Ryan Kohler of Edge TV (2nd left) and Vancouver Canucks' forward David Booth (4th Left) pose with unidentified men and a black bear in a photo from Booth's twitter account.
Credits: TWITTER PHOTO
VANCOUVER -- Hunters in the Lower Mainland are taking aim at a proposed ban on bow hunting in Coquitlam, BC.
About 40 people filled the city's council chambers this week to speak at a public meeting about a proposed firearms control bylaw that would regulate bow hunting as well as change the boundaries of where a firearm can be used in the Vancouver suburb.
The hunting community argued a full-out ban would allow predatory animals to get out of control in the area and could cause harm to residents.
"When you don't have mild hunting pressure you actually have the animals invading the urban areas and you get bears in backyards going through garbage or walking through screen doors because now they don't have a respectful fear for human," said Ted Kennedy, vice-president of bowhunting for the BC Archery Association.
Kennedy argued at Tuesday night's meeting that hunters are not shooting anywhere near where people live or play.
The proposed ban came after a bow hunter on a blueberry farm shot a bear. The animal was not killed and wandered into a popular provincial park before being caught nearly a day later.
City Coun. Selina Robinson brought the original proposal forward in 2011. She said Coquitlam is a fast-changing community and under the current law hunters could be using weapons very close to where people live.
"I have some concern given how quickly Coquitlam is growing that we are no longer a rural community," Robinson said Tuesday. "The activities that certainly fit in well here over the last 100 years no longer fit with where we are headed with 24,000 people moving into Burke Mountain.
"I can't imagine how to manage hunting with people riding their bikes, walking their bikes along the dike and others carrying their guns. It doesn't fit."
Coquitlam city council suggested a compromise to a full a ban. The city would allow hunting in areas that are remote and inhabitable. No decision is expected on the bylaw for a few more weeks.
The upset over a proposed bylaw comes as Canadians coast to coast expressed outrage over the baiting and killing of a bruin by Vancouver Canucks hockey player David Booth.
Kennedy, however, said he doesn't expect the controversy over Booth's bear killing to negatively affect bow hunting in B.C., a province that has an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 hunters - none of whom are allowed to bait bears like they can legally in Alberta.
"I'm a little surprised (by the outrage). The fact that it's different in our province is probably what creates the negativity. Some people feel like it's a not a fair opportunity for the bear and it's different in our province."