New Brunswick Retains 5-day Moose Season
For the third year in a row, those hunting moose in New Brunswick will have 5 days to do so, instead of the traditional 3. This will set the moose season for 2016 as September 20th -24th. We spoke to a number of hunters who cheered the decision. Wilderness Obsession co-founder David Ward, could not have been happier: “This will be my 17th consecutive season applying for a licence, so far without ever being drawn. If I finally have the opportunity to purchase my own licence, it is exciting to know that the season is 66% longer, should bad luck or bad weather interfere with success during the first 3 days.”
Rumours on social media, including a false press release, appeared at the start of this week, but there was no mention of the announcement on any of the government sites. We spoke with media relations contact Marc Belliveau who confirmed for us that it is the intention of DNR to retain the five day hunt while investigating additional season options for future years. Being investigated is a potential split season for 2017, with the hunting period returning to 3 days, but adding an additional 3 day season within a couple of weeks. The advantages would include seeing less hunters in the woods at the same time, and it would be helpful for butcher shortages. It would also enable them to keep their 2014 election promise (albeit in a modified manner) to reduce the moose season to 3 days. The official announcement is expected at approximately 9am on February 24th so we are proud to bring this to you first.
"The Minister and our Department is very attuned to the feedback of hunters, outfitters, and dedicated web sites like WildernessObsession who go above and beyond in sharing their expertise and passion in hunting. We will move forward with the five day season and as the details of a potential split season for 2017 comes into play, we will certainly keep all hunters apprised of our path, and all details associated with it" said Marc Belliveau, Department spokesman.
The New Brunswick moose population is considered to be growing or stable in most areas of the province, and is coming off a record harvest of 3,728 moose in 2015, the second straight year in which the record was broken. Not only are the records being broken, but the success rate for Hunters continues to hover around 80%. Some residents may not remember it, but back in 2003 the harvest was only 1,568 animals and a success rate of 56%.
During our Family Moose Hunt in 2010 while we were still hunting under the 3 day system, when the second day was marred by heavy rains it felt crushing to “lose” a third of the season because of a bad day of weather. This same kind of story was repeated over and over by those in favour of the 5 day system. Whether it’s heat, wind, fog, or anything else fickle Mother Nature has in store for us, it doesn’t take much to derail a 3 day hunt. The fact that hunters in New Brunswick have been able to achieve such a high success rate in the last decade really speaks to the strength of the herd as well as the dedication by hunters.
The Annual Moose Hunt season is extremely popular with over 63,000 resident applicants last year. 2016 incidentally is the first one that will require an NB Outdoors Card to make application for the draw. Previous years required residents to utilize their provincial Medicare card to apply. If you are one of the few outdoor enthusiasts who still has not completed the NB Outdoors Card registration, you are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. Clicking here will take you to the one-time registration process that should only take you a few minutes to complete. Wilderness Obsession continues to applaud the transition to the more modern system that NB Outdoors Cards will allow in the future, such as the purchase of all licences online and the potential for exciting future endeavours such as perhaps moving away from paper licences entirely which could only be possible through a digital system such as this.
The application period for 2016 will be from May 16th to June 10th and can be done through Telephone, e-Licencing, or at SNB or approved vendors in person. Draw results will be available July 4th and licence sales will begin August 15th.
Contact us and let us know!