Woodruff makes emotional plea for hunting restrictions 

Police, hunters focusing on finding person who shot dog

After finding her dog shot to death two weeks ago Veronica Woodruff faced a room packed with hunters from the Pemberton Wildlife Association Tuesday and asked for Pemberton council’s support in extending some hunting boundaries.

Woodruff made the emotional plea after her purebred Samoyed, Silva, was shot while she was mountain biking with her husband, James, two weeks ago near Pemberton.

Pemberton Mayor Elinor Warner made it clear to Woodruff that there was nothing the council could do except decide to support her; the area Woodruff wants made off-limits to hunters is in the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.

And while the Mackenzie Basin area is in the SLRD’s jurisdiction, any decision to change hunting boundaries must also include the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection.

But Woodruff said she feels the area in question "could one day be part of Pemberton" as the municipality expands, and she wants as much support as possible.

"I’ll admit I am being fuelled by passion because of something that has happened to me that’s been incredibly devastating," said Woodruff. "And it’s just not the kind of thing that I would want to happen near a community where I intend to raise children."

Woodruff indicated that in the past two weeks she has talked to a lot of hunters about the incident and was somewhat sympathetic to their position.

"I do believe for the most part that the person who shot my dog was not a hunter and he’s giving hunters a bad name," she said.

Councillor Mark Blundell thanked Woodruff for her presentation but he also declared that he was a member of the Pemberton Wildlife Association, or PWA, and voiced a desire to see the area shared rather than shut down to any one group.

"That’s a resource to the community… all kinds of people from the community mingled in there," said Blundell. "Is there a way to work together so we could share the area?"

Blundell said that there could be other consequences, such as an explosion in the cougar population, if hunters were banned from the Mackenzie Basin area.

"I think it would be good to work together as citizens to see if we could find a way to traffic the resource."

Clarke Gatehouse, president of the PWA, said later that he felt Woodruff’s presentation was heart felt but he disagreed with what she was trying to do.

"Veronica Woodruff said at the council meeting that she is driven by emotion. Emotion is a poor reason to make a decision on land use," said Gatehouse. "Veronica has attempted to portray this as a safety issue, but the actual facts don’t support her argument. There has never been a documented case of a random stray bullet from a hunter ever hitting anyone in B.C."

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