New moose tag allocation process explained online

by Steve Galea | November 25, 2020

A Government of Ontario web page that explains how to navigate through the new points-based moose tag allocation process went online in mid-October.

The changes described take effect in 2021.

Comprehensive resource

Among other things, the page provides a comprehensive overview of how the new system works, what hunters need to be aware of, costs, as well as a time-table for hunters to follow so they can meet all the deadlines in the tag allocation process. 

The site also explains the rationale for the changes and suggests strategies for groups to follow to make the most of the new system. It tells hunters how to find their draw history as well as the number of points they have accumulated, which will be made available in early 2021. (Hunters will be awarded one point for every year they applied for the moose draw since last receiving an adult tag. Points will be awarded dating as far back as 1993.)

Highest points awarded

This is important since, under the new rules, tags in any given Wildlife Management Unit are awarded to the individual hunters with the highest points who apply. Any hunter who has not drawn a tag can buy a licence and party hunt with a hunter who has a tag, however. Once a hunter has been awarded a tag, his or her point total reverts back to zero.

Other issues covered include new regulations regarding tag transfers and hunting moose with a tourist outfitter.

OFAH provides platform

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) is monitoring the changes.

“We want to hear from hunters as they are interacting with this new system,” said OFAH Wildlife Biologist Dr. Keith Munro. “We are committed to taking that feedback to the MNRF so they fully understand how these changes are being received. Our goal is to make sure that Ontario has a moose hunting system that works for our members and the broader moose hunting community.”

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  1. James Robert McConachie wrote: I beg you to please have no stand alone calf tag ever , and the cow/calf tag every 2nd or 3rd year . There are too many moose hunters that can not tell the difference ,between a cow and a calf , that’s why we hear horror stories of moose being left to rot . We all have to give a bit , to get the population higher for a few years
  2. George Thayer wrote: If u missed entering the moose draw say in 2015 And hadnt gotten a tag since 2000, do u have 10 pts or 5
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: George, Presumably if you applied every year since 2005 except in 2015 up until 2020, you would have 19 points. You will be able to access your points total when the allocation is fully launched next year (2021).
  3. RONALD MOORE wrote: prices and dates of application
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Ronald, you can find this link attached within the story:
  4. John Prud’homme wrote: It’s about time they go to a point system. It will be fare for everyone. Since I’m on pension, too bad there making a money bag for m.n.r.f. Buy making you pay if you get a tag. I don’t understand what that is all about, concerned Canadian.
  5. Rick Marshall wrote: My problem with the new system that I don't know much about yet is that are gang always wants to go moose hunting and we will change areas to get a adult tag. So because we will travel long distances to hunt now were being discriminated against for getting tags. We use to hunt area 40 and loved it but we could not draw so how is it fair that we traveled to 18A this year to get tags and now they hold it against us. With no calf tags without entering a draw if we do not receive a tag we will not be able to go. My work as well as other guys in the gang have to submit for holidays in January and February. Just a couple problems I have saw in the system so far.
  6. Charlie Hardy wrote: Why do we shot cows and calf’s anyway. Farmers don’t kill breeding animals. Why shot a cow that brings in a possible chance of twins or even a calf period. The wolf’s and bears are hard enough these animals, let alone the natives that are out there shooting as many as they please. I know of places where they have shot 50 to 60 moose, that doesn’t help the moose population.
  7. Fern wrote: If I get a tag in the draw can the rest of my group hunt with me.
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Fern, from Party hunting A person may hunt moose, deer, or black bear in a party of two or more people who each hold a licence to hunt that species, even if the person has already invalidated their tag for that species. In these cases, at least one member of the party must hold a tag that has not yet been invalidated, and the group must comply with the following conditions: each person must have a valid licence to hunt the big game species being hunted the total number of moose, elk, deer or bear of a specified sex, age or type killed by the party does not exceed the total number of tags for that sex, age or type held by the members of the party all members of the party must hunt together in the same Wildlife Management Unit or portion thereof, for which the tag is valid each member of the party must hunt within 5 kilometres of the person who holds the tag that is valid for the wildlife being hunted each member of the party must be able to reliably and immediately communicate with other members of the party all members of the party, including the person who holds the tag that is valid for the species that the party is hunting, must actively participate in the hunt and hunt co-operatively Party hunting is also permitted for elk in accordance with the conditions noted above, however some additional rules apply - refer to the elk section for these additional rules. The person who kills the animal while hunting in a party shall immediately notify all other members of the party that the animal has been killed. If the tag holder is not the person who kills the animal, the tag holder must immediately go to the kill site, confirm the type/sex/age of the animal and then invalidate their tag. Refer to the tags section for more information. If you have questions about party hunting, the best time to get answers is before the hunt begins. Contact your local MNRF district office or Natural Resources Information Support Centre (NRISC) at 1-800-387-7011, 1-800-667-1940, or Note: The term ‘invalidated tag’ refers to a tag that has been notched by the tag holder immediately after the kill, at the site of the kill and before moving the animal. Refer to the tags section for additional information.
  8. Randy Krawchuk wrote: If I’m not mistaken, they tried this point system years ago, but it didn’t go? That being said, how many total points do u need before receiving a tag?
    • Alesha Howran wrote: Randy, from the site included in the article: “Point totals The minimum point total awarded each tag type will likely be variable in the first few years of the tag allocation process because: hunters will be using their accumulated points and developing application strategies; and tag quotas may change in response to the implementation of calf tag quotas and new bow quotas” We’ll have more information as the allocation process rolls out.
  9. Ken Taylor wrote: As I understand it , northern residents get one extra non accumulating point to give them “a small advantage “. I am a resident of Ontario, I pay my taxes , bought my moose licenses every year, have spent tens of thousands in northern Ontario over the last 40 years and yet I am treated as a second class citizen, discriminated against because of where I live. I thought that all citizens of Ontario are equal.... apparently not, northern residents need to get more tags than me for some reason. PLEASE EXPLAIN!!
    • Alesha Howran wrote: Thank you for your question. We reached out the MNRF and our OFAH biologists and here’s what we learned. “Under the old moose system, there was a step in the moose allocation process called the Northern Resident Draw. This was introduced in 2005. It set aside five percent of the adult moose tags in WMUs north of the French and Mattawa Rivers as a second draw for northern residents who were unsuccessful or a member of a group that was unsuccessful in the current year’s draw and the previous two annual draws. The five percent of tags were set aside before any of the other draw steps were run (guaranteed group allocation, large group allocation, random draw and then northern resident draw). Because northern residents participated in all stages of the old process, by the time it got to the northern resident draw step sometimes there weren’t any hunters remaining who met the criteria. This would sometimes result in surplus tags even when some hunters applied unsuccessfully for that tag type in other parts of the draw. So the single non-accumulating point for northern residents applying in a northern unit under the new system does not represent a new “bonus” for northern residents, it’s just in a different form than it was under the old system."
  10. Dylan ROSS wrote: Hello I'm new how hard is it to get chosen for a moose hunt just wondering what other people's waiting periods have been?
    • Alesha Howran wrote: Thank you for your question. We reached out to our OFAH wildlife biologist and here’s what we learned. The frequency at which someone will receive tags depends on which WMU they want to hunt in and what they want to hunt (gun bull, bow bull, bow cow, etc.). A good way to get an idea of demand is to look at the moose draw results from last year which can be towards the bottom of the page on There you can see the number of tags per unit and the number of people who applied for them. Tag numbers fluctuate and hunters move around so things do change year-to-year but looking at the draw results can provide a general lay of the land. Given the new tag process, I’d recommend checking out for info on the new points system.
  11. JOHN E COLES wrote: If I do not apply to the tag allocation and save $15.00 , I buy a moose lic. to hunt with a tag holder , do I get a point for this year .. thanks John
  12. Marty O'Brien wrote: The process seems straightforward, I am struggling with a strategy for a group of six to successfully obtain a tag. Because this is the first year we don't know the approximate points required for a tag in a certain WMU. Do we? Should the hunters with the highest points apply for a bull and the ones with lower numbers apply for cow or calf or if no one has more than 10 point maybe we all should just try for a calf? If there are only 90 tags total for 1000 hunter do 2nd and 3rd choice matter?
  13. jim hamilton wrote: I honestly believe this lottery system is flawed ,so the best hunters get the best shot at the trophy again if your going to have a lottery treat like a lottery. I ve been buying lottery tickets for 50 years but i dont get an advantage because of that , why should other hunters who have how many trophy bulls or bull already in their freezers get another shot at the target again ,this is not fair to anyone who have either been hunting for 10 years or less i just retired for the military I respect all hunters but this is not a fair way to hold a lottery at all , and you all know it , and any new hunters coming in wow good luck with that , you may have just increased an a terrible opportunity for that element of those who will just get frustrated with the system , The MNR may have to come uo with more innovative ideas in protecting moose population because of this unfair lottery system
  14. Matt wrote: Originally this sounded like a wonderful idea. Until now hearing many/most WMU's require around 18 points to draw a tag. This is insane. For new hunters like myself I've most likely got to wait 15-20 years to draw a tag (with no guarantee of getting a moose, which could mean getting hosed for another 15-20 years wait time). I am a new hunter, this means I'd be in my early 50's before I could even have a hope of drawing a tag. If they want to control moose this heavily (not nearly enough tags for applicants) then it appears to me they should shut down non-resident hunting for moose in Ontario. They've made moose hunting a 'once in a lifetime' opportunity. I expect many young and new local hunters will just never try for moose because of the way it's controlled. Ends up being a 'pay to hunt' opportunity for rich people and non-residents. Average Joe who lives here will be lucky to get 1 moose in their entire life of trying? Really sad prospect
  15. Shelley wrote: If I am hunting with a group and one of the hunters has won a tag in the draw, am I able to hunt with the group in that zone AND hunt in another zone?
    • Jason Bain wrote: From the MNRF, now known as the MNDMNRF (Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry): To party hunt, each member of the party must have a valid licence for the species being hunted. The party may only hunt in the wildlife management unit where the tag is valid; you cannot party hunt for a moose, elk or antlerless deer in one wildlife management unit while hunting in another unit at the same time. Party hunting is only legal if you are hunting together - within 5 km of the tag holder - in the same wildlife management unit for which the tag is valid. Each member of the party must be able to reliably communicate with other members of the party. You may subsequently hunt in a second wildlife management unit either on your own tag (provided that it is valid in that unit) or in a party with a hunter who has a tag valid in the second wildlife management unit.
  16. Ron Gibson wrote: As like some other hunters, we hunt in a small group, 4 to 6 hunters. Being from Pembroke, Ont., we could never get a moose tag locally due to the small number of tags given out. So, like others we ventured north to Thunder Bay, Bush Lake in Jellicoe and Longlac which make us drive anywhere from 14 to 18 hours in order to get a moose tag. In the last 12 years we were lucky enough to get a moose tag through the draw or by calling in for any left over tags as a last resort. In those 12 years we only harvested 3 moose but met many hunters, put money into the community we visited and in the last 12 years had a guaranteed place to stay at a lodge with cabins and became quite good friends with the resort owners. But, with this new individual point system the most points any of our hunters had was 4. So, we did not get a tag in the first or second draw. We also learned that some larger groups drew 3 to 5 tags. So after 12 years, we will not be hunting this year, had to call and cancel our cabin and have to say goodbye to the moose hunt that we looked forward to each year. Who knows when one of us will have enough points to obtain a tag again. So thanks for taking away a part of my retired life that I so looked forward too. Ron Gibson
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Ron, We're Ontario OUT of DOORS Magazine. Are you looking for a ministry contact? Here you are:
  17. Charlie Smith wrote: I just checked my points, and the machine said (0), seams odd as I applied for a point ($15) in 2021 and am a resident of Northern Ontario, I thought I got a point for residency?
  18. Dale LeClair wrote: Would love to get a moose tag