AGE AND SEX STRUCTURE OF HUNTER HARVESTED MOOSE UNDER TWO HARVEST STRATEGIES IN NORTHCENTRAL ONTARIO
We examined moose age and sex structure from 38,870 moose harvest records voluntarily submitted by northcentral Ontario hunters for the period 1971-72, a sample representing a ca. 60% of actual estimated harvest. Several parameters were compared between the unlimited non-selective (1971-82) and the limited selective harvest strategy (1983-92) periods, including adult sex ratio’s, mean age (> 1.5 yrs) and five arbitrary age classes. Mean adult sex ratio’s in the harvest increased from 1.45:1 female to 2.34 males:1 female (P < .0001) following implementation of the selective harvest strategy. The decrease in mean age of bulls age (> 1.5 yrs) from 3.8 to 3.7 was not significant (P = 0.245), but the decrease in mean cow age from 4.6 to 3.9 was (P = 0.0036). hunter submitted calf harvests were consistently higher (up to 100%) than those estimated from district mail surveys initiated in 1983. Two indices of population density (aerial census; animals seen by hunters) increased 11% and 36% respectively, subsequent to implementation of selective harvest (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0019). an age-sex structure profile contrasting pre- and post-selective harvest of a moose population is presented. The value of hunter-submitted kill data to facilitate management is discussed.
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