Changes are coming to the moose hunt in Ontario.

John Yakabuski, the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry announced the changes were coming to “improve the system for moose harvest management and ensure a sustainable moose population.”

“We’re taking a smarter approach to moose harvest management to deliver on our commitment to make moose hunting fairer and more accessible while ensuring the sustainability of our moose population,” said Minister Yakabuski. “Our government recognizes the importance of moose hunting to Ontario families and communities, and we want to ensure Ontarians have opportunities to get outdoors and enjoy our natural resources today and long into the future.”

The Big Game and Management Advisory Committee (BGMAC) had requested input from hunters across the province in September, and based on the results came forward with these changes:

  • further restrictions on calf hunting so more calves have a better chance of reaching adulthood
  • moving from a draw to a points-based system that will give preference to applicants who have been unsuccessful in getting a tag for the greatest number of years
  • fee restructuring for licences and tags

“We know a healthy and sustainable moose population is critical to support continued hunting opportunities for generations to come,” said Mike Harris, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “Decisions on moose hunting are based on what we know of the current population numbers to ensure sustainability across the province.”

The government plans to continue with moose aerial inventory surveys in specific areas each winter, which they say will help estimate the moose population along with trends to ensure the sustainability of moose in the province.

“We are pleased to see the government moving forward with changes to Ontario’s moose management program,” said John Kaplanis, Chair of BGMAC. “We feel the changes will strengthen moose harvest management in Ontario and provide latitude to adapt to the variety of challenges that are inherent in moose management. We look forward to continuing our work with the government and providing valuable advice to the Minister on the management of big game in Ontario.”