This consultation was open from:
June 10, 2019
to July 25, 2019
Ontario has developed guidelines for setting population objectives and establishing harvest management strategies for white-tailed deer. The guidelines are intended to assist with improving consistency, transparency and alignment of deer population objective setting and harvest strategies.
White-tailed deer are a highly valued and important part of Ontario’s wildlife biodiversity. Ontario is committed to sustainable management of deer that continues to maintain healthy populations that provide a range of ecological, social, cultural and economic benefits (e.g. hunting, viewing, etc.) for all Ontarians.
The White-tailed Deer Management Policy for Ontario (2017) outlines broad principles, objectives and strategies for deer management in the province. The policy also identifies the need for the development of deer population objective setting and harvest management guidance.
Ontario’s draft White-tailed Deer Population Objective Setting and Harvest Management Guidelines outline the approach for determining deer population objectives and for identifying the appropriate harvest management strategies for deer management in Ontario. The guidelines will help ensure the ministry’s deer management actions are carried out in a transparent and consistent way that meets the needs of Ontarians.
Harvest management strategies described in these guidelines are the broad suite of tools employed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to influence the provincially regulated deer hunt. Harvest management strategies are the primary methods used to help achieve the desired range in abundance of deer (population objective) within a landscape.
Updating Ontario’s Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance and Response Plan
In a related proposal posting, Ontario is also proposing to update the Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance and Response Plan to reflect current scientific knowledge, the evolving roles of government agencies and to help minimize the risk of chronic wasting disease entering or spreading within Ontario. A link to the policy proposal posting on the update to the Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance and Response Plan will be provided below.
Although chronic wasting disease has not been detected in Ontario, it poses potential risk to the province’s wild and captive deer and elk, especially wild white-tailed deer. If chronic wasting disease were detected in Ontario, white-tailed population objectives and harvest management strategies in the affected area would take guidance from the Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance and Response Plan.
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