More doe and anterless tags needed for 2013 lottery

More doe and anterless tags needed for 2013 lottery

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Anecdotally, it seems that virtually every hunter participating in last week’s gun hunt on Manitoulin Island saw any number of does (or antlerless deer, at any rate) but had only received tags for buck deer in the MNR’s lottery.

Given the number of animals visible on or along roadsides over most of Manitoulin Island, it would seem prudent that the MNR should either abolish gender-based deer tags for a few years and allow hunters to cull the entire population or, at the very least, make many more of antlerless tags available to hunters participating in the lottery.

However it is accomplished, the Manitoulin deer herd must be pared back and the number of motorists who have had collisions, or near misses, with deer darting across highways and sideroads will certainly agree with this observation.

The Manitoulin deer hunt has certainly gone through many incarnations: 45 years ago, it was a two-week long event with no requirement as to the gender or age of the animals shot.

Within a decade, the Island deer herd had dropped to about 10,000 animals, a number that was deemed to be unhealthily low and so the hunt was sharply curtailed to merely five days.

Landowners also demanded that they should be allowed to determine who would hunt on their property and so the “letters of permission” was added at that time, particular to Manitoulin Island.

Eventually a weekend was added on to extend the hunt to one full week. All of these changes have reflected the numbers of deer available and now it’s time for yet another change.

It’s unlikely that the MNR will drop the gender/age stipulation that currently defines the Island hunt, even though that more would in all likelihood be positive for both the health of the Island’s deer herd and for Manitoulin Island’s tourism industry.

At the very least, the MNR must add substantial numbers of tags for does (and other antlerless deer) into the deer tag lottery for the 2013 event.



  1. Though I agree the deer hunt should be extended, I don’t agree with the reason stated. Killing them off because they’re a road hazard is not a valid reason to me. Drivers should drive according to the conditions, and if that includes deer darting out from the woods, then slow down. You slow down in school zones, so slow down in wooded areas also. Cut the deer a little slack.

  2. a few bad winter or ice storms and the cwd or even the exploding bear pop. will bring down the deer pop. drastically and then it will b too late, if ppl don’t remember, 30yrs ago their were hardly no deer on the island and the great fire, that burnt most of it, killed a whole bunch too, I hv been hunting deer for 22 yrs up their and with the local police and we wish, less doe tags would b available to keep the numbers up, cause we hunt for meat, cause the deer don’t eat many crops with heavy pesticide or fertilizers, so their healthy, clean and great meat!!!
    so maybe 60% doe tags max!!!!!
    and the dam wolf and timber wolves have been going up in pop. too over the years too!!!! we see many every year, and 2 farmers shot over 40 in 1 year last year he told us!!!! by lake wosleys and the trailer park.

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