Friday marked the start of rifle hunting, and this year, the ZEC du Bas-Saint-Laurent expects to receive nearly 1,950 hunters for the moose season, an increase of about 600 people compared to Last year.
As a whole, the hunting industry generates considerable spinoffs, more than $ 800 million in Quebec alone. There are no less than 300,000 hunters in the province, and many live in Eastern Quebec.
Friday morning, many hunters came to the ZEC of Bas-Saint-Laurent in Saint-Narcisse to register.
“It’s been going well since this morning. We made pre-recordings precisely so that there would be fewer people today. Since Monday that the hunters register, we have reached more than 900 registered hunters already, ”observed Dany Beaulieu, recreotourism coordinator for the ZEC of Bas-Saint-Laurent.
In 2019, the success rate for bow and crossbow hunting was 29% per group, for a total of approximately 118 beasts reported. This year, however, the success rate has dropped slightly, which suggests that hunters will once again try to bring in game, this time attacking moose.
“We are increasing. We had more cages registered this year, a little more members, about 200 more out of about 2000 members, so we have more hunters this year. There are some who haven’t been on a trip so anything to do with hunting this year is on the rise. The stores sell more crossbows, there are stores that no longer have ammunition, ”continued Mr. Beaulieu.
The context is very different this year because of the pandemic. Hunters must therefore plan their stay in advance for accommodation and food due to restrictions.
The Bas-Saint-Laurent ZEC site covers an area of approximately 1,000 square kilometers. Considering that nearly 1950 hunters are expected, hunting enthusiasts must ensure that they respect physical distancing as well as the disinfection protocol.
“We took a trailer so we wouldn’t all be in the chalet, all of our“ setting ”is made so that we respect our distances. We are ready, we were careful and we have everything to disinfect our hands too, ”commented a hunter who has been a fan of this sport for 40 years.
“We all know each other, we know our whereabouts. We will try to keep our distance for sure, we have a large chalet, ”continued another rifleman.
ZECS also take their precautions by adding disinfectants all over the site, both at admission and in the dry toilets scattered throughout the territory. A signage process has also been installed to control movement in the reception building and numerous posters have been prominently displayed to ensure compliance with sanitary measures.
The recordings started earlier than usual, and another point of service was temporarily opened to the administration of the ZEC Bas-Saint-Laurent located in Rimouski to avoid congestion.
The moose hunting season in ZECS continues until October 25 inclusively. Fans who do not yet have their provincial hunting license have until midnight Friday evening to obtain one.