OFAH Get Outdoors Youth Waterfowl Hunt, 2016-2017
Project by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.
Location: Bewdley, Peterborough, Cobourg, ON.
For more information on this project, please contact David Ryrie, Youth Education Manager, Peterborough, ON.
To provincially promote waterfowl hunting through a two-day, hands-on waterfowl hunting and wetland education experience for 30 new hunters. The OFAH will coordinate the recruitment, training, and participation of 30 new hunters in Central Ontario. The destinations will include training at the OFAH/Mario Cortellucci Hunting and Fishing Heritage Centre in Peterborough, skeet shooting practice in Cobourg, a waterfowl hunt on Rice Lake on September 17, 2016 and a private waterfowl hunting location near Bewdley, ON. This date will coincide with the Waterfowl Heritage Day. OFAH staff and volunteers will present conservation workshops and hunting breakout sessions covering decoy set up, invasive species identification, skeet shooting and water safety. Springtime registration will include hunter education/firearms safety for these participants to be qualified and licensed hunters in time for the September event.
Contribution to Goal #3 of the 2012 NAWMP Revision: “Growing numbers of waterfowl hunters, other conservationists, and citizens who enjoy and actively support waterfowl and wetlands conservation.”
Conservation needs waterfowl hunters and others who will care enough, and understand enough, to support wetland and waterfowl projects. Aspiring waterfowl hunters need mentorship. The OFAH has years of successful experience in providing “the jumping in point” for families who have an interest in the outdoor traditions, but do not know where or how to get started. This project is the biggest, most direct effort we have ever presented that will take kids from homes without hunter mentorship to a duck blind with hands-on hunting opportunities.
Long-term conservation impacts and benefits
The recruitment of the next generation of waterfowl hunters will help ensure that future licence revenues will exist to fund conservation projects that receive much of their funding from migratory bird hunting licences.
The participating youth waterfowl hunters will receive instruction on how they can help voluntarily prevent the introduction and/or spread of invasive species by taking steps while hunting such as:
- Inspecting waders, firearms, and other equipment for seeds and vegetation that can be carried into a new location via mud stuck on equipment
- Avoid using invasive Phragmites as a duck blind material or as cover while waterfowl hunting. Ensuring that seeds from Phragmites are not transported on-site or off-site from the hunt.
- Reporting invasive species sightings to eddmaps.org/Ontario, the new early detection and distribution mapping system.
- Learning how to inspect, drain, and dry your hunting boat before transporting it to other waterbodies.
Additionally, presentation will be provided on common invasive species to keep watch for and a small pilot control project can be taken on-site (removal of terrestrial riparian invasive species) to promote the stewardship of riparian areas and their importance for waterfowl habitat and cover. Picking up any and all visible litter throughout the hunt will also take place.