Moose Hunting in MUs 6-28 and 6-29

Regulation Number: 
2020-06-11
Status: 
Decided
Region: 
Region 6 - Skeena
MU: 
6-28
6-29
Regulation Type: 
General Open Season
Species: 
Moose
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: 

The current moose hunting season in MUs 6-28 and 6-29 is Aug. 23-Oct 31, any bull

Proposed Regulations: 

Replace the current Aug. 23-Oct 31 any bull season in portions of MUs 6-28 and 6-29 (Haines Highway area) with Sept 1-Oct 31 SOFT 10 (spike fork, tripalm, 10 point).

Rationale: 

The most recent survey for the Alsek moose Population Management Unit (PMU) was conducted in 2015; a joint effort between B.C. and Yukon Territory biologists. The population estimate, using a mean sightability correction factor of 1.09 was 626. The bull:cow ratio and calf:cow ratio was estimated to be 50 bulls:100 cows and 20 calves:100 cows, respectively.

The mean harvest of bull moose by licensed hunters for MUs 6-28 and 6-29 combined for the last five years is estimated at roughly 14 bulls/year. The proposed Annual Allowable Mortality of moose in the area was 17 bulls/year, which is roughly 10% of the bull population based on the demographics from the last survey. Adding the harvest from First Nations hunters suggests that the allowable mortality limits are being exceeded. Additionally, preliminary results suggest that licensed moose harvest in the two MUs increased in 2018.

The bull:cow ratio of 50:100 is equal to the recommended minimum (50 bulls:100 cows) outlined in the Provincial Framework for Moose Management in BC for a northern, low density moose population (~0.2 moose/km2).

During the 2018-2020 hunting and trapping regulation cycle, there were several area-based SOFT 10 antler restrictions introduced to portions of several MUs in the north Skeena. These areas were largely identified around areas with greater access and/or high use cultural areas identified by local First Nations. These areas were based in and around the Cassiar Highway (Hwy 37), north of Meziadin Junction and east of Atlin. It is possible that these restrictions in other parts of the north Skeena have shifted hunting pressure into MUs 6-28 and 6-29, where hunters have sought out areas with a combination of more liberal moose seasons and road access.

Although there are concerns about increased use of motorized vehicles for hunting, most of the MUs (6-28 and 6-29) remain inaccessible by motorized vehicle. As a result, an area-based SOFT 10 antler restriction, similar to the ones introduced in 2018 in other Region 6 MUs, would also provide some consistency

The rationale for this proposal is to have continuity with moose regulations in other parts of the Skeena, reduce overcrowding, improve enforceability and mitigate potential impacts to indigenous harvest.

Additional Information: 

Click here for map of the area proposed for regulation change