Moose Harvest Management Plan for the Nisutlin River Region

Proponent

Teslin Tlingit Council

Contract

C11-2011-14

Amount Awarded

$10,000

Final Report

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The funding was sought to complete technical analyses of harvests and populations, to further citizen participation, and to develop a realistic action plan with other governments.

The project did not complete all these actions. Most of the work involved coming up with an estimate of bull and cow harvests that were outside the reporting system of the Yukon government, measuring the opinions of citizens about possible management actions, helping citizens understand competing views on the moose population status held by the Yukon Government and the Teslin Tlingit Council, and developing some ideas for Teslin Tlingit to consider to understand and manage their harvesting.
The results have broad application elsewhere in the Yukon, especially to the management of moose hunting in areas that are intensively hunted and that are surrounded by very lightly hunted areas that have some capacity to sustain the concentrated harvest.
The results also give us pause to consider two assumptions that are regularly made. One is that First Nation harvests are similar in number and distribution to harvests by licensed residents. In the absence of reliable shared harvest data, YTG regularly assumes this when determining moose quotas for big game outfitters and in assessing the status of moose in aerial census blocks. The second assumption is that we can come up with reliable harvest estimates based on reported harvests from a sample of First Nation households interviewed in their homes and camps. This project, particularly the discussions leading to a new estimate suggest that substantial corrections are needed to account for personal underreporting, unreported harvesting for others, and misreporting of cows as bulls. The actual harvest, particularly the cow harvest is much higher, and probably has been much higher for some time.
The results of this project also suggest that the Fish and Wildlife Management Board, Renewable Resources Councils, and governments need to factor in wounding losses in harvest assessments and training, and put a high priority on increasing wolf harvests.