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The RTLB, no biological impact on deer

The RTLB, no biological impact on deer


According to information obtained by Le JournalAccording to government experts, the application of the restriction on the legal size of antlers (RTLB), for five years for deer hunting in zones 6 north and 6 south, had no biological impact on the population of white-tailed deer (roe deer) from these two regions.

The purpose of this program was to ensure the protection of young males aged 1.5 or 2.5 years, by requiring hunters harvest only males with three tips and more on one side of the plume. Also, this project was intended to be a search for answers to several questions concerning the deer population and its evolution. 

By pushing this project over five years, the specialists wanted to obtain the best possible portrait, taking into account the number one enemy of the deer, the climatic conditions due to the winters. You should know that Quebec is the most northern habitat of the species. 

When winters are severe, deer mortality is much higher. It really is winter's worst enemy. Personally, I have already hunted in the Outaouais, on the territory of the Kenuk outfitter. After a productive fall, winter came far too quickly, resulting in the death of several breeding adult males. They were not able to face the harsh conditions of the rapid winter, because they had not had time to store energy after the rutting period. It took two years for this territory before the population level returned to interesting numbers. This situation had nothing to do with the samples taken by hunters.


While some people claim that the male to female ratio in Quebec's deer population is imbalanced, the answers provided by the study say otherwise.

All the hypotheses that were put forward by this question of rebalancing the deer population of Quebec one for one, through the RTLB program imposed across Quebec, have been invalidated by the study. Young males spared at 1.5 years have been proven to be harvested at 2.5 and 3.5 years. This measure did not increase the deer population in zones 6 north and 6 south. The conclusions are clear. This method of restrictions did not vary the population level and did not change the male-female ratio.

You should know that a male deer that has the ability to reproduce can fertilize several females during the mating season. Specialists have also discovered that some male fawns may even be able to reproduce in their first year. So, in conclusion, there is no biological impact in applying such a measure. The impact is mainly at the social level.


All the results of the study were presented at a meeting bringing together experts from other provinces and northeastern US states. 

They said they got the same results. They chose to go with a volunteer program on the part of the hunters, so that they themselves choose to apply the protection of certain portions of the deer population. Even the QDMA, the American organization that has been advocating RTLB for several years, has now chosen to talk about education instead of imposing regulations. Personally, I consider that the voluntary practice of protecting some deer in a given sector can bear fruit.

I have been practicing it for several years in the territory where I hunt with friends and we have seen the results. Over time, we have seen the appearance of adult males of good size, not to mention the reproduction rate which is impressive.

Last fall, just over 135,000 hunting licenses were sold, while the deer population, excluding Anticosti, is estimated at 250,000. The real problem is that the distribution of the population is not uniform in all regions for various reasons such as habitat and living conditions in winter. 

Before thinking that the RTLB will be implemented throughout Quebec, there are several steps to go through, including a consultation with hunters on the subject. To be continued! 

In short 


Fishing enthusiasts can book a day from Saturday daily fishing in the network of Sépaq wildlife reserves. The first thing to do is to go to the site, and create your account to speed up your transactions when it comes time to make your reservations. You can also consult the launch schedule by destination, on the same site. A virtual waiting room will be in place. It is advisable to always have a second choice because some destinations are very popular.

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