THUNDER BAY – If some of the people you know are not at work today, but have taken the week off, chances are they might well be deer hunters. The first Monday in November is opening day of the traditional deer season in much of Ontario, and more than 150,000 trained and licensed hunters are in the field enjoying their heritage. The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) wishes hunters across the province a safe and successful hunt.
“All over Ontario, friends and families are gathering to spend time in the outdoors and take part in the annual deer hunt,” said Mike Reader, Executive Director of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. “Hunting is about participating in the web of life, and celebrating our heritage. A hunt without a harvest is still a good hunt.”
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, there are approximately 440,000 licensed hunters in Ontario, a third of whom take part in the deer hunt. Big game seasons vary across Wildlife Management Units (WMUs) in Ontario and include bear, moose, deer and elk. The first full week of November is the gun season for deer in many parts of the province, however bow season and muzzle loader seasons are also scheduled throughout the fall.
- The OFAH delivers the Ontario Hunter Education Program (OHEP) for the MNR. Participation in the course training has been increasing steadily for a decade. In 2010, 17,645 students successfully completed the program;
- Responsible hunters obtain permission to access private property. Trespassing is illegal;
- Under the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act no animal may be wasted. Harvested animals provide food and in most cases, hides;
- Hunter orange is mandatory for hunters participating in the gun hunt. A hunter orange hat and vest/jacket for a total of 400 square inches of solid orange coverage (not mesh) must be worn in the field;
- Responsible hunters know and follow all firearms regulations and store and transport their firearms safely;
- Legal hunting time is a half hour before sunrise and a half hour after sunset. Outside legal hours, firearms must be unloaded and encased;
- Ontario hunting regulations are available at www.ontario.ca/hunting.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters represents more than 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters and is the largest nonprofit fish and wildlife conservation organization in Ontario and is the voice of anglers and hunters. Visit www.ofah.org, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.