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Thread: Question Rationale for Moose Point system

  1. #41
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    I have hunted 21a a few years ago and there isn't that great a moose population, we were dissapointed as others we thought because of the high number of tags available that there would be a larger population of moose . Then sometime later i read an article and i can't remember where anymore but it said that the only reason there were so many tags available was to entice hunters to hunt there to try to bring down the moose population in order for the caribou to take over and if i remember right it was confirmed by mnrf

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  3. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLD TIMER View Post
    only reason there were so many tags available was to entice hunters to hunt there to try to bring down the moose population in order for the caribou to take over and if i remember right it was confirmed by mnrf
    This is an old wives tale that circulates in hunter community..
    Last year, i saw a caribou during bear hunt, so reported the sighting as MNR signs plastered all over. Meanwhile, got to chat a bit with a very nice MNR wildlife biologist and asked this exact question
    The answer was as follows:

    Moose and caribou don’t compete for habitat and food resources. Their dietary needs are quite different, especially in winter when caribou subsist on lichens and moose subsist on twigs (“browse”). The vegetation growing on road shoulders and in recent clearcuts is more suitable for moose, so previous forest management practices tended to enhance moose habitat (often intentionally) and reduce caribou habitat (unintentionally), as did other human activities after Europeans arrived in the area. Caribou are already present in all the WMUs that you listed and several other WMUs, so the overarching management goal for those WMUs is improving the existing caribou populations while maintaining moose on the landscape.

    Nowhere in the province (that I am aware of) is the goal to eliminate moose to free up resources for caribou - and our dept manages about 1/3 of the WMUs where caribou is the overarching management consideration. There are areas where the goal is to keep DEER out because they are carry parasites (e.g. brainworm) that are deadly to both moose and caribou and they support larger predator populations (also detrimental to both moose and caribou). Within the “caribou zone”, the general idea is to maintain moose on the landscape but at the population density they would have been at before Europeans arrived and altered the landscape. The issue is not conflict and competition between moose and caribou, it is predation. This is explained in the Cervid Ecological Framework and the Moose Population Objectives Settings Guide. From your email, it sounds like you’ve read those? I’ve attached them for your convenience, but they are also available publicly athttps://www.ontario.ca/page/wildlife-management



    Wolf populations are closely tied to moose populations. Moose are their primary prey, but they will of course take caribou when they find them. More moose = more wolves = more caribou predation. The extensive road corridors created for forestry and survey lines created for mineral exploration don’t just provide more browse for moose, they also make it possible for wolves to travel long distances quickly and find the trail of prey that crossed the road/survey line. Wolves use human-made roads for the same reason as human hunters: it increases their hunting success. That’s why the forest management plan includes requirements to “decommission” roads (turn them back into forest). BC and a few other places have tried doing wolf culls to protect caribou, but that has proven to be ineffective for long term management. As long as there is lots of food (moose, deer, young bears), wolf populations bounce back to their original level within a few of years. You have to keep doing culls every 2-4 years and that is very expensive. A cull is a lot more intensive than a hunt or a bounty. In remote areas (ie most of the caribou range) it requires helicopters with sharpshooters on board.



    FYI, the caribou range assessment reports for several other parts of the province are available here:https://www.ontario.ca/page/caribou-boreal-population. See the map below for the location of all the different forest-dwelling woodland caribou ranges in Ontario (in the site area north of Attawapiskat it’s mainly barren ground caribou, which is the type of caribou most people think of when they hear caribou)





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    Last edited by newbiehunter; May 23rd, 2022 at 07:59 AM.

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