Island gun hunt nears, MRNF worries deer herd numbers haven’t rebounded


MANITOULIN ISLAND – It looks like the Manitoulin Island deer herd is still slowly recovering from the winter of 2019 as thousands of hunters converge on the island for next week’s rifle hunt.

“Based on hunting data collected over the past two years, deer numbers in Manitoulin have been slow to recover from the winter of 2019 despite favorable winters in 2020 and 2021,” said biologist Wayne Selinger. at the Ministry of Natural Resources (MRNF) last week. . “As a result, tag numbers have remained unchanged for the 2022 hunt.”

“The winter of 2022 has again been deer friendly and a good crop of fawns would be expected in 2022 with an increase in deer numbers overall,” Selinger said. “Tag recommendations for 2023 will depend on the results of this fall’s hunt, the severity of the winter and the deer population index.”

Mr. Selinger said, “Manitoulin deer should have gone through last winter in excellent condition. However, the prolonged dry weather this summer and early fall may have had some impact on the growing season and possibly affect the condition of deer bodies this fall. Hopefully the deer will be in fair condition for the hunt this fall and for the coming winter.

With regard to hunter safety, the MRNF is again advising hunters this year that they must handle firearms with care and attention at all times. Never shoot unless they are absolutely sure of their target and what lies beyond; and do not shoot from a vehicle or carry a loaded firearm in or on a vehicle – both are illegal. “One of the most common and preventable hunting offenses the Department deals with involves the safety measure that it is illegal to shoot from, down or across a public road while hunting. There are no exceptions. In many parts of Ontario, it is even illegal to have a loaded firearm in the right-of-way.

“Generally in Ontario, you must transport your firearm unloaded while it is in a vehicle, motorboat or aircraft. Vehicles include all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. You must unload and store the firearms in your possession during the period from half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise. In Ontario, you can generally only hunt between half an hour before sunrise and half an hour after sunset. It’s a good idea to check sunrise and sunset times before you go so you can plan accordingly.

The MRNF also advises that “always remember that when hunting, you cannot wear another person’s tag. Please note that you must also have any applicable validation certificates and labels with you. You must also carry proof that you have the necessary credentials to hunt with a firearm.

Failure to properly tag harvested animals (for example, not notching the tag or not properly attaching the tag when it needs to be attached) is an infraction. Each label has detailed instructions on how to use it, so follow the instructions.

Trespass is not allowed. Generally, you must have permission to hunt on private land. If you have injured an animal and it rushes onto private property, you usually need to obtain permissions before following the animal onto private property.

All hunters must wear plain orange clothing (at least 400 square inches or 2,580 square centimeters above the waist) and hunter orange headgear during deer, moose and elk hunting season. This also applies to bear hunters who do not hunt from a tree.

It’s up to the hunters to know the rules. Hunters can review the 2021-2022 Hunting Regulations Summary available at before setting out.

If you witness a hunting violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MRNF (847-7667) or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


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