Provincial Government Announces Moose and Caribou Quotas

  • Fisheries and Land Resources
  • Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

February 27, 2018

The Provincial Government is implementing changes to the moose and caribou quotas and reinstating the Canid Collection Program for the 2018-19 big game season. The 2018-19 big game season will see:
  • A reduction in the overall moose quota for resident hunters of 2,470 licences, no reduction for non-resident licences available to outfitters, and, recognizing the importance of managing the moose population along highways, no reduction to licences in Moose Reduction Zones along the Trans Canada Highway;
  • A change in the closing date for moose in eastern Moose Management Areas to December 31, 2018, creating a consistent closing date for the island portion of the province;
  • Overall caribou quotas reduced by 48, from 650 to 602;>
  • For non-residents, Caribou Management Area (CMA) 64, an increase of 21 licenses as a result of an improvement in the caribou population, and CMAs 61, 62, and 69 reduced by a combined 50 licenses, for an overall net reduction of 29 licenses;
  • Resident caribou quotas reduced by 19 overall;
  • A planned hunting closure of Caribou Management Area 69, commencing for the 2019-20 season, which will remain in effect until there is evidence of a recovery in caribou numbers; and
  • Reinstatement of the Canid Collection Program.
The Department of Fisheries and Land Resources prepares an annual management plan that outlines changes from one year to the next, including big game quotas and season opening dates. Changes in quotas, season dates or regulations are based on the best science available, including surveys, hunter returns and research. In applying caribou licences to non-residents, government has considered outfitter sales activity, package price and yield, marketing participation and adherence to the Tourism Assurance Program. Reductions and increases in non-resident caribou licenses have been made in an equitable and fair manner. The decision to take a one-year transition to the closure of Caribou Management Area 69 was made to offset economic implications for outfitters. Big game licence applications for hunters eligible to participate in the provincial 2018 big game licence draw are now available on-line. Paper applications will be arriving in the mail in the coming days. This year’s deadline for receipt of big game licence draw applications is March 29, 2018 at 4:30 p.m. Eligible hunters can apply online at the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources website, or return completed applications by mail. The 2018-19 Hunting and Trapping Guide is available on the department website and can be viewed on mobile devices. The guide contains valuable information including facts about hunting safety, fees, regulations and important changes for the coming season. All hunters and trappers are encouraged to review the guide before taking part in hunting activity this year. Quotes “The changes announced today are informed by science and reached in consultation with those who depend on moose and caribou for food, for their livelihood, and a means to practice cultural traditions that have been passed through generations. The Newfoundland Hunters and Anglers Association and the Newfoundland and Labrador Outfitters Association both told us decreased quotas are needed, and we have acted on their recommendations.” Honourable Gerry Byrne Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources “The Provincial Government is committed to maintaining healthy and sustainable caribou and moose populations but also mindful of the economic benefits that outfitters provide to the province. Caribou allocations were made to ensure the sustainability of the caribou population, while also working to minimize negative economic impacts on outfitters and resident hunters. We believe this is a balanced approach to sharing the consequences of declining big game populations with both resident and non-resident hunters and protecting the population for the future.” Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation

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Learn More 2018-19 Hunting and Trapping Guide – Information on big game licences – Program for Hunters and Anglers with a Disability – Fisheries and Land Resources – Follow us on Twitter: @GovNL and @FLR_GovNL Media contacts Connie Boland Fisheries and Land Resources 709-637-2923, 640-6409 Eric Humber Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation 709-729-4819; 725-9655

BACKGROUNDER Changes in the 2018/19 Big Game Season

To address substantial declines in moose numbers on the Northern Peninsula and eastern regions of the province, the total moose quota for 2018/19 is 29,260 animals, down from 31,730 last season. The reduction of 2,470 licenses is based on updated survey information for a number of moose management areas and significant declines in hunter success in others. The reduction will not substantially impact the overall harvest rate. Competition between hunters for animals will be reduced and the hunter success rate is anticipated to increase slightly. The new closing date for moose management areas east of Terra Nova is December 31, 2018. All moose management areas in the province now close on the same date. The Department of Fisheries and Land Resources plans to complete five to seven surveys per year to improve estimates of moose population size. The caribou quota will be reduced to 602 animals from 650, primarily in the Northern Peninsula (Caribou Management Area 69) where numbers have dropped by 52 per cent since the last survey. This area does not include the St. Anthony herd, which is stable. The re-instatement of the Canid Collection Program addresses an emergent wolf population on the island portion of the province and a significant ecological change that may impact big game populations. Future management actions will be based on the data collected in this program. Changes to provincial Wildlife Act and Regulations Announced in October 2017, changes to the provincial Wildlife Act and Regulations support inclusion, improve access, and increase participation in hunting throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Changes include lowering the minimum hunting age, updating the Program for Hunters and Anglers with a Disability, and earlier application dates for the provincial big game draw.. The minimum age requirement to shoot small game, coyotes and other furbearers has been lowered from 16 to 12 and the minimum age requirement to shoot big game has been lowered from 18 to 16. Youth hunters are only permitted to use a firearm under supervision of a qualified adult. Changes to the Program for Hunters and Anglers with a Disability include:
  • A designated hunter can remain within 800 metres or line of sight, whichever is greater, of the person with a disability;
  • Restructuring the Problem Moose Policy for the 2018-19 hunting season to give priority access to big game for persons with disabilities not able to complete the Firearm Safety-Hunter Education Program; and
  • Development of a new policy to provide persons with disabilities priority access to moose put down by conservation officers for humane or public safety reasons.
Earlier big game draw application dates will also be in effect for the 2018-19 big game hunting season to provide hunters and trappers with greater lead time to adequately plan for hunting and trapping activities.
2018 02 27 3:40 pm