Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Many stresses on moose in Manitoba

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IT'S no longer the land "where still the mighty moose wanders at will."

There's tremendous hunting pressure on the moose population. In addition to aboriginal hunting rights, courts granted Métis the same hunting rights last fall.

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Logging roads, especially in the cutting area of former paper mill Tembec, have increased hunter access to moose. And moose are highly prized by hunters, having about four times as much meat as deer.

As well, a 2006 Supreme Court ruling declared it legal for aboriginals to night hunt. That's where a large search beam scans the woods and lights up an animal's eyes, the way you see them when driving the highway at night. The light also tends to make the animals freeze.

A Sagkeeng youth was shot to death about three years ago while night hunting with a flashlight strapped to his head. It lit up like an animal's eyes when a search light fell across it.

Business owners in the vicinity of Game Hunting Area 26 estimate a combined loss of about $1 million per year from a moose-hunting ban for non-aboriginal licensed hunters.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 22, 2013 A3

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