Twelve months ago, we were wondering what 2015 would bring. Who would have predicted the proposed expansion and extension of the spring bear hunt? Or that Asian carp would be caught in the waters of Toronto?
We thought it would be fun to look back at the stories that made this year’s Ontario OUT of DOORS most-read list.
Our most popular online article in 2015 was a print hit as well. Canadian country singer Terri Clark shared with us the reasons she has always loved to fish. “My grandfather used to be a commercial fisherman in B.C., years and years ago, so I think it runs in my bloodstream a little bit.” Read the full story here.
Wild boars in Ontario? At No. 2, we had commenters sniffing around for bacon. In August, a male and a female boar were spotted in Caledon, and the female was shot dead by an OPP officer in the Centreville Creek area. Did you know hunters with a small game licence can shoot wild boars? Read the full story here.
Moose hunt changes
Frustration was at the root of our third most popular article – especially among those who remember better moose hunting days. The MNRF announced in February that it was proposing to shorten the hunting season for moose calves in 2015 and delay the start of the 2016 season. The proposals follow drastic cuts to moose tag allowances in certain Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in 2014. In the Thunder Bay area, for example, there was an 87% reduction in adult moose tags last year and in the Kirkland Lake area, the reduction was 93%. Read the full story here.
Walleye fishery closed
MNRF’s confirmation of the closure of the walleye fishery in Lake Scugog came in at No. 4. The closure goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016. This is a story to watch in the year ahead. Read the full story here.
POLs to PALs
Finally, at No. 5, we let readers in on a federal government plan to convert firearm possession only licences (POLs) to possession and acquisition licences (PALs). That change was one of two firearms-related provisions – both contained in the Common Sense Firearms Licencing Act – made after the former parliament met for the final time. Read the full story here.
Here are some other stories that led their sections in 2015.
BLOGS: Readers were moved by Gord Ellis’ piece on a bear hunt to remember.
GUNS & GEAR: Managing Editor Ray Blades did a stellar job reporting on the latest guns and gear with his 2015 Shot Show coverage from Las Vegas.
TRAVEL: In a feature that also appeared in print, James Smedley took readers to a walleye wonderland at Fushimi Lake.
COOKING: We had fun with this one; readers really wanted to know what went into French fried squirrel with onion rings.
Look for more coverage of outdoors action on the ice, on the water, in the bush, up a tree, and in the kitchen in 2016.