O.F.A.H. Zone J Quarterly
Meeting Jan. 8, 2006
Western Ontario Fish &
Game Protective Association
42 members present as Stan Gibbs, president of Western Ontario Fish &
Game Protective Association (WOFGPA) welcomed the OFAH.
received a round of applause in appreciation of his 58th year of OFAH membership.
Minutes of Zone J Annual meeting of September
17 & 18, 2005 read by Secretary/Treasurer Wilf Cassidy.
Chair Felix Barbetti clarified that we support the return of the Spring Bear Hunt. Could have
better used the millions of dollars that was spent on the Bear Wise Program
Dawn Sucee, Invasive
Species Biologist of the OFAH gave an interesting and informative presentation on “Spread the word, not the
Species”. Dawn reports that the OFAH has had a considerable lead on the Invasive Species
issues. The Invasive Species committee was initiated in 1992 to address the zebra mussels with
OFAH in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR). Education and information
seems to be working. There is a Fish Rescue Program that takes aquarium fish
from people who no longer want them instead of dumping them. 2500 boat launches has Invasive Species
postings educating the public. A new regulation as of August 31, 2005 banning live possession of gobies,
snakeheads, and invasive carp was printed in the Canada Gazette on September 21, 2005. If you buy
live bait and find gobies with your shiners, go back to the bait store because it is illegal for you to possess live gobies.
Recently, a Toronto seafood company was fined $40,000 for
trading banned live fish. We must work together as anglers to stop the spread of Invasive Species. (Ontario Fishery Regulations SOR/2005249). Early detection allows a rapid response Contact
Invasive Species hotline by calling 1-800-563-7711 or at www.invadingspecies.com.
Volunteers are needed to monitor rusty crayfish. They are native to the Ohio River basin and have been introduced as live bait.
Minnow traps are used to detect presence. The rusty crayfish are very aggressive, are edible and grow up to 6”
long. Very successful control of purple loosestrife by using beetle control at WOFGPA ponds five
years ago. Province wide control forecasted for 2015. The OFAH,
DFO and MNR eradication of round gobies at Pefferlaw Lake seems successful. Over 4,000 fish
were electro fished prior to the release of rotenone (Piscicide). The fish were
released into Lake Simcoe. Two weeks after the
release of rotenone, no live gobies were found and fish were already present. Monitoring
Dan Elliott and Pud Hunter of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR)
were on hand to discuss the following:
Thames River Fisheries Management (TRFM) covers the Thames
River watershed and goes for public input this spring. The Springbank Dam was established in the 1800’s to create an area for recreational boating. It had a 4-foot head. All dams are an issue with Fisheries management. TheSpringbank
dam was rebuilt in 1929 with an 18-foot head. It is the first major dam coming up the Thames
River from Lake St. Clair. This dam is now a public
safety issue. The MNR is responsible for all dams in Ontario.
The MNR permit issued to the City of London has expired. The City has applied for an extension. The MNR stands firm on fish passage up until
All of Ontario, Canada and across International boundaries is watching this dam project closely. The Fifth Estate is considering producing a documentary on this.
Thames fisheries proposes to change regulations to Combine
Division 3 with 4 and implement slot size, etc. Any comments we have on this
issue please send it to OFAH Provincial Director at Large, Russ Piper. He will
forward all comments to the appropriate person at the MNR.
Wildlife – deer
hunting – this past season was a phenomenal hunt for everyone. Quota was intended to provide
additional opportunities for a successful hunt. If you have concerns about the system to obtain tags, please let Russ Piper know. He will forward your comments to the MNR
– do not sell a hunter their 2nd tag until the season starts
Question was raised in regards to the moose and deer survey – why do the hunters
have to pay the postage to return the survey? There is a 65 to 70% return rate
in our District while provincially the return rate is 30%. The cost of stamping
400,000 surveys would be about $1,200,000. The MNR can make better use of its
Youth Pheasant Hunt
– 12 to 16 yr old hunter apprentice training program 36 participants saw the game right
from live in the field to prepared and eaten. They
got to identify game, field dress, and skeet shoot. Each youth got to shoot at 3 pheasant. Terrific feedback on this program
as well as industry sponsorship support. Chronic Wasting Disease
(CWD) Has not been found in Ontario but it can hide for
Sifton Bog deer
– 2005 fall count about 70 – 75 in the herd City of London
want to do a “deer assessment” before they do anything with this herd. MNR went
to council for archery hunt at Sifton Bog in Dec. 2005. Council voted 12 against/7 for.
It surprised many people this went to council 275 deer incidents in 2004/05 in City of London with each incident costing the city a minimum of $300 each. Don Fairbairn, OFAH Life Member will receive comments on this issue from membership
and pass them on to MNR
Wandering Bull Moose
– this is a 2-year-old Bull suspected from Bruce Peninsula. OPP wanted to shoot the moose near Sarnia
but MNR said NO. Was last seen in Newton, looks like he’s
lonely and headed home
Ring Neck Pheasant
Program – this is low key and is not going to the press
location of pheasant release is somewhere in Elgin/Lambton . Will
wait another year or two and will continue monitoring
Bob White Quails
– population in North America is decreasingVery difficult to get stock but preliminary findings
– population numbers are phenomenal, MNR is getting concerned with the large numbers. MNR is looking at possibly increasing
hunting opportunities next yr. The rumor about having a Fall hunt is wrong
Sunday Hunting – nothing
this year, probably next year
Hats for Hides program - MNR is worried that if this program ends, where are the hides going? MNR
is looking for support to continue the program
ATVs - use of ATV’s
on Crown land is not restricted. Irresponsible ATV owners are causing problems
by running off the designated paths, running thru trout streams disturbing habitat and washing their ATV’s in streams
Pud Hunter wrapped up with his
view of the Shania Twain interview he saw on TV. When asked about her being a vegetarian, she replied that she’s not
really a vegetarian; she just can’t get her favorite meat where she lives – Roast Bear!! Pud Hunter says OFAH
Zone J should make Shania Twain our poster child!!
Please see attached reports: Zone J Chair Report; Alternate Director Report; Fisheries Report; Environment
Committee Report; Big Game Report; November and December Financial Reports.
Small Game Report by Wilf
that most of his information was covered by Dan and Pud. Brant area has seen an increase in the number of ducks and Canada geese are plentiful
Wetlands and Drainage Report
by Russ Piper – no report
Youth Camp Out Report by
Don Fairbairn – Youth
Camp Out will be held in June in Port Colborne, Ontario. Lure making and black powder will be featured activities. Camping
is available but there is no hydro and water/toilet are available at the clubhouse.
Saturday lunch is included.Please contact Alf Marinelli or Don Fairbairn
to be involved.
Member clubs need to take the initiative to become more involved and have at least one member attend the Quarterly meetings.
Bill Feltis reports the Huntington
Disease research fundraising shoot raised almost $5,000
Secretary/Treasurer Wilf Cassidy
announces that the $12,845.78 in the Zone J F & W account with Head Office is NOT for only provincial causes, but applications
for this money must be made thru Head Office.
Wild Turkey Seminar instructors
are needed. Please contact Zone J Secretary/Treasurer Wilf Cassidy or Head Office
if you’re interested.
Big Game Report; Jan 08, 2005
Locally, in Zone
J Deer populations continue to grow due to various factors including favorable winter conditions, abundant food sources, wildlife
management practices, and lack of access to habitat where populations thrive. Although to the sportsmen this is an ideal time
to participate in the harvest, in many areas harvest rates may not be adequate to manage the population. Motor vehicle incidents
continue to rise, agricultural damage increases, and urban development is increasing incident factors, just to name a few.
Presently as directed
by the Minister, a Southern Ontario Wildlife Conflict and Deer Management strategy process is underway which started in September
of 2005. A 40 member stakeholders group was established consisting of representatives from agriculture, agency, and non government
agencies, sportsmen, and non sportsmen alike. Your O.F.A.H. is fully engaged
with the process. We are providing input which includes a sportsmen’s perspective
as well as bringing science as
a principle for fundamental decision making. Ed Reid, our OFAH staff Biologist will be ensuring our contributions are upfront
and center for the entire process. There are several key areas of review which
included harvest management, compensation, prevention and site specific tools, short term solutions, research, monitoring,
and reporting. Although it is still early to report on the final product, hunting is considered by the majority to be one
of the more effective deer management tools available.
Obstacles to effective
management include things like restricted lands access, hunter participation,
tag allocation and to some degree hunter objectives. It may be necessary to have hunters consider taking animals of specific
gender or age group in efforts to maintain a balanced harvest, protect herd health and control population. The final draft
is expected to be posted on the EBR in 2006 for comment.
Its easy with Deer
populations increasing for public and others to ignore situations which should be investigated. It is suspected poaching may
increase during this time of year especially when deer densities tend to increase in specific areas, when snow covered ground
makes night vision especially easy without bright lights, and doors and windows are closed tight on houses. Deer should be
considered a valuable resource and we should make sure that the public and agencies maintain the value perspective. Any situation which is questionable by timing, by incident, by circumstance should be reported to
the MNR Tips hotline 1 877 847 7667
general public needs to be reminded that people who harvest deer during darkness, out of season, or during periods or by methods
which are contrary to the law are not hunters, they are criminals and should be dealt with in a suitable fashion.
Hunter harvest in
Zone J for the most part in most WMU’S have initial reports of very successful harvest rates with several WMUs having
multiple seals available. Updated reports will hopefully be available from the
MNR for zone WMUs for the spring update.
Some people just
don’t get it! This year again some areas within our zone report an increase in registered trespass complaints during
the controlled hunts. Obviously we have some work to do here. As responsible participants we need to ensure we communicate
and support landowner permission. This in itself can be one of the biggest obstacles to effect wildlife management and hunter
success. Ask permission, honor permission and encourage permission. Permission should be confirmed on a yearly basis. Many
challenges we face as hunters including land access restrictions, municipal bylaw considerations, etc. and are initiated by
landowners who feel their rights have been violated. It has also been reported
that many of these individuals who were investigated and guilty on trespass complaints were also non compliant in other ways.
A stakeholders meeting
has been requested for early 2006 with the MNR on the issue of hunter orange including consideration for the Camouflage orange
as per the recommendations presented by the O.F.A.H. in August of 2005. A date for this meeting has not been confirmed but
we will update you on this at our next meeting in April.
Hats for Hides
There is a growing
problem associated with the downsizing of this program including suitable depots, suitability of hides, salting, and fees
for salting. Local roadside dumping are increasing the negativity around harvest activities and compounding the effects of
anti sentiment. Our OFAH is working diligently to investigate options and solutions to the issue but need your input and ideas.
Local clubs may develop alternative solutions that should be shared for the benefit of us all. The development of bio diesel
facilities may prove beneficial in the very near future but Provincial and Federal agencies have not agreed on guidelines
for suitable sources and until these guidelines are confirm that alternative remains unavailable.
Trent University has initiated
a Moose Research project for a 3 year period to collar Moose, Bear and Wolves in the Algonquin area to measure movement and
predation and to include DNA research as well. The MNR has also committed funds to the project and is also supported by the
O.F.A.H. The research results will be shared and supportive of future modeling and management of the species.
Bear Wise Program
The Bear Wise Program
has been very effective at spending resource management dollars. The program has four elements that include prevention, awareness
and education, response, and reporting. Ontario has spent
5 million in 2004 and as of Dec had spent 4.5 million in 2005. The MNR records show the
killing of “problem” bears in 2004 at 62 animals and 314 bears
killed 2005. These figures only include bears killed by the M.N.R. agents and police and do not include those “problem”
bears harvested but the public.
Your OFAH will continue
to lobby and support alternatives that are more effective in dealing with increased bear incidents and population, which recognizes
the value of the resource, and will eventually bring a return to the spring bear hunt. Community and Municipal representatives
have shown considerable movement on the issue in recent months and we hope combined with our efforts will eventually bring
a sensible resolve to the issue.
In many WMU’s,
in 2005, within our ZONE J, a CWD (CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE) testing program was initiated. We hope that all successful hunters
participated when requested. It is believe that CWD does not exist in Ontario.
On Nov. 4th,
2005 a new regulation came into effect to address concerns for animal parts which could expose and introduce Ontario to this disease. This regulation will be of specific interest to those who hunt
and could harvest an animal which is a member of the deer family outside of the Province
of Ontario. The regulation states that it is illegal to possess any part
of the antlers, head, brain, tonsils, hide, hooves, lymph nodes, spleen, mammary glands, entrails, internal organs or spinal
column of a cervid harvested outside of Ontario. Cervids
include white tailed der, mule deer, elk, and other captive deer, but does not include moose and caribou.
The regulation does
not include finished taxidermy mounts and there are other exceptions and conditions that apply.
If you have any intention
or know of any hunters who are planning to hunt outside of Ontario
for these species please advise them of this regulation.
I will now move acceptance
of this report,
Yours in Conservation
OFAH Big Game Advisory
New Zone J Web Site
quarter of the term has been focused on trying to improve communication for our clubs. The Zone now has a web page that can
be accessed at the following address www. http://ofahzonej.tripod.com There are places for clubs to advertise their events and activities so that
everyone in the Zone can share ideas and news. Contact L McPhail Zone web editor
for additions or comments
been extensive media coverage with the increase of firearms and gang related activities in the province using illegal handguns.
The OFAH is not directly impacted as all members use legally registered firearms for legal purposes. These incidents highlight
the OFAH stand that the government should be utilizing funds to provide more police on the streets and border security instead
of the Federal Gun Registry program. It is important to note that the OFAH will respond accordingly and supports the use of
all types of firearms by legal, licensed owners. The OFAH supports stiff mandatory penalties for the use of any firearm to
commit a crime, increased police spending increased border security, the abolition
of plea bargains that reduce sentencing and the redirection of spending from the Federal Gun registry toward these initiatives.
that Justice Minister Irwin Cotler to the effect he had no intention of reviewing the classification of the Mini 14 rumor
has it that he will indeed be seeking to review the status of the firearm. It is currently listed as non restricted and the
minister was looking at reclassification. He quickly changed his tune once the OFAH and firearms community rose up against
the proposal. The government should not be trusted on this issue and members are encouraged to question their M.P.’s and local candidates in upcoming elections to determine their position. The Mini 14
is a very popular sporting and hunting firearm in many different calibers.
marking regulation has been deferred until December 2007 This is the new regulations
that require all firearms manufactured in Canada or imported into Canada to be stamped with country of origin and a unique
identification number. The justification is to combat terrorism. US
manufacturers have declined to participate in the program which will leave local distributors and retailers responsible for
adhering to the guidelines. The OFAH will continue to track the issue and provide updates as information becomes available.
Department of Natural resources and Explosive branch are still continuing work on a new policy on hand loading. Despite the
fact they have amended their original proposal some changes are still required. The OFAH will continue to review the changes
and respond on behalf of our members who may be engaged in loading at their place of residence.
licenses are issued for a period of 5 years. And will expire upon your birthday. Notice should be received 60 days prior, therefore if no notice is received, contact the C.F.C. Once you receive notice do
not procrastinate. Complete the forms and sent them in. Again if the POL or PAL has expired you are in violation. You also
run the risk of registration certificates becoming null and void. If you have a POL and it expires you cannot get it back
and must obtain a PAL by either completing the course or by challenging the test.
in Ontario have taught a total of 807 courses and 9,119
new students in 2005. Again a very successful year with an average of approximately 10,000 new hunters. Of the 9,000 18% or
1600 students were young apprentice hunters. This is a promising sight that young people are becoming involved in the outdoors.
Education Program for 2006
The new course
criteria will be implemented January this year. Major changes are as follows
- All firearms training will be done by the C.F.S.C. and test
- H1 and H2 license
allows hunting with firearms, archery and falconry. The training required is C.F.S.C. and hunter education
allows hunting with falconry and archery only. Training required is 2.5 hrs of firearms training and hunter education training
of 10 hours.
- Practical firearms handling test is no longer required in hunter education and instructors
will now administer hunter education theory test at the end of their own course.
With the new
licensing arrangement the OFAH is still in the position that 1.5 hours of archery training is not sufficient in the H1 or
H2 classification and will continue to pursue the MNR to expand this section in the future. With the increased popularity
of archery and increased technology in archery equipment, the need for increased education is necessary, especially in the
discipline of archery hunting.
Yours in Conservation