Less moose, less sport hunting

An air count last winter revealed that Réserve faunique La Vérendrye was living less moose than before. The quota for sport hunting will therefore be cut by half and talks are underway about the Algonquins’ livelihood hunt. Last year, some of them erected barricades in the park and demanded a moratorium on sports hunting.

Posted August 23, 2020 at 5:00 AM

Mathieu Perreault
Press

“We counted 2,075 moose in the La Vérendrye Nature Reserve, 60% of which are females,” explains André Dumont, head of the moose at the Ministry of Forests, Nature and Parks (MFFP). “The density has decreased since 2008 from 3.2 to 2.06 moose per 10 km2. But since the territories aren’t exactly the same, we have to be careful. We are still quite sure that the density is really decreasing. Whether we are concerned, no, the habitat is good. And the hunting success, the percentage of groups that manage to kill a moose, is 50%, which is higher than other areas where moose are doing well. Hunting success is an indicator of the health of a population. ”

In 1994 the density in an area comparable to that of the 2008 and 2020 censuses was 2.8 moose per 10 km2.

The two sporting moose hunting quotas – the number of hunting groups hosted by SEPAQ and the number of adult elk hunting permits – have decreased. Next fall, SEPAQ will welcome 175 groups instead of 200, and the number of permits for slaughtering a female will have increased from 200 to 100. Last year, 87 moose, including 12 females, were slaughtered, much less than that. allowed by these quotas.

Marc Renaud, president of the Quebec Federation of Hunters and Fishermen, supports this decision.

If we have to cut quotas to preserve the population, we cannot be against it.

Marc Renaud, President of the Quebec Federation of Hunters and Fishermen

The number of elk slaughtered is higher due to hunting by the Algonquins. “We don’t have subsistence hunting data, but in order to sustain a population, we generally cannot kill more than 15% of individuals,” said Mr. Dumont. This yields more than 300 moose for the La Vérendrye nature reserve. It’s a bit tricky, but we know that with sport hunting we have a crop of 90 moose. We are not pointing the finger at indigenous communities, but it is certain that much of the harvest is due to subsistence hunting. ”

That said, several other factors, in addition to hunting, can affect moose populations, the numbers of which have increased from 55,000 to 125,000 in Quebec since 1993. “We’ve had three very, very bad winters,” said Mr. Dumont. But the population in the neighboring areas has been preserved. ”

Livelihood hunt

According to André Dumont, talks are underway with representatives of the Algonquins to quantify the hunt for livelihoods. Marc Renaud, of the Quebec Federation of Hunters and Fishermen, also believes the partnership with the Algonquins is better than before. “But we have heard that they are not all together,” says Renaud. A small group that created roadblocks last year would not be satisfied with the quota cut. We see residents of the United States who are not Algonquin who come to hunt in La Vérendrye. Sometimes food has a broad back. ”

PHOTOGRAPH OF CHEYANNE RICE-JEROME FACEBOOK ACCOUNT

In September 2019, members of the Lac Barrière Algonquin community demonstrated at the entrance to the La Vérendrye Nature Reserve to demand a moratorium on sports hunting.

Dumont, of the MFFP, forwarded La Presse to John Boudrias, communications officer for the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation Tribal Council, who was also the focal point for discussions of a moratorium on sports hunting with the department in the fall. last. Mr Boudrias did not call La Presse, despite messages left at the Tribal Council office and on his personal phone Friday and Saturday.

Sports yacht in figures

227
Number of moose hunting sport groups in La Vérendrye Nature Reserve in 2019

• 74
Number of adult male moose slaughtered by sport hunters in 2019 in La Vérendrye Nature Reserve

• 12
Number of adult female moose slaughtered by sport hunters in La Vérendrye Nature Reserve in 2019

• 1
Number of fawns slaughtered by sport hunters in the La Vérendrye nature reserve in 2019

Source: Ministry of Forests, Nature and Parks

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