Active 2021 hunting season, harvest slightly down in Townships

By Geoff Agombar
Active 2021 hunting season, harvest slightly down in Townships

Quebec’s ministry of forests, wildlife and parks says that Quebec’s hunters and trappers had another active season in 2021, the second year affected by pandemic restrictions.

Wild turkey permit sales reached new heights, moose came close to a 2013-14 record, and black bear hit the highest total in 30 years. White-tailed deer permits held constant this year. But the overall hunt was more successful, suggesting the health of the herd is strong.

Moose remained the most popular large game hunt in 2021. Close to 180,000 moose permits sold and more than 25,000 moose were taken. Several zones allowed the hunt of adult females this season. As such, the 2021 harvest was considered similar to years when comparable regulations were in effect. The ministry has aerial moose counts scheduled in Bas-Saint-Laurent, Outaouais and Mauricie this winter. The ministry monitors the hunt and population density as part of its sustainable management efforts. A new moose management plan is under development, to be released in 2024.

Despite the absence of non-residential hunters for the second year in a row, black bear permit sales reached the 19,900 range, numbers not seen in three decades. Comparable to previous seasons, approximately 5,800 bears were taken, 92 per cent during the spring season. Trapping accounted for 13 per cent of the black bear kills, hunting for 87 per cent. The ministry has a project underway tracking black bear population dynamics in the context of forest management and climate, to be completed in 2023.

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