Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association president Moe Monita (left) and Chilcotin Guns owner Al Bush (right) support the efforts of Dan Simmons (centre)

Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association president Moe Monita (left) and Chilcotin Guns owner Al Bush (right) support the efforts of Dan Simmons (centre)

A sign of the times for moose populations

Dan Simmons is putting pen to paper these days in an effort to shine some light on the decline of moose populations in hunting Region 5.

An outdoorsman all his life, local resident Dan Simmons is putting pen to paper these days in an effort to shine some light on the decline of moose populations in hunting Region 5.

“The moose population is going down, down, down fast and it’s been going on for a long time,” Simmons said.

“I’m not trying to point the finger at anyone but I want to know what is being done about it.”

Compelled by hunter accounts this fall of a lack of moose in the Moffat Creek area where he hunted and guided with his father Charlie, Simmons launched the Cow Moose Sign Project earlier this month.

The sign depicts a cow moose and asks the public to “Please respect the cow moose. She is necessary for a healthy future moose population.”

He hopes the signs will discourage hunters and poachers from targeting antlerless moose, which he believes are vital in achieving and maintaining a healthy moose population.

As well as the signs, which Simmons hopes to see displayed in various businesses around the Cariboo Chilcotin, Simmons has also created brochures explaining the Cow Moose Sign Project and the implications of shooting a cow moose.

In just the first few weeks since he launched the project, Simmons said he’s received a great response from business owners, clubs and private citizens wanting to sponsor the signs.

“I’m very pleased with the response,” he said.

Next up for Simmons is a letter writing campaign in which he hopes to capture the attention of local and provincial leaders regarding the declining moose population.

“Everybody is worried and wondering what is being done. I’m worried as well,” he said. “I’d like to know what is happening.”

In the spring of 2012 the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations announced a steep decline in moose populations in the Cariboo and Omineca regions.

During that time the government announced initiatives to  determine the cause of the decline and indicated future measures to protect the animals.