Moose limits won’t be extended

Although an aerial survey for moose in two areas near Kelowna last month indicated there are more animals than estimated by the government in setting hunting seasons, there are no plans to lengthen the regular open hunting season.

Although an aerial survey for moose in two areas near Kelowna last month indicated there are more animals than estimated by the government in setting hunting seasons, there are no plans to lengthen the regular open hunting season.

Wildlife biologist Brian Harris with the natural resource operations ministry, said based on the unofficial data from those flights, there still are fewer than the ideal number of bulls to cows in each of the areas surveyed.

He admitted there were good numbers—more than he’d earlier estimated—of moose in Wildlife Management Region 8-11 on the Westside, but still fewer than 30 bulls to 100 cows.

There were also better numbers than he’d expected in the Aberdeen Plateau area on the other side of the lake, but fewer than the ideal ratio.

Moose hunting seasons were reduced and opened later last year to avoid hunting during the rut when bulls are vulnerable, because of concerns about populations.

The same opening dates will apply to the regular season for next year, said Harris.

However, he said there may be increased opportunities for Limited Entry Hunting next year, opportunities for which hunters must enter a draw process to be awarded special opportunities outside the regular season.

The draft report from Kim Poole, a consultant with Aurora Wildlife Research, indicated there is a ratio of 25 bulls to 100 cows in the one management unit on the Westside and 28 bulls to 100 cows in the Aberdeen Plateau area.

However, Harris said he is concerned that increased logging due to the infestation of mountain pine beetle is opening up both forest cover and access roads in forests in the Okanagan, leaving moose vulnerable to hunting pressure.

Until there is more green-up, he said they will continue to be vulnerable.

As well, he said there are concerns that moose in the Okanagan tend to be genetically-related to the smaller Shiras moose from south of the border, which also have smaller and slower-growing antlers.

Because of this he believes that even some three-year-old moose can still be spike fork moose, which normally are yearlings.

The hunting season is open only to spike fork moose in this area, with the idea that they are yearlings.

The moose survey was conducted largely at the expense of local fish and game clubs, the Okanagan Region Wildlife Heritage Fund Society and the Okanagan Region B.C. Wildlife Federation, because budget cuts have prevented the natural resource operations ministry from paying for such monitoring in recent years.

The draft report is currently being reviewed.

jsteeves@kelownacapnews.com

Just Posted

Kelowna Gospel Mission creates more meals with new slicer

The slicer was donated by the Morningside Rotary Club

Jumper cables ignite small car fire

Fire crews quickly put out a car fire in Rutland Wednesday afternoon

Central Okanagan residents urged to chip it, not chuck it

Plans already in place to dispose of Christmas trees after the upcoming holiday

Outbreak affects eight people in Vernon

UPDATE: Gastrointestinal illness reported at Vernon Jubilee Hospital

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Rockets fall in Swift Current for third straight loss

The Broncos score the game’s first five goals in Kelowna’s fourth game of six-game eastern trip

Star gazing: Mars – the Red Planet

Mars is part of our culture, currently of extreme scientific interest, and sufficiently like Earth

Kelowna auto dealer revs up KGH building project with big donation

Kelowna Toyota has donated $30,000 to help build JoeAnna’s House on hospital grounds

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

RCMP volunteers step up parking lot patrols for Christmas

Citizen’s On Patrol look to deter criminal opportunists while giving shoppers peace of mind

Most Read