Addressing Ontario's growing deer populations



    
    McGuinty Government Begins Public Consultation On Proposed Hunting
    Changes
    

    TORONTO, Jan. 15 /CNW/ -

    
    NEWS

    An increase in deer hunting opportunities in appropriate areas of the
province is just one way the province proposes to help address the adverse
effects of expanding deer populations and to ensure healthy, sustainable
herds.

    The public is invited to comment on proposed changes to deer hunting
regulations that include:

    -  creating new hunting seasons
    -  enhancing existing seasons
    -  introducing a new type of additional deer seal called Hunter's Choice
       (http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Newsroom/LatestNews/263525.html) that
       would provide deer hunters with more flexibility and be available in
       some areas of southern Ontario.
    

    The proposed changes are in response to recommendations from the Fish and
Wildlife Heritage Commission. Established under the Heritage Hunting and
Fishing Act, the Commission makes recommendations to the Minister of Natural
Resources on fish and wildlife-related issues, including the promotion of
hunting, fishing and conservation.
    The proposed changes are posted for comment on the province's
Environmental Registry (http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/) at
Registry Numbers 010-5338, 010-5337 and 010-5648.

    QUOTES

    "Deer populations in some parts of Ontario are rapidly expanding,
resulting in increased damage to crops and more deer-related collisions on our
highways," said Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield
(http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/About/2ColumnSubPage/249086.html). "We're
committed to addressing these problems while maintaining healthy and
sustainable deer populations through a management program that includes
responsible hunting."

    
    QUICK FACTS

    -  Deer range and populations have expanded significantly in some parts
       of Ontario due to milder winters, changes to habitat and other land
       uses.
    -  Deer reproduce quickly - a healthy herd can almost double its numbers
       during one favourable year.

    LEARN MORE

    -  Read the proposals posted on the province's Environmental Registry
       (http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/)
       (ontario.ca/environmentalregistry) and send in your comments:
       -  New and Enhanced Seasons - Registry Number 010-5338 - until
          February 6, 2009
       -  Hunter's Choice Deer Seal - Registry Number 010-5337 - until
          February 11, 2009
       -  New Winter Archery Season in southwestern Ontario - Registry Number
          010-5648 - until February 13, 2009.

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                                           ontario.ca/natural-resources-news
                                                      Disponible en français



    BACKGROUNDER
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                     PROPOSALS TO INCREASE DEER HUNTING
                           OPPORTUNITIES IN ONTARIO
    

    The Ministry of Natural Resources is proposing amendments to Ontario's
hunting regulations that include creating new seasons to increase deer hunting
opportunities in key areas, introducing a new type of deer hunting seal in
southern Ontario, and streamlining existing deer hunting season dates across
affected Wildlife Management Units.
    Increasing hunting opportunities where appropriate can help to address
human/wildlife conflicts, mitigate impacts on other species and the ecosystem,
and provide hunters with more flexibility where deer are abundant.

    
    PROPOSED DEER HUNT CHANGES

    -  Creating new deer hunting seasons in specific northern Wildlife
       Management Units to address expanding deer range and increasing deer
       populations. These new seasons will be consistent with those of other
       Wildlife Management Units sharing similar cervid (deer, moose, elk and
       caribou) populations and habitat characteristics. The result will be
       an enhanced ability to manage deer across a larger landscape in
       consideration of other cervid species that inhabit that area.

    -  Streamlining and enhancing archery and gun seasons in specific
       Wildlife Management Units to harmonize them with the seasons in
       neighbouring Wildlife Management Units in order to manage deer within
       an ecosystem and to make it simpler for hunters to understand the
       hunting regulations.

    -  Introducing a Hunter's Choice Additional Deer Seal that can be used
       across multiple Wildlife Management Units within southern Ontario, all
       of which currently offer additional deer seals. The seal will be
       available for resident deer hunters, be valid for archery seasons
       only, and for both antlered and antlerless deer. The seal will provide
       hunters with more flexibility to harvest a deer from broader,
       ecologically similar areas and will help address concerns related to
       increasing deer densities in southern Ontario.

    -  Introducing a new winter archery season for deer throughout areas of
       southwestern Ontario where deer abundance, snow depths and ecological
       conditions permit.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Christie Curley, Wildlife Section, 705 755-1964

                                           ontario.ca/natural-resources-news
                                                      Disponible en français
    




For further information:

For further information: Ivan Langrish, Minister's Office, (416)
314-2106; Media Desk, Communications Services Branch, (416) 314-2106

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Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

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