South Skeena Bow Only Moose Seasons

Regulation Number: 
2020-06-06
Status: 
Decided
Region: 
Region 6 - Skeena
MU: 
6-1
6-2
6-3
6-4
6-5
6-6
6-7
6-8
6-9
6-10
6-11
6-15
6-30
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: 

General Open Season (bow only):

Moose

Bow Only Season

6-1 to 6-11, 6-15, 6-30

Bulls

Oct 1 - Oct 8

Proposed Regulations: 

Replace the Oct 1-8 General Open Season (bow only) with Oct 1-19 Limited Entry Hunting (bow only).

 

Limited Entry Hunting

MOOSE

Archery Only:

Smithers         6-01                 Oct 1-Oct 19               Bull

Smithers         6-02                 Oct 1-Oct 19               Bull

Smithers         6-04                 Oct 1-Oct 19               Bull

Smithers         6-05                 Oct 1-Oct 19               Bull

Smithers         6-06                 Oct 1-Oct 19               Bull

Smithers         6-07                 Oct 1-Oct 19               Bull

Smithers         6-08                 Oct 1-Oct 19               Bull

Smithers         6-09                 Oct 1-Oct 19               Bull

Smithers         6-10     A*       Oct 1-Oct 19               Bull

Smithers         6-15     A         Oct 1-Oct 19               Bull

Smithers         6-30                 Oct 1-Oct 19               Bull

* Also includes portions of M.U. 6-03 and 6-11

Rationale: 

Historically, archery only seasons were considered to have little or no impact on the overall harvest of moose, however changes to archery equipment (including crossbows) has increased the effectiveness of archers and the popularity of archery hunting has increased such that this assumption can no longer be relied upon. Moose GOS seasons in the south Skeena have recently been reduced from 7 to 3 days to address issues of low bull:cow ratios. Maintaining an archery only GOS during the rut will likely result in more hunters taking up archery (including crossbows) due to reduced GOS opportunity. Increased harvest by archers during this season will result in further reduced opportunities for non-archery specific hunters.

The number of moose harvested during the rut GOS archery only season cannot be differentiated from the non-archery GOS season, because the Hunter Sample Survey does not distinguish between method of hunt. Changes in technology (including increased use of crossbows) has likely led to higher success rates for archers during the moose rut archery only GOS in southern Skeena. Given the uncertainty around the amount of harvest attributable to archery the conservative approach is provide an archery opportunity that is more closely regulated and monitored, and increases wildlife managers ability to collect archery specific harvest data.

Additional Information: 

The southern Skeena moose hunting seasons have been restricted through time (1990's - 12 day GOS; 2000's - 7 day GOS; 2018- 3 day GOS) due to the high levels of hunter pressure (ex. 5.89 hunters/100 km2 in the Upper Nechako Game Management Zone (GMZ), compared to 0.42 hunters/100 km2 in the Atlin GMZ), combined with declining population trends in some population management units. As more harvest was occurring in the GOS season, the number of LEH authorizations were reduced, resulting in more hunters hunting the GOS. This cycle resulted in unsustainable levels of harvest occurring during the GOS and some LEH seasons being reduced to 1 LEH authorization per season. The archery harvest cannot currently be differentiated from the GOS harvest resulting in archery harvest contributing to, but not primarily responsible for, the high levels of harvest in the GOS. An archery only LEH season during the rut maintains a unique opportunity that can be more effectively managed.