Decision to cut moose tag numbers based on incomplete data, sportsmen’s alliance says

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is reducing the number of moose tags available in Ontario this year

The province’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is once again reducing the number of moose tags available to hunters in an effort to curb drops in Ontario’s moose populations.

However, a local hunting association says the ministry is taking the wrong approach, as it’s working with incomplete data.

“Well, it’s never a good thing when you see the moose population in decline,” said John Kaplanis, executive director of the Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Certainly, that’s the primary concern is the need for moose population.”

Protecting moose populations

An MNRF representative told CBC that the reduction in moose tag quotas is the result of declining moose populations in some parts of Ontario.

Kaplanis said the MNRF has cut back significantly on its efforts to actually count the number of moose in the province.

“In lieu of ongoing data collection and monitoring of the population, it seems rather strange that the ministry would just automatically gravitate towards cutting adult validation tags,” he said.

According to the MNRF’s 2017 hunting regulations, there will be a total of 8,183 moose tags (bull, cow and calf combined) issued in Ontario this year for resident hunters using firearms.

Of those, 5,263 will be issued in Northwestern Ontario (last year, there were 5.554 total moose gun tags issued for all Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in Northwestern Ontario, an MNRF representative said).

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