WHEREAS many Eastern Slopes and Peace Region municipalities are having difficulties with problem elk populations; and
WHEREAS many Peace Region municipalities have submitted many resolutions in this regard for these same problems; and
WHEREAS minimal and modest increases have been made to Eastern Slopes and Peace Region Wildlife Management Unit’s (WMU’s) harvest limits; and
WHEREAS these increases in tag allocations have not resulted in alleviating or mitigating economic losses sustained by producers;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request that the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development implement an Elk Quota Hunt, based upon the principles of the former Chronic Wasting Disease Quota Hunt.
Peace Region Wildlife Non-Waterfowl Damage
Source: Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC)
Average Elk Harvest in 300, 400, and 500 WMU’s
5 Year Average
m = 13.95%
5 Year Average
m = 9.7%
5 Year Average
m = 17.50%
Source: Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD)
Based upon previous statistics crop losses are significant, while hunter harvest success ratios are on average below 20%.
In 2006, the Government of Alberta implemented a quota hunt to help decrease the number of deer in the Chronic Wasting Disease control area. Using the principles of this quota hunt would help Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD) reduce elk herds in the problem areas.
To reduce elk densities in known high risk areas (areas of elk crop depredation), increased elk hunting opportunities should be made available in these WMUs. Elk hunt quota licences for all resident hunters can be made available through the hunting draws process, and the undersubscribed special licences process. In addition, area landowners or their immediate family could apply for these licences through local offices of AESRD – similar to existing landowner licence approvals.
Three tags should be issued with each elk hunt quota licence. The first two tags are valid for two antlerless elk. The third tag can be used for any elk, but is not valid until the heads from the first two elk have been submitted to an AESRD office for verification.
The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.
Environment and Parks: Environment and Parks recognizes the concerns expressed by municipalities regarding increased elk populations.
Management of Elk populations is a significant focus of Environment and Parks, and the department continues to implement liberal harvest regimes to help address elk depredation issues. In doing this, the department strives to strike a balance between the benefits of increased hunting and the potential negative impacts of increased hunter numbers, such as increased interactions with landowners and other hunters.
In February 2015, the department implemented a quota hunt at Canadian Forces Base Suffield to help address its high elk populations and associated landowner concerns. Environment and Parks now intends to add additional hunting seasons for both antlered and antlerless elk for 2015/16 and extending antlerless seasons in other areas where landowners are experiencing problems with elk populations.
The AAMDC appreciates the willingness of Alberta Environment and Parks to implement elk quota hunts and extend hunting seasons in order to address elk population growth. As the resolution specifically asks for an elk quota hunt based upon the principles of the former Chronic Wasting Disease Quota Hunt, and this has not yet occurred, this resolution is assigned a status of Accepted in Part.