Non-resident without licence : 4, fourteen days.
1—Transferring licence, thirty days.
1—Venison in possession, ten days.
Suspended Sentences.
9—Firearms without licence.
3—Pump gun not plugged (gun confiscated).
2—Automatic gun in possession.
1—Firearms in automobile.
1—Non-resident without licence (gun confiscated). N 14 Game Warden's Report. 1914
1—Pheasant in possession out of season.
1—Grouse in possession out of season.
1—Head-lights and firearms.
2—Killing wapiti.
1—Shooting illegally on free licence.
1—Pump gun in possession.
Cases not yet tried.
1—Exceeding sheep limit.
1—Carrying firearms without licence.
Convictions under the   Dominion   "Fisheries Act."
of Cases.
Description of Offence.
$100 00
10 00
20 00
$130 00
Pump and Repeating Shotguns.
The new regulations requiring repeating guns to have magazines not capable of holding
more than one cartridge met with a great deal of disapproval, and an attempt was made to
have the new regulation done away with. One of the complaints was that if they had only
known it was going to be done they would not have bought them. If it was not known, it
should have been, as it has been a matter of discussion for the past two years, and in each of
the last two reports mention has been made of the proposal. Anyway, the use of the gun was
not entirely prohibited, nor was it a costly affair to have a plug put in.
If the men who are really interested in the protection of game will only remember that
this regulation has enormously reduced the number of shots fired, and that anything that will
do this must be beneficial, especially so with regard to ducks, which stand in great need of
better protection, they must acknowledge that, though it may not be pleasing to themselves,
and far less so to manufacturers of cartridges, still it is the supply of game that has to be
considered and not any individual's choice or manufacturer's pockets.
That the prohibition of the repeating gun as well as the automatic is necessary is now
becoming recognized pretty generally. Ontario may do away with it altogether, as several of
the associations have got up petitions asking for legislation against its use.
Destruction of Wolves, Cougars, etc.
Since January 1st, 1913, as far as returns have been received, bounties have been paid on
the following: Cougars, 232; wolves, 277; coyotes, 1,618; golden eagles, 58. In the last
report it was stated that there would likely be a diminution in the number of wolves and
cougars and a very large diminution in coyotes. It is to be regretted that this has not been
the case as far as cougars are concerned, as the number for this year is only one less than the
number for last year. There is a decrease, however, on Vancouver Island, as only 116 bounties
were paid, in comparison with 136 for the year before. On the Mainland, however, cougars
unfortunately appear to be on the increase, especially so in the Lillooet District, where they
are doing a lot of damage to the mountain-sheep, and from the latest reports it almost looks as
if they were again increasing on Vancouver Island also. 4 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. N 15
It is extremely gratifying to be able to report a very large decrease in wolves, only 277
bounties being paid this year, in comparison with 467 for last year, 581 for the year before,
and 655 for the year before that.
Compared to the two previous years, very few coyotes have been killed ; 1,618 bounties
have been paid, in comparison with 3,107 and 3,653 for the two previous years. It has, however, been reported that in, at any rate, one district they have appeared again in large numbers,
and it is quite probable that the increase may prove to be a general one, as the pests multiply
very rapidly.
While there has been a much smaller number of bounties paid during the past year, and
no doubt there are really less of the animals themselves, still there is little doubt that a stricter
supervision of all bounty certificates has had an effect, and that the actual decrease in the
animals may not be so great as the figures would lead one to suppose.
A bounty on gophers has lately been urged, especially in the country to the south of the
Canadian Pacific Railway, where it is claimed they do a great deal of damage to gardens and
crops. The result of the investigations so far has not warranted such a bounty, as it appears
that no good has been done in other places where it has been tried. Anyway, it is a very
simple matter for any man by the aid of a few traps to rid his land of them.
It is also being urged that the bounty on big-horned owls be again put in force, as in some
parts of the Province they are said to have become more plentiful than ever. Last year 6,018
owl bounties were paid, which, at $2 per head, comes to $12,036, and as at least one-quarter
of these were not of the big-horned variety at all, the Government paid something like $3,000'
for the destruction of birds which would have been better left alone. If the bounty were put
on again it would be almost impossible to stop this sort of thing. In any event, $2 was
too much considering their abundance.
The Fur Trade.
According to figures on hand, the world yearly spends $100,000,000 on furs, and of this
enormous sum the North American Continent produced about one-fourth, and of this one-fourth
Canada by far the greatest part. It is an asset one seldom hears mentioned, but it is one of
great importance. Year by year the supply of furs grows smaller and prices higher, and, in
spite of higher prices, the demand continues to increase. The consequence can only be that
before many years any country that still is able to produce furs in any quantity will be very
lucky. Under present conditions the number of trappers has also increased, and with the
country opening up areas before almost impossible of access are now getting settled up and
rapidly denuded of all fur-bearing animals. Stringent regulations with regard to the trapping-
of fur-bearing animals may have some effect, but, even under the most favourable circumtances,
it does not appear likely to be able to do more than retard the diminution. There must be
some other solution to the question. In the East this question has been taken up seriously,
as it should be, and many experiments are now being made with a view to establishing fur-
breeding farms as a regular industry.
So far in Canada the only real attempts made in fur-farming have been more or less confined to foxes, and, owing to the enormous profits made by a few successful men, it has developed
into a wild speculation in which several million dollars have been invested. This sort of thing
is likely to come to a bad end and discourage people from going into other fur-farms that are
more likely to be successful.
Apart from foxes altogether, there are many valuable animals much easier to breed well
worthy of attention ; marten, fisher, mink, skunk, beaver, and musk-rat could all probably be
successfully farmed and not require enormous capital to start on.    Already experiments have N 16 Game Warden's Report. 1914
been made with sufficient success to warrant the belief that they can be bred in captivity on
a large scale, and while they may not produce the immense profits fox-farming is doing, handsome profits may be realized.
Now, if fur-farming is ever to be a regular industry, there is no better part of the
Continent for it than this Province. Owing to its mild climate the Coast may not be quite
suitable for some species, but in the Interior there are thousands of acres of land very suitable
for this purpose, particularly so in Kootenay, which produces the finest marten-pelts on the
The fur-farming industry is yet a most uncertain problem, but there are great possibilities
in it and every effort should be made to develop it. So far, few people have any knowledge of
how to go about it or how to obtain this knowledge. It is a question that affects the whole
of Canada, and has been found worthy of the Dominion Government's attention, and the Commission of Conservation have published a most interesting report on this particular subject,
giving much useful information.
Danger  from Wild  Animals.
There is always more or less talk of danger from wild animals, and during the past year,
owing to black bears being plentiful, there has been more of this sort of talk than usual; in
fact, in one district there has been quite an agitation over the number and ferocity of these
animals. There have been several harrowing accounts of how men have been chased and
narrowly escaped with their lives, but, so far, investigations have failed to bring to light a
single case where a man has actually been injured by a black bear. Again, one occasionally
hears or reads of narrow escapes from wolves and cougars. Has anybody ever been actually
injured by them 1 Lots of people will say they know of such cases, but when it comes down
to actual facts it is simply a rumour that has been passed along for years past, and probably-
originated in some person with a vivid imagination. As a matter of fact, most people are
brought up with their minds filled with old women's stories of the terrible ferocity of bears
and other wild beasts, and they retain this impression all their lives, so that if they see a bear
that, by accident, is coming their way they immediately come to the conclusion it is after them,
and there is immediately another story of a narrow escape.
If people would only consider the matter they would see how absurd the whole thing is,
as if a bear or cougar wanted to catch a man they would do it with ease, unless he was quite
close to a secure place of refuge, and a wolf would, too, as he would never let his presence be
known until it was too late to climb a tree.
Now, with regard to grizzly bears, it must be acknowledged that there is, under certain
circumstances, danger, and there have been a few men badly hurt. If, however, you will
inquire into these few cases you will always find that the bear was attacked first, and badly
wounded, and that the man injured was either foolhardy, careless, or lost his nerve. Anyway,
grizzlies give settlements a pretty wide berth, and unless a person goes to look for them, and
knows how to look, the chances of his ever meeting one are most remote.
It is a pretty safe statement to make that an unarmed man in the mountains, who has
sense enough not to get lost, runs less risk of his life than a man about town does from streetcars and automobiles.
Big Game.
There is very little change in the condition of big game since last year's report, though
what change there is is for the better. 4 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. N 17
Moose are evidently on the increase in the Cranbrook District, and also in the north
where they are gradually working down the Stikine River, the latest report being that moose
have been seen right down as far as salt wafer.    In the Cariboo District they are also gradually
working farther south.
Wapiti are still doing well in East Kootenay, and reports as to their number on Vancouver
Island are a little more hopeful.
Sheep seems to have been extra numerous in Lillooet, but scarce in East Kootenay. The
latter is very hard to account for, as few people hunt them and they should be increasing.
East Kootenay sheep seem to be more uncertain in their habits than other sheep, and it is
quite probable that the supposed scarcity is due to bad luck in being able to find them.
Deer seem to have stayed high up in the mountains later than ever this year, and hunters
on the Coast have not been as successful as they might have been.
In all countries where game birds are properly preserved there is always a system for the
destruction of vermin, and the more perfect that system is the greater the supply of birds.
In this Province we have an excellent climate for birds, and there is a splendid supply of
natural food, but, considering the amount of vermin, it is surprising the game birds do so well.
We have hawks, falcons, owls, crows, skunks, weasels, wild-cats, rats, and numbers of domestic
cats, either habitual poachers or actually gone wild. Some of the hawks and falcons, especially
the peregrine and goshawk, are very destructive, though many of the hawks do more good
than harm. Some of the owls are bad; even the short-eared owl, which was supposed to
confine its attention to mice, moles, etc., was proved during the past year to be a regular
poacher. During the nesting season the number of young pheasants killed by crows runs up
to a pretty high figure. Probably, however, the domestic cat is the worst poacher there is;
some of them are tame, others quite wild, but, whether wild or tame, all roaming cats ought
to be killed, as when they once take to poaching they do nothing else.
The majority of men who go out shooting never think of anything else except a good bag
of birds, but everybody should consider it his duty to do away with as much vermin as
possible. Moreover, every person who lives in the country and cares for shooting should make
it his business to get rid of every roving cat in the neighbourhood.
In some of the States they have periodically regular competitions for destroying vermin;
prizes are offered, and not only do the competitors have a pleasant outing, but they do no end
of good.    Such competitions, properly conducted, would do a lot of good here.
When last year's report was finished there was every appearance of a mild winter, and as
there was a splendid stock of birds left for breeding, the prospects for the season of 1913 were
excellent. As it was, though the first part of the winter was mild, the latter part was
the worst we have had for years as far as snow is concerned, and the pheasants suffered
Every winter, whether there is much snow or not, a number of pheasants die, anyway;
they are principally birds that have been wounded, very late birds that never reached maturity,
and very old birds. This is to be expected, but whenever snow of any depth stays on the
ground for any length of time numbers of birds die, from starvation and lack of water, that
could be saved, and to prevent this food should be put out before they become too weak.
Last winter the Government put out a good many tons of grain, the Chilliwack Game Association spent a lot of money and a large subscription was got up in Vancouver for the same N 18 Game Warden's Report. 1914
purpose; it was also extremely pleasing to see the way hundreds of farmers gave grain to the
starving birds. Still, feeding was not commenced soon enough, and the snow got to such a
deptli that it was impossible to get grain to all the places it was needed, and there is no doubt
that there was a heavy mortality in many places. Following this bad weather came an
extremely late spring, then a succession of heavy rain-storms, with flooded land in parts of
the Fraser Valley just at the critical part of the breeding season, with the result that the
stock of birds was small almost everywhere on the Mainland; Chilliwack was an exception,
where the birds were extremely well fed in the winter and suffered less from bad weather.
The pheasants on Vancouver Island also suffered, but not to the same extent as the
Mainland, and though the birds were not generally as numerous as the previous year, they
were fairly so.
Considering the number of men w7ho shoot and the area at present suitable for pheasants,
far too many are being killed. Last year an attempt was made to get some sort of an estimate
of the number killed, without any satisfactory conclusion being arrived at. This year, with
the licence in force, some idea can be obtained. In all, something like 17,000 licences were
issued in the districts where there are pheasants, and practically all these licence-holders
hunted pheasants. Of course a great many of them never killed a bird at all, but, on the
other hand, many killed thirty or forty, and the general average should be at least three to
the licence. This would mean that 51,000 cock pheasants were killed last season. This
estimate seems almost incredible, but it cannot be much too high, and might even be too small.
This sort of thing cannot last long, except where shooting is strictly preserved, and very little of
this is done, so the only thing to do is to shorten the season, as limiting the number of birds
to be shot is almost impossible to enforce. Anyway, there is no doubt that the season is too
long in the vicinity of Victoria; it certainly should not open until October 15th and should
close on December 15th at the latest; and in the Saanich districts a month's open season is
all that should be allowed, and unless there is an excellent breeding season, a month at the
most will be quite enough for the Mainland.
Pheasants have proved to be a success in Southern Okanagan, so much so that, as there
were too many cock birds, a three days' open season was allowed. From reports received some
thirty or forty cocks were shot, and there are still plenty left.
Reports from Creston, in Kootenay, make it appear as if the climate there will also be
suitable for these birds. This being the case, there is no doubt there are several other parts
of the Interior where it is well worth giving them a trial, particularly so in the country between
Lytton and Lillooet.
The Chilliwack Game Association, in addition to spending a lot of money for winter feed,
imported a few more Mongolians, as the breeding stock in captivity had deteriorated.
Unfortunately, these birds arrived too late to do much good, though enough birds were raised
to have a fair number for breeding purposes the coming year.
The Mongolian has proved itself a magnificent bird and its importation has certainly
done a lot of good. The number of this species that has been turned out has been too small
to make a lasting impression in the stock already here, and another big lot should be bred.
The hens could all be turned out as soon as they are fit to take care of themselves and the
cocks kept until the end of the season.
As far as ducks on the Coast are concerned, it is extremely pleasing to be able to report
that they have been more numerous than for many years past. Last year was a pretty good
year, but this year has been infinitely better. 4 Geo. 5 Game Warden's Report. N 19
Unfortunately, for some reason or other, the mallards in the Fraser Valley took to feeding
on salmon unusually early. As a general thing, this does not occur until after a severe frost,
but this year, in spite of the very mild weather, the mallards are feeding on the bars of the
Fraser River in numbers almost equal to what they were fifteen or twenty years ago.
In the Interior ducks do not appear to have been as plentiful as they might have been,
but there were probably more local bred birds than usual.
With regard to the increased number of ducks on the Coast, there is little doubt that
some stringent regulations with regard to their shooting has had some effect. Limiting the
sale of ducks to one month has undoubtedly been of great service, but limiting pump guns to
two shots must also have been extremely beneficial.
If all shooting by moonlight could be done away with a splendid piece of work could be
done. Year after year there is more or less of it going on every time the moon is suitable, in
spite of all efforts to stop it. Ducks simply will not stay anywhere where they are shot at on
the feeding-grounds at night. It is a matter of extreme difficulty to catch these offenders and
be able to obtain a conviction. Every year one or two are caught and fined, but the penalties
imposed are not severe enough to stop it completely.
The practice of shooting from motor-launches and even motor-punts continues to increase,
and an amendment to the Act to make it illegal would be advisable. Wildfowl must have
some time to rest and feed in peace. All day long they are shot at if they come in from the
sea or off the big lakes; if they stay out away from shore they are continually harassed by
motor-boats, and then when they come in to feed on a moonlight night they are again shot at.
Blue grouse were exceptionally plentiful almost everywhere. Around Victoria and
neighbouring islands there were not so many as last year, also during the first few days of the
season, owing to bad weather, most of the birds were up in the trees. Farther north on
Vancouver Island, particularly in the vicinity of Cameron Lake, blue grouse were about as
plentiful as ever they were.
In parts of the Interior, principally north of the Canadian Pacific Railway, it is said that
there were more blue grouse than ever known before. South of the Canadian Pacific Railway
they were only numerous in places; about the best sport was obtained in the Yale District.
Willow-grouse did fairly well this year—that is, wherever there is any land still suitable for
them. In the Fraser Valley, once the pick of the Province for this species of grouse, they are
gradually getting less and less, as their favourite haunts, the crab-apple bottom lands, are
nearly all cleared up, and before many years will be entirely so.
A report has just been received that many of the grouse in the Interior were found to be
infected with "ticks." It is to be hoped that it is only confined to a few local cases, otherwise we must expect a large decrease in our grouse again, and consequently close seasons.
Some years ago, when the grouse suddenly disappeared all through the Interior, these "ticks"
were responsible for it.
The reports received as to the increase of partridges on Vancouver Island were particularly
encouraging, but it is very much to be feared these reports were altogether too optimistic, and
that there is really nothing to show that the birds have done much more than hold their own.
Excellent reports as to the number now to be found in the Delta have also been received, and
it really looks as if they have done well there.
In Chilliwack, where a few years ago there.seemed every chance of great success, there is
no question that, up to now, they are a failure.    There are a few pairs and once in a while N 20 Game Warden's Report. 1914
a covey scattered here and there, but they do not increase. All sorts of theories have been
advanced for their non-success, such as hard winters, bad breeding seasons, poaching, inbreeding,
and vermin. Most likely each of these suggestions has something to do with it, but the last
named seems the most plausible.
It is said that these birds have been a great success in Alberta. If this is really the case,
there are parts of the Interior where they should also thrive.
Quail seem to have been quite as plentiful as ever in the neighbourhood of Victoria. The
birds put out in Nicola and Southern Okanagan continue to increase. Whether they will
really prove a success or not remains to be seen; it will probably take several years to decide.
These birds have been extremely plentiful in several districts this year; in fact, in places
along the Cariboo Road they are reported to have been more numerous than ever known before.
In the Okanagan, except in a few favoured spots, there were not as many as was hoped
for, and in the southern part of the valley they still remain scarce.
In the country round Nicola there is now quite a nice stock of birds, and if there is only
a good breeding season a short open season will do no harm.
A change in the season was made this year, as in the Lillooet District the opening date
was fixed for September 1st instead of September 15th. This change was made because of the
number of birds ; but it was a mistake, as a great proportion of the birds shot were far too
small, many of them would not have been fit to shoot for two weeks at the very least, whereas
four weeks longer would have been better still.
Ptarmigan were again extremely numerous, though probably hardly as many as last year.
Black Game or Capercailzie.
No authoritative reports have been received of any being seen.
victoria, B.C. :
Printed by William H. Cullik, Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.


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