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Improving Moose Management

Backgrounder

Improving Moose Management

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Ontario is taking action to ensure a sustainable moose population, while making moose harvest management and tag allocation fairer and more consistent for hunters.

2020 changes:

Calf harvest controls

  • Calf tag quotas will be implemented in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 37, 40, 41, 42 and 47. A hunter must apply for and receive a calf tag through the draw to hunt a calf in one of these WMUs.
  • The hunting season for calf moose is being extended in all 9 WMUs with a calf tag quota (37, 40, 41, 42, 47, 48, 55A, 55B and 57). Calf tags issued through the tag draw will be valid for the full length of both the bow and gun seasons.

New bow season and quotas:
  • New bow hunting seasons and quotas have been created in WMUs 46, 47, 49, 50, 53, 54, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62 and 63. The southern Ontario bow hunting season for moose will be seven days long and begin the first Saturday in October (WMUs 46-50, 53-63).
  • Separate tag quotas for bow and gun are being created in WMUs 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41 and 42 where separate bow hunting seasons already exist.

2021 changes:

New selective harvest approach
  • Moose harvest will be managed with bull tags, cow/calf tags, and calf tags, with WMU-specific calf tag quotas across the province. A cow/calf tag could be used to harvest either a cow or a calf, a bull tag could only be used to harvest a bull moose, and a calf-specific tag could only be used to harvest a calf. Bull and cow/calf tags will be season-specific (i.e. bow or gun season), but calf tags could be used over the full length of the season within that WMU.

Moose hunting licence
  • The moose hunting licence will change to a product that allows hunting of moose but does not come with a tag that would allow the harvest of a moose. The resident moose hunting licence fee will be reduced to $35. A hunter can purchase a moose hunting licence to party hunt with another tag holder but won't be required to purchase a moose hunting licence to apply for a tag.

Preference point system for distributing tags:

A new point-based moose tag allocation approach will be implemented. The current moose tag draw will be replaced with a new point-based process. A detailed description of the process will be available later in 2020 at Ontario.ca/moose.
  • Hunters will apply to the moose tag allocation process with a $15 application fee.
  • A hunter's draw history will be used to determine the number of points they have accumulated (Note: this information will be made available to hunters later in 2020).
  • Points will be awarded based on the total number of years a hunter has applied and been unsuccessful in the draw. Continuous applications aren't required. Being issued a bull or cow tag through the draw or receiving a tag transfer will reset a hunter's points to zero in that year.
  • If hunters claim a tag they are awarded through the allocation process, they would be required to purchase a licence ($35) and their tag. Moose tags will be priced at $30 for calf tags, $150 for cow/calf tags and $200 for bull tags. These prices reflect hunter demand and ensure continued support for the management of this valuable resource. Non-residents will pay a higher moose licence fee and the same tag costs.

Elimination of special non-resident moose hunting opportunities:
  • Non-resident landowners and immediate relatives of Ontario residents will only be able to acquire their own tag to hunt moose by purchasing a hunt from a tourist outfitter. A non-resident who is an immediate relative of an Ontario resident who holds a moose tag may purchase a non-resident moose hunting licence to party hunt with their relative.

Southern Ontario Gun Hunting Season:
  • Hunters have expressed concerns about the timing of the gun hunting season for moose in southern Ontario since it was changed in 2017. These concerns were reiterated during consultation on the Moose Management Review changes and since. With the implementation of calf tag quotas across the province, the season will be shifted back to its previous start, to begin the third Monday in October.

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