Moose hunting is a popular activity in Canada. Moose are a member of the deer family and are related to mule deer, caribou, white-tailed deer and elk. Moose are generally known to be North American animals.
Hunting moose is regulated by provincial hunting laws in Canada. Though moose populations have been in decline in North America, specifically Ontario and Manitoba — prompting restrictions to moose hunting for those provinces — other regions in Canada have too many moose, prompting “moose reduction zones”.
In Newfoundland, the government has an overpopulation problem with moose right now. For example, in Gros Morne National Park the park asked qualified harvesters to help them reduce unnaturally large moose populations in the park through their ecosystem management program.
The the province is currently issuing 950 Moose Management Area licenses for the 2016-2017 season, as well as non-for-profit licenses. Gros Morne park has a different licensing program for which hunters have to apply for separately than under the ecological management system.
Right now Newfoundland and Labrador seems to be the only province to implement the moose reduction zones.
What are moose reduction zones?
Moose reduction zones have been implemented by the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and they are 18-kilometre-square tracts of land on the shoulder of the Trans-Canada highway in order to reduce the amount of zones in those areas.
Newfoundland has decided to implement two zones: one zone is between St. John’s and Clarenville and another zone is between Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor.
The moose are such a problem for the province that they drew up a five-year moose management plan in order to meet the challenges the province has with their moose population. One reason to implement the moose reduction zone in the province is to try to reduce the amount of moose in certain areas.
Another reason Newfoundland has for implementing the policy is that they are trying to reduce moose in high-collision areas along the Trans-Canada highway.
Are moose reduction zones going to spread to other provinces?
Currently, it’s being reported that moose populations are in decline in North America, which leads to a lot of province hunting regulations actually reducing the amount of moose that are being hunted, or else shortening the moose hunting season.
However, if the population of moose come back to desirable levels for the same provinces that are experiencing a moose drought there is a possibility that they may eventually implement this policy, because most provinces have issues with moose-vehicle collisions, which cause injuries, casualties and result in millions of dollars of damages.
Managing Resources to Support Responsible Development and Safety Newfoundland and Labrador
Moose Population Reduction Parks Canada