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Big game advisory committee coming

'A few years ago there were  56 moose tags for hunters, then it went to 12, then it went to six, then it went to one'

One of the items contained in finance Minister Vic Fedeli's budget that isn't getting a lot of notice will have a significant impact in this area.

it's called "Big Game Management Advisory Committee.

In Trout Creek, for example, a few years ago there were  56 moose tags for hunters, then it went to 12, then it went to six, then it went to one.

"It's really hurt our tourism industry and our hunting sector," Fedeli told BayToday. "The committee is going to make the allocation process more fair. We get a lot of complaints in my office. We're reacting to that by making this new committee that will make changes to the way we allocate moose tags."

Presently, to receive a validation tag to hunt for an adult moose, the resident hunter must purchase a moose licence and apply to the moose validation tag draw. 

The new initiative should make the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Hunters happier.

"The OFAH has been calling on the provincial government to make moose management a priority, to secure funding for more frequent and accurate population assessments, and to actively promote hunting as a legitimate recreational activity and valuable wildlife management tool," according to its website.

"Without hunters, the wellspring of funding for wildlife management will dry up and the MNRF will lose the people who care the most for, and largely fund, moose management.

"Every day the OFAH hears from its members who are justifiably concerned about a lack of transparency and accountability in the moose management process, a lack of clear objectives and established targets, ongoing problems with the moose tag draw, and the perception that the priorities of the MNRF appear to be drifting further away from hunting.

"After years of management techniques that have included little more than hunter manipulation, moose hunters are becoming increasingly frustrated that their commitment to conservation is not being matched in other critical areas of moose management. Hunters continue to sacrifice hunting opportunities, all while waiting for the government to tackle important issues that aren’t related to licensed hunting. Moose hunters are losing faith in government, and as a result, Ontario is losing them at an alarming rate – often to other jurisdictions where the odds of receiving an adult tag are perceived to be higher. "

The Big Game Management Advisory Committee will report back to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry this summer to allow for an improved moose tag allocation process for the 2020 season.


Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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