The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has released the fall 2018 – spring 2019 hunting regulations. With the new regulations comes the moose validation tag allocations for 2018. The quotas reflect both increases and drops, with the decreases focused mostly on cow tag numbers.
The total number of moose tags available in the province has gone down yet again, however Northeast Region and Southern Region each saw a slight increase in available tags for 2018.
The biggest decline will be felt in Northwest Region, with the most significant decrease in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 21A. That WMU will go from 943 available gun cow tags in 2017 to 550 tags in 2018, and from 180 bow cow tags to 40 tags.
The drop in WMU 21A tag allocations is not due to decreasing moose numbers, according to Keith Munro, wildlife biologist for the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH). Munro said the change in cow tags was made largely because hunters voiced concerns that there were too many tags with not enough successful hunting opportunities in that WMU. It is anticipated that the decreased number of available cow tags for the 2018 season in WMU 21A will meet the demand of gun hunters in Pool 1, Choice 1, while acknowledging that most moose in that unit are geographically inaccessible to hunters.
It’s not all bad news for Northwest Region though, with WMU 17 gun cow tags increasing from 123 in 2017 to 145 for 2018. As well, WMU 18B will see an increase of 27 tags for a total of 89 gun cow tags available for 2018.
The biggest change in Northeast Region will be in WMU 28, which will see available gun cow tags rise from 45 in 2017 to 66 this year.
“The OFAH is encouraged by some of the management actions being taken by the MNRF, in particular the use of multi-year management plans in certain regions. However, we are concerned that inconsistencies in management style across the province are leaving hunting opportunities on the table,” Munro said.
The Fall 2018 – Spring 2019 Hunting Regulations Summary can be found here.