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Owners of shot-dog want limited hunting ban introduced

Veronica and James Woodruff want hunting banned in some recreational areas near Pemberton.



And they plan to ask the local council to endorse their plan at its next meeting on Dec. 7.

"What we are looking to do is close some high use trail areas to hunting," said Veronica Woodruff. "I want council’s support in pushing forward with this because I think they are key."

The Woodruffs would like to see hunting banned in the area from Happy trail up to the trailhead of Blood, Sweat and Fear, across to Mosquito Lake and down Cream Puff. They would also like a ban in the area along the trail linking One Mile Park to Nairn Falls Provincial Park.

The Woodruff’s proposal follows what appears to be the deliberate shooting of their Samoyed puppy Silva on the afternoon of Nov. 20. The couple was out mountain biking on "Overnight Sensation" with Silva and their other dog Chilko when they heard a shot. Both whistled and called for Silva to return. When the eight-and-half month old puppy did not return they began to look for her.

James Woodruff found Silva in a gully off Mackenzie Basin Road. She had been shot in the chest. The bullet is still with RCMP forensics and the police are still investigating the incident.

Pemberton Council does not have the legal authority to ban hunting in the area, but the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District does. The Woodruffs plan to submit a letter and maps of the area they propose for the hunting ban to the SLRD.

"I believe the SLRD can push this forward in time for next year’s hunting season," said Veronica Woodruff. "This makes sense to me and it should make sense to a hunter. I can’t imagine a hunter wanting to hunt where people are.

"And I think it is not realistic for them to say I shouldn’t be there. I have every right to be there."

With recreational use increasing in and around Pemberton’s woods Woodruff believes it is only a matter of time before there is a tragic shooting accident

"I don’t think bullets are winging round the woods but I do think there is a potential for an accident, especially as those trails are getting used more and more," said Veronica Woodruff. "I have talked to people who are now interested in snow-shoeing up there and walking so it is not just about mountain biking."

The trails, which traverse the area between Mosquito Creek and the glider launch site, off the Mackenzie Basin logging road, travel through some of the best deer hunting territory in the area. Indeed, hunters have been shooting game there for scores of years. The season runs from Sept.10 to Nov. 30.

Silva’s shooting has brought to the forefront a long simmering dispute between hunters and recreational users, many of whom have dogs that chase the game and ruin the hunt.

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