New Hunting Opportunities

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The Ontario government is improving wild turkey hunting opportunities by extending hunting hours to a full day as part of a sustainable wildlife management program, announced Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay.

"The popularity of wild turkey hunting continues to grow in Ontario," said Ramsay. "By extending turkey hunting hours to a full day we're giving hunters more convenience and flexibility and contributing to the success of a sustainable recreational hunt."

Starting in April 2005, wild turkey hunting may take place from half an hour before sunrise to 7 p.m. Hunters will also have until noon the day following a successful hunt to register their birds, rather than the same day. Previously, hunters could only hunt wild turkey from half an hour before sunrise until noon.

Ontario joins other provinces and U.S. states in offering full-day turkey hunting. The decision follows a posting on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry in August 2004.

Once common in parts of southern Ontario, the wild turkey was wiped out here in the early 1900s, primarily due to habitat loss. In 1984, a reintroduction program was started and has been hugely successful, with the population estimated at 50,000.