Hunting season is now underway in our M.D. The following is provided as an overview. Please consult the provided links for more detailed information.
Starting Sept 1, 2017, the Archery/Primitive Weapons season opened for most species in our County in Wildlife Management Units (WMU’s) 212 and 312. West of Hwy 762 and in roughly a north/south line from Hwy 762 to Hwy 541 is designated as WMU 406. The gun season there opened Sept 17 for hunters who hold special licenses.
A map detailing the exact boundaries of all WMU’s and an itemized list of seasons and species may be found at www.albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/wmu/wmu/300.html
Roughly speaking, WMU 212 is the area immediately around the City of Calgary which for our area is north of Hwy 22x, east of Hwy 22 and north of the Sheep River. The archery/primitive weapons season runs there from Sept 1 to Nov 30, 2017. In WMU 312, however, in addition to the archery season, a “General” or gun season for most species opens Nov 1 and runs to Nov 30, 2017. Priddis, Millarville, Turner Valley, Black Diamond and Longview are all in WMU 312. The exact boundary is somewhat complicated so again refer to the above link.
In addition to the regular seasons there are Special licenses granted in all WMU’s for both Deer and Elk, which can extend into Jan 2018. See the above reference.
In anticipation of hunting season there may be an increase in the sound of gunfire due to hunters sighting rifles and target practice. Firing ranges on private land are legal regardless of where you live but should not create a danger to other residents. We recently fanned out a situation where someone was shooting unsafely and it posed a serious threat to others. Should this be the case, call 911.
Hunting Season can be viewed as either a highly anticipated event or a period of anxiety depending on your individual perspective. It is, regardless of perspective, a legal right supported and encouraged by our Province to assist with the management of wildlife and to provide economic benefits. This year we would like to provide some comments in the hope of finding a better balance between those who hunt, support hunting and those who are non-hunters.
- Be informed. Know what is legal and what is not by visiting www.albertaregulations.ca/huntingregs/genregs.html
- Do not interfere with someone who is hunting legally. You can be charged under the Alberta Wildlife Act Part 4.
- Observe Record and Report violations to Fish & Wildlife Report-a-Poacher line 1- 800-642-3800.
- Urgent calls regarding safety should be directed to 911.
- Be advised there are only 2 Fish and Wildlife Officers for this very large area.
- Be mindful that a strange vehicle on your road may not necessarily be a hunter. If it is suspicious report it to the RCMP.
Landowners Who Support Hunting:
Reduce the number of complaint calls you receive:
- Know who is hunting on your property, and limit the number of people hunting at one time.
- Request them to respect adjacent landowners.
- Ask hunters not to sit on fence lines regardless of the direction they will be shooting. It might be legal but it is not respectful.
- Obtain a signed waiver from those hunting on your land. Examples exist on many on-line sites.
- If you do not live on or near the property where hunting permission has been granted, periodically check for unauthorized hunters.
- Ask your hunters to report to you when they see someone hunting unsafely or violating regulations and the privileges you have granted.
- Although hunting is a legal entitlement, recognize that not everyone has a comfort level with guns.
- You may be a responsible hunter, but you are an unknown armed individual near someone’s home, family and livestock.
- Be respectful of adjoining landowners. Realize that the sound of gunfire can cause injury to people dealing with nearby livestock, or family pets can bolt and become lost.
- Trespass laws must be obeyed even if you are following a wounded animal. You MUST have permission to enter a property.
- Help to improve relations between hunters and non-hunters, reducing the ever-*increasing number of posted properties. It is to your advantage.
Please let us all be respectful of each other’s right to safety and the enjoyment of property as specified in our Alberta Bill of Rights.
John Robin Allen
High Country Rural Crime Watch Association
Web page: hcrcwa.ca