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NEW RESTRICTIONS PROPOSED – Proposed changes to wildlife regulations released Friday for public review call for new restrictions on moose hunters in different areas of the Yukon.

Proposed hunting regulation changes unveiled

Suggested regulation changes for moose hunters are prominent among the new regulatory proposals released Friday for public review.

By Chuck Tobin on November 12, 2019

Suggested regulation changes for moose hunters are prominent among the new regulatory proposals released Friday for public review.

Another proposal to ban roadside hunting of grizzly bears in the Southern Lakes region is back on the table.

There’s a proposal to provide the government with the ability to prohibit the use of off-road vehicles in Habitat Protected Areas.

Among the 13 suggested changes to wildlife regulations is a recommendation from the Teslin Renewable Resource Council to remove the slot limit for northern pike in Teslin Lake while maintaining the possession limit of only one over 41 inches.

The Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board on Friday released the proposed changes to regulations for public review and comment. The deadline for feedback is Dec. 8 at 4 p.m.

The board is providing an online survey as a means of gathering input.

There’ll also be community meetings if a community expresses an interest in having one.

A meeting for Whitehorse has already been scheduled for Dec. 11 at the Yukon Inn.

In keeping with normal practice, the wildlife management board will develop recommendations at its December meeting for each of the proposals, which could be a recommendation to accept or reject the regulation change. The board submits its recommendations to the minister of Environment in January.

Four of the 13 proposed changes focus on more intense management of the annual moose harvest.

Environment Yukon is recommending its minister be given the ability to implement several additional management tools across the Yukon if the minister feels it is necessary – adaptive management.

The department is suggesting the minister be given authority to implement permit hunts for all sub-zones across the Yukon and take other management actions without having to invoke an emergency measure.

Among the other actions is the ability to limit the harvest of bull moose to young and old moose by requiring hunters determine the approximate age of the moose by the “configuration of antlers.” It’s a management tool used widely in B.C., says the proposal.

The proposal calls for providing authority to the minister to enact restrictions on the use of off-road-vehicles across the Yukon and to adjust hunting season dates.

Another proposal by Environment Yukon is aimed at reducing the harvest along the South Canol by implementing a permit hunt for all the subzones along the road between Quiet Lake and Ross River.

There’s also the option of implementing a harvest based on antler configuration, or modifying the hunting season dates, says the proposal.

Information provided by Environment Yukon suggests the moose harvest along the South Canol has been well above sustainable levels for at least the last 25 years.

Environment Yukon points out in the proposal the harvest by licensed hunters has been at or within sustainable levels.

When adding the estimated number of moose harvested by First Nation hunters, the total harvest along the South Canol has been double or more than double the sustainable level in 12 of the last 25 years, including last year and the year before.

Similarly, the department is calling for a suite of options to return the moose harvest in the Mayo region to sustainable levels and turn around the declining population.

The proposal includes setting a maximum harvest. It would require hunters to report their kill within 72 hours, to avoid overshooting the threshold, much like what the department does now in the Faro region.

The Carcross-Tagish First Nation and the Taku River Tlingit First Nation of Atlin are proposing a ban on roadside hunting of grizzly bears throughout the road network in the Southern Lakes.

The ban would include the Tagish Road, the Atlin Road to the B.C. border, the South Klondike Highway from the Carcross Corner to the B.C. border and the Alaska Highway from the M’Clintock River Bridge to Jakes Corner.

It would prohibit shooting grizzlies within 100 metres of the road.

Environment Yukon is proposing to support the roadside ban where there is local community support, just as it is set out in the recently released Grizzly Bear Conservation Management Plan.

The Teslin Tlingit Council is recommending the slot limit for pike be removed as a means of allowing anglers to reach the daily catch limit without having to release several fish before attaining the limit.

The current requirement of having only one fish over 104 centimetres or 41 inches would be maintained.

The Tlingit Council is also seeking to have the lake returned to general fishing regulations for pike that allow for a daily catch limit of five pike and having 10 in possession.

The proposal would encourage anglers to target pike in a lake with a healthy pike population while reducing pressure on lake trout.

“Many local anglers who are interested in keeping northern pike expressed a frustration with having to release multiple fish before catching a fish below current slot size limit of 30 inches (when fish can be retained),” reads the proposal.

There is also a proposal by Environment Yukon to increase restrictions on burbot fishing by reducing the daily catch limits from 10 per day to three, and possession limits from 20 to 10.

The government says evidence indicates a skyrocketing interest in burbot fishing which occurs mainly in the winter with anglers using set lines.

There are also proposed regulation changes affecting the Hart River mountain caribou herd in the Peel River watershed and the Nelchina caribou herd along the Yukon-Alaska border.

Comments (24)

Up 3 Down 0

First Nation Moose Harvester on Nov 28, 2019 at 1:51 pm

First let me start by thanking everyone for all the interest in the moose population in the Yukon. All the following views expressed are my personnel views with no association to any interest group and are my views alone. I was and continue to be taught by first nations hunters. I welcome the interest of non-first nations harvesters as we have seen the disturbing decline of moose populations in the last 30 years also. I have hunted the same area my entire adult life. The biggest impact I see is easy access to remote areas and better navigation tools/ Apps. Another issue observed is the decline in the health of adult moose, a very high incidence of tape worm larva in the meat of mature bulls in the last 5-10 years. Very high incidence of leg worms in bull moose of all ages. Possibly climate change? Don’t know. The increase in tape worms is in my opinion is a direct result of over population of predators in the area I hunt. My yearly harvest is ½ a moose per/yr every year. I have hunted for every year for 30 years X 1/2= 15 bull moose (Antler size does not matter to me). Under the UFA I cannot “control” the wolf population in the area in hunt as I would be expected to eat the carcass of the wolf.
The trapping concession in the area I hunt is a non-first nation person, I do not know what activity is occurring on this line annually. I know there is an abundance of wolves on this line. My children and I have participated in the introduction of salmon fry, actively participate in the legal harvesting of fur bearing predators. Continuously encourage young adults to participate in all these activities. “Kids that hunt and trap don’t mug little old ladies”.
The division I see in all harvesting groups in the Yukon is a lack of unity and greed. I am not your enemy. All these activities are undertaken at my own expense and the same with anyone I hunt or trap with. This expense is financial and personal. It all takes time and money but is worth the effort. I implore all harvesters to exert the same effort. I personally have altered my harvest techniques to not harvest large breeding bulls. This is accomplished by staying in one place and calling till a bull comes to you, the large dominate breeder bull with cows will not come to your call. Subordinate and old bulls will come to you. I do not harvest herd bulls, if a bull is with cows I will not harvest the bull. This assures strong future genetics in the area I hunt. I have never in 30 years harvested a cow moose.
Well this was my $1.67 worth of input cause two bits isn’t what it used to be and neither is our moose population. Good luck to all.

Up 4 Down 1

comen sense on Nov 18, 2019 at 1:43 pm

Please listen YG - I have seen an increase of wolves in areas that I have been hunting for thirty years and is taking a toll on the moose, told you at your office when I get my permit many times. Trapping is minimal no natural predators, they are flourishing in number and eat lots of moose.

Up 15 Down 4

Ray Biggs on Nov 17, 2019 at 9:22 pm

As long as the cows are targeted by certain groups there can be no regulating moose populations. When the numbers of cows are reduced in specific areas, the bulls have nothing to come for.. now the government is punishing the law abiding hunters rather than dealing with the problem because they have lost control. It’s not rocket science....

Up 20 Down 1

Wes on Nov 16, 2019 at 6:58 pm

Many issues with over harvest in certain areas as well as the per perception that Whitehorse hunters are hunting in other communities locales would be alleviated if air services weren't refusing to fly residents into 'their' area. Also, why no discussion of limiting and controlling the use of ORVs by outfitters in remote areas? Jim Shockey uses ORVs exlusivley in much of his area (Rogue River Outfitters). It'll be a cold day in hell before I see residents ORV use restricted and not outfitters.

Up 14 Down 12

Darrell Drugstore's smartest neighbour on Nov 15, 2019 at 8:57 pm

People like TRUMP JUNIOR should pay $1,000,000 for every Yukon animal that they kill.

I - on the other hand - would pay $10,000 to watch him fight a bear
"Davey Crockett Style" - as in with nothing but a knife and a grin

Up 25 Down 10

Jason on Nov 14, 2019 at 5:52 pm

The easiest thing to do is restrict hunters. The narrow minded government refuses to take the initiative of predator control and habitat management. All working groups need to sit at the same table. If residents are restricted the outfitters get restricted the exact same as well, the government has done an excellent job of getting First Nations, residents and outfitters to fight and squabble amongst themselves and then do what they want anyway because there is no united voice. Time for everyone to stand up and be the adults in the room and speak with unity and put the government back to working with our best interest in mind. We are their bosses after all - we are the ones that got them elected.

Up 17 Down 1

Daniel B. on Nov 14, 2019 at 5:07 pm

Treat the Canadian and foreign Outfitters differently when they do get restrictions.

Up 16 Down 4

Apex Parasite on Nov 14, 2019 at 8:42 am

@ joe....because money.

Up 18 Down 6

Jesse on Nov 14, 2019 at 7:36 am

Great idea on taking BC's moose regulations, moose have only been rapidly declining for decades in BC.

Up 44 Down 6

North_of_60 on Nov 13, 2019 at 5:42 pm

The regulations are far too biased in favor of outfitters. It's obvious the govt cares more about it's outfitter buddies than the average Yukoner who wants to put meat in the freezer to feed their family. Realistic limits must be equitably applied to all users. No more special treatment for outfitters and indigenous peoples.

Up 64 Down 19

Safari Club President on Nov 13, 2019 at 3:29 pm

'Outfitting' is blood sport. Why is it even allowed. Hunting is supposed to be for food, not for fun, trophies, or points in a club. It's going to end some day and I hope that day is soon.

Up 76 Down 9

Groucho d'North on Nov 13, 2019 at 9:28 am

I support the comments by Joe below, It is important to have all the harvest data on the table when hunting regulations are being reconsidered. To this end the annual harvest data by species and location for First Nations is long overdue yet it remains secret from the public.

Up 40 Down 2

Adam. on Nov 13, 2019 at 6:34 am

So, the public information meeting is scheduled for three days after the public input is allowed?... there should be an extension, and the meetings should come before the deadline for input, in my opinion. It’s something to consider and ponder, after being properly informed, and then comment on, it’s a law that Yukoners will have to live with, not to be taken lightly. There are always individuals at these meetings that get riled up, and this can sometimes drown out important information that some people may feel too uncomfortable to share. I think this is a backwards step in the process. Informed and discussed, before cutting off public input might also allow some people to receive the information as their own minds will allow, those people may understand it better if it’s discussed, and they may not feel comfortable speaking at the meetings. Are there liaisons that can schedule one on ones for input, from folks who may not be able to access a computer?... the short meetings may not be enough time to process the information appropriately for valuable feedback on a change in law.

That’s just my opinion.

Up 29 Down 4

Ron Eichhorst on Nov 13, 2019 at 5:47 am

Great comment by Joe. At least you let the people make their comments and ideas.

Up 48 Down 11

Shawn on Nov 12, 2019 at 11:13 pm

Antlers restrictions are ridiculous. If moose populations are sustainable in Almost all zones then why the change?????
Gonna have B.C. and Alta regs here soon.

Up 50 Down 3

Yukoner72 on Nov 12, 2019 at 11:12 pm

Some of these proposals seem reasonable, others, namely moose harvest restrictions for Yukon residents are hard to swallow. Yukon Outfitters, some good locals but this sector is largely foreign owned /funded, guides from Alberta or parts unknown took 260 moose, 132 caribou, 143 sheep and 52 grizzly in 2018. Economic benefits to the Yukon from this sector are "trumped up", pun intended! How about finally going to outfitter quotas for ungulates it's a management tool widely used in BC " ...and elsewhere. Permit the zones of highest pressure, consider the harvest of one moose or caribou per year for all licensed hunters, regulate the foreign harvest.

Up 50 Down 7

BnR on Nov 12, 2019 at 9:17 pm

Sorry. Hit send to early. An ATIP request has resulted in a rule by the privacy commissioner that the dept must release outfitter harvest data as requested. Some outfitters are taking as many moose as they possibly can and some, like Yukon Big Game Outfitters, are under no quotas in their areas that fall under First Nations with no final agreement. Yes, they can and do take as many moose as possible to the detriment of residents. Why Yukoners aren't mad as hell about this I have no idea. But sure, YG is going after residents again....

Up 17 Down 7

Steven on Nov 12, 2019 at 8:26 pm

I like what your saying joe probably it’s because they are tourists bringing in money that’s my guess.

Up 64 Down 5

Mike on Nov 12, 2019 at 6:57 pm

Don’t adopt the BC antler measurements system for residents....do it for outfitters.
Ban ALL hunters from taking cows and calves.
Re open areas where the populations have recovered.
Let’s make common sense laws, not one that punish subsistence hunting residents.

Up 72 Down 6

Dave Laveck on Nov 12, 2019 at 6:22 pm

I agree that our wildlife shouldn’t be for sale. Last year in Ross River area Outfitters were allowed to keep Caribou permits and residents lost theirs, Residents need to come first. And the First Nations harvest numbers need to be included in Game Management plans.

Up 42 Down 24

Miles Epanhauser on Nov 12, 2019 at 6:20 pm

The proposed ban on bear hunting along many highways is very progressive, thank you.

Up 27 Down 22

jc on Nov 12, 2019 at 5:36 pm

I've seen the evolution of our outdoors activity since the mid 70s. It's always the left wing governments that think they have all the knowledge and wisdom. Back then, people hunted and fished for their food and livelihood and nothing was wrong with it. But wise @$$es came up from down south thinking they had all the answers to nature. Pretty soon, if they're not stopped, nobody will be able to have any nature activity.
Maybe it's time to just build a giant zoo so people can see a bit of nature inside a fence. The population hasn't increased that much since the mid 70s and no harm was done then. Too many animals are dying from sickness and disease and old age when they can be culled for food. When animals get sick or get aged, they suffer just like humans. But these same people who support and promote human culling get upset when an animal is killed for food. The Yukon is large and has a lot of everything. Let's not just enjoy it, but use it for our good.

Up 73 Down 19

Thomas Brewer on Nov 12, 2019 at 5:05 pm

As long as there's a two tiered system where non FN hunters are the only ones that regulations and limits apply to, there will never be effective game management.

Time to bring all hunters under the umbrella of licencing and lotteries.

Up 185 Down 14

joe on Nov 12, 2019 at 3:14 pm

How come there are never any discussions on limiting and lowering the harvests by outfitters? Why do I get penalized for sustenance hunting while outsiders can harvest game for money?

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