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A pilot project to authorize elk hunting on Yukon farms advance

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Elk were first introduced to the Yukon in the 1950s.

Radio- Canada

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The steering committee on predatory elk hunting in agricultural areas, on which the Yukon Fish and Game Association sits, plans to soon hire a coordinator for its two-year pilot project.

Announced in winter 2023, the goal of this project will be to reduce the presence of elk on Yukon agricultural lands with the help of hunters.

Eric Schroff, president of the Yukon Fish and Game Association, says the person hired will have to plan programs to issue hunting licenses on agricultural land.

The rule in Yukon is that it is forbidden to hunt within one kilometer of a residence without a license, he said, adding that any farmer who would like to authorize hunting on his land must also obtain permission from neighboring landowners. We hope the coordinator will facilitate this process.

Hunters, farmers and government officials who deal with elk management in the territory will work together on this project, indicates the Yukon Hunting and Fishing Association.

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In support of the committee's collaborative work, the Yukon government is investing $175,000 $ over two years in the position of coordinator, indicated the territory's press release dated January 12, 2023.

The possibility of allowing elk hunting on farmland surprises a group of farmers in the Takhini Valley west of Whitehorse.

We spent 15 years trying all kinds of solutions to eliminate the problem, Mr. Blumenschein said. We found ourselves in a situation where the only solutions left were to create an exclusion zone in the Takhini Valley, fence off all agricultural properties or relocate the elk, he said.

He said an exclusion zone would mean elk could be hunted throughout the year.

Farmer Wayne Grove explains that elk can cross barbed wire fences in some fields to graze on seedlings under the snow. Despite this, he does not find the idea of ​​allowing hunters on his land appealing: Would you like strangers armed with big guns coming to your house?

Wayne Grove preferred to take legal action. He and his wife launched a lawsuit in 2020 against the territorial government alleging that mismanagement of elk herds was negligent.

The Yukon Supreme Court dismissed the case on the grounds that it had no reasonable chance of success. This decision was overturned on appeal in 2022. The case will go to court in October 2024.

With information from Meribeth Deen

By admin

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