Friday, 4 June 2021
Monday, 29 March 2021
Vancouver Hunter: Great read. Happy to see collaborative management of Caribou between the Tahltan Nation and BC government biologists. We as hunters need to talk to our elected officials and ask them to find more funds for protecting habitat and wildlife.
Monday, 17 February 2020
I can honestly say that I was apprehensive about eating heart. I don't know why. Perhaps it was because, other than liver, I have never really eaten much organ meat. After hearing so many people describe how delicious it is, I decided to give heart a try. I was not disappointed.
The heart I prepared was from my last white tailed deer, a smaller 3x3 buck. I followed the simple preparation outlined by MeatEater, both online and in their book, "The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering and Cooking Wild Game".
The result was the most tender and flavourful meat I have ever eaten. It has the mouth feel of a perfectly cooked prawn, firm, but with a tender pop as you bite in. The flavour was like a perfectly cooked marbled steak. After just a few bites, I realized how special and unique eating heart was.
Without any doubt, the heart it is one of the best parts of the deer to eat. I would never pass up another chance at a heart. It completely blew my mind. How has it taken me this long to discover how awesome heart tastes!?
1) Cap and core the heart like you are preparing a bell pepper.
2) Slice into half inch thick cross sections. Trim and clean up pieces.
3) Prepare seasoned flour for dredging with salt and pepper.
4) Heat a few tablespoons of oil over medium high heat in a skillet.
5) Dredge pieces in flour and fry. Do not crowd pan.
6) Cook until golden brown on both sides.
7) Serve with ketchup. Enjoy!!!
Thursday, 16 January 2020
I'll break this down into 3 categories, hunting curious people, hunter education, and new hunters.
Resources for Hunting Curious People
If you didn't grow up around hunting, you may have negative preconceptions or concerns about hunting. I know I did. Also, the whole idea of hiking through the woods and shooting an animal might seem completely scary or foreign, not to mention the whole idea of gutting and butchering.
Why do you hunt?
Why I hunt comes down to food and being outdoors. It is very hard to explain how, in spite of camping and hiking for my whole life, it wasn't until I became a hunter that I really felt I fully appreciated BC's nature and beauty. Learning about animals and their habitat, and then spending the long weeks in their world that it takes to have a chance to harvest one is unlike any other experience. The best part of it all is being able to cook and share meals with friends, while telling the story of the adventure that made that meal possible.
|Venison Osso Buco|
There are many reasons why people hunt. For some tradition plays a role, for others food is a great incentive, but I think for all hunters, it is because they love being in nature and how rewarding the whole experience is. One thing is for sure, it's hard to put it in words. 1Campfire does a great job of distilling all of that into a couple of short videos.
What is hunting like?
Many people have concerns about hunting that stem from when the worst of the worst ends up on the 6 o'clock news. Yes, there are slob hunters out there who are just yahoo-macho-rednecks with guns. They make us all look bad and, unfortunately, a lot of hunting TV is targeted to them. So, please don't let most hunting TV shows give you the impression about what hunting is really like. However, there are a couple shows which portray hunting in a way most hunters I know aspire to emulate and practice.
MeatEater on Netflix - The best of the best. It shows hunting for what it is at the highest level of ethics, conservation, and passion about nature. This is the way everyone I know strives to hunt. If you want to get an idea of what it's like to go hunting, check out this show.
Other notable shows: Solo Hunter
Do you care about animals?
It may seem reasonable to assume that because hunters kill animals that they don't care about them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hunters are the loudest and most persistent advocates for protecting and restoring habitat and wildlife populations. After spending months or years of one's lifetime in nature, close to animals, it is impossible not to develop a deep passion for protecting the beauty and wildness of untouched places. A lot of hunters put a lot of time into conservation, political advocacy, and boots on the ground work to restore habitat and help scientists. A great example is the new Faces of Wildlife podcast. It highlights important conservation issues and just so happens to be hosted by hunters.
|Faces of Wildlife Podcast|
Are There Rules You Have to Follow?
It's not obvious to many non-hunters that there are rules that hunters must follow. Broadly speaking, there are two sets of rules that hunters must follow. These are the hunting and trapping regulations and Canada's firearms regulations if you plan to hunt with a firearm rather than a bow.
Canada's firearms licensing and regulations are complex and more information can be found here: http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/firearms
Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE)
To become a hunter, you must take a course called the Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Education (CORE) program. This course teaches all the basics of the current hunting regulations as well as basic outdoor safety and survival. Additionally, this course teaches you where to find and look up the latest changes in the regulations.
Many organizations and groups offer the CORE program. You can find a local examiner or organization through the BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF)
It is also worth checking out EatWild. They offer the CORE and PAL course, as well as many other outdoor education and hunter skills courses.
Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL)
|Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL)|
Haha! You're already in the right place!
My most useful posts for new hunters are likely:
First Hunting Trip and Gear List Part 1: Looking After Yourself
First Hunting Trip and Gear List Part 2: Hunting Essentials
Choosing Your First Hunting Rifle
For several years I tried to get involved with conservation and meet fellow hunters through various groups. I tried my fish and game club, the BCWF, and the Wild Sheep Society of BC. For whatever reason, it never seemed to work out that I could get involved with something my speed until I went to a pint night with the BC chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. The BCBHA holds monthly pint-nights across BC which is a great way to get connected with other hunters, make friends, and dip your toes into conservation with a very low barrier to entry. To quote Jenny Ly (BHA and Chasing Food Club), "I found my people" when I joined the BCBHA and started attending their monthly pint nights.
The Region 2 (Lower Mainland) pint night is always the last Thrusday of the month at 7:00pm. It is usually held at the Burnaby Lakes Rugby Club unless there is a special event (like this January 2020) because they have space to have a meeting while also having a pretty selection of beer. Come check it out and meet hunters!
This month the BCBHA has organized a live podcast instead of the usual pint night. The event is Jan 30, 2020, 7:00pm. See the event poster and click the link below for tickets.
|Click here to buy tickets|
Podcasts are downloaded radio programs that you can listen to on your smartphone while you're driving or working. There are many great podcasts that I listen to regularly to stay up to date on hunting issues. In fact, there are too many to listen to them all.
My top favourites are:
Rookie Hunter Podcast - Hunting from a new hunter in BC perspective
EatWild Podcast - Conservation and hunting education in BC
Faces of Wildlife Podcast - Conservation in BC
MeatEater Podcast - Conservation and hunting topics mostly in the US
Cutting the Distance Podcast -Tips and Tactics for hunting from an Expert
Cal's Week In Review - Conservation news from across North America
I use YouTube for learning to call moose and elk, as well as tips for field skills like field dressing game. Type in the skill you want to learn and you'll likely find a very helpful video.
It is also worth purchasing the Backroads Mapbooks for anywhere you plan on hunting.
Backcountry Journal https://www.backcountryhunters.org/tags/backcountry_journal
Journal of Mountain Hunting https://journalofmountainhunting.com/
Other Blogs and Instagram
Blogs and Instagram are another great way to learn abotu hunting and get involved. Definitely check out these:
Chasing Food Club
Chris Pryn on Instagram
Everyone is connected to wildlife, whether or not they are aware of it. Roads, power lines, pipelines, train tracks, and all of our houses exist in the habitat of BC's fish and wildlife. Becoming a hunter makes you acutely aware of our impact and connection with nature. I hope more and more people are able to experience and enjoy the outdoors in BC and gain an appreciation for this special place we live.
Friday, 3 January 2020
The comment deadline is January 9th at 4:00pm
Vancouver Hunter responded with the following commentary:
1) Deadlines for action to protect habitat and begin restoring fish and wildlife populations are too far in the future, beyond 2021 and some even after 2025. This pushes the start date to take action until after the next election. It is not sufficient just to continue to make committees and monitor declines in wildlife and fish populations which are in crisis.
2) Dedicated funding from allocating 100% of hunting licence fees to conservation was a campaign promise by the NDP in the last election and they have not followed through. I would support a reasonable increase in licence fees once 100% of fees are dedicated to conservation.
3) We need to end the professional reliance model where resource companies get to hire their own experts to sign off on resource extraction. This is a conflict of interest which leads to wildlife populations suffering.
4) We need quarterly and annual reports with facts and figures, showing objectives and funding, successes and failures, as we try to reverse the declines of wildlife populations.
5) We need per capita funding comparable to US states which are enjoying wildlife population increases due to well managed habitat. This means finding funding to grow the provincial budget from approximately $34 million to between $150 million and $250 million spent on conservation, habitat improvement, and wildlife management.
B.C.’s diversity of wildlife provides many environmental, cultural, social, and economic benefits to all British Columbians.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has adopted a four-phase engagement process to develop a new and improved wildlife management and habitat conservation strategy for British Columbia. The ministry collaborated with Indigenous peoples, rural communities, wildlife organizations, natural resource development industry stakeholders, and the public to develop the draft strategy, called Together for Wildlife.
The first phase of engagement was held from May 22 to July 31, 2018. We received over 1,100 comments through the website discussion and close to 50 written submissions. You can read the archived public comments, written submissions, and “what we heard reports” on this site.
The second phase of engagement focused on collaborative policy development from December 2018 to October 2019. During this phase, we worked closely with a newly established B.C.-First Nation Wildlife Forum and stakeholders from a range of sectors to identify priority policy options for the government to consider. This phase of engagement involved monthly meetings with the B.C.-First Nation Wildlife Forum, and a series of webinars and workshops with stakeholders. You can read more about the results of this engagement on the Phase 2 Engagement page.
During the third phase of engagement, we are checking in with all First Nations in B.C., as well as with stakeholders and the general public, to make sure that the right actions are identified in the draft Together for Wildlife strategy. This phase began with workshops with the B.C.-First Nation Wildlife Forum and stakeholders in October 2019, and is continuing with broader engagement in fall 2019. You can review the draft strategy and provide input on the Current Engagement page.
The fourth and final phase of this initiative will be implementation of the strategy. Although full implementation is targeted for Spring 2020, aspects of the strategy are being implemented throughout all phases of this initiative.
Wednesday, 21 August 2019
Not only do I use my crocs around the house for taking out the trash or doing home renovation, but they are part of my critical kit whenever I am camping or hunting.
After a long day in hunting boots, it is great to take off the boots and pad around camp in a pair of Crocs. They let your feet and boots air out, reducing moisture and the chance of blisters, and give you space to let your toes wiggle while you're sitting around the fire. With a pair of wool socks, they are plenty warm for even sub-zero nights sitting around a fire, and as a bonus, they are quick to slip on for a midnight pee. I've even used them to wade through a river crossing. They weigh nothing and make no noise so you can strap them to the outside of your pack on backpack hunts.
There is one downside of bringing Crocs hunting. You might get teased relentlessly. Trust me, they are just jealous. You won't be disappointed with having a pair of Crocs, and before you know it, others will be wanting their own too.