Strengthening & Evaluating a National Waterfowling Program, 2015-16
Goals and Objectives
DUC’s 2015-2016 planned activities will include the production, French translation and distribution of: 1) materials to promote waterfowling and mentored hunts; 2) a regionally-adapted training tool for novice hunters including waterfowl identification, hunting tips, and conservation messaging including a Waterfowler Conservation Pledge showing a personal commitment to safe and ethical waterfowling and support for conservation. They will work locally with partners to support mentored hunts and waterfowling-related events and will provide resources to support these efforts and also make these resources freely available on-line. After the 2015 fall hunting season they will conduct two surveys: 1) for mentored novice waterfowlers, past and present, to assess their actual or planned continuation of hunting; related challenges, opportunities and needs; their recruitment of other novice hunters; and their level of support for conservation and 2) for mentors and participating volunteers to obtain feedback regarding related challenges, opportunities, needs and recommendations. Specific events may be evaluated locally and the results will be shared with their national office.
Specific Habitat Products/Results Supported by WHC’s Contributions
1) Production, translation and distribution of:
- (electronic/in-print) national brochure or similar tool and PSA-type video promoting waterfowling and mentored hunts;
- regionally-adapted training tool (.ppt or similar) for novice hunters including waterfowl identification, hunting tips, and conservation messaging, distributed & on-line;
- a Waterfowler Conservation Pledge showing commitment to safe and ethical waterfowling and support for conservation (available in print & on-line with downloadable format to sign & display)
2) Help support existing waterfowling-related public events and the promotion of the best practices in an attempt to increase the number of events occurring in all regions.
3) Support to: develop, conduct and analyze two surveys which will inform future planning for DUC and others. Survey 1 will addressed mentored, novice waterfowlers in order to assess their actual or planned continuation of hunting; related challenges, opportunities and needs; their recruitment of other novice hunters; and their level of support for conservation. The second survey for mentors and participating volunteers will see their feedback regarding challenges, opportunities, needs and recommendations relating to their participation in this program and the direction for future programming.
Benefits to Waterfowl, Wetland-Associated Species, and/or Other Wildlife
They have been working with wetland education/interpretive centre partners in several provinces to support mentored hunts and waterfowling-related events. They want to expand the program, which includes determining and sharing Best Practices on how to increase the recruitment of new waterfowl hunters and identifying the best opportunities to create better understanding and support for waterfowling amongst non-hunters.
DUC encourages and supports habitat conservation, restoration and enhancement through a wide range of initiatives with a variety of audiences. Although the outcomes for this project are not directly measurable in this regard, one of its goals is to demonstrate and promote to novice hunters and others the important role and responsibility that hunters have as conservationists.
For more information on this project, please contact Merebeth Switzer, National Manager, Education, Mississauga, ON.