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Waterfowl Hunting in Canada - Almost Gone ??

10635 Views 15 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  GooseBuster3
I read an interesting article in one of the February hunting magazines. The number of waterfowl hunters in Canada is down about 40%. In Manitoba the number of resident Manitoban hunters has plummeted from over 45,000 to less than 20,000.

The article listed lack of youth hunters, elimination of lead shot (issues with gun barrel damage), and the new gun registration laws in Canada as reasons for the loss in hunter numbers.
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Another article has pointed out that people from the Canadian "city" provinces that have influenced gun ownership laws may now go after waterfowl hunting.

Spring bear hunting in Ontario was banned a couple of years ago.

Apparently the Canadian version of PETA wants to stop all waterfowl hunting due to crippling of birds. The push is on a national level. As the total number of waterfowl hunters in Canada plummet, the chances that a law like this could pass improves.

The article also said if they are successful in Canada, they would start going after states like California since the hunter to non hunter ratio is in their favor.
My sons and I have been hunting Canada for snow geese for three years. That's not a lot of time but I'd say there are more hunters every year. Most are after the snow and canada geese.

I think many of the hunters that headed to Canada were going there for the duck hunting. It's so dry there that the ducks are shifting to other areas, like ND. Could be one of the reasons there are more hunters coming to ND in the last 3-4 years.
I read a similar article recently about the future of Canada's hunting. It's hard to believe how much support there is against hunting up there.

The reasons like mentioned, is the fact that there are few hunters, and that the urban population is unbelievably large(can't remember % off hand).

Here's an interesting note. Should large organizations that support hunters(like DU or Delta for instance), lobby against this for the hunters? I'm sure the NRA is doing their part, but someone needs to come forth with true biology facts to present to those hearings.

I believe it's truly important that US hunters support our northern neighbors. If Canada waterfowling was banned...that would give PETA a huge shift in resources against us in the future.

I think there was an article pertaining to part of this in the recent Dakota Country. If you skimmed past it, I'd look it up again. I think it was Nelson's.
Yes, it is true the number of Canadians hunting is way down in the last 15 years. (Fortunately, they are just making way for more Americans to enter the country to hunt.)But, I don't believe that Canada is going to shut down hunting. How could a country founded on the exploration of the Hudson Bay Company connected trappers and hunters close down hunting?

Also, some of the same economic issues are present as in the North Dakota non-resident debate. There are some economic benefits to a lot of Canadian small towns who host hunters in the fall.

Finally, I remember the remark made by a youngster in Boissevain a couple of years ago. The person said, "Boy, I just love it in the fall when the hunters come to town. This place finally has some life for a few weeks."

I realize that the folks in Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto could roll right over the wishes of the folks in Boissevain, Deloraine, and Wadena, Saskatchewan. But, why should they alienate those folks any further? The anti-hunters are already winning the battle without outlawing hunting. Numbers of resident hunters are already declining. Maybe it has more to do with the exchange rate and the price of shells for a Canadian kid to go out and pop a few mallards.
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Here are the numbers ducumented in Field and Stream magazine (Feb 02).

All Canadian waterfowl hunters:
1978 : 524,926
2002 : 197,584

Manitoba waterfowl hunters:
1978 : 46,050
2002 : 11,051

I believe that Chris is correct, the anti-hunting movement story was is Dakota Country.

I honestly believe that waterfowl hunting could be in jeapordy in Canada. Toronto and the rest of the east side of Canada could probably care less is they offended the agricultural west.

Again, spring bear hunting is already banned in Ontario. Mountain lion hunting has been stopped in California.

The "PETA" groups attack fringe segments in hunting because over all apathy to these segments may wane. Hunting bears over bait will likely become an issue in Canada and/or Minnesota in the next few years.

Colorado and/or Montana may have already banned bear baiting.

Read the MPSL Tribune. Fox hunting with hounds and horses will be banned in Scotland even though it accounts for less than 10% of the fox harvest.

They slowly chip away and win small battles. Hunters often disagree themselves on the ethics of some types of hunting.

I have a tough time with some of the NRA stances on some issues, BUT I remember their philosophy of protecting all gun rights (even the issues on the fringe).

The Canadians gun owners lacked the ability to stop the gun registration, mandatory gun lockers, gun entry fees for Americans, etc... Canadain hunters may lack any organization to fight this anti waterfowl hunting battle either.

Make no assumptions in politics.
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Just look at how leftist Canada has become. They have made it real tough to own a gun and they have a strong animal rights movement. I hope something up there changes but from how it looks now...well, it isn't good.
It kinda makes me feel bad (or I should say confused) about raising my children the way I do. I am introducing them to all of these outdoor things that I love and am also teaching them respect for others, responsibility, ect. ect.

It SUCKS that they will have a much harder time in the future standing up for these things that we hold so dear.

It seems most of the world these days only thinks of "Me" and does not care if others are losing freedoms just so long as it does not directly effect them!!!

I hate to think of what the future holds for all the young folks.

On a brighter note - I sure enjoy seeing the positive conversations that take place here and listening to people working TOGETHER on these issues. There is hope!!!

Dr. Bob

[ This Message was edited by: Dr. Bob on 2002-03-21 16:42 ]
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I've been thinking about a trip to Canada for several years. The SOB's just don't come here like they used to.

Someone needs to spread the word to Non residents that think a combo SOB & duck hunt in ND is a good deal - Well Forget It. If any do make it here, they are so persued, by so many, it is terrible. Any refuges holding any are so leased up by guides & outfitters, It is aweful!!! I have all but quit hunting them - The one time I did last fall, turned into a hassle.

I want to go up into Canada & see what the hold up is ??? From Devils Lake where is the biggest concentration of SOB's to the north been ??? Where a person can get permission to hunt them for a week ??? Mostly will be a scouting trip. But may hunt a few, if it is do-able ???

I have killed so many in the oldin days :grin: when it was FUN in ND - I know there is some good shoots later, as they do move thru.(I'm too broke & tired by then) But I want to see em at their peak build up & find em feeding all over, like it once was here ??? What does it cost to go over the border for a few days ??? How do they sell licenses ??? By the week or season ??? Has the drought up there put them in a more concentrated areas ??? Are Farmers / Landowners as hard to locate as here ???

These last 3 or 4 years with all the talk of the huge amounts of SOB's (& hype on thinning them out) - I have been more disappointed each year in ND.

How about also seeing some specks too ??? (would'nt mind a mature speck)

I suppose Barney would want a good Casino nearby too :wink:

[ This Message was edited by: Fetch on 2002-03-23 08:15 ]
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I still hunt geese in ND, mainly Canada geese and SOBs maybe in late fall. Pass shooting SOBs in storms is really the only way to be effective.

Goose Hunting in Canada is fantastic. That is where all NR goose hunters should go. Birds decoy.

Fetch: Many hard core ND goose hunters now head to Sask. or Manitoba.

Western Sask. is the place for Specks, Ross, and small Canada geese. The area around Swift Current is the main area for excellent hunting. This is the area that is most effected by drought. The geese flock on the river and any larger slough. The sloughs have all dried up concentrating the birds on the river. This is by far the best place in North America to shoot good numbers of whitefronted geese. Further north is an area around N. Battleford (often discussed in another Duck Forum - Fetch you know the one).

Specks fly low, they get up before sunrise, and tend to decoy better. Best goose for a decoy hunter to pursue.

Eastern Sask has many more SOBs. Quill Lakes, Wadena, etc and south are the main hunting areas.

Manitoba is mostly SOB and Canada geese. One main Canada goose area is just north of Winnipeg. The SOBs tend to fly down the westside and center of the province. Lots of good towns to hunt from. Again many SOBs stage withing 100 miles of the ND border.

Manitoba like ND is still relatively wet.

Getting your gun across may be the toughest part of the deal.

Canada farmers typically hate waterfowl. At one time (many still do) Canadian farmers would always swath their grain crops and leave in the field to dry before combining. The ducks and geese could ruin a farmer's field in a day.

In ND most small grains are harvested in August and September - before the hunting season begins.

In Sask & Manitoba the grain harvest is in September - during the early hunting season.

I have heard of some Canada farmers only allowing hunters into swathed fields. The fully harvested field posed little financial danger to the farmer - if the birds found them - let them be.
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In canada, if the birds get into a field and eat it out, the gov't will reimberse them for the predicted yield. I have never hunted up there that early, but from what I hear if there gets to be massive concentrations in a swathed field, they will post it so the birds will eat it out and they will get reimbersed. Fetch, if you are after just the snows, just go to any town about an hour north of the border that has a lake near it. If you are looking for spots e-mail me. I don't want to post any specifics online.
Fetch...I agree with both Decoyer and Prarie Hunter.Their info is good.I have hunted in both Man. and Sask.If you want a chance at specks you will have to go to Sask.
Including the Federal stamp it will cost about $140 Canadian money in either place.Plus a $50 gun fee at the border.You will have to register your guns.I took the Canadian firearms safety class last year so I just show my licence and it doesn't cost anything at the border.I also don't have to register my guns.
The spring bear hunt in Ontario may be back as early as this spring. There is an election tomorrow, March,23, for the leadership position in the PC party. The guy who is ahead in all the polls (having a brain fart, can't remember his name) promises us that if he is elected he will have the hunt reinstated for this spring. I am keeping my fingers crossed, and realizing that he is still a politician and can't be trusted. If the hunt comes back it will be a huge victory for the hunting community in Canada and a major setback for the antis. Since the cancellation of the hunt more than 180 outfitters have gone out of business in Ontario.

Ken, I am almost positive that as of January 1, 2003 you will have to have to register any guns that you bring into Canada, PAL or no PAL. I think you have a one time chance to register as many guns as you want, before January 1st, with no charge. After that I believe it will be a $25 fee per gun. Basically its just another fund raiser for the govt.
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Dan...I have only used it once this past fall.I had not heard that guns will have to be registered in 2003.I only live 12 miles from the Man. border.The next time I go across I will ask border people about that.
Registration will be required after 01/01/03, it is free now but will cost $$ after 01-03. All you have to do is go to the Canadian Firearms website and you can register online if you have a PAL. Very easy. Maybe I am ignorant in taking this in stride, not like my Remington is a collectors item or something I need to keep a secret. If that is what it takes to hunt Canada I say its a small price to pay. With all the NR crap I see with ND I say Canada looks better all the time. And maybe this gun law stuff is a blessing in discise, holding off the floodtide of hunters looking for great shooting without the crowds.
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