Moose draw system coming under review

by Lezlie Goodwin | November 23, 2018

moose drawThe Ontario government has announced its intention to improve the moose draw process. Over the next two years, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will look at making, “the moose draw fairer, more accessible and simpler for hunters,” according to a government press release issued Nov. 22.

The government says it will work with an advisory committee over the next two years to review, “how tag quotas are developed, how hunters apply for tags, and the current allocation process.”

“We appreciate the feedback and perspectives shared by hunters and stakeholders, and I encourage them to continue contributing to the discussion on moose management approaches,” said John Yakabuski, minister of natural resources and forestry, in the release.

“The OFAH has been asking for this type of review for years,” said OFAH Wildlife Biologist Keith Munro. “Many of our members had lost faith in the previous government’s ability to manage moose and the apparent lack of interest in listening to moose hunters. This review will hopefully pave the road for the conservation of Ontario’s moose populations, while supporting sustainable hunting opportunities.”

“We are constantly hearing from moose hunters who want to share their concerns and recommendations about how to improve moose management and moose hunting,”added Munro. “We have been keeping track and are ready to share these ideas with the moose advisory committee.”

Details on how the moose tag review process will roll out will be provided here as soon as they become available.

Click here to read more about the coromant hunt in the works.


  1. Charles Allison wrote: The first step to increasing moose numbers in the province should be the cancelation of all calf hunting by draw or licence. This is a policy that does nothing for increasing the numbers of moose in the province. Ontario is one of very few if any jurisdictions in North America where calf moose hunting is permitted. It is hard to grow a population when you take the new members out of that species every year before they have a chance to breed.
  2. Mike wrote: Stop cow amd calf hunting for 5 years grow the population to allow for more hunting opportunity.
  3. Robert Bolton wrote: In my 32 yrs in our camp I have received 2- adult tags and some of the members have had none. It would certainly be great to get another adult tag before my hunting days are over. Thankyou Robert Bolton Woodview, Ontario.
  4. michael gore wrote: i am sure losing intressed in hunting been hunt sence i was 15 thing have to change and give out tags
  5. Joe parker wrote: Consider this...Ontario is huge. It’s divided into 3 regions( northwestern, northern and southern) Yet is all a single province. Moose hunting privileges should be issued (IE) as if you live in southern Ontario and wish to hunt northern Ontario or nothwestrn Ontario not should be treated as a non resident hunters and any combination there of. Northern people rely on moose hunting opportunities to sustain themselves, yet we continue to remove there privileges.
  6. Tony cote wrote: I think if the moose population is low u should try bulls only for a couple years like they do with deer in Manitoba and I think people that live within a 500km radius of the wmu’s they apply in should be more likely to get a tag there than people that live farther away the locals should get first crack at tags we count on moose meat to fill our freezers and laitly it seems like locals don’t get a chance for tags
  7. roger lacasse wrote: u no what im fed up with ur moose draw process don't believe in ur moose tag review
  8. Calvin Brake wrote: Yes I agree Also there a major problem with the distribution of Deer Doe tags I myself have applied 5 years in area 58 And never been successful However a gang of 8 hunters in my same area are successful for 7 Doe tags Now do you think this is fair ? Thanks Calvin Brake
  9. Pierre Duval wrote: 20 years no tag is not good may be we should go back to the system we had in the late 70s
  10. John Mark Seaman wrote: I have been Hunting in the same area for 40 Years area 28/29 there are lots of moose ministry says not, so they cut tags down to near nothing our camp gets one tag and it is a Cow! They give Camp Tags out for Cows what is there strategy doesn’t make sense to me
  11. Wayne Wilson wrote: Hi Thank you for the opportunity to comment. I am commenting specifically about the moose hunts ( gun and archery) where tags are required for a calf. example WMU 46 south of Mattawa Ont. THis may also have relevance to other WMUs in a different version?? My objective with this recommendation is to increase cow protection, increasing population growth, enable recreational hunting opportunities, reduce anxiety over cow-calf identification and allow local hunters to engage in making good moose stewardship. Over the last 2 archery moose hunts our crown land hunt camp has had cow tags. However Our preference was to take a calf rather than the cow. If we take a cow, the orphaned calf will have a much higher mortality rate,( probably die without the cow) and we have also lost a prime breeding cow from the herd. On one occasion I passed up taking a shot at a small cow as I believed it may have been a large calf, as we did not have a calf tag. My recommendation is to enable a calf be substituted for a cow if you have a cow tag, this results in; protecting the breeding stock, reducing anxiety around is that a small cow or a big calf, providing recreational opportunities while enabling local hunters to make good stewardship decisions. I have discussed this matter with the District Biologist in Pembroke ( Kirby Punt) and there appears to be support for this change. I should note I was an MNR District Biologist, Chapleau and Minden, (1976-89) and Wildlife specialist at the Leslie M. Frost Centre (1989-92). I have also been a member of a Crown Land Hunt camp for over 20 years. That does not mean I have all the answers, it does however support that I have some understanding of moose management and hunting activities. I would be pleased to discuss this matter further or assist with your future Moose mngt initiatives. 705-725-9910 Sincerely Wayne R. Wilson
  12. John B Taylor wrote: Not sure why things take so long. It has been many years sine I went to some of the first moose tag review public meetings. Probably won't be able to hunt by the time they fix the system.
  13. Jonathon Brooks wrote: You know Quebec has a good system that really works. One year it's Bulls and calf's only. The next year it's Bull's, Cow's and calf's. It's two tags per animal and you have to register each animal on date, time, and which zone the animal was killed in , then show on the map where each animal was killed in that zone. It's a better way of controlling the number of tags given out per zone each year. As a moose hunter for 50 years I have a lot of money invested in this sport but because of this stupid draw system in Ontario that doesn't work I've been hunting in Quebec for the last four years because they have a system that works. I can plan every year to hunt moose and not have to wait and see if I'm lucky enough to get a tag in the draw. This system in Quebec works, It's so easy to fix the system in Ontario just adapt to the system in Quebec. You will have a better quota an accurate of each kill in each zone every year . Why doesn't the Ministry listen to it's hunters I've been saying this about the above system for years but the ministry is just stubborn, doesn't want to be told how good a system is and that it really works fare for everyone. And everyone is happy ( Ministry & Hunters ) what more can one ask.
  14. Fred Hicks wrote: I have applied likely 20 times. Never successful. I only archery hunt I receive a calf tag witch is closed during archery season. I like the idea apply and if successful pay a larger amount for the moose tag. I feel it’s nothing but a cash grab. I hope that politicians don’t do a knee jerk reaction and give excessive amount of tags out that the moose population can’t support. I think the government needs to get some facts on how many moose are killed by natives and poachers. Moose are still getting shot, most groups up north have a new native members with a status card in their groups so they can kill calfs and a adult moose.
  15. Peter Beilke wrote: Moose management in Ontario is a complete farce. MNRF manages money & NOT MOOSE!!! The strategy has been to maximize income & has very little regard for moose numbers. Over the last twenty years it has resorted to management thru enforcement which is little more than tax collection. Then genius moves like opening the adult moose season two weeks before calf season ensuring every orphaned calf has a zero chance of survival rather than allowing hunters to make humane choice simply reinforces their idiocy. WHO THINKS THIS UP?? Any six year old farm boy could tell you that harvesting the cow & orphaning the calf is NOT CONDUCIVE TO HEARD BUILDING!!! SCRAP THE ENTIRE SYSTEM & START OVER!- Maybe try bulls only, perhaps two weeks later so they have breeding opportunity. This works in lots of other areas & countries but MNRF will certainly resist. BTW, MNRF is doing a brilliant job of mismanaging the deer herd in southern Ontario as well, causing several area to experience a collapse from over harvest.
  16. Bill Kirkland wrote: A review of the moose application process is good news. Since bow hunting has become much more popular in recent years and as a bow hunter, I would like to see a process whereby there is more access to tags for bow hunting. Most important is that there needs to be a fair way of awarding tags so each applicant has an equal chance of getting one. Perhaps a system similar to the system used in NFLD. may be more appropriate.
  17. Colin McGillivray wrote: I have been looking at different zones on how tags are allocated.I have talked to many hunters on their opinion on hunting calves and most hunters do not want to hunt them.Its high time we put an end to hunting calves for at least 5 years in all zones and perhaps for ever.If this is done you will be able to keep cow tags to a minimum and issue more Bull tags in all zones and hunters will be more satisfied then keeping the statis quo.I look at zone 47 where only one bull tag issued for last 3 years and this is totally embarrising to all hunters who apply there.Lets take the Bull by the horns once and for all and stop hunting calves and this will eliminate the problem you experienced this year where hunters shot what they thought was a calf and got fined for doing so.Not a good seen for those of us who try to do the right thing,Stop having group meetings where you get too many opinions .Stop kicking the can down the road and just do the right thing and stop hunting calves.Having said all this we have to also look at the preditors as they are becoming too plentifull.At my property we have more wolves then ever before and more bears then ever before.
  18. Robert MacDonald wrote: I’ve been moose hunting on and off for the last 26 years. I have never been unsuccessful in getting an adult tag either during bow or gun season. We have never had more than 5 hunters apply. More recently in the last few years we have been successful with 2 or 3 hunters applying as a group. We don’t have a hunt camp that has been in the family since way back when. We don’t have stories about great relatives shooting 2 or 3 moose every year back in the day. We do have our own stories. We have hunted across the province from Madawaska to Pickle Lake and everywhere in between. We make our own camp, do our own thing, and have a great time doing it. For us it’s about the planning the hunt from start to finish, and the first question asked at the beginning of our actual hunt is where are we hunting next year. I’m sure there’s a lot to be said about family hunt camps and sitting in a 75 year tree stand that has a wood stove and couch inside. But that’s not for us. As for getting tags it’s a matter of studying the results from years gone past and getting the best odds you can to be successful in getting a tag. We may not always shoot a moose, but we always have a tag. As for the management of our provincial moose hunt we have to be patient with the people schooled and trained in dealing with these issues. As a hunter who is oblivious to the factors involved in counting moose, then dividing the moose up so everyone has a chance to hunt, and also keeping the moose population thriving. Then throwing in climate change, sprawling networks of roads and motorized vehicles that take us anywhere has to be a tough job. It’s a thankless job that will never satisfy everyone. We’re allowed to hunt bears but not sows with cubs. But, we’re allowed to hunt cows with calves. Bears appear to be thriving and they eat moose. Moose numbers are declining and yet we can shoot cows with calves. Somethings not right here. The moose numbers are not going to change for at least 10 years or more. Slow and steady wins the race. Just ask the tortoise who always beats the hare!
  19. John Prud’homme wrote: I’m starting to wonder if hunting moose is now a scam by the government. They would like everyone to buy a tag so they could make money but don’t give out too many tags. We hunters should team up after hardly anyone get tags and insist on our money back that we paid for a moose license. In Colorado it used to cost $3.00 to apply for an elk tag, if you were successful then you purchased an elk licence.The $3.00 was to cover their cost for the draw, very reasonable and not money hungry.
  20. John Mihalick wrote: Yes change is needed. I think the system is the worst system we could have.Very unfair for hunters like myself.Hunting is in my blood and it is getting very hard to get excited about the hunt anymore.That is very sad.Over 15 years without a tag .
  21. robert hannah wrote: Been hunting since could barely walk and have seen major changes in all hunting especially moose hunt,back in the early seventys you could hunt moose and deer and moose and bear on same licensce but that changed ,then they went two people to a moose , then three people to a moose ,now you want everyone to join a group of fifteen or more to get one tag per group but that still doesnt work. i have been in pool 1 choice for 25 years and have yet to get a adult tag for area i choose i choose area 28 or area 60 only because i know both areas like the back of my hand . i hate the possibility of getting drawn in an area i dont know and dont know boundry lines. the idea of going 24 hours to dryden or way up north then be told you can hunt a cow or bull but oh yeah we forgot to tell you you cannot hunt calves for another two weeks is not only stupid but ludercrust. calfs will not survive by themselves without their mothers and if cow has more than one calf only the stronger calf might survive. we need someone in the head of the ministry whom is an actual hunter or farmer whom actually hunts and knows what they are doing and managing. we have a great natural resource here but will loose it if not better managed .thank you for my chance to express myself .when trying to submit my comments you will not let them post .please review
  22. al bisci wrote: Quebec and Ontario are next to each other. Same terrain. So moose populations are pretty equal. Quebec has moose seasons where its Bull and calf ,then cow and calf then all three. Wouldn,t this work in ontario?
  23. WAYNE F GIRDWOOD wrote: One change we all should support is allowing cow tag holders the option of harvesting a calf - basically using the cow tag more as an antlerless moose tag. I understand the cow tags are being issued to address the imbalance in the bull/cow ratio but the current system is forcing cow tag holders to make unethical choices.
  24. Broon wrote: The MNR said that the moose population went down 25% in the last 10 years. He also believe that de behavior of mooses have changed due to climate change. If so, when they do aerial surveys, mooses may be more in dense wood than open area. Why don't they use DRONES instead of helicopters to do aerial surveys. It will be cost effective, more accurate ( to identify calf, cows and bulls) and they will be able do the entire zone instead of 40 plots (2.5km X 10 km) sample per WMU.
  25. Mike H. wrote: I really hope the Ministry puts in a bonus points system to rewards those who have applied for a long time and those who apply year after year. At least with that in place you could come to understand when you would be able to secure a tag.
  26. Bruce P wrote: They have to address were the real problem is with the decline of the moose population not with the controlled hunt and you should be like other places and have to put 4 tags on a adult moose this is fair to ever one.
  27. George McCrudden wrote: I support the notion that a cow tag holder should have the option of using that tag to harvest a calf instead where calf harvest is constrained by calf licenses. Moose and deer management are different due to the much lower density of moose on the landscape. Bull moose service one, two or maybe three cows during the breeding season while bucks may service 20 does. One buck goes a long way hence bucks only harvest can result in higher deer numbers while bulls only is not nearly so effective. Assuming bulls only means more bull tags and less cow tags then many cows will go unfertilized, particularly when populations get below one moose per 5 sq km. Many of the populations are below one moose per 5 square kilometers. Bulls are also much more vulnerable given they come to the call. Higher tag fill rates mean less tags. Hunters will have to give up access to prime forest habitat to restore populations. That means new cuts, fires, new road areas, all things we have grown to expect while adding ATVs, side by sides, radios, GPS. These area all aids to effectiveness and accessibilty that didn't really exist prior to 1985, the heyday of moose populations. Moose, they have no new tools, they just melt into the swamps if they are lucky and nobody goes in after them on foot. Decomission roads, gates on bridges or remove them. Berms at highway entrances to high quality moose habitat. Pick the areas strategically with an aim to moose population recovery. Hunters will know them as they look forward to the new areas being cut and the roads that come with them.
  28. Dennis Decevito wrote: You have to scrap the party hunt. It allows the same hunter to shoot other hunters tag. A system of 4 to a tag, shoot and your done is the way to go.
  29. Matthew Huggins wrote: For years the Moose Draw has been broken. I am proposing that 70% of all tags in every WMU should be given out to those who have not had a tag the longest and have continued to buy a license every year. These are after all your Bread and Butter Hunters.If not all tags are issued to 70% group,let the remaining tags filter to 30% group which would be e.g.hunters from 1to 5 years group,bear in mind all figures can be adjusted. This type of draw can be used for Deer Hunt also,this would stop some camps getting 4 to 6 Doe Tags and other camps not getting any. Deer Camps should be registered and allocated at least one Doe Tag others in camp would go into draw. Remember just because you have a tag Moose or Deer doesn’t mean you will fill it
  30. Devin S wrote: Cancelling the moose hunt for 5 year period yes would help. Stopping the ability to harvest calf’s before there able to become adults to help populate would also help yes. Something else that would make a tremendous difference is making the tag system mandatory! For EVERYONE. It’s been proven here and in other provinces that a harvesting tag system can sustain and manage populations but that requires it to be abided and fallowed by everyone who chooses to hunt and harvest the animal
  32. Ricky W Keeler wrote: I am a member of a hunt camp area 60 north of Bobcaygeon Ontario we are 12 in number and havent drawn a tag in years.Our neighbouring camp has roughly the same number of members has drawn tags the last 3 years straight.I am told that because of the large number of applicants our chances are slim.It seems to me that the camp has more than luck on its side.I am concerned that the tags are not computer chosen as advertised but by some other manual means.
  33. Ken Simpson wrote: Been hunting for 60 years and seen it get worse each year. Seems like someone had their heads together for organizing the elk draw, so why is it so hard to come up with a moose system. We are our own worst enemy... many times I have seen a group shoot their moose then go next door and join another group to shoot a second. How is that contributing to population growth. One group and one moose... I’d be happy with that. As for northern Ontarians I have as much right to feed my family as they do and by going up north I contribute a lot to the economy. I was raised up north so I know what goes on. I’ve spoken to trappers wh say that wolves contribute a lot to moose and deer mortality... shouldn’t that be considered. I hope in my last few hunting years there is something left to hunt.
  34. Robert Scriven wrote: In a wmu where moose population is stable, every organized hunt club or gang should acquire a adult tag. Advise to apply in a group. Save 10% for single hunters.Half gangs get cow tags half get bull tags or bulls one year cows the next. If WMU has low moose population, no cow or calf tags, only low percent bull tags every other year and natives cant take any also.
  35. Michael Moreau wrote: My brothers and I have been hunting in the same unit for over 45 years. One brother as never had a tag that is ridiculous. We hunt unit 31and 38 . We are all getting up in age and won’t be hunting much longer. There should be changes for sure. We think it should be two to three hunter per tag even four would do . Trying to get my son out hunting but if we don’t get a tag he’s not going to take it of work for nothing. Try to do something about it. P.S we got less than 8 tags in all those years Michae Moreau
  36. Dan wrote: Cow and calf harvest must be eliminated, or at least drastically reduced by lottery system until moose populations can recover. Hunters must also realize that access to cut roads by truck and ATV has made it MUCH easier to harvest a moose than even 20 years ago. It's become too easy to drive the cut roads and shoot from the hood of the truck. MNRF needs to stop managing hunters and get back to moose management. I don't believe the moose numbers are anywhere near where they need to be to sustain an annual harvest and natural predation. I also don't believe they are anywhere near the numbers that are being reported. 30+ moose per 100 square kilometers? No way! Not even close!