THUNDER BAY – The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) the province’s largest fish and wildlife conservation organization are congratulating Thunder Bay Council for their decision to introduce a bow hunting season within rural sections of the city limits. The move is designed to deal with Thunder Bay’s considerable deer concentration issue.
“Deer density affects public safety, negatively impacts other wildlife, and affects the health of existing deer herds. We commend the City of Thunder Bay for taking the advice of wildlife experts, who project that controlling deer numbers within our City will reduce vehicle collisions and the accompanying injuries and property damage. Once the bow season is implemented, our valuable deer resources will no longer be wasted on our roads, but will be utilized by hunters,” said OFAH First Vice President Glenn Rivard.
Beginning in 2012, Thunder Bay will have a bow hunting season in rural and semi-rural areas within city limits from September 1 through to December 15.
Nine out of every ten vehicles collisions in Canada involving large animals are with white-tailed deer. According to a 2008 study released by a major insurance company, approximately 60,000 Canadians hit a deer, led by Ontario with about 14,000 collisions. The same study projected that 50 drivers and passengers would die in collisions with deer annually, and thousands would be injured. The economic toll of the deer/vehicle conflict in Canada is about $400 million. In 2010, in the Thunder Bay area, there were an estimated 640 to 850 deer/vehicle collisions, resulting in 42 injuries.
“A lot of preparation at the local level went into this proposal and we thank OFAH First Vice President Glenn Rivard and our many OFAH members in northwestern Ontario for their efforts on this resolution,” commented OFAH Executive Director Mike Reader. “We are confident that the community will reap the benefits of responsible hunting, which is an important tool in managing our precious natural resources.”