Moose hunt challenge off the table for this year

Tl’etinqox First Nation Chief Joe Alphonse says he will still discuss future hunting concerns with premier

Although they don’t agree with the government’s decision to allow moose hunting season to continue in the Chilcotin this year due to the devastation caused by wildfires, Tl’etinqox First Nation Chief Joe Alphonse says they are feeling too overwhelmed to take on the fight.

“We’re still trying to recover from the wildfires ourselves,” Alphonse said Tuesday.

On Monday evening the community held a meeting to discuss their options and the possibility of trying to hamper the hunting season in their territory, after three years of advocating for a moose closure.

“They feel the time to do something has passed,” Alphonse said, noting they will work within the current process.

Community members did, however, indicate they would like the issue raised with NDP Premier John Horgan, Alphonse said, and look toward better moose management and less bureaucracy next fall.

“There won’t be four years in a row. We are warning people now.”

Moose numbers have been on the decline throughout Region 5, and many parts of the province, in recent years. The population may have been further strained due to the Hanceville-Riske Creek and Plateau fires, Alphonse fears.

He said community members have been hearing stories about area residents finding dead or injured wildlife due to the large fires burning throughout the Chilcotin this summer.

The community fought their own battles this summer as well, choosing to stay in the community while several wildfires threatened the area.

The move strained relations with community members and the RCMP, and levels of government as the chief insisted to be a part of the fight to save Tl’etinqox.