Amend Antlerless Elk General Open Season

Regulation Number: 
2020-07-01
Status: 
Decided
Region: 
Region 7B - Peace
MU: 
7-20
7-21
7-32
7-33
7-34
7-35
7-43
7-44
7-45
7-46
7-58
Regulation Type: 
General Open Season
Species: 
Elk
Closing Date: 
January 19, 2020 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

This regulation was approved as proposed and is included in the 2020-2022 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis.

Current Regulations: 

ELK

7-20*, 7-21*, 7-32 to 7-35, 7-43***, 7-44, 7-45, 7-46*, 7-58

Antlerless

Sept 15 - Oct 31

1

* Restricted to portions of MUs 7-20, 7-21, and 7-46       *** Restricted to eastern portion of MU 7-4
3

Proposed Regulations: 

Shorten the antlerless elk season in MUs (or portions of) 7-20, 7-21, 7-32 to 7-35, 7-43 to 7-46 by approximately 2 weeks. Maintain status quo in MU 7-58.

ELK

7-20*, 7-21*, 7-32 to 7-35, 7-43***, 7-44, 7-45, 7-46*

Antlerless

Sept 15 - Oct 15

1

ELK* Restricted to portions of MUs 7-20, 7-21, and 7-46       *** Restricted to eastern portion of MU 7-43

7-58

Antlerless

Sept 15 - Oct 31

1

Rationale: 

The elk population within the Peace Region’s Agricultural Zone has sustained a high level of harvest since 2008– almost 30% of the population annually, with half of these elk being antlerless. Antlerless elk (cows and calves) survival rates are the main factor affecting population growth and density. FLNRORD aims to reduce the antlerless harvest in order to maintain the current elk population size. The ‘antlerless’ General Open Season (GOS) will be reduced by two weeks, leaving a month of GOS for licensed hunters. This regulation change is expected to result in a moderate reduction to the antlerless harvest. The shortening will affect the tail end of the season, as requested by local stakeholders. During that time, the bull elk GOS will still be open.

In 2008, liberal hunting measures were implemented in the Agricultural Zone of the Peace Region to reduce crop depredation by elk. These measures were designed to reduce the density of elk. The harvest nearly doubled in the Agricultural Zone and about half of the harvest is composed of antlerless animals. In 2018, population inventory found that the current population has been reduced by 37% since 2007.

The current elk density seems to be adequate to stakeholders and therefore harvest systems aimed at maintaining current populations are proposed; the current population is estimated at 5,000 elk. The current antlerless harvest is between 700-800 animals, and results from the 2018 inventory suggest that an annual harvest of 500 antlerless elk would maintain the current elk density.