- Moose Biology
- Moose and Black Bear Tourism Industry Program
- Moose Resource Reports
- 2008 Moose Program Review
Moose are an integral part of Ontario's biodiversity. Moose are a very important part of their ecosystems: their browsing (eating of twigs and shrubs) influences the development of the forest and they are a significant food source for large predators and many scavengers.
Moose are important to people as well – whether it's to see one in the wild, for food or hides, or just to know they are there. Hunters from across Ontario and other parts of the world seek them every fall. Hunting and viewing moose generates millions of dollars in economic activity within Ontario each year.
Moose management is important to ensure a healthy moose population for all these reasons.
There are several factors that affect moose populations. These factors influence the number of moose born, the number of moose that die, and to a lesser extent, the number of moose moving in and out of an area. The importance of these factors varies over time from place to place, and some of these factors can be managed more readily than others.
The goal of Ontario's moose management program is to "ensure sustainable moose populations and the ecosystems on which they rely, for the continuous provision of ecological, cultural, economic and social benefits for the people of Ontario". To achieve this goal, both populations and habitat are managed using an ecological approach to consider all factors affecting moose.
Ontario has a number of policies and guidelines in place to help achieve this goal over the short and long-term.
The flow chart below outlines the main aspects of moose management in Ontario. View a larger version of this flow chart.
Hunting is an important component of moose management. More information on moose hunting in Ontario (including seasons, firearms, annual quotas, special restrictions and conditions) can be found in the Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary.
The demand for moose harvest greatly exceeds the supply of moose in most areas of Ontario. Therefore, harvest management is important in maintaining sustainable moose populations. Harvest management consists of three main steps:
1. Harvest Level: The allowable harvest level is the number of moose that can be sustainably harvested. This level maintains the natural ecological system, achieves the moose management objective, and provides a good mix of benefits to all Ontarians.
2. Harvest Control: The selective harvest system carefully manages the harvest of adult moose in each Wildlife Management Unit across the province. The harvest of calf moose is also controlled in a few Wildlife Management Units. For more information on harvest regulations, please see the Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary.
3. Harvest Distribution: Limited numbers of adult (bull and cow) moose tags are distributed to hunters each year to keep the harvest at the allowable level and maintain moose populations. Moose tags are allocated in each Wildlife Management Unit where there is an open season. For more information on moose tag allocations, please see the Ontario Hunting Regulations Summary.
|YEAR||Estimated # of Active Hunters||Estimated Bull Harvest||Estimated Cow Harvest||Estimated Calf Harvest||Estimated Total Harvest|
Note: Numbers are estimates based on replies received from a sample of hunters and are subject to statistical error. The estimate of the number of active hunters includes an estimation of resident hunters who did not apply for an adult validation tag and hunters that may hunt in more than one WMU. An additional ± 150 calf moose are harvested each year by resident hunters who did not apply for an adult validation tag.
More detailed information for estimated moose hunter activity and harvest for each Wildlife Management Unit is available in our publication entitled Estimated Resident Moose Hunting Activity and Harvest by Wildlife Management Unit (PDF, 163 kb)