A recent poll by a Vancouver market research firm suggests British Columbians overwhelming oppose trophy hunting in the province, but most support hunting for meat.
Insights West conducted the online survey in late September and early October that asked 704 adult British Columbians, "Would you say you are in favour or opposed to each of the following?"
Total support for the activities was:
- Eating animals - 85 per cent.
- Hunting animals for meat - 73 per cent.
- Keeping animals in zoos or aquariums - 56 per cent.
- Using animals in rodeos: 38 per cent.
- Killing animals for their fur - 15 per cent.
- Hunting animals for sport (trophy hunting) - 10 per cent.
“There is one thing – which is hunting for meat – which is something seven out of 10 British Columbians would like to see happen,” says Mario Canseco, vice president of public affairs at Insights West.
“And there is one very different thing, which is hunting animals for sport, which only one in 10 want to see.”
Controversy over NHLer's trophy hunt
The long running controversy around trophy hunting was reignited earlier this year, when B.C. born NHL defensemen Clayton Stoner uploaded a video of him posing beside a grizzly bear he shot.
The Coastal First Nations alliance was critical of Stoner, particularly because the bear was killed in a region of the Great Bear Rainforest. The group had previously announced their own ban on trophy grizzly hunting in the territories of all nine of their member nations.
Many hunters, however, say that the trophy hunt is important to B.C.’s wildlife management strategy, and is largely misunderstood by people in urban areas.
“I think that it is misleading to try and split trophy hunting away from any other kind of hunting, because all aspects of hunting play an important role in B.C.’s game management process – as well as providing significant economic benefits to the province,” says Sheldon Clare, a member of the Prince George Rod and Gun Club.
“It’s not surprising because I think a lot of people in urban centres are not necessarily familiar with what hunting is. And hunting does capture a diverse range of activities, including hunting for food and hunting for trophies,” he says.
Clare also says that hunters are required to harvest meat from most of the species they hunt.