The 2012-13 Hunting and Trapping Guide and big game licence applications are now available online at www.wildlife.gov.nl.ca , and print copies will be mailed out at the end of the month to all qualified resident hunters who are eligible for this year’s big game licence draw. Eligible hunters will be able to file an application or request priority pool advancement in this year’s big game moose or caribou licence draw online, as well as process their spring and fall black bear licence applications and payments.
“We are very cognizant of the diverse interests that exist in managing and sustaining our wildlife resources for the benefit of our residents and those that visit our province,” said the Honourable Terry French, Minister of Environment and Conservation. “This year’s game management plans are reflected in the 2012-13 Hunting and Trapping Guide and support the Provincial Government’s overall objectives in sustaining wildlife populations, while also ensuring continued harvest objectives. By engaging the public and stakeholders on issues that are relevant to wildlife conservation and sustainability, we can ensure the best possible benefits are derived from our resources for present and future generations.”
On the Island of Newfoundland, the overall moose quota for the 2012-13 season is 32,810 (17,620 either-sex, 15,090 male-only or calf and 100 female-only or calf) and is a decrease of 630 licences compared to the 2011-12 season. The ratio of male-only and either-sex licences has also been restructured to reflect past practices where more traditional 50/50 splits occurred. Of the available moose licences, 250 will be provided to registered non-profit and charitable organizations. Applicants for the charitable licences are advised that a new deadline date of June 1, 2012 has been established for submitting applications. The season dates for all provincially-managed moose management areas on the Island have been reduced by one week. Caribou hunting seasons and quotas for the Island remain unchanged from the 2011-12 season.
Further management changes for 2012-13 include a one-week delay in the opening dates for all ptarmigan zones on the Island, as well as a one-week earlier closure, except for the Avalon/Swift Current and Burin zones which have traditionally had earlier closures. These changes are designed to aid the recovery of ptarmigan during a period when their numbers are at a naturally-occurring low in the population cycle. Also, eligible big game hunters who purchase a black bear licence in 2012 for bear management areas on the Island of Newfoundland will be permitted to use the same licence in both the spring and fall seasons.
In Labrador, 205 moose licences are available, 35 of which are provided to the Nunatsiavut Government for use in moose management areas within the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area. Ongoing research and monitoring efforts continue to assess the cause and current rate of the decline that is still occurring within the George River caribou herd. Over the next few months, the Provincial Government will undertake consultations with Aboriginal groups, the Government of Quebec and other stakeholders regarding future conservation measures, including the possible establishment of a Total Allowable Harvest for George River caribou for the 2012-13 season.
Eligible big game hunters may participate in the provincial moose and Island caribou draw for a licence or pool advancement by returning an application by mail or by visiting www.wildlife.gov.nl.ca . The deadline for receipt of moose and caribou applications is the close of business on June 1, 2012. In order to ensure receipt of your licence prior to the start of the season on May 5, spring bear hunters should ensure their applications are received on or before April 27. However, applications for the spring and fall bear season will be accepted up until June 29, 2012.
For additional copies of the 2012-13 Hunting and Trapping Guide, please contact a wildlife division office. The guide is also available online at www.gov.nl.ca/env/wildlife/hunting/hunttrap.pdf .