Date of this Version
Up to 1949, the Fish and Game Branch employed personnel, some of whom were temporary, to attempt control of the extremely high wolf pop¬ulations of the central and northern portions of British Columbia. Coyotes were also very numerous in the central and southern regions and had to be considered because of their depredations. The field men were keen and conscientious but their efforts were not co-ordinated. Control areas were severely restricted in size as techniques were not adaptable enough and because of a lack of manpower. Eventually, sheepmen went out of business entirely over wide areas, cattlemen were subjected to huge annual losses, and sportsmen were very concerned. However, stock losses constituted the major complaint and resulted in ranchers demanding action* Two major changes came out of this. First, the bounty on wolves was raised and second, the present Predator Control Division was formed. The administration was convinced that a force of experienced, fully-trained field staff under a single supervision would be far more effective than bounty payments. Unfortunately, bounties were in vogue during that time and forced the necessity of proving the worth of organized controls before any consideration could be given to the elimination of the bounty system.