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BRITISH  COLUMBIA  9 Ed. 7 Game Warden's Report. F 3
Vancouver, B. C, January 7th, 1909.
The Honourable the
Chief Commissioner of Lands :
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith my Report for the year ending December
31st, 1908.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
Provincial Game and Forest   Warden.  9 Ed. 7 Game Warden's Report. F 5
A new era in the history of game protection in this Province has to be noted this year ;
for the first time a special grant for this purpose was passed in the Estimates at the last sitting
of the Legislature. The amount voted was $10,000, which, while a comparatively small amount,
was more than would have even been considered a few years ago. While the vote was passed
on the understanding that the big game licence was to be raised to $100 instead of $50,
whereby it was expected that the amount of revenue derived from this source would be largely
increased, still, even under these circumstances, it is doubtful if such a sum would have received
consideration had not public opinion asserted itself in such a marked manner in favour of better
game protection.
The result of the grant has been that more salaried Game Wardens have been employed,
and as great care has been taken in employing men who are adapted to the position, the game
laws have been fairly well enforced in the few districts where they are employed. British
Columbia is, however, such a vast territory, and the outlying districts now have such a number
of people flocking in, that every year must see new salaried game patrols put on, or the old
story will be repeated. Mounted game patrols should be employed in every district where
horses can be used, and if good reliable men are put on, they can be made into a staff of officials
of great value to the country, not only in protecting the game and putting out forest fires, but
as peace officers. Such men soon get to know every inch of the country and the reputation of
most of the inhabitants, and they generally have a knowledge of all parties living or camping
out in the mountains. They know every trail and by a slight examination can tell whether
anybody has gone up or down it and how long ago; also they often can, by the hoof-marks of
the horses and other signs, make a pretty good guess as to who it was. With this knowledge
these men can be of enormous value to the Provincial Police, especially in the case of serious
crimes being committed, when, as generally happens, the culprit takes to the mountains. Also
they have a moral effect on the " irresponsibles " in their district, especially so when, as has
several times been the case during the past year, they have made arrests for the police.
As soon as the Grand Trunk Pacific starts construction, police will be needed, and as the
line passes through a great game country where moose are yearly increasing in numbers, and
caribou, beaver and bear also abound, Game Wardens will also be badly needed, or thousands
of dollars' worth of valuable game will be destroyed. The same thing applies to the McOonnel
Creek country, where there are thousands of caribou. The advance of civilisation must be
reckoned on beforehand, or the moose and caribou will meet the same fate that the mule deer
did in the Similkameen, Boundary Creek and other places.
The protection of our birds is making progress, but it is a harder and much more expensive undertaking and, in consequence, is not going ahead as fast as desired. The number of
men from the towns who go out to shoot birds is increasing greatly every year; with the
increase of the population in our cities comes a bigger demand for game in the markets, and
the number of market hunters increases accordingly. Such being the case, it is a question
whether the birds can survive the combined onslaught for more than a year or two. A day
and season limit should be put on all birds and this limit enforced, but to do this the
' tag system " would have to be introduced and more Game Wardens employed : and last, but F 6 Game Warden's Report. 1909
not least, those men who shoot should muster up the moral courage to assist the Game Wardens
properly, instead of writing letters to the papers, stating an offence has occurred, some weeks
after it has taken place.
The amount of work in the Game Warden's Office has increased very much and at times
there was more than could be handled. Since January last some 1,250 letters have been
written, some of them having 15 to 20 copies made; in addition, hundreds of circulars, copies
of Orders in Council, game books, etc., etc., have been sent out. A greater number of tourists
have visited the office during the past season, and many expressions of gratification have been
made at the reliable information and assistance furnished. Almost in every case where tourists
have had the assistance of this office they have had good sport and have gone away praising the
country, and in a good number of cases have written laudatory articles for influential papers,
whereby not only the game but other resources have been widely advertised.
Since July 1st (when the grant came into use) to November 30th, a period of five months,
the sum of $3,947 has been expended. This sum includes the payment of the salaries of all
Game Wardens, travelling expenses, office rent, and all office expenses, with the exception of
stationery and printing. It is estimated that a further expenditure of not less than $2,864
will be needed for the balance of the financial year. This makes an average monthly expenditure of $755.55 and a yearly expenditure of $9,066. In addition, probably $250 will be paid
for putting out deer on the Queen Charlotte Islands. If this be done, the total expenditure
will come to $9,319. The revenue derived from the big game licences is $7,700, from the small
game licences $225, and from fines from convictions $1,150; also another $100 is almost
certain to be collected. This gives a total revenue of $9,179, leaving the Province only $140
out of pocket in actual cash, and a good many thousand dollars ahead in the value of the big
game saved, to say nothing of the money left in the country by the big game hunters, many of
whom have again invested money in commercial enterprises during their visit here.
It will be generally admitted that this is an excellent showing for what may be considered
to be the first year of game protection on a proper business footing, and even more so when it
is remembered that a good part of the money was expended on the protection of the birds, and
that the revenue derived from them is only a few hundred dollars. In addition, the revenue
from the big game was not as large as it should have been. No licence was charged for spring
bear hunting, and a number of non-residents who were hunting on the coast and one or two
in the interior managed to evade payment of the fee, either by the aid of the miner's licence
or because lack of the proper transportation facilities made the collection impossible.
If there were even the shadow of a doubt as to the wisdom of a big grant for game protection, a grant sufficient to put it on a really substantial footing, this year should do away with
it. Supposing the Province had been out of pocket $15,000, or even $20,000, instead of less
than $200, what would that sum have been when the value of the game in the future is taken
into consideration ? Even with the small sum expended, a good deal has been done; but
supposing, instead of about $10,000 the amount was $20,000, and the Game Act put into a
proper workable condition, then it is safe to say we should be really protecting our game, and
British Columbia would soon have no superior as a game country.
Enforcement of the Law.
Owing to the employment of more salaried Game Wardens, the Game Laws have
undoubtedly been better enforced than hitherto. We are still a long way from being perfect,
and, unless an army of Game Wardens is employed on the coast, always will be. A big
improvement can, however, be made with a little more help, and this can still further be
increased if men who see infractions of the law will at once notify the Game Warden, even if 9 Ed. 7 Game Warden's Report. F 7
they are not willing to appear in Court as witnesses. Instead of doing this, they have, in
many cases, written letters to the papers complaining about the Game Wardens. Such men
should remember that Game Wardens cannot be everywhere, and that the men deliberately
breaking the law generally satisfy themselves beforehand of the whereabouts of these officials,
and that, unless the private citizen has the moral courage to give evidence in Court, such culprits
are hard to prosecute. There is getting to be a change in this respect; many more men have
volunteered to give evidence, but in the majority of cases it has been against Orientals.
A suggestion has been made which should receive serious consideration; it is that all
reliable men who are willing should be given power to take action, so that in the event of any
infraction coming under their notice they would be able to take the name of the offender.
That these men be sworn in at the Game Warden's office and receive a badge, that this
authority shall only last for a limited period, and that at the end of that time the badge shall
be returned. The idea of this is that there are numbers of men who go out for a day, or
perhaps a month's shooting, who would act, and that, even if they did nothing at all, the
moral effect would influence the regular offenders.
Vancouver Island now has a permanent Deputy, and in addition a "Special " was put on
for some weeks to enforce the close season for grouse. The result has been to a certain extent
satisfactory, but there is still room for improvement. In the northern part of the Island the
same rumours came in from time to time of wapiti being killed for their teeth or for the sake
of a few pounds of meat; but unless salaried Game Wardens are put on up there and the men
who see these offences occur will give evidence, but little can be done.
Prom the southern limits of the Province the whole coast to the head of Vancouver
Island has been visited by men from the States in launches, etc., for the purpose of shooting,
and not a single one of them has taken out a licence this year. They generally come under
the auspices of some yacht club and are not bothered by the customs authorities. They are
here one day and gone the next, and often they have gone back across the line a week or more
before a complaint comes in that they have not been caught. The last report emphasised
the necessity of a fast launch being employed, and again this cannot be too strongly urged.
A launch, to be of any assistance, must be a good one, and would probably cost $3,000, and
she must be solely under the control of this Department, or, probably, when she was most
needed she would not be on hand. If such a boat had been in commission this season there
is every reason to believe that at least another $1,000 would have been collected in game
licences, besides a general enforcing of the close season. Also, to be able to properly collect
non-resident game licences, the law must be made so that it is an offence to carry firearms
without a licence. Unless this is done, a Game Warden has to actually catch them in the act
of hunting.
Enforcing the limit of the bags to five head of deer has been given a good deal of attention
this year, but unless the " tag system " is introduced it will always be a hard matter. As it
was, one information under this section was laid, but the offender got away before the summons
could be served. It is most necessary that more steps in this direction should be taken, as the
number of deer shipped to Vancouver this season was enormous. One steamship company alone
brought in more than 350 head, and 600 head would hardly cover the total sold altogether in
Vancouver alone. This large number of deer were killed almost entirely by a few market
In the vicinity of Vancouver and in the city itself it may be said that the laws have been
fairly well enforced ; of course, a certain amount of game is illegally sold, but it is very limited
to what it used to be ; also, for a time, there was a good deal of shooting before the season
opened, but several timely prosecutions and heavy fines stopped this. F 8 Game Warden's Report. 1909
Some distance up the main line of the Canadian Pacific Railway grouse have been and
still are being sold. Indians and Chinamen are the chief offenders ; the former shoot and sell
them to the latter, and the}', in turn, peddle them out or eat them themselves. At present it
is only an offence to " buy, sell, or expose for sale " ; if it were an offence to " offer for sale,"
several convictions would have been obtained this season. As it is, the actual proof of a sale
having taken place is very hard to get.
A great deal of attention has been given to Asiatics and the foreign, element, with the
result that a number of them have been convicted and some heavy sentences imposed. One
Chinaman was convicted on three charges and sentenced to thirty days in jail.
In Lillooet the usual patrol has been carried on, with satisfactory results. Also, the
Deputy Game Warden of that district has been of material assistance to the Provincial Police,
having made a number of arrests in outlying parts and acted as constable in the absence of
the regular officer.
Chilcotin has had a patrol for a short period this season, which undoubtedly has been a
great benefit to the caribou, which formerly were slaughtered in great numbers during the
fall months.
The Pernie District has had a permanent patrol and the game is feeling the benefit of it.
The Columbia District has also had a patrol during the greater part of the year, and the
prosecution of an Indian for killing a moose will do a lot of good.
The Cranbrook District has not had a Game Warden under salary and needs one badly.
Okanagan and the Ymir District have each had a man on temporarily to enforce the close
season for grouse and prairie chicken.
The Cassiar District now has a salaried Game Warden on for six months, his duties
principally being to prevent the United States Indians coming in from Alaska to trap in this
Since January last up to date, as far as returns have been received, 58 informations
under the Game Act have been laid. Of this number, one was withdrawn and in two cases
the defendants could not be found. Of the balance, four were acquitted and 49 convicted,
and two of the convictions quashed on subsequent appeals, one of which was for having trout
in possession out of season. Out of 47 actual convictions, there were five suspended sentences,
one jail sentence of 30 days, and two recent cases for non-residents hunting without a licence,
the fine for which has not yet been reported. For the balance, the total of $1,154 in fines
has been imposed.    The following is a list :—
Hunting deer out of season.
Killing pheasants out'of season.
Having grouse in possession out of season.
Killing fawn. 9 Ed. 7
Game Warden's Report.
F 9
Having deer in possession out of season	
Killing a swan    	
Shooting after sunset	
Grouse in possession out of season	
Trout in possession out of season 	
Wild ducks in possession out of season	
Fishing with a net illegally    ....
Game in eold storage	
Proteoted bird in possession	
Killing proteoted birds    ...
Killing beaver illegally	
Having pheasants in possession out of season	
Killing pheasants out of season ...   .   	
Pursuing        n n      	
/"Exposing grouse     for sale ~\
\        a        pheasants    n        /
Having fawns in possession	
Exceeding limit of moose	
Killing moose in protected area	
Having hen pheasant in possession	
Non-residents without licence (no particulars to hand)
Total Fines.
.Suspended sentence.
404 ; 1 suspended sentence.
20 ; 1 suspended sentence.
25 ; 1 suspended sentence.
. One month in jail.
25 ; 1 suspended sentence.
Raising the non-resident hunting licence from $50 to $100 has been a success in the
main : up to date 77 big game licences have been issued, bringing in a revenue of $7,700, in
comparison with $4,675 for last year. While there were fewer licences issued this season, it
is not likely that the decrease in the number issued was altogether caused by the increase of
the cost. Money troubles in the United States prevented quite a number from coming ; but
for this it is quite likely that as many, if not more, would have been issued. It is true that
several men who might have spent a few weeks hunting here did not do so, on account of the
excessive fee, but they were generally those who happened to be passing through, and not
those who came out for the special purpose of hunting. In any event, the money that they
would have left here would not have amounted to much. However, for such as these, men
whose time is limited but who would go off for a week or two hunting deer, goat and bear, a
$25 licence might be issued, to be good for one month. This should not include such game as
wapiti, moose, caribou or sheep.
As far as the men who come out here especially to hunt are concerned, no complaints of the raising of the licence fee were made, except by one or two who had come
under the impression that it was only $50. Most of those who were actually asked their
opinion expressed themselves as paying it willingly, provided it was for the protection of the
Again, there was an increase in the number of tourists here to hunt bear in the spring
and no fee was charged. Several offered money for their licence and were surprised at being
told that it was not necessary to pay. As most of these men only get in from two to three
weeks' shooting in the spring, a $25 licence is sufficient under the circumstances. A sliding
scale of licence would be the best. A general licence for the year to cost $100, to include
spring bear hunting, big game, birds and fishing; a $25 licence for the spring bear hunting ;
a $25 licence for one month for goats, deer and bear, good for any period not exceeding one month between the 1st of September and the 15th of December; and a $25 season licence to
shoot birds. All these licences should have coupons attached to allow the export of the
trophies. A great deal of trouble was given to tourists this year on account of this not being
done, as on several occasions their trophies were detained until the licence was produced.
So far the number of $5 licences has been limited to 51. The collection of these licences
gives a great deal of trouble, and as we have not enough birds for our own use, it had better
be made into a season licence.
East Kootenay this year takes the lead in the number of non-residents hunting, 17
visiting the Cranbrook and Fernie Districts and 10 the Columbia, a total of 27, in comparison
with 17 last year; and this in spite of the increase in the licence fee to $100.
Lillooet comes second with 24.
Cassiar had a big falling off, only 17 visiting that district, in comparison with 27 last
season. This was not caused by the scarcity of game, as the average bag last season was
better than previous years, but the trouble that tourists had with their Indian guides last
year was advertised more or less all over the United States and undoubtedly had a most
injurious effect.
Vancouver Island and the coast also show a great falling off, having only 2, compared to
14 the year before.
Cariboo, for the first time for some years, had 5, and the Okanagan 4.
Probably a far greater number of men should have taken out licences but managed to
evade doing so.    These cases occurred almost entirely on the coast and Vancouver Island, and
were, with one or two exceptions, men from the United States who came up here with
launches.    Mayne, Saturna, and the neighbouring Islands have had an increase in the number
of these visitors.     Jervis Inlet and the vicinity has also been especially favoured in this
Last year there were many complaints about the Cassiar Indians, not only for killing
game unnecessarily but also for not giving satisfaction as guides. These complaints were
widely advertised in the sporting magazines and probably greatly exaggerated; anyway, the
result was that very few tourists visited Cassiar this season, and many of the Indian guides
were not employed. This year no complaints have been made of the guides and a better understanding seems to be coming about. The fact that a Game Warden has been put on to stop
Alaskan Indians from trapping in this Province seems to have given great satisfaction, and as
several messages showing interest in game protection have been received in this office from
these Indians, the outlook is more hopeful.
Some of the Columbia Indians' in the East Kootenay have been giving a good deal of
trouble this year, but it is to be hoped that one of them getting fined $50 for killing a moose
will have a beneficial effect.
The Indians hunting in the Fernie District seem to have become quite reconciled to the
enforcement of the Game Laws. This year the Chiefs ordered all their men to be out of the
mountains by the 15th of December.
Rumours of the Stoney Indians from Alberta hunting in this Province have on several
occasions sent the local Game Wardens off on "wild goose" chases, as it was always found
that there were no Indians at all, or else they were resident. If any Stoney Indians have been
in this Province it is a certain thing that they have not done much hunting; also, unless they
came in over one or two well-watched passes, they must have come without horses, a thing no 9 Ed. 7 Game Warden'* Report. F 11
Stoney would think of doing, as all their old trails are impassable from fallen timber. In
addition, the game shows that they have not been in, as it can be found in many places close
to the boundary line, while on the other side there is none, and fresh signs of Indian camps
in every likely spot.
Keeping the Stoneys out of the Province has saved game in the East Kootenay away
beyond the value of all the money spent on game protection throughout the whole Province.
Had not this been done, it is doubtful if there would have been a single surviving wapiti
The Chilcotin Indians are still a source of trouble to the game, and hostilities between
this tribe and the Shuswaps was even talked of on this account.
Game Reserves.
We now have two areas set apart in which the killing of all game animals and birds is
prohibited for a period of ten years. One is the Yalakon Reserve, in the Lillooet District,
and the other is situated in the East Kootenay.    The boundaries of the latter are as follows:
" Commencing at the junction of Brule Creek with the Elk River; thence following
westerly up to the head of the south fork of Brule Creek; thence down an unnamed creek to
the Bull River; thence up to the head of the west fork of Brule Creek to the head of Squaw
Creek; thence down Squaw Creek to the White River; thence across White River up an
unnamed creek to its headwaters; thence following the summit of the range northerly to the
headwaters of No. 3 Creek; thence easterly down No. 3 Creek, crossing White River in an
easterly direction, to the summit of the range ; thence following the summit of the range in a
southerly direction to the head of a small creek running into Munro Lake, on the East Fork
of White River; thence in an easterly direction following an unnamed creek running into
Elk River; thence following the Elk River in a southerly direction to the point of commencement."
These boundaries were decided upon after two exhaustive examinations were made, in
which the pick of the country that was available was chosen. It is greatly to be regretted
that the Fording River country could not be included, but as it is all held under coal leases,
this could not be done.
The East Kootenay Reserve, however, contains a fine lot of game; goats are there by the
hundred, sheep in fair numbers, wapiti enough to make a magnificent herd, a few mule deer
and also a few grizzly and black bear.
So far these reserves are only proclaimed for a limited number of years. This is not
sufficient; they should be statutory reserves, which could only be thrown opon for shooting
by the Legislature; also, they should have all lands, timber and minerals reserved. Unless
this is done, they cannot be made into National Parks, as it is most desirable that they should
be, nor can proper rules and regulations with regard to trespass and the carrying of firearms
be made. At present there is nothing to prevent any person from taking up land or staking
mineral claims in these areas. It is true the land is of but little value for farming purposes,
but it might be taken up with a view to future hotels, lodges, etc. Also, while no more
timber may be staked out, and that on the reserve is of no value at present, it might
be taken up in the years to come. Anyway, no chance should be taken of anybody
stepping in and making trouble, as would very likely be the case as soon as game began to get
plentiful and tourists paying visits. There is no formation at all favourable to minerals, and
no earthly reason why, now the chance exists, the Government should not make proper
reserves. Vancouver Island also needs a reserve, and it is expected that now the area for the East
Kootenay Reserve is decided upon, the same inspection will take place on the Island.
However, if any reserve is created on Vancouver Island, either the portion reserved must be
declared "Organised," or the law with respect to "Unorganised" districts considerably
modified. Under present conditions, it is useless trying to do anything, as Indians could hunt
there, and any " irresponsibles " with a miner's licence could do likewise.
The Yalakon Reserve in Lillooet already shows improvement, as on one part of it sheep
can always be seen. The reserve is, however, too small, and in the fall the deer frequently
wander off and get killed. If the boundaries were extended down the North Fork of Bridge
River, and Anthony Creek were made the boundary instead of Junction Creek, this trouble
would be remedied to a great extent and a fair-sized reserve be established.
.22 Rifles.
The use of the .22 rifle has become so general, not only by white men, Indians (both male
and female) and all classes of Orientals, but also by boys of immature age not under the care of
proper guardians, that not only has the game suffered seriously, but a good many cases of loss
of life have occurred, to say nothing of numbers of domestic animals either killed or badly
wounded. This rifle is now made of such power that it is probably a more dangerous weapon
in the hands of those not accustomed to the use of firearms than a bigger rifle, as, being of
such small size, it does not receive the respect a larger bore would. We are constantly hearing
of serious accidents among boys with this weapon, and there are doubtless numbers of minor
accidents which are never heard of. Frequent cases of death amongst domestic animals result
from its indiscriminate use, and it is only within the past week that a valuable dog died from
the result of what appears to have been a deliberate shot, probably made because the owner of
the rifle did not know its power. Undoubtedly it is a splendid thing that boys should be
accustomed to the use of the rifle from the time they are strong enough to hold one, but the
way boys, some of them hardly taller than these small rifles, are allowed to carry firearms is
now a serious menace to life and property.
Then, again, the .22 has done a great deal towards the destruction of grouse and prairie
chicken, both in and out of season, to say nothing of deer sometimes killed but more frequently
wounded. It is the greatest weapon for a poacher, as it is easily concealed. Numbers of the
squaws in the Kootenay carry them at all seasons of the year, concealed under their clothes.
Nearly ever}* party going on a big game hunt has one to  " pot " grouse with.
If all such small bore rifles were prohibited from use except for target practice, not only
the game but the community at large would be greatly benefited.
In 1882 pheasants were imported and the result has been most satisfactory. Now that
this stock shows signs of needing fresh blood, a few Mongolian pheasants have been introduced.
In 1904 partridges were given a trial, and the experiment is now beyond doubt. Since then
black game and capercailzie have been tried. The importation of quail has also been a success
on Vancouver Island, and a partial success on the Mainland.
So far all this has been done by private subscription, the burden generally falling on the
pockets of the same few far-seeing and unselfish individuals.
Up to the present time nothing but a few birds have been brought in, it being generally
thought that we have big game enough. Certainly in parts of the interior we have big game
worth considering, but on the coast, with the exception of the few wapiti, there is no game
really much sought after.    The Columbian deer is small and its horns almost valueless as a 9 Ed. 7 Game Warden's Report. F 13
trophy. There is no reason why the European red deer should not be experimented with. The
cost would not be great, and it is almost certain, owing to the amount of natural food and mild
climate, that they would attain the same size as those in New Zealand. Fifty years ago there
was not a deer in that country; to-day it has the finest red deer stalking in the world, and the
deer have horns almost equalling in size those of our wapiti. One of the biggest herds in that
country originated from one stag and six hinds. There are several islands in the Gulf, between
Vancouver and Victoria, where these animals could be turned out and be safe from molestation ;
if they were the success there is every reason to hope for, they could then be transported to
different places.
Again, many of the high mountains on Vancouver Island are devoid of big game—why
not import a few chamois 1 These animals are considered the finest stalking of all European
game ; they are hardy in the extreme and well able to take care of themselves. There are also
many places on the Mainland at present almost devoid of game, but suitable for this class of
Neither of these experiments would cost a great deal, while the advertisement the Province
would get from the purchase and transport of these animals would be quite a consideration, to
say nothing of the increase of attraction to the big game hunters .in the future, should the
experiment prove a success.
Probably $10,000 would be sufficient to make both experiments. There are many wealthy
men who have made their money from the resources of the Province ; some of them, too, are fond
of big game shooting, and a few thousand dollars would be nothing to them. One or two such
men could do the whole thing themselves and never notice the cost, and yet be doing the
country a great service.
Destruction of Game by Pests.
Since the raising of the bounty on wolves and cougars a great number of these pests have
met their fate, and the saving of the lives of many head of game has resulted. The best work
has been done on Vancouver Island, and the number of wapiti and deer calves saved has in
all likelihood exceeded the number illegally killed.
The Cassiar Indians are preparing for regular wolf hunts this winter, and if they are at
all successful there should be a big increase of game and fur-bearing animals, as during the
last few years wolves have been doing great damage.
It should, however, be impressed on all magistrates who issue certificates for the bounty,
that it is necessary for the whole skin to be produced. If only the scalp is and, as
is generally the case, thoroughly dried, it is very easy to pass off a coyote scalp as a small
wolf, and lots of domestic dog scalps can easily be passed for wolves by a man not thoroughly
conversant with the animal. This year, also, lynx scalps were passed for coyotes, and even in
one or two cases big coyotes passed for small wolves.
The use of poison by the Deputy Game Warden and some of the guides on the sheep
ranges in Lillooet has greatly assisted in the destruction of eagles and coyotes.
It is most satisfactory to be able to report that moose are increasing still, and even at a
greater rate than hitherto. Twenty years ago, with the exception of the extreme north of the
Province and a few scattered animals in the East Kootenay, moose were a rarity ; now every
year they are reported farther south. News of a bull having just been killed at 83-Mile
House has come to hand; this is only 63 miles north of Ashcroft; while another was killed F 14 Game Warden's Report. 1909
at Williams Lake, and several have been seen around the Clearwater. Also, moose are
reported to be migrating in numbers from the North-West Territories into the Peace Paver
Around Telegraph Creek moose are more plentiful every year, in spite of the fact that
the Indians kill a good many more than may be actually needed. This season tourists saw
numbers of these animals, and notwithstanding that the late spring this year made the
season a poor one for heads, two of over 60 inches spread were obtained.
In the East Kootenay the moose have done so well that a number of the residents of the
district are desirous of the season being opened next year, but only one animal to be killed by
each person. Undoubtedly, there is now a good stock there. Two small bands are now on
the west of the Columbia, where none have ever been known before ; also an odd moose has
been seen as far south as the Crow's Nest Pass Railway.
However, if an open season is allowed in the Kootenay, it should be confined to the
Columbia District, as at the head of the Elk River, in the Fernie District, there is a fine
stretch of moose country unstocked. Probably hunting in the Columbia District would drive
a few animals over the divide to the head of the Elk River and be the means of restocking
that section.
In Cassiar caribou have been seen in great numbers, bands of from 15 to 20 being
constantly in view, while one band of 150 head has been reported. Some of the finest trophies
were obtained this season in that district, one with 53 points and another with 47, while two
went 58 inches and 59 inches, respectively, in length.
In the southern part of the Province greater numbers of caribou have been reported than
for years past, the St. Mary's River being especially noted.
Taking the Province as a whole, there is a big increase in deer of all species. White-
tailed deer have spread so rapidly that in parts of the Kootenay they are becoming somewhat
of a nuisance to fruit-growers. Mule deer are also doing well, and the exceptionally long
summers have done a lot towards their protection, as they have stayed pretty well up on their
summer range until the close season. The Columbian or Coast deer is also doing well, but
the increasing demand for venison in the cities is becoming alarming.
Several years ago very few people knew that wapiti existed in the East Kootenay, and
those few were sceptical as to whether there were sufficient to re-stock the district. Now
even the most sanguine hopes have been surpassed, and the careful protection these animals
have had during the past three years has resulted in an enormous increase. Last spring,
while a partial inspection of the country for a game reserve was being made, the wapiti sign
was found to be very plentiful all along the Fording River, but a later visit in the fall, during
the rutting season, when the bulls could be heard bugling in all directions and the whole valley
was a mass of tracks and the animals themselves seen, gave positive proof that the increase
was greater than it was thought to be in the spring.
Besides the Fording River herds, others have been located on the Elk and the White
Rivers, and it is safe to say that, with the same protection, in a few years a short open season
can be allowed.
It is to be regretted that the same encouraging report cannot be given of the wapiti on
Vancouver Island.    It is true that there are still a good number and there is yet time to take 9 Ed. 7 Game Warden's Report. F 15
them in hand, but unless this is done soon, their extermination is assured. Every year there
are more hunters after them ; some are good sportsmen and some are not. Indians kill them,
not because they need them, as all along the coast deer are numerous and the meat easier to
get out. but because the teeth are still saleable and some Indians must shoot at everything
they see. Again, irresponsible white men, some with miner's licences and some without,
would-be wolf hunters and trappers, are all doing their share towards the extermination of the
wapiti. Almost every man who goes into the wapiti country reports seeing the remains of
slaughter. This cannot go on for long, but it is useless to make any serious attempt to remedy
it as long as Indians and men with miner's licences are given a free hand. If the wapiti are
to be saved, the law in this respect must be changed, a game reserve set apart, and the bag
limit made one animal instead of two; and last, but by no means least, proper salaried Game
Wardens must be put on to enforce the law. In addition, an entire close season for wapiti
should be declared for the southern part of the Island, taking the Alberni road from Alberni
to Nanoose Bay as the boundary. The reason for this is because there are a few small bands
still left, but no bulls worth killing, and yet every year two or three young bulls, with horns
hardly bigger than a good mule deer, are shot.
The value of these animals to Vancouver Island might be made enormous, and the success
of our efforts in the East Kootenay might easily be repeated there. It will cost a little
money, but that would be a mere nothing in comparison to the value of the animals saved.
The outlook with regard to sheep in the Lillooet and East Kootenay Districts is
encouraging ; there are now a good many more than there were a few years ago. In Lillooet
a smaller number of sheep were shot by tourists this season, but this was due more to a misunderstanding amongst the guides than to any scarcity of sheep themselves. The closing of
the season on November 14th has done much good, as lambs are now more plentiful. In the
East Kootenay a few good heads were obtained, but the roughness of the sheep range in that
district makes them almost unapproachable to any one but a thorough mountaineer.
Some magnificent specimens of the Ovis Stonei were obtained in the Cassiar District this
fall, where these animals appear to have been more plentiful than last season. There were
rumours of a fatal disease known as " actinony-cosis " having infested these sheep, but so far
no specimens showing signs of it have come to hand. It is to be hoped that there is no truth
in the report, or these sheep are liable to be wiped out of existence.
The Okanagan sheep seem to have moved away to the vicinity of the Salmon Arm ; they
have not increased to any great extent.
The last reports of the Ashnola sheep were good.
Owing to the absence of berries on the mountains, combined with the long drought and
consequent inability of salmon to get up the small streams, the black bear was forced to leave
his usual haunts and come nearer to civilisation in quest of food. Probably more black bear
have been killed close to the towns this fall than for all the past ten years put together; and
yet, with the exception of an odd pig taken and occasionally an orchard visited, no harm has
been done by these animals.
A larger number of tourists visited British Columbia this spring for the especial purpose
of killing grizzly, while quite a number of residents also went out. In the East Kootenay
grizzly were not so plentiful, and the extermination of this animal is only a matter of time,
unless steps for its protection are taken.    The grizzly, contrary to its general reputation, is a F lfi Game Warden's Report. 1909
very timid animal, and, in fact, requires most careful stalking to get a successful shot; also,
his home is far from civilisation, and if he were as savage as depicted there is not much chance
of the ordinary person running across one. There is no reason why this splendid beast should
not receive as much protection as other game animals. A grizzly killed in a trap may or may
not fetch $25, but a live grizzly in the spring or late fall, as a trophy for a tourist, at any rate
in the East Kootenay, is worth from $500 to $1,000 to the country. The very men who
trap bear will acknowledge this, and most of them are anxious to see trapping prohibited by
law, but as long as one man may trap others will. Also, a close season should be declared
during the months of July and August, when the skins are valueless.
The increase in beaver in the southern portions of the Province has been enormous ; from
all over the country, more especially to the south of the main line of the Canadian Pacific
Railway, colonies have sprung up where none have been seen for years ; there are even
beaver on Lulu Island. Probably the greatest increase is on the Elk River, in the East
Kootenay. In this district, when the law prohibiting their trapping came into force, there
only remained a few scattered animals, not enough to make it worth while for trappers to
bother them. Now, everywhere, for miles up the river, their work can be seen ; all the old
dams are re-inhabited and fresh ones built farther up the stream. So rapidly have they
increased in this river that there cannot be far short of a thousand head there now.
In several parts of the Kootenay, Okanagan, Similkameen and Kamloops Districts beaver
have done damage to hay and grain lands, by persistently building up dams and flooding
crops. Under the present conditions, the owners of the land have no remedy, and, as breaking
or even blowing up the clams with powder has no effect, they have, in a good many cases, been
put to considerable loss. The Act should be amended so that the owner of the land that is
actually being damaged by beaver should be able to obtain a permit to kill them by trapping
or other means, but that the skins of all animals so killed shall be the property of the Government.
Taking the pheasant season as a whole, the result has been most disappointing. The
breeding season was favourable, with the exception that the spring was a late one. In spite
of this, with the exception of one or two districts, the stock of pheasants was smaller than
ever. On Vancouver Island there seems to have been fair shooting in the vicinity of Duncan,
but everywhere else it was poor in the extreme, notably in Saanich, where a few years ago
there were birds by the thousand.
On the mainland the shooting at Ladners was about the same as last year; at Matsqui
and on the west of Pitt Meadows probably a little better. The rest of the mainland showed
a decided falling off, and at Sumas and Chilliwhack, where some of the best shooting has been
obtained during the past few years, hardly any birds were shot at all.
To such an extent has the pheasant shooting deteriorated, that it is questionable whether
it would not be advisable not to open the season at all next year, or, at any rate, for a very
limited period. The result of this year's breeding more than ever substantiates the argument
in last year's report, that fresh blood is badly needed, and that all old birds, both cocks and
hens, should be killed off. It is hoped that the need of fresh blood will to some extent be
remedied, as some pure-bred Mongolian pheasants have been imported. Owing, however, to
the excessively high price of these birds, only a very few could be purchased. In all 20 birds
were ordered by Mr. W. L. Challoner and some friends, of Victoria, for Vancouver Island,
and 25 birds were ordered for the Mainland, these being paid for by public subscription. 9 Ed. 7 Game Warden's Report. F 17
Owing to the cocks killing the hens, for some unaccountable reason, only 14 of the Victoria
birds arrived alive,,and 14 of the consignment for the Mainland; and two out of each lot have
since died. As, however, these birds are to be kept in pens and the eggs hatched out by
domestic hens, it is expected that even from these few birds a fair stock will be obtained.
With regard to the killing off of the old birds, there is only one way that it is safe to do
it. Wherever there is a Game Warden who thoroughly understands the work, he should be
authorised to kill off any old birds, either cocks or hens, at any time. He should, however,
be required to report as to the number of birds killed, and all these birds so killed should be
sent to charitable institutions. Probably the old cocks could only be killed during the hard
weather or in the early spring.
The future prospects with regard to partridges are very bright, as the few birds turned
out on the Mainland have done so well that their ultimate success simply means keeping them
supplied with fresh blood. This year Mr. A. E. Todd has, entirely at his own expense, turned
out 167 birds on Vancouver and Sidney Islands.
It is greatly to be regretted that there are still some men who cannot refrain from
shooting at any sort of bird they see, and quite a number of partridges have fallen at their
hands. Unfortunately, none of them have been caught, as an example should be made.
Great interest is being taken in these birds by the residents of Chilliwhack, and it is safe to
say that any "irresponsible" caught shooting them would get little mercy.
The particulars given in the attached letters have been furnished by Mr. A. E. Todd, of
Victoria, and Mr. F. M. Chaldecott, of Vancouver:—
" Particulars of Hungarian Partridges released on Vancouver Island and Sidney
Island, during 1908.
"Eighteen partridges released on 27th February, 1908. Four partridges released on 11th
March, at Quamichan Lake, near Duncan. These birds were a very fair average lot. Reports
have been received of their being seen on many different occasions, the last report being dated
November 11th. Some parties have claimed to have seen young coveys, but no reliable
information has yet been received to that effect. All reports state the birds are strong and in
good condition. They have been seen at different times, in a number of different directions,
■within a radius of two miles from Quamichan Lake.     These birds were hatched in 1907.
" Fifteen partridges were released on 3rd March, near the Cement Works, Saanich.
These birds were a very average lot. Reports have been received of their having been
seen on many different occasions, the last report being during December. Different parties
have claimed to have seen young coveys, but no reliable information has yet been received to
that effect. All the reports are that the birds are strong and in good condition. Birds have
been seen at different times in a number of different directions, within a radius of three miles
from the Cement Works.    These birds were hatched in 1907.
"Twenty-one partridges released on the 26th October, 1908, at Cole Bay, Saanich.
These birds were in very bad condition. A careful search was made for them on several
occasions, but except that a single bird was seen on the 10th November, and the same bird
seen again on the 16th November, none of them were seen again. The bird seen on the 10th
and 16th November was a cock, and the information that it was the same bird in each instance
is accurate. No dead birds were found. As further birds have since been released in this
locality, it will now be impossible to tell whether or not the single cock bird was the only
survivor of this lot.    These birds were hatched in 1908.
" Twenty partridges released on 30th October at Sidney Island. Of these birds, 6 cocks
and 11 hens were in very bad condition (1908 hatching), and 4 cocks (1907 hatching) were in
very fine condition. One hen died while the crate was being taken to the releasing field ;
making total of 20 birds released. These birds have been seen on a number of different
occasions and no dead birds have been found.    Probability is that some of them will survive. F 18 .Game Warden's Report. 1909
"Ten partridges released on Sth November and four on 10th November, at St. Charles
Street, near Rockland Avenue, Victoria. Of these birds 8 (1908 hatching) were in bad condition, and 6 (1907 hatching) were in very fine condition. These birds were all seen for a
day after releasing, but after that all disappeared but 5 (1907 hatching), and one of this
5 soon after disappeared. Four exceptionally fine strong birds remain and are daily seen up
to date, December 12th.
"Seventy-five partridges released on 20th November at Cole Bay, Saanich. These birds
were, without exception, in very fine condition; in fact, as far as could be seen, in perfect
condition. They were released under most favourable conditions, as to weather, locality, etc.,
etc. Coveys of all sizes up to 50 birds have been seen on different occasions up to December
10th. These birds, for the observation of which exceptional opportunities exist, appear very
strong, are powerful on the wing, and already seem thoroughly acclimatized. They are
supposed to be 1908 hatching, but they are so well grown that most of them would pass as
1907 hatching.
"Total released on Vancouver and Sidney Island in 1908, 167.
"A. Bryan Williams, Esquire,
"Provincial Game Warden.
" lie Hungarian Partridges.
" Dear Sir,—I have caused a census to be taken as far as possible of the young birds
reared this season. The statistics have been collected during the months of September and
October, and are as reliable as one can expect.    The following are the particulars :—
Chilliwhack    113
Langley and District       200
Maple Ridge        50
East Delta    250
West Delta    120
Port Kells      34
Sea Island, Lulu Island, etc ,      20
" It can, I think, be safely estimated that there are a few more birds, which might bring
the total to 800. As to the total number of old birds and young, it is hard to say, but I think
one ought to be justified in saying there must be a total of 1,500 birds altogether on the
Lower Mainland. Given fair treatment and a good breeding season or so, and you can, I
think, be certain that the future of the Hungarian partridge in British Columbia is assured.
" Yours faithfully,
(Signed) "F. M. Chaldecott."
Closing the season for grouse during the month of September was a wise move this year,
but it is likely that a permanent close season for grouse of all kinds during that month would
do away with all the blue grouse shooting, owing to the birds being up on the mountains
before October. There seemed to be a splendid stock of blue grouse on Vancouver Island
during the past breeding season, but very few remained as late as October. Forest fires
played havoc with these birds in several districts. Willow grouse are reported to be more
Prairie Chicken.
There has been a big increase of these birds in the Okanagan and also in the Columbia
Californian quail have been most numerous this year on Vancouver Island, and the
mountain quail are also doing much better. 9 Ed. 7 Game Warden's Report. F 19
On the Mainland, the Californian quail seems to have taken a strong hold at Westminster
Junction, and a few scattered birds are reported in various places.
In the upper country the Bob White quail only seem to increase for a limited period and
then they fall off again.
Black Game.
At least two broods are actually known to have been hatched out this season near Duncan,
on Vancouver Island. One brood has been reported on the Mainland, but as it was only seen
once, no great faith can be placed in its existence. There are also rumours of other broods.
There is no doubt that the country is suited to these birds, but the number turned out makes
the experiment rather uncertain.
The three birds that took up their residence at Pitt Meadows have been seen frequently.
One of the hens hatched out three chicks. This brood was carefully watched, but some
" irresponsibles " managed, in spite of all efforts, to get a shot at the hen, and though he did
not actually kill her at the time, she has not been seen since and almost certainly died. The
three chicks lived for some time afterwards and may survive. No other authentic reports of
these birds have come to hand.
Unless something is done in the near future to protect our ducks, sport from these birds
will soon be a thing of the past. It is true that at odd times there has been good shooting in
several places this season, but taking the season as a whole, sport has been remarkably poor.
The men who will shoot at ducks 90, 100 or 150 yards away are doing a great deal of
damage, and such men who use automatics are a perfect pest; not only do they spoil their own
sport, but that of others as well. Frequently at week-ends in places where shooting is free to
all, every flock of ducks that appears within 200 yards has volley after volley fired at it; they
leave there never to return. Probably the next feeding grounds they go to the same thing
happens, and, finally, they leave the country altogether. The next flock gets treated in the
same way, and so on. Should a flock of ducks alight during the week the probability is they
will be marked down by some market hunter; one barrel will brown them on the water, and
then if, as generally is the case, a pump or automatic is used, three or more shots will either
kill or more probably wound others. The law places a limit of 250 ducks in a season to each
gun, but this means nothing to the market hunter, as it cannot be enforced under present
conditions. It could, however, be fairly well enforced were the " tag system " used. Then
any man who wishes to sell ducks buys 250 tags at the value it costs to print the tags ; each
tag is numbered, and as long as a duck is for sale a tag must remain on it. A very heavy fine
should be imposed in the event of anyone buying tags for another person, each party being
equally liable.
A combination of the adoption of the " tag system " and the prohibition of the use of
pump-guns, or at least automatics, would certainly have a good effect.
victoria, B.C.
Printed by Richard Wolfenden, I.S.O., V.D., Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty.


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