NATION VALLEY — South Nation Conservation (SNC) has again partnered with Delta Waterfowl to deliver the First Hunt Program to over a dozen local youth from across SNC’s jurisdiction in Eastern Ontario, teaching about the importance of developing sustainable hunting skills while under the direct supervision of qualified mentors.
Delta Waterfowl’s First Hunt Program is a beginner’s waterfowl hunting course delivered to youth between the ages of 12 and 15 across North America. SNC has partnered on the program since 2007.
Training is offered over 3 weeks; youth participate in the Canadian Firearms Safety Course, the Ontario Hunter Education Course, and sit through presentations from local trappers and Conservation Officers prior to their first hunting experience alongside mentors.
Registration is free, and all costs including meals, training, and manuals are covered by the organizers. Interested local youth are required to write a letter about why they should be chosen to participate.
“It’s designed to provide young hunters with the knowledge needed to practice safe and ethical hunting,” said Mentor Philip Duncan, SNC’s Property and Approvals Assistant, and member of the South Nation Chapter. “We’re training the conservationists of tomorrow to respect personal safety, wildlife, habitat, and private property.”
As this year’s hunting season fast approaches, SNC reminds residents that a permit is required to hunt on its 8,500 acres of forested lands. Revenue collected from hunting permits offsets the cost of the Conservation Authority’s hunting and outreach initiatives, including the First Hunt Program.
Hunting is not permitted in SNC’s Conservation Areas where a managed trail system exists. Residents are advised to keep themselves and their pets safe outdoors by wearing high visibility clothing.
Hunters are also being asked to provide harvest samples to designated depots to allow the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to test for Chronic Wasting Disease. This fatal brain disease affects white-tailed deer, moose, elk, and caribou and poses a threat to Ontario’s deer population.
So far, there are no reported cases of Chronic Wasting Disease in Ontario, though it has been found in neighbouring US states and Canadian provinces, including Québec. More information can be found at www.ontario.ca/page/chronic-wasting-disease.
A permit to hunt on SNC’s forested lands can be obtained here: www.nation.on.ca/recreation/hunting.