OFAH advice to anglers and hunters during a pandemic
The OFAH urges all anglers and hunters to fully cooperate and adhere to all measures to help slow the spread and protect Ontarians from COVID-19. Visit Ontario’s COVID-19 information page here and the Government of Canada’s page here to ensure that you are fully informed on the latest developments and guidelines related to COVID-19. Not abiding by these measures can come with significant fines and penalties, and can also reflect negatively on the fishing and hunting community.
As much as we all want to see fishing and hunting continue so anglers and hunters can take advantage of the physical and mental health benefits these activities bring this fall, in this public health emergency these activities can only take place within guidelines provided by public health officials. We want the outdoors community to be a part of the solution to help save lives, protect our economy, and regain some normalcy in our lives as soon as possible.
Please refer to the links provided above for more information related to the federal and provincial guidelines currently in place. You can also find contacts to your local health unit for further information here.
Advice from Anglers and Hunters to Anglers and Hunters
As anglers and hunters, we need to do our part to keep ourselves, our families and our communities safe. COVID-19 will impact fall 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 this fall.
- 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. 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 absolutely local as possible. If possible, avoid travelling long distances and don’t make any unnecessary trips or stops along the way.
- Conserve Our First Responder 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
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, consider masking up 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.
- 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/