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WK Hunting & Fishing In the West Kootenay our hunters and fishermen and the businesses that support backcountry adventurers are very proud and protective of our great outdoor heritage. If you are new to the area and looking for advice, any one of these merchants would help you find what you need to be prepared. Due to the tinder dryness in the WK, please check for any backcountry closures before heading out. http://bcfireinfo.for.gov.bc.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/DisplayBan.asp?ID=501#OpenFireBans

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Regulation Changes 2017 For those of us who enjoy the opportunity to harvest our own natural organic food, the fall means one thing – hunting season is near. As you get ready to head into the woods this year, there are a few regulation changes everyone should be aware of. Always remember to check with the current Hunting and Trapping Synopsis and visit www.gov.bc.ca/hunting for the most up to date info. The Kootenay Region has seen five major changes to the local regulations: The Bag Limit for wolves has increased in some areas to three (3) from a previous limit of two (2). Other areas have remained the same with No Bag Limit in effect. The White–tailed Deer antlerless limit has been reduced to one (1). This means you may now only harvest one antlerless and one buck for a combined limit of two (2). When it comes to harvesting antlerless animals please use restraint. The antlerless are the future of the herd and

with populations declining you can make the choice if it goes in the freezer or helps increase the population. Compulsory Inspection has been added for wolf, bobcat, moose and West Species of Note Mule Deer Youth Only Bow Only White-tailed Deer Youth Only Bow Only Elk Bow Only Moose Bow Only Big Horn Mountain Sheep Mountain Goat Black Bear Bow Only Wolf Cougar Snowshoe Hare Grouse Turkey Bow or Shot Only Bow Only

Class 4 Point Bucks Bucks Bucks Bucks Bucks Bucks 6 point Bulls Bulls Spike Fork Bulls Spike Fork Bulls Full Curl Bighorn Rams

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Kootenay elk. See page 21 of the Hunting Synopsis for more info. This means that all moose, elk, lynx, bobcat and wolf must be inspected within 30 days of the kill. All cougars must be inspected within four days (4) of the kill. The hunting season for wolverine is now closed.

There are some new Access Management Areas. Check www.env. gov.bc.ca/kootenay/ eco/access. htm for help in determining what areas are now closed to all motorized vehicles.

We would also like to remind people that hunting is a privilege that can be impacted by the actions of participants. Hunting ethics are vital to peoples’ perception of our sport and way of life. Remember to Report all Poachers and Polluters @ 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP).

Good luck to all who venture out to challenge yourself and please remember to stay safe, shoot straight and always have the wind in your face.

John Urqhart, Valley Firearms

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Decisions, Decisions... Organic, non-GMO local meat, a privilege given to all Canadians who choose to experience it. You have taken the training and passed the test, now what do you buy to do the job? First, do you want to hunt with a gun or a bow? Hunting with a rifle is the easiest way to harvest wild game, but you will need a licence. To own a gun you need to take a course, pass a test, apply for and successfully pass a criminal records check. Sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t too bad.

I would suggest a bolt action rifle with a scope in a 270 Winchester or 30 06 Springfield. These calibre are perfect for any big game in Canada and the ammo is cheap and readily available at most stores. There is also small game hunting for grouse, turkey and rabbit. For that a 22 rim fire or a shotgun is what you want. If you hunt with a bow no test or course is required. As for the type of bow, a crossbow is the easiest, but you would need at least a 150lb draw at no farther than 50 yards for your shot. Bows are for closer range, but do extend your hunting season as the BC regulations let bow hunters go out before and after the gun season.

Once you have your gun licence you’ll need to decide on a gun. The calibre of the rifle you choose will depend on what you are hunting for and what your budget is. Many of us started out with an old army surplus rifle that we bought for cheap or a gun that was handed down from our Centrepoint Sniper parents from a war. We harvested Crossbow game with it, but were limited on the range of shots we could take.

Whether you decide on a gun or a bow, you will need to practice until you have the perfect shot. You don’t want to injure the animal or damage too much of the meat. With some practice at the range with either your rifle or bow you are ready to go out and harvest you supper! There are many products on the market for the hunter, from long range rifles and scopes to infra-red cameras and scents. The choices are endless. I can tell you that universally you will need a good knife with a sharpener, and depending on what you are hunting, a good game call. The rest is up to you and what you can afford. If you’re lucky, you know an experienced hunter who is willing to mentor you, but there is also a lot of information to be found on YouTube about hunting practices and tips. In the end, nothing can beat time spent in the outdoors as you experience the tradition of harvesting you own food.

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“When I left my car I thought I would only be gone an hour or two, then I got lost” Same old story... To be a survivor and not a statistic, you will need a survival kit. A kit should not be too heavy and bulky. Limit it to the essentials. Develop a habit of taking it with you every time you head out into the field. Knowing how to use the equipment is as important as having it. Survival kits should be based on personal needs, terrain and climate. Some contents are universal. Here are our recommendations based on many years of experience as a hunters and outdoor recreationalists. MATCHES, LIGHTER & FIRE STARTER We suggest both a lighter and matches coupled with solid fire starer. Being able to start a fire can be the difference between life or death. HEADLAMP with extra batteries & bulb. Good headlamps free hands and light the path. Check the batteries before each outing.

MULTI TOOL Buy a quality 4-5 inch with a nylon case. Poor quality multi tools are not worth their weight and many times can promote injury. Nylon sheaths are preferred to leather – they have proven to be lighter and durable. MAPS – waterproof or a GPS (learn to use the GPS!) SPACE BLANKET is essential. Both water proof and wind proof, a space blanket is lightweight and does not take up much room. They serve many purposes: shelter, ground cloth, heat reflector and signaling. They can also work as a rain poncho. LARGE HEAVY DUTY GARBAGE BAGS Carry 3-4 heavy 3 mil thickness lawn or leaf bags. There are many uses: rain poncho, wind blocks, ground cloths and more. STAINLESS STEEL CUP 12 oz plus- essential for drinking and it enables you to heat water and cook food in a pinch.

WATER PURIFICATION FILTER straw or tablets. Clean water is essential. Carry 1 or 2 water bottles. WIRE SAW - compact, lightweight and inexpensive. The saw will make quick work of building shelter or cutting firewood. Many can cut wood, metal, plastic and bone. PARACHUTE CORD - used to build shelter, tying splints and hundreds of other uses. 50 ft should be lots. (learn to tie several strong knots.) FOOD Energy bars, freeze dried meals, trail mix, instant soup, hard candy. WHISTLE & MIRROR Whistles can attract help, frighten animals. Mirrors can be used to signal for help, help to access facial cuts or eye injuries. FIRST AID KIT It’s important to get a good quality first aid kit. Add your medications and keep it updated. If y o u use up something, replace it. TOILET PAPER has many uses besides the obvious. Tinder, equipment cleaning or a quick wound dressing.

Personalize your survival kit. Don’t forget your medications!

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SUN GLASSES Snow or sun blindness can add grief to a survival situation. CELL PHONE/ SPOT DEVICE Cell phones can be very useful if you’re lost in an area of reception. The Spot device works in all areas. LIGHTWEIGHT SOLAR CHARGER for batteries, cell phone or spot device. ALUMINUM FOIL, Heavy duty great for cooking, or as a heat reflector. It can be used to drink with or eat from. In a pinch it will work as a signaling device. MONOFILAMENT FISHING LINE Use it as thread to repair shelter or clothing, make a snare or as a drying rack. PAPER COFFEE FILTERS can filter drinking water, used as a fire starter, even a wound dressing. The kit will probably weigh about 3 pounds. There are many great options to add or substitute to this list. This is meant to be a guide. The important thing is to have the kit with you while you enjoy our fantastic Kootenay playground. Have fun, play hard and be safe. Always remember to tell someone when and where you’re going!

Jim Philipzyk, Obsessed Optics

Go outside and play! All of us backcountry enthusiasts know that access is becoming increasingly more challenging. With the deactivation of many of our traditional forest service roads (FSR), the road surfaces and grades are deteriorating and with each year the vegetation is taking over more of the right-of-ways. If where you love to go is getting too rough for your pickup, the team at Main Jet has the solution. Main Jet offers several lines of recreational vehicles, including side x sides and ATVs from manufacturers like Honda and Polaris, ranging from single passenger right up to 6 passenger units. These vehicles are designed for traveling over the roughest of roads with ease, allowing you to get back to those special zones to start your hunt on foot.

• Reduced operating costs, fuel and consumable mechanical components. • Quicker more efficient access, overall 4x4 ability. • More maneuverability – typically smaller in overall size, turning around etc … • Better suspension. Less impact on the operator as opposed to a traditional 4x4 vehicle. • Scratches from vegetation (Kootenay pin striping) don’t hurt as much as on your prized traditional vehicle. • Following a successful hunt they can assist in the transportation and lifting of a harvest. • The overall fun factor and fresh air experience are probably the recreational vehicle’s best attributes.

Here are some of the key advantages to consider when thinking of an ATV or Side x Side as access for your next hunting adventure:

Be sure to follow your local regulations for possible motor vehicle closures in certain areas. Tread lightly and safely as the Kootenays offer us one of the most beautiful playgrounds in the world. Let’s respect it!

• Lighter foot print whilst practising tread lightly operations … as opposed to a large heavy traditional 4WD vehicle.

Questions? Contact the team at Main Jet Motorsports 250.352.3191 or 24/7 at www.mainjet.ca, to learn more about how to get you into the backcountry!

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Columbia River Walleye BC’s best kept fishing secret might well be that the Columbia River between Trail and Castlegar is home to one of the best walleye fisheries in all of Western Canada. This fishery is so strong that the daily limit is eight walleye per person! These fish average in size between 2 and 3 pounds. Many people would agree with me that walleye is one of the tastiest fish that North America has to offer. There are essentially two peak periods of the year that the Columbia River walleye fishery becomes very productive: early spring during the pre-spawn phase and late summer/early fall before the cooler weather approaches. Look for the deeper, slower moving bodies of water in the river. The walleye will be nestled only inches from the bottom. The most effective way to fish for these fish is from a boat by either bottom bouncing a spinner or grub; or my favourite method is to jig the bottom with a ¾ ounce or 3/8 ounce jig with a plastic grub or worm. It’s very important that you’re making contact with the bottom or you won’t

catch anything. Walleye are a schooling fish and when you find one there will be many more! Once a school of wallies is detected, position your boat over top of the school and jig. Set the jig on the bottom for about 3-5 seconds and jig up 6 to 8 inches for 10 seconds, repeat! When these fish bite you need to set the hook with some force, very similar to bass fishing as they have tough mouths and the the Columbia River has a barbless hook restriction. A strong hook set is crucial in bringing the fish to the boat. My preferred area on the Columbia River to fish for these walleye is northwest of Castlegar near the Keenleyside Dam. Again, fish the slower moving waters that range in depths from 30 to 40 feet deep. A

decent boat launch can be found just west of the Robson Tempo gas station. When you are in Castlegar and want some great tips and more information on this Columbia River fishery stop by and visit the team at Castlegar Sports Centre & Fly Shop at 1951 Columbia Ave, right across from the Sandman Inn. These guys will tell you where the hotspots are and what to use, even if you are using a fly rod or spinning rod. This is also a great place to purchase jigs and bottom bouncers.Tight Lines!

Danny Coyne, BCFishn.com

Dreaming of the big one? Every fisherman dreams of this and now you have finally hooked into the biggest rainbow trout of your life. Not just any normal trout, but the famous Gerrard rainbow. After a 20 minute battle, you finally see this amazing specimen – a bright silver body with a beautiful red band along its side. A Kootenay Lake day never looked so beautiful as this fish! Last year in July there were days like that on Kootenay Lake when Kerry Reed

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and his guides kept their clients catching 10 or more rainbows and bull trout in a day. Then in August, as the water temperatures really warmed up, they were catching more bull trout than rainbows. But still enough fish to keep everyone smiling. Towards the end of September, coincident with a drop in water temperature, the rainbows started to come out to play once again. As the water cools down in the fall, the fish begin to feed heavily. This is the time of year when you can catch some of the biggest fish in the lake on the surface. Imagine trolling your lure right on the surface and having a giant Gerrard rainbow take the lure and start running away with it. The acrobatic maneuvers of these great fish, as they jump out of the water over and over will give you a feeling that can’t be described until it happens to you.

fishing on Kootenay Lake is the best. If you don’t have the equipment or knowledge for fall or winter fishing, there are a few guides/outfitters who can take you out. Kootenay Lake is home to the world famous Gerrard rainbow trout that can weigh in as heavy as 35 lbs. There are also, great numbers of Dolly Varden (bull trout). They have been caught up to 29 lbs. Fishermen from all over the world come to Kootenay Lake for their chance at catching ‘the fish of a lifetime’. Get out and enjoy our beautiful lake. It’s a different world out there!

Kerry Reed, Reel Adventures.

Get lucky on the lake These lures have proven themselves to be the most effective over the years for Kootenay Lake and the West Arm. The 215 Bucktail for trolling for the Gerrard or bulls in the main lake. The Orange Kamlooper Spoon for rainbows (off shore or main lake fishing as well) The Tasmanian Devil for rainbows in the arm. The purple/black Best lure for Gerrard rainbows or bull trout. The Kokanee Hoochie for kokanee in the arm in season.

The fall season is prime fishing time, but don’t let colder temperatures keep you indoors. Because of the depth of Kootenay Lake and the currents throughout the lake, it never freezes so you can still get out on your boat. Some people claim that fall and wintertime

Before you dip your line, check out the fishing regulations http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/ regulations/docs/1517/fishing_ synopsis_2015-17_region4.pdf Photo: A Jones, Jones Boys Boats

Gas up the car and boat, pick up your snacks, licence, bait and the latest fishing info at the

FISHING’S GREAT Best little fishing store in the Kootenays Largest amount of lures, hand tied flies, bucktails, kokanee gear, downrigger balls around. Scotty, Shimano, Amundsen, Tomic, Best Lures, Ugly Sticks, etc.

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Wk hunting & fishing section sept 5, 2017  

Tips and information for Hunting and Fishing in the West Kootenay

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