The results of the hunting season have been made public by the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP) for 2020 in Quebec.
For wild turkeys, a widespread species in the Pontiac, the 2020 spring hunting season has attracted a number of followers similar to recent years with more than 17,600 licenses sold in the province. A record turkey harvest was made this spring with nearly 8,600 birds harvested. Just over 2,200 hunters managed to harvest two bearded turkeys, similar to last year.
The biologist from the MFFP in the Outaouais, André Dumont, mentioned that collectively, the hunters had an excellent season, particularly in the Pontiac.
Black bear hunting statistics show a 20% increase in permits among this clientele. The total number of people for this hunt therefore remains at just over 17,600 across the province. Nearly 5,700 black bears were harvested, 84% by hunting and 16% by trapping, which is the average for past years.
For white-tailed deer, excluding Anticosti Island for which there are specific hunting permits and procedures, 2020 results in a harvest totaling just over 43,500 deer, a slight increase compared to 41,000 harvested last year. The MFFP notes that after a steady decline in the number of deer hunters in recent years, 2020 is marked by an upturn in the number of followers. Some 136,413 regular licenses were sold, an increase of 7% from the previous year. Of this number, 21,411 hunters obtained an additional permit to attempt to harvest a second deer, and 13% of them succeeded while 80% of these two deer were harvested in areas where populations are most abundant. On Anticosti Island, non-resident hunters in Quebec were virtually absent this year due to travel constraints in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the resident clientele was there and around 4,500 deer were harvested.
Moose remain the most popular species with big game hunters. More than 170,000 enthusiasts have obtained a permit, a number similar to that of recent comparable years, ie the restrictive years, during which it is forbidden to hunt females in the majority of hunting areas. More than 20,000 moose were harvested during the 2020 season, which is also comparable to previous years. According to the MFFP, the overall hunting success of adult males, which is the best indicator of population trends, is stable at the provincial level.
The MFFP notes that despite the exceptional context of 2020 due to COVID-19, hunters and trappers were still able to practice their activity and, in general, game was there. The Ministry would also like to salute the hunters and trappers for the respect demonstrated with regard to health measures, as well as for having actively collaborated in monitoring game populations by providing data essential to their management. The full interview with MFFP biologist André Dumont is available here.