A Richmond councillor has asked city staff to look into updating its hunting bylaws, in the wake of police being called to a mansion where people were shooting at snow geese.
Michael Wolfe said he’s been concerned for some time that the current rules may be out of date, given the proliferation of residential areas in relation to agricultural land, where hunting is allowed, with the correct permits.
Wolfe’s fears were brought to the fore two weeks ago when six police SUVs raced to a mansion on No. 4 Road just south of Steveston Highway at around 10 a.m., after getting reports of a man shooting at snow geese.
Police later said that, while this residence was within a zone where hunting is permitted, “numerous hunting violations were observed.”
They seized a number of firearms for alleged firearms violations, including careless storage and charges were pending.
“I was aware of these kind of issues prior to that incident. I’ve heard from residents who’ve spotted large groups of people in camo gear entering (agricultural) properties with guns and then hearing the guns going off overnight,” said Wolfe, who’s expecting to see a report from city staff this week.
“The question is, have they got permission? Perhaps they know the property owner is overseas?
“At the south end of No. 2 Road, and east end of Steveston Highway, there are pockets (of land) where we should maybe re-think where guns can be discharged.”
Wolfe said he’d like to see the current hunting bylaw updated, “if there is room for it to be updated. I don’t think they’ve been refreshed for the last decade or so.”
However, Wolfe said he’s cognizant of the fact that the use of firearms is necessary on farmland, noting that some of his friends’ first jobs was riding around on dirt bikes on blueberry farms, shooting bangers at the crows
“So I understand the role of guns on farmland, but it shouldn’t be for sport; it shouldn’t be at the expense of birds that have just flown here from their Russian breeding grounds, getting shot at from the back of a mansion,” added Wolfe.