A successful hunting harvest in 2021, especially for wild turkeys and white-tailed deer
Article published on 1 February 2022
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The Ministry of Forestry, Fauna and Parks has released the results of the hunt for white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, black bears and moose for 2021 in Quebec. The biologist responsible for wildlife management in the Outaouais, André Dumont, said the most recent season, particularly for hunting white-tailed deer and wild turkeys, was an excellent harvest for Zone 10 West, which includes the territory of Pontiac.

For white-tailed deer, while the number of hunters overall remained similar to that of the previous year, game was more present this season, a sign that Quebec’s deer herd is doing well very well, according to Dumont.

White-tailed deer

Here are the main highlights of this successful hunting season:
• Over 52,000 deer were harvested across Quebec last season of hunting ;

• It was in Outaouais, Gaspésie, Chaudière-Appalaches, Bas-Saint-Laurent, the Laurentians and in Lanaudière that the greatest increases in deer harvesting was observed. It is generally in these regions that deer populations undergo the greatest annual fluctuations. The 2021 increase may be largely attributed to the mild winters of the past two years;

• Excluding Anticosti Island, for which there are permits and conditions on hunting, nearly 135,000 people hunted white-tailed deer in 2021. About 20,000 of them obtained an additional permit. The hunters harvested more than 46,000 deer, which is similar to the average of the last five years;

• Only 2,485 hunters harvested two deer during the season, or 12% of those with two permits. Of this number, the vast majority (1,601 hunters) harvested an adult male and an antlerless deer or two antlerless deer, while 884 hunters harvested two adult males;

• Overall hunting success in Quebec for a first deer is 33%. This rate of success is excellent for a territory located at the northern limit of the range of the white-tailed deer and it is comparable, or even superior, to that of the provinces and the states it borders.

Hunting black bears and wild turkeys has also been successful for hunters in the region, according to Dumont.

Wild Turkey

• The 2021 spring hunting season attracted a record number of enthusiasts, with over 21,200 licenses sold, resulting in a harvest similar to 2020 of approximately 8,400 birds.

• Nearly 2,100 hunters then managed to take two bearded turkeys, a result similar to last year.

• In the spring, the overall hunting success in Quebec is 30% for the harvest of a first turkey and 10% for harvesting a second.

• For the second year that fall hunting for this species was permitted, approximately 3,100 hunters harvested just over 500 turkeys, 67% of which were female.

Black Bear

• The number of black bear hunters reached an all-time high in nearly 30 years with approximately 19,900 licenses sold. Starting in 2020, this increase has continued despite the absence of hunters from outside the province for the second consecutive year.

• The harvest was comparable to previous years with over 5,800 bears collected, 87% of which by hunting and 13% by trapping. The spring season remains by far the most popular with 92% of the total harvest.

• The Department continues to closely monitor the harvest of black bears in Quebec as well as the state of its populations. In addition, the Black Bear Population Dynamics project in the context of forest management and climate change continues and will end in 2023.

Moose

• Moose remains the most popular big game species for hunters with nearly 180,000 licenses sold, a rate similar to the record 2013-2014 season.

• The Department continues to closely monitor the evolution of moose populations and moose harvesting and its biologists remain in the field to take care of all Quebec wildlife. This winter, aerial inventories of moose will be carried out in the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Outaouais and Mauricie regions. These will make it possible to assess the densities and structures of populations at the scale of different hunting areas in order to ensure sustainable management of the species. In addition, the Department is working with its partners to develop the next moose management plan, which is scheduled to be implemented as early as 2024.

Zone 10 West results

- Number of animals harvested: 3,144 adult males + 850 antlerless deer = 3,994
- Harvest compared to the last 2 years: strong increase of 63% compared to 2020
- Hunting success: 25%
- Number of licenses sold: 15,347 (regular) + 536 (additional) = 15,883

The complete (French-language) interview with Dumont, the biologist responsible for wildlife management in the Outaouais, is available here.

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