New Year ushers in Ontario's elk hunt
MNR announcement is welcome news to outdoor and agricultural communities
The new year is starting off on a high note with the announcement by Minister of Natural Resources, Linda Jeffrey (see announcement), that there will be an elk hunt this fall. The move comes more than a decade after elk were first transferred from Alberta and released in target areas in Ontario as part of a major restoration effort. The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) has made a significant financial and volunteer contribution to the plan, which was led by the MNR, and is pleased that the hard work of all the partners has paid off.
"The Bancroft-North Hastings elk hunt is terrific news, both for hunters and for local agricultural producers who have been dealing with increasing populations of elk on the landscape," said Mike Reader, O.F.A.H. Executive Director. "The majestic elk is a part of Ontario’s biodiversity, and a highly valued big game mammal. We welcome this hunt as a sound wildlife management tool that will assist in achieving and maintaining sustainable elk populations."
"This hunt is a result of the successful restoration of elk in the Bancroft-North Hastings area and the first in more than a century. This is an opportunity to help the regions’ economic growth and ensure a healthy elk population in the area for future generations," said Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources.
A limited number of licenses and seals will be available through a random draw process for designated Wildlife Management Units in the Bancroft-North Hastings area. The short season is slated to run from the third Monday in September to the following Sunday, which is September 19 to 25 in 2011.
The suite of Elk Management Plan policy decisions will be posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) Registry. The O.F.A.H. response to Elk Management Plan policy proposals can be found at www.ofah.org/news. More information on the provincial Elk Management Plan is available at www.ontario.ca/hunting.
The elk hunt will take place in Wildlife Management Units 57, 58, 60, 61, 62 and 63A - some units may be further restricted to certain areas of the unit, known as "Harvest Areas";
There is a 3-step application process for the random draw: purchase and submit an application with preferred location and up to 3 hunting partners; draw takes place; successful applicants may purchase a license and one seal/tag;
The Bancroft-North Hastings area herd is estimated to be between 400 and 600 animals.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 670 member clubs, the O.F.A.H. is the largest nonprofit, fishing, hunting and conservation-based organization in Ontario, and the voice of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.