SELECTIVE MOOSE HARVEST IN NORTH CENTRAL ONTARIO - A PROGRESS REPORT
Ontario introduced a province-wide sex and age selective harvest strategy for moose in 1983. The program was designed to double the provincial moose population by the year 2000 by controlling the annual hunter harvest of bulls and cows in 65 Wildlife Management Units. In North Central Ontario the harvest sex/age ratio has averaged 54% bulls, 31% cows and 15% calves after three years. The step-wise increase in the calf kill is encouraging, however, there appears to be a trend towards a higher proportion of breeders and a lower proportion of yearlings and teens in both the ‘adult’ cow and bull harvest. Hunter success has increased and hunters report seeing more moose. Aerial inventories since 1983 however, have generally been insensitive in measuring population change with confidence intervals still overlapping those previously calculated. The overall public attitude toward selective harvest appears positive although some aspects of the program are still poorly understood.
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