Moose hunting is an integral part of Indigenous life, an important food source, a treasured form of recreation and a significant economic driver. But without a reliable survey of Manitoba’s moose, we cannot know how many moose can be safely harvested.
Illegal hunting also poses a significant threat, particularly in areas where moose populations are already too thin.
Hunting and habitat disturbance
Roads and hydro corridors create easy access to moose habitats, drawing higher numbers of hunters and increasing their likelihood of success. With fewer remote areas for moose to take refuge, harvests can become too successful.
Photo credit: Holly Mandarich
Technology increases success rates
Technologies like ATVs, drones, trail cameras and more powerful rifles have increased the success rates of hunters in recent decades. As with any mortality factor, excess hunting can bring a population down to unsustainable or even unrecoverable levels. All this poses a greater challenge to moose when their numbers are already low, when human access to moose habitat is elevated and when the number of hunters on the landscape increases.
Dangers to Populations
Manitoba stepped up poaching patrols in 2017 after a significant increase in illegal hunting. Night hunting has also become an increasing concern after a man was killed while hunting near Brandon in 2016 and a teenager checking traps was shot in the face by a night hunter near Pulp River in 2017.
Poaching is a problem under any circumstances. When populations reach critical lows, the loss of even a single cow can be devastating.
Save Our Moose
Moose may soon disappear completely from some parts of Manitoba, where the population has dropped by as much as 57 percent. Tell Premier Brian Pallister to save our moose.
Ensuring Healthy Moose Populations
Challenges & Opportunities