White Moose controversy reignites after shooting is deemed legal

Originally seen in Fish’n Canada’s Week in Review

The highly-publicized white moose controversy from last fall made its return to the headlines this week when the shooting of the animal was officially deemed legal.

For those unfamiliar with the story, the controversy began last November when the head of a white moose was found just north of Timmins, Ontario, an area that, since 2006, has banned the killing of animals displaying the rare pigment. Though they are not technically a separate species from the brown variety many are used to seeing, the law was created in respect to local First Nations communities who value the animal as having great spiritual significance.

“Some people believe it’s a sign from our old ancestors from the area watching over us” stated Troy Woodhouse, member of the Flying Post First Nation in a 2020 interview with Global News, “so that’s very important to the people of Foleyet and Flying Post First Nation community members.”

As would be expected, the finding of the rare moose head quickly sparked outrage online and activists from Timmins to Toronto to Vancouver temporarily dedicated themselves to finding the perpetrator, even starting a GoFundMe account that raised upwards of $5,200.

Fortunately, just under a year later, the culprit has been identified. Unfortunately, the result was not quite what those petitioning had hoped for. Last week, the Ontario Ministry officially deemed the harvesting of the white moose legal, stating that:

“The Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry did not lay charges because the investigation determined the moose was harvested lawfully by an individual who was exercising their harvesting rights – within their recognized traditional territory,”

Via the Daily Hive

For those who are confused by the wording, this means that the individual who harvested the thought-to-be off-limits moose was a member of the local First Nations community and hunted the animal within their traditional territory – negating all charges that would have otherwise been laid.

This excerpt was taken from Fish’n Canada’s Week in Review, our weekly recap of all things relevant to the Canadian outdoorsman. For more stories like this, check out the full article below and tune back in every Friday to catch up on everything you missed!

White Moose and Stranded Salmon -  Fish'n Canada's Week in Review