Bow hunting season begins 

Bow hunting season began Sept. 1 and there's no bylaw to prohibit crossbows in Whistler.

The issue was raised in council in August but any actions that may be taken to curb bow hunting within municipal boundaries won't be made until at least October.

Heather Beresford, environmental stewardship manager for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, who is in charge of the report, said she's keeping an open mind and not necessarily jumping to the conclusion that a bylaw regulating bow hunting is the only option.

"I'm looking into other options and I will be taking it back to council in October," she said. "I don't have an exact date yet."

She said it's within their authority to enact the bylaw immediately, in the middle of hunting season, or to enact it at the start of the spring hunting season.

Currently, crossbow hunting is legal within Whistler boundaries as long as the hunter is licensed and is 15 metres away from the centre line on the road, and/or is 100 metres away from a playground or building occupied by people or domestic animals.

Crossbow hunters had been hunting for decades in and around Whistler with little controversy until mid-June, when a bear was shot and killed south of Function Junction near Highway 99. Dismayed witnesses called authorities but the Conservation Officer Service (COS) found that the hunter was in his legal right to shoot the bear.

On Aug. 21, another bear was shot with a crossbow within Village of Pemberton boundaries. That incident is currently under investigation but Sgt. Chris Doyle of the COS said charges will be laid.

In July, Sylvia Dolson of the Get Bear Smart Society started a grassroots campaign, Whistler Residents Opposed to Urban Hunting (WROUH), calling on council to regulate bow hunting within RMOW boundaries. The movement attracted media attention from major new outlets across the province.



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