Certain areas in the province of Quebec won’t see antler restrictions enforced until 2017.
The fall of 2016 will see no regulation change for antler size in Quebec forests. As the season progresses now and for next year, the rules made in 1974 still exist: bucks with antlers seven centimeters (about three inches) or larger may be taken during the regular season, regardless of the weapon used.
Starting in 2017, the rule change will limit the harvest of bucks to animals with a minimum of three points on one side.
Two eastern areas of the province have been selected for a pilot program, six north and six south.
Included in those areas are the townships of Coaticook, Drummondville, and parts of Sherbrooke, Windsor, Richmond, and Valcourt.
François Lebel, biologist with the Department of Forest, Wildlife and Parks said; “Our desire is to put hunters in the know to properly explain the concept that we want to test and why we think this approach could mark a change in our way of management.”
According to a poll of hunters in the region, two-thirds of them responded favorably to the new rule, but the province wants to make sure that interest in hunting does not decrease.
Just south of the border in New York State, the debate for antler restrictions goes on and is a hotly contested subject.
Lebel went on to say in a translated statement, “The experiences we lead the ministry will usually cover the biological component. This one will be multiple implications. We need to develop a research protocol also taking into account social and economic aspects.”