Our Minister is Listening, FinallyBack to Blog
Well it seems like Minister Gerry Byrne is listening to the recreational hunters of this province who provide a wealth of infield knowledge related to the health of big game species on the island.
Many hunters have been complaining since the last increase in moose licenses was implemented a few years ago, that populations could not stand the extra hunting pressure, and it appears our wildlife department is now in agreement.
Starting for the 2018-19 hunting season there has been a reduction of 2470 moose licenses from last years quota. The reduction is for areas across the entire island and further reductions are possible.
Population estimates for several management areas are to be ascertained from aerial surveys scheduled to be conducted this year provided there is adequate snow cover in targeted areas.
If numbers are not in line to sustain current harvest quotas addition reductions are possible.
Many hunters agree that it is a start in the right direction in reducing licenses but additional numbers still need to come out of the system before populations return to adequete numbers where success rates can exceed 50-60% on a consistant basis.
Caribou numbers apparently aren't fairing much better than moose in many areas even though hunting pressure has been severely reduced for several years now.
This year there has been a reduction in quotas in several management areas that represent a total loss of 88 licenses for island hunters. Some good news however was forthcoming as 40 additional licenses were issued for the Middle Ridge management area. This can only mean that numbers are on the increase in that particular area.
Its only an olive branch however as numbers throughout the entire province are still only one third of what they were just a decade or two ago and CMA 64 was the only area to see an increase.