Ontario Proposes a New and Improved Moose Management Program

The Ontario government is taking action to address concerns from hunters on how the province manages its moose population to ensure sustainability and hunting opportunities for future generations.

Today, John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, and Mike Harris, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, announced the government’s proposal to revise moose management in the province, based on the recommendations of the Big Game Management Advisory Committee (BGMAC). In Spring 2019, the government tasked BGMAC to advise the province on a path forward. The committee has provided its report to the government, which is now available on ontario.ca/moose-management-review.

“We are listening to moose hunters across the province, and our proposal is designed to work for the hunting community,” said Minister Yakabuski. “I encourage Ontario’s hunters to review the proposal and consider its implications on moose populations and future hunting opportunities. I would like to thank BGMAC and the committee’s Chair, John Kaplanis, for their dedication and insight on strengthening moose management in Ontario.”

The government’s proposal is now available on the Environmental Registry of Ontario for public feedback. An additional proposal to address the committee’s recommendation regarding moose predation has also been posted for comment. Interested hunters, members of the public and organizations are invited to review the proposals on the Environmental Registry and provide their comments by September 26, 2019.

“Our government recognizes the importance of moose hunting to Ontario families and communities,” said MPP Harris. “We want to make sure Ontarians can get outdoors and enjoy the sport of hunting, and that these opportunities are available today and long into the future.”

Quick Facts

  • Moose hunting contributes over $205 million a year to Ontario’s economy.
  • The BGMAC committee includes members with diverse knowledge and experience in moose management and quota review, moose hunting, tourist outfitter operations, and experience on wildlife advisory committees.
  • BGMAC hosted seven listening sessions in May and June, 2019. Over 600 interested hunters, members of the public and organizations attended these sessions to share their perspectives to develop a path forward. Over 2,000 individuals provided comments through an online survey.
  • A summary of input received is contained in BGMAC’s report, available on ontario.ca/moose-management-review.

One Reply to “Ontario Proposes a New and Improved Moose Management Program”

  1. It seems likely them “Bullwinkles” are giving the old palmate to the purview of the hunt. With all this hoopla emanating from the Ontario Government, the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and the Big Game Management Advisory Committee, these beastly creatures are apt to take some “bullying” in the process.

    Hunting as you all should know ain’t my thing, it never was but here are a few facts concerning what is commonly known in Eurasia as an Elk.

    The Moose is the largest member of the deer family. A mature bull can stand as tall as 2 metres or more at the shoulders. That’s as tall as some professional basketball players! Smaller moose stand around 1.5 metres at the shoulders.

    Moose live in the boreal forest areas and are found along the margins of lakes, muskegs and streams. They are powerful swimmers which helps moose escape biting bugs, such as mosquitoes, and cools them off in summer. Despite the moose’s large size and broad antlers, it can travel silently through the forest. A moose’s eyesight although poor, is compensated by their acute sense of smell and hearing.

    The average weight of a Moose is 400 kilograms (880 lbs.) for a male; 350 kilograms (770 lbs.) for a female. The average height approximately 2.4 meters (7.8 ft.) to 3.2 meters (10.5 ft.). They live to a ripe old age of 15 to 20 years in the wild barring any human intervention.

    Moose have been known to dive up to 5.5 metres (17.9 ft.) or more to feed on plants at the bottoms of lakes and can hold their breath underwater for a full minute. Their large nostrils act as valves to keep water out as they dive. When colder weather comes they feast on underwater plants that are out of reach for other species. Aquatic plants are higher in minerals and nutrients than land plants, making them a perfect source of food to fatten up as winter approaches. By the way, young moose become strong swimmers within days of birth.

    Bears and wolves prey on moose. The black and grizzly bears have been known to prey heavily on moose calves during the first few weeks of life and grizzly bears can easily kill adult moose. Wolverines also prey on moose calves occasionally. Where they coexist with moose, cougars take a substantial number of moose calves and yearlings. Few moose die of old age.

    Ticks, yes that dastardly insect, are common on moose especially in late winter. It may weaken animals seriously both by sucking blood and by causing the affected moose to rub off much of its hair, causing substantial heat loss. Internal parasites such as the hydatid (a tiny tapeworm) affect moose, especially when lack of forage and a heavy tick infestation lower their resistance.

    Another serious parasitic disease of moose is caused by the meningeal worm, so called because it attacks the meninges or membrane surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Meningeal worm is a parasite of white-tailed deer, which are adapted to it. However, in moose it is deadly and there is a long history of moose dying in regions where the two species overlap.

    It has also been reported that populations must be kept within the limits set by the food supply to prevent starvation, disease, and serious damage to vegetation. Foresters in areas that are overpopulated by moose find that the regeneration of forest trees is harmed significantly. This may seriously reduce future timber crops as well as the breeding habitat of songbirds that nest in deciduous shrubs.

    Further reports have shown Moose respond well to management of their habitat by logging or controlled burning if these activities maintain a diversity of open areas and patches of larger trees for cover. Today, moose management in Canada is soundly based on aerial counts, habitat inventories, and scientific studies of reproductive rates and calf survival. Naturally, Moose have adapted well to human activities.

    So,with appropriate management, those “Bullwinkles” will always be part of the Canadian scene.

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