A proposal that aims to improve the management of Ontario’s moose herd and create a fairer and more sustainable tag process is up for public comment on Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO) until September 26, 2019.
ERO proposal 019-0405 is based on 15 recommendations provided to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry by the Big Game Management Advisory Committee (BGMAC), which focused on sustainability, making tag allocation simpler, fairer and more consistent, and addressing a range of hunter concerns.
The BGMAC engaged the public in seven open house listening sessions across Ontario in May and June, and worked with the MNRF to review input from Moose Management Review surveys.
Highlights of proposals for 2020
• Calf harvest controls in wildlife management units (WMUs) 37, 40, 41, 42, and 47 and extending those calf seasons to the full length of the moose season
• New early bow seasons and quotas
• Separate tag quotas for gun and bow seasons
• Extend the current 6-day bowhunting season in southern Ontario by one day and shift the season to begin the first Saturday in October
Highlights of proposals for 2021
• A new selective harvest approach, utilizing bull tags, cow/calf tags, and calf tags, with WMU-specific calf tag quotas across the province
• Make a moose hunting licence a product that allows hunting of moose but does not come with a tag (This would allow applicants who are unsuccessful in, or who do not apply to, the tag allocation process to party hunt for moose on another hunter’s tag.)
• No calf tag included with a moose licence
• Hunters have to apply for bull, cow/calf, or calf tags through a proposed new allocation process
• Implement a point system for distributing tags, so that, generally speaking, a hunter gets awarded one point for every year they have not been awarded a tag. Available tags in WMUs go to the applicants with the most points.
• Once a hunter receives a tag, they forfeit all points and begin accumulation process again.
• Eliminate group applications; each hunter applies for a moose tag based on their history.
• Reduce the distance members of a hunting party can be from the tag holder from 5 km to 3 km.
• Reduce party hunting size that can hunt a single tag to max 10 members.
• Vary tag prices with bull highest, calf lowest, and cow/calf tags in between.
For a full picture of the ERO proposal and to provide comment, click here.
Deadline for comment is Sept. 26, 2019.