In our animal 101 series we’ll cover the biology of an animal and how understanding it can help you improve your hunting skills. We spend our free time in the bush and put our off-season time into understanding anything and everything we can of the animals we hunt. While we are by no means animal experts, we do attempt to educate ourselves and those around us on the basics.
In most areas, monitoring programs exist to track wild populations. Wildlife management groups devote time and funding to tracking and monitoring the health, location and diet of predator and prey alike. These research programs help to determine where/when hunting season opens and which tags are available. Always check animals for a collar or ear tag since a limited number of animals or even a single individual is used to track the entire pack/herd. So take the chance to observe a research animal and hold off to harvest the next one. Some animals have been tranquilized or treated and you may not be able to eat it or you may need to prepare it differently. Be sure to report any harvested animal that has a tag or collar and ensure you are filling out any surveys required by local regulations - some areas require a report to be competed even if you did not successfully complete a hunt.
Note: Our Spring bear season was shut down in 1999 but returned to our area in 2016. The return of the hunt was made possible largely through monitoring program and the reporting of bears by the public.