According to BC regional manager Andy Ackerman, guide-outfitters in the affected area are being given the opportunity to decide how the restrictions should be fairly implemented. Some stone sheep outfits have as many as 20 permits, of course, while others have as few as three or four on an annual basis. The cuts, obviously, could have a big impact on a small outfit.
We have all of the above information from western Canada correspondent Ken Nowicki, who told us at press time that at least one major stone sheep outfit has just changed hands and three others are for sale, including one of the biggest in the province. It cannot be proven at the moment that all (or any) of the sales are related to the drop in stone sheep numbers, but the possibility of that certainly exists. He promised us more details soon.
In the meantime, the above-mentioned plunge in numbers is not a sudden phenomena. In fact, it has played out over a 10-year period, Nowicki says, noting it is a mystery to everyone at the moment just what is behind it. Coyotes are thought to be a part of the problem. But overhunting is definitely not, he says.
And wait.... There is still more bad news in British Columbia, Nowicki says. Seems there is also going to be a 30 percent reduction in grizzly hunting province-wide in 2004. This will affect both resident and nonresident hunting opportunities. The reasons for the grizzly reductions are unavailable at this time but probably are political, Nowicki says.
"These quota reductions are sure to........(continued)