FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. -- The B.C. Government announced changes to this year's moose hunt Thursday, but the MLA for Peace River South says it lacks evidence of a decreasing moose population.

A statement from the Ministry of Forests says changing hunting regulations will see less open season dates for moose in the Northeast. There is currently an open season from August 15 to October 15. 

“For one year, moose hunting will exclude august and will be restricted to limited entry hunting in the Peace area.with a full closure during the peak mating season from Oct 1-15. Key areas around the Peace Moberly Tract and Moose Lake will also be closed."

Meanwhile, the hunt in the Northern Rockies and Liard will be permitted in remote areas without roads.

However, the MLA for Peace River South Mike Bernier questioning why the government is pursuing the changes. "I strongly feel we don't have enough scientific data to back up the changes that government is proposing or I guess putting through right now.”  Although he's been asking about population trends, Bernier says he hasn't seen any numbers from the government. 

In April, University of Northern British Columbia Professor Chris Johnson told CJDC TV the moose population is decreasing, increasing and stable in different areas but it’s more than just hunting affecting the population. 

Meanwhile, the ministry says decisions were made to support reconcilation and wildlife stewardship.

The NDP government says they’ll revisit hunting regulations again next year, but Bernier is concerned the changes could persist into future hunting seasons.

Bernier says there was little public consultation in the decision that will limit the hunt for non-Indigenous people. He says treaty rights are important to uphold but the MLA says there's enough moose for all hunting families in the Peace.