Proposed changes to wolf and coyote hunting regulations in Northern Ontario

ERO number
019-0406
Notice type
Regulation
Act
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997
Posted by
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Notice stage
Proposal
Proposal posted
Comment period
August 12, 2019 - September 26, 2019 (45 days) Open
Last updated

This consultation closes at 11:59 p.m. on:
September 26, 2019

Proposal summary

We are proposing changes to wolf and coyote hunting regulations in Northern Ontario to address recommendations from the Big Game Management Advisory Committee and hunter concerns about the impacts of wolf predation on moose.

Proposal details

Background

Ontario’s new Big Game Management Advisory Committee (BGMAC) was tasked with providing recommendations to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) on moose management, with a focus on improving:

  • the moose tag quota setting process
  • the tag draw allocation approach

BGMAC worked with our ministry to conduct a survey of moose hunters and host a series of seven open house listening sessions in May-June 2019 to hear hunter concerns and thoughts on possible solutions.

BGMAC submitted a report to the Minister with 15 recommendations to improve moose management by:

  • focusing on sustainability
  • making tag allocation simpler, fairer and more consistent
  • addressing a range of hunter concerns

BGMAC heard significant concern from hunters about:

  • the number of wolves being observed while hunting
  • their potential impacts on moose populations

BGMAC recommended that we address hunter concerns about wolf predation on moose to complement other efforts to manage moose populations (BGMAC Recommendation #14).

Proposed Changes

We are proposing to implement regulation changes for 2020 to address hunter concerns:

  • eliminate the tag requirement for hunting wolves and coyotes in Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) 1A, 1C, 1D, 2-10, 11A, 11B, 12-37 in northern Ontario
  • continue to require a Small Game Licence for the hunting of wolves and coyotes in these WMUs
  • maintain the existing September 15 – March 31 of the following year season for wolves in these WMUs
  • introduce an annual bag limit of 2 wolves per hunter in these WMUs
  • expand the coyote hunting season to year-round in these WMUs (consistent with southern Ontario, except for the period when small game licences are invalid in central and northern Ontario from June 16 to August 31 each year)

Note: Wolf/coyote tags and mandatory reporting will still be required for wolf/coyote hunting in Central and near Northern Ontario Wildlife Management Units (WMUs 38-42, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 53A, 53B, 54, 55, 56, 57 and 58).

We will collect information about wolf/coyote hunting and harvest activities in areas where there is no mandatory reporting requirement through periodic surveys of small game licence holders.

We intend to amend Ontario Regulation 665/98 (Hunting) and Ontario Regulation 670/98 (Open Seasons) under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act to implement the proposal should it proceed. No additional opportunity for comments will be provided.

In a related posting, we are proposing changes to improve how moose are managed, how moose tag quotas are developed, and how moose tags are distributed to provincially licensed moose hunters. The proposal includes additional changes recommended by BGMAC to improve moose management for the benefit of moose populations and hunters.

Public consultation opportunities

BGMAC worked with MNRF to engage with the public through:

  • seven open house listening sessions across the province in May and early June
  • a Moose Management Review survey available online and in paper form

The open houses and survey allowed hunters and others to:

  • review information on moose management with a focus on quota setting and the draw
  • share their thoughts on possible changes

Regulatory impact statement

The anticipated environmental consequences of the proposal are neutral. Ontario is home to healthy and sustainable wolf and coyote populations in northern Ontario. Harvest restrictions would be maintained for wolves using a different approach.

The anticipated social consequences of the proposal are neutral for Ontarians. Hunters and some northern residents have expressed concerns about the number of wolves seen while hunting, hiking and sometimes near towns. Hunters have also expressed concerns about the potential impacts of wolf predation on moose populations. These groups are likely to support this proposal. Other stakeholder groups and members of the public will likely oppose changes to wolf and coyote hunting regulations.

The anticipated economic consequences of the proposal are neutral or positive. Eliminating the wolf/coyote tag requirement may increase interest in wolf hunting opportunities, particularly for non-residents. Increasing non-resident demand may create opportunities for tourist outfitters in Ontario to market wolf hunting packages.

Supporting materials

View materials in person

Some supporting materials may not be available online. If this is the case, you can request to view the materials in person.

Get in touch with the office listed below to find out if materials are available.

Species Conservation Policy Branch - Wildlife Section
Address

300 Water Street
5th Floor, North tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number

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Public Input Coordinator

Phone number
Office
Species Conservation Policy Branch - Wildlife Section
Address

300 Water Street
5th Floor, North tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number

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Contact

Public Input Coordinator

Phone number
Office
Species Conservation Policy Branch - Wildlife Section
Address

300 Water Street
5th Floor, North tower
Peterborough, ON
K9J 3C7
Canada

Office phone number

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