Proposed moose management changes open for comment now
By Steve Galea, Special to the Echo
A Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry proposal that, if implemented, will dramatically change moose hunting in Haliburton County and the rest of the province beginning in 2020 is open for public comment on Environmental Registry of Ontario until Sept. 26.
ERO proposal 019-0405 is based on 15 recommendations provided to the Minister of Natural Resources by the Big Game Management Advisory Committee. Those proposals were intended to address sustainability, making tag allocation simpler, fairer and more consistent, as well as addressing a range of hunter concerns.
The advisory committee engaged the public in seven open house listening sessions across Ontario in May and June and worked with MNRF to review input from Moose Management Review surveys.
Some highlights that will affect hunters in the Haliburton in 2020 are:
- A new, early seven-day bow season beginning the first Saturday in October.
- Separate tag quotas for gun and bow seasons.
In 2021, other changes will take effect. They include:
- A calf tag would no longer be included with a moose licence.
- Hunters would have to apply for bull, cow/calf or calf tags through a proposed new allocation process.
- Wildlife Management Unit-specific calf tag quotas will be implemented across the province.
- Making a moose hunting licence a product that allows hunting of moose but does not come with a tag that would allow the harvest of a moose. 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.
- A point system for distributing tags would be implemented, wherein, generally speaking a hunter gets awarded one point for every year he or she has not been awarded a tag. Each year tags in the WMUs would go to the hunters with the most points who applied.
- Once a hunter receives a tag, he or she forfeits all their points and start the accumulation process again.
- Group applications would be eliminated and each hunter would apply for a moose tag and be treated as an individual based on their history.
- Reduction of the distance members of the hunting party can be from the tag holder from 5 km to 3 km.
- Reduction of party hunting size to maximum of 10 members that can hunt on a single tag.
- Moose tags would be sold separately from a moose hunting licence. If a hunter claims a tag they are awarded through the allocation process they would be required to purchase their tag.
- Tag prices will vary with bull tags priced highest, calf tags priced lowest and cow/calf tags priced in between.
To get a full picture of the proposal and to provide comment, visit https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-0405. The deadline for comment is 11:59 p.m., Sept. 26.