On January 1, I posted ‘Missing the Mark’, where I suggested that the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) had done a poor job with respect to proposed changes as to how wolves could be hunted in Ontario. Here’s my brief summary of the changes they proposed:
- the present requirement to purchase a wolf seal to hunt wolves under the authority of a small game license will be repealed, and all that will be required to hunt wolves will be the small game license itself; and
- the yearly limit will remain at two wolves, but wolves and coyotes will be separated and there will be no limit on the number of coyotes a hunter can harvest.
It will still be mandatory to report your wolf harvest, but seeing as mandatory reporting is not enforced (I’ve been told there has never been a charge laid in Ontario wrt failing to provide a mandatory hunt report), that requirement remains toothless.
The changes proposed are mostly to try and increase the wolf harvest in response to declining moose populations. As I said in my post at the time, I predicted that would raise the ire for those who like wolves, and aren’t strongly pro-hunting.
Well that’s exactly what happened. It seems the s*** hit the fan, and at the end of the day, none of the proposed changes are going to be implemented (the MNRF must have really taken a verbal beating by the people who are enamored with wolves, don’t like the idea of managing predators [especially if it’s to ‘help’ big game], dislike wolf hunting in particular and for the most part are not in favour of hunting in general). You can read the decision here:
So we’re back where we started, with all hunters (resident and non-resident) still having to buy both a small game licence and a wolf seal, and the inability to hunt wolves during an open season for bear, elk, deer or moose unless one is also in possession of a valid license for one of whatever big game season is open..
This is a crazy, stupid way to manage wolves. Wolves should have a stand-alone licence (why does a non-resident have to buy an $272.41 wolf tag AND a $120.93 small game licence? And then can’t hunt them during the deer or moose season without ALSO having a valid moose [$483.48] or deer [$241.61] license ; i.e., that moose or deer license can’t have been used to tag a moose or deer prior to hunting a wolf).
In addition to only needing a wolf license to hunt wolves, I think wolves could and maybe should be classed similarly to bears, in that non-residents would have to hunt wolves through an outfitter in a specific management area (outfitters have bear management areas, or BMA’s; I think these could be modified to be BWMA’s – bear and wolf management areas). I also think the number of wolf tags available for non-residents in a BWMA could/should be limited, but if they were managed through a BWMA, that may be self-limiting all by itself).
A stumble, then a fumble. How ridiculous.