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© Lora Denis
Without a shred of supporting scientific evidence, the Government of Ontario is proposing to open up hunting of wolves and coyotes across the north. Under the guise of moose conservation, it is proposing to allow anyone with a small game hunting license in northern Ontario to kill up to two wolves and an unlimited number of coyotes per year.
Here are seven good reasons why this proposal should not go forward.
1. The proposal lacks any scientific justification or evidence. There are no population management targets and no rationale for the proposed bag limits.
2. Eastern coyotes do not consume moose in significant numbers, and yet the government has opened the door to senseless slaughter.
3. Though wolves are the main predators of moose, according to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), they generally “prey mostly on young moose and older moose past their prime, and consume few prime-breeding-age moose.”
4. Studies show that hunting is not a long-term solution. According to MNRF, “the number of moose killed per wolf pack will not significantly decrease as the pack size is reduced.”
5. Killing many coyotes and wolves, keystone predators, could have negative ecosystem-wide impacts.
6. The government’s plan is to eliminate requirements for tags and reporting for both wolves and coyotes hunted in northern Ontario. As a result, any ability to scientifically assess the impacts of the policy and manage accordingly is seriously undermined.
7. There are many uncertainties around the causes of recent moose declines, with climate change and parasites (e.g., brain worm, winter ticks) likely implicated. But one thing is clear, changes to hunting rules and practices are having an impact. Since the 1980s, the length of the hunting season, road access, the use of all-terrain vehicles, wireless communication, calf harvesting and party hunting have all increased. During that time, the success rate of hunters has jumped significantly (from 20 – 30% to 40-50% with guns and from 5-10% to 20-30% with bows).
Why is a ministry responsible for protecting Ontario’s rich biodiversity making it easier to kill keystone predators with less oversight? This baseless proposal detracts from meaningful solutions to dwindling moose populations.
Ontario Nature invites you to stand up for wolves, coyotes, moose and healthy ecosystems. Sign a letter to the government and let them know that you expect wildlife policy and management to be based on science.
Peter you are very misinformed about how hunting and hunters truely are. 99.9 Percent of hunters are ethical in the approach to any animal very very few hunters would just go around killing something with no justification. Also the animals are considered fur only meaning you have to have something to do with the fur. Which most people dont have. Lastly there are so many coyotes that you could let everybody in ontario shoot 3 of them each and we would still be over loaded. Both predators and hunters have a job as to balancing populations. Lots of deer means more predators and more hunters, until that population of deer go down and the predators and hunters move on. Population regrows and predators and hunters both come back. You can see proof of this in the wild cat sightings lately the rabbit population exploded a few years ago so the predators started having more babies cause there was more food the babies were getting big faster because there was more food. Now every so many years the rabbit population crashes nobody really knows why, than the predators start to starve and come out of the bush in bold attempts to get food usually in populated areas. Than the cats will slowly die off due to starvation, than the rabbit population slowly comes back and than the predator population slowly grows. Its a circle and anything like coyote left unchecked can run havoc on any population. I am a hunter and I can assure I dont run around just shooting an animal for the sake of it. First off I love nature and animals and respect them deeply, also being a hunter we are under severe regulations and if you do something wrong you lose the right to hunt in ontario. So Please learn more about the process of hunting and being a hunter and all we learn and have to do to be a hunter. Before ranting about something you know zero about. Peace
I agree in management, you can never get rid of coyotes, they have to be managed.
Hunters are stupid and heartless
There is no chronic wasting disease in Ontario.
To compare Ontario (where there is still a lot of timber harvest) to a national park in the Pacific Northwest is wrong also.
Not a shred of evidence except the boots on the ground. If you’re a deer hunter in the big woods like I am you would have noticed the deer population is almost gone where it was abundant. All you see is wolf and coyote tracks. Everyone knows they kill a lot of deer and calf moose in the winter. I have seen it for myself many times. The Wolves will die off when the deer herd is taken out. Weather you like it one not, a healthy deer and moose population is good for the economy. I do my part when I can.
This definitely not a partisan issue either. The NDP would be for it considering they represent a lot of areas that rely on tourism.
BTW I’m aware of the winter tick moose kills
This is totally laughable. If the removal of the tag system went forward they would be losing money not gaining it. So anyone who says it’s all about the money clearly has no idea what they are talking about.
As a deer hunter I have sadly seen the impacts of hunters who recklessly shoot wolves and coyotes because of their so called impact on deer populations. We need to remember that diversity is strength and that has been proven over and over. With the expansion of Chronic Wasting Disease taking hold in deer populations, wolves are best positioned to prey on the weak and dying. We need to be smarter. Organizations like Ontario Nature and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters need to communicate the benefits of a healthy wolf populations and how this can actually lead to a healthy dear and moose population. Studies of the re-introduction of Grey Wolves in Yellowstone have shown how numerous other species benefitted, including a link to the return of dolly varden trout in their rivers. Rabbits were eating cottonwood trees. The lack of cottonwood trees caused excessive soil erosion around rivers, clouding the rivers with silt and providing poor hatching conditions. The reintroduced wolves ate the rabbits – the trees came back and so did the trout. Thus – sell hunters on the benefits of wolves!!!
I am so totally against this. Doug Ford would probably not know a blade of grass or a leaf on a tree if he tripped over it. Nature is not on his agenda. Only $ in the pocket with no regard for consequences to the environment. He does not speak for the people, only himself.
If this is an indication of how Doug Ford’s PC Government approaches and deals with an issue of seemingly little importance and significance to the vast majority of the people of Ontario in order to appease a handful of radicalized hunters and opportunists and secure their political support who for the pleasure of sport hunting and trophy collecting and their perverse guise of conservation be allowed to expand their hobby and have unlimited access to kill the natural wildlife resources of Ontario just to satisfy what they deem as a recreational right and in some situations a profitable enterprise without considering the negative impact it will have on the ecosystems and the overall environment of our natural environments, then one has to question and cast doubt on how the Ontario PC Government rationalizes and implements major policy decisions that affect all the people in Ontario when it comes to issues such as health care, education, transportation, workers rights, tax laws, the environment, housing and urban sprawl, etc. It appears the PC Government has no limit or moral conscience to what lengths it will go to appease and secure support of its base in attempts to ensure their political longevity in their quest to maintain positions of power and authority in Ontario.
This is wrong.
This Conservative government is a one issue party…the supposed deficit. I hate everything they stand for. They are so ignorant about life. They will kill us all if it made them an extra buck.