MRC PONTIAC – On October 18, the MRCs of Pontiac, Vallée-de-la-Gatineau and Antoine-Labelle announced they are working together to improve hunting of white-tailed deer on their territories. The MRCs are encouraging residents to harvest deer that have three or more points on each side of their rack to ensure better balance and sustainability of the herds.
The MRC’s will also request a decree from the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec (MFFP) to restrict hunting of younger deer.
“It is important to ensure that the herd has bucks of all ages to avoid putting too much pressure on the herd. If too many young 1 to 1 ½ year old deer get hunted it leads to gaps in the herd and less deer the following year,” said Robert Dorion, spokesperson for the MRC Pontiac’s Hunting & Fishing Committee. “Sustainable hunting helps everyone, from the deer herds to the hunters, the farmers, and businesses.” Dorion, who is also an avid hunter, said they have noticed a significant decrease in the deer population in the region over the past few years. Young male deer are harvested more often in part because they are less wise than the older bucks and easier to hunt, Dorion noted.
“We must review the regulations and avoid the application of uniform government measures to adapt to the different characteristics of the territories,” said Chantal Lamarche, Warden of MRC La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau. Dorion echoed this statement highlighting that some regulations and zoning don’t make sense in the region. He suggested that the government make administrative zones smaller and better target their interventions and rules to specific geographic areas.
According to the MRCs, the initiative will also aid businesses as the hunting industry is a major economic development engine in the region, generating approximately $8.3 million in 2018 in the Antoine-Labelle MRC.
An awareness campaign is being conducted by the three collaborating MRCs to mobilize citizens. Signs by Unis Pour la Faune (UPF), a non-profit organization whose purpose is to ensure the prosperity of Quebec wildlife, its habitat, and its accessibility to consumers, will be installed on main roads. There is also a radio campaign underway which involves interviewing representatives on local radio stations to present more information on the subject.
The MRCs encourage residents to participate in the UPF campaign by visiting their website: https://unispourlafaune.com/