Over the past 10 years, moose populations have decreased in the area from about 18,000 to 11,500 animals.
Under the Wildlife Act, the province is closing the Oct. 1 to Oct. 14 limited-entry hunt in management units 5-13A, 5-13C and 5-14, and closing the moose hunt in portions of management units 5-03, 5-04 and 5-06. In addition, the use of motor vehicles for the purposes of hunting on branch roads or trails in portions of management units 5-12A and 5-12B is prohibited.
These restrictions are the result of discussions between the province and the Tsilhqot’in Nation, and aim to address concerns related to decreasing moose numbers and increased vulnerability of moose to hunting following last year’s wildfires. Changes to the landscape from wildfire can increase sight-lines for hunters, potentially resulting in higher success rates and more moose killed. The restrictions will be in place for this year’s moose hunting season and will be re-evaluated after the season is over.
At the same time, First Nations are working with government and their communities to reduce the harvest of cow moose in the Chilcotin. The moose hunting opportunities that remain in place in this area are considered sustainable and strive to balance the interests of Indigenous peoples and licensed hunters.