We Are Hunters: We are part of the conservation community
We are part of the conservation community
Hunters were among the first environmentalists and certainly are the most successful conservationists. Our conservation story began in the late 1800's -- dark days for Ontario wildlife. When uncontrolled market hunting was decimating North America's elk, deer, moose, wood ducks, and wild turkey, it was recreational hunters who demanded laws to protect game, prohibit commercial trade in wildlife, and to impose limits and seasons.
Hunters were the first to recognize, and demand, the need for scientific wildlife management and hunting regulations for law enforcement -- and they were the first to fund these efforts -- a hunting conservation tradition that continues today.
The conservation legacy left by Ontario hunters is impressive – the full restoration of deer, moose, wood duck, and geese populations; the ongoing restoration of wild turkey, trumpeter swans, and elk.
Picture a crowd of 450,000 -- the largest crowd the Rolling Stones ever played to -- the largest concert ever in North America. That's how many hunters there are in Ontario.
When almost everyone else still thought wetlands were just wastelands, hunters were busy creating and enhancing over 2 million acres of waterfowl habitat in North America. Proceeds from North American duck hunters have purchased more than 20,000 sq km (5 million acres) of wildlife habitat. Between 1984 and 1999, Canadian hunters invested over $335 million in wildlife habitat conservation.
Today, much of Ontario's biodiversity depends on private land stewardship. Recreational hunting gives landowners a powerful reason to enhance and protect wildlife habitat. Ontario's hunt camps protect an estimated 1 million acres of privately owned woodland and wetland.
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