OFAH advice to anglers and hunters during a pandemic
As anglers and hunters, we need to do our part to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe. COVID-19 will impact fishing and hunting opportunities in some areas. Here are some suggestions on what you can do to stay safe while still enjoying your hunting and fishing activities.
Reduce the Risk – Hunting and Fishing Can Wait
If you’re not feeling well, don’t go. Anyone who begins to feel unwell (fever, new cough or difficulty breathing or other COVID-related symptoms) should self-isolate immediately and follow the advice of their local public health unit. Hunting and fishing can wait until you are not putting yourself or the public at risk. Stay home.
Any Hunting and Fishing Should Be Local
Hunt and fish as local as possible. Travel must be limited to essential purposes, do not make any unessential trips or stops to and from your hunting or angling location. The government is telling people not to travel outside of their region or the province unless it is absolutely essential.
Conserve Our Healthcare Resources
Please remember any preventable accident requiring medical attention or an emergency services response, no matter how minor, will place you, healthcare workers, and/or first responders at additional risk. Our healthcare system remains under tremendous strain, and space and services may be limited. Be safe.
Stay Away from Others
Gathering indoors can only be done with members of your household (this includes ice hunts) and outdoor gathering is limited to 5 people with physical distancing. Maintain physical distancing (at least 2 metres) at all times. If areas you had planned to visit are in heavy use, making physical distancing impossible, go elsewhere.
Wear a Mask
If you’re going to be in closer contact with fellow anglers and hunters, wear a mask to keep yourself and others safe.
Be in the Know If You Decide to Go
Before you go anywhere, check on the operational status or restrictions at any land, parking area, access point, or boat launch you’re intending to use. Closures and restrictions may not be consistent across the province. Go to www.ofah.org/covid19/faq/ for more information.
Try Private Land First if Possible
While we recognize that not everyone has access to private land, if you do, try there before venturing into public areas as they may be far too busy, or in some cases, closed.
Contact your private landowner prior to the season. Ask your landowner what works best to keep everyone safe while enjoying the permission to access private land. The OFAH has an electronic landowner permission form that you can use https://www.ofah.org/fishing-hunting/hunting/