Unfair allocation of antlerless deer tags

To the Expositor: Once again our Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has disappointed me by refusing to initiate a fair allocation of antlerless deer tags in Ontario. I am a firm believer that hunting is still the best tool for good game management and I fully support the principle of managing the harvest of antlerless deer to ensure a healthy herd. At the turn of this century, white-tail deer numbers exploded in many areas of the province. Extra antlerless deer tags were issued in great numbers in many Wildlife Management Units (WMU) in an effort to reduce deer numbers and combined with a number of other factors including hard winters, a dramatic increase in predators, deer numbers declined. Coyotes and black bears in large numbers significantly destroy newborn fawns, but predator control is left to the landowners, not the MNR. As a result of the declining deer numbers and specifically here on Manitoulin in WMU 43-A and 43-B, our allocation of antlerless deer tags was reduced in 2010. Since 1996 we had enjoyed almost a 100 percent receipt of an antlerless tag if you applied correctly and within the application time period. In 2010 this percentage of successful applicants dropped to approximately 75 percent and 2011 it dropped further to approximately 65 percent. Two factors could cause these tags to decrease even further; herd numbers and an ever-increasing number in hunters. Last year (2010) I was not successful in getting an antlerless tag and again this year. In conversation with a number of other hunters I have now found another 20 hunters with the same “bad luck.” The MNR has the ability to correct this. They already have a preference pool system in place for moose hunters. If you receive an adult moose tag this year your application for an adult tag the following year goes into poll #2. Those moose tag applicants who were unsuccessful this year will be in preference pool #1 next year. In the following year the pool #1 applications get preference over the pool #2 applications. If this same system were employed for the antlerless deer draw, at least here on Manioulin, no one would go two consecutive years or more without an antlerless deer tag. All it would take would be a willingness on the part of the MNR to make the system fair for all. Is this too much to ask? Sincerely, Bobby Tuomi (hoping to get lucky!) Kagawong P.S. If you’re in agreement with this reasonable change, please contact the local MNR office and your MPP.