Thanks To Hunters

Waterfowl hunters have a long and proud history of wildlife and habitat conservation in Canada and North America. In addition to purchasing the Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation Stamp (also known as the Canadian Duck Stamp) to validate their annual Migratory Game Bird Hunting Permit, waterfowl and migratory game bird hunters pay other license fees which directly support wildlife management. Many also attend conservation fundraising dinners and activities and volunteer on committees and projects benefiting wildlife.

Many conservation organizations rely on hunters heavily for support. For example, hunters are large supporters of conservation organizations such as Ducks Unlimited Canada, Delta Waterfowl, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and La Fédération québécoise des chasseurs et pêcheurs. All four groups, in addition to many others, receive grants from Wildlife Habitat Canada that actively support and assist with governmental and private conservation initiatives.

At Wildlife Habitat Canada, our success in contributing and advocating for wildlife habitat conservation is directly linked to waterfowl hunting. We need to improve efforts to promote and increase participation in waterfowl hunting: waterfowl hunting contributes about $327 million annually to the economy, or about 18% of the $1.8 billion figure for hunting and trapping. That economic contribution is not easily replaced by other nature-related activities. For example, the average waterfowl hunter spends nearly 7 times the daily expenditure of a birder. Most importantly for the future of conservation, hunters and trappers are participating in nature conservation activities at over three times the national average for Canadians over the age of 18 years (Source: 2012 Canadian Nature Survey).






The Importance of Hunting

The general public needs to understand that hunting today is just as much a wildlife management tool as it is a recreational activity. For example, recent studies have shown that in some places in North America where there is an over abundance of wildlife, such as white-tailed deer, they are viewed as a nuisance. What this means is eventually wildlife loses its intrinsic value as people separate themselves from nature.

We are seeing an extension of this with an entire generation of children who spend more time indoors watching television and playing computer games than they do playing outside. Some studies have demonstrated that these children are suffering from what has been coined as “nature deficit” disorder. Basically, they have no connection to the natural world and lack an understanding of why maintaining healthy wildlife populations and their habitat are important.

Since children are the future and will eventually be responsible for our wildlife and other natural resources, it is vital that they have to learn that we too are a part of nature and our well being is directly tied to how we manage the environment.

Many organizations and individuals conduct youth mentoring programs to pass on the skills and knowledge of hunting to the next generation; however, it should be noted that these programs go well beyond the various aspects of hunting. They also teach youth about the importance of terrestrial and aquatic habitat conservation, species diversity and biodiversity.

By educating young people about the need to maintain the quality of wildlife habitat, we will ensure that future generations, including non-hunters, will enjoy the abundance of wildlife species that we have today.

Mentoring at the Delta Marsh Women’s Hunt

mentoring at the delta marsh womens hunt



“3 years ago Kim shot her first duck at the Delta Marsh Women’s hunt… this was the beginning of Kim’s passion for hunting and the meaning of giving back to our hunting heritage. Since Kim’s first experience at Delta Marsh, she has become a devoted mentor, hunt captain for the Brandon MB Youth Waterfowl Hunt, a Hunter Safety Instructor for MWF, and a Becoming an Outdoors Women Instructor. Kim has actively recruited additional volunteers within the Brandon community to help with various events promoting the MB Mentored Hunt Program. She is everything we hoped for in our mentored hunt program and is paying it forward to create more MB mentors and waterfowl hunters.”

-Photo and quote courtesy of Delta Waterfowl Foundation.