Deer Hunt Expanded; New Proposals for Bear and Wild Turkey

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The Ontario government is increasing hunting opportunities across the province as part of a sustainable wildlife management program, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced.

"As a long-time resident of the north, I know how important hunting is to the local economy," said Ramsay. "By providing more hunting opportunities, we will contribute to strong, prosperous communities through sustainable resource management."

Regulation changes are now in place that will allow for additional deer hunting in many parts of Ontario this fall. During the past decade, deer numbers have increased across Ontario due to relatively mild winters and abundant food supplies.

The ministry is also proposing to extend the fall bear hunt in parts of Northern Ontario to provide a consistent closing date across the north, and allow resident hunters a second bear seal in areas where there are no sustainability concerns. Non-residents would be eligible next year for second seals. The population will continue to be monitored, and decisions on where to issue second seals would be made on a year-to-year basis.

In addition, the ministry is proposing to expand the legal hours of wild turkey hunting to a full day, meaning from half an hour before sunrise to half an hour after sunset, starting in the 2005 wild turkey season. Wild turkey populations continue to grow in Ontario and are currently able to support additional hunting. MNR will continue to monitor for sustainability.

Additional information on the proposed changes to the fall bear hunt and the wild turkey hunt is available on the Environmental Bill of Rights (EBR) registry for 30 days for public comment. Visit www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/env_reg/ebr/english/index.htm and enter EBR Registry Number RB04E3002 for the bear proposal or RB04E6006 for the wild turkey proposal.