After eight years of persistent lobbying, Dan and Vivian Simmons, founders of the non-profit Cow Moose Sign Project, are thrilled steps have been taken by the B.C. government to remove most calf and cow moose from the annual limited entry hunt (LEH) this fall.
“Changes have officially been made. The calf moose only open season is now closed and 121 cow or calf moose LEH moose tags have been removed from limited entry draws,” noted Simmons in a celebratory post to social media.
All LEH changes were made in the Prince George/Omineca Region 7 hunting area.
In the weeks leading up to the announcement earlier this summer Simmons was anxiously awaiting the release of the 2022-2024 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis, which up until this year still saw about 400 LEH tags for moose around the province. Simmons has spent the better part of eight years founding and growing the educational Cow Moose Sign Project, spurred on by plummeting moose populations across Interior and Northern B.C.
Over that time Simmons has gained a strong alliance with several Indigenous communities and leaders, who purchased the signs and billboards reminding residents of the importance of the cow moose for the overall healthy of the moose populations. Eight billboards, 130 4×8 signs and 1,000 smaller signs have been distributed along roadways in B.C. where moose live during that time. The project, which includes an educational brochure, has raised a quarter of a million dollars to help those efforts and has also kept the pressure on government to stop the hunt.
“Right from Day 1 my goal has been to stop the harvest of cow moose.”
Simmons, himself once a guide and avid hunter, attributes his success to the positive relationship he has built with Indigenous communities who also have concerns with the declining moose populations, and have supported his efforts, as well as other stakeholders such as the BC Guide Outfitters.
“It’s about the moose, nothing else.”