Duck Hunting Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This came from the Delta Site.

The Future of Waterfowling
Home > Waterfowling > The Future of Waterfowling >

PART III - THE FUTURE OF DUCK HUNTING
Interviews with Delta Waterfowl Foundation and Ducks Unlimited Canada

By Bob Bailey

In the following interviews, Delta Waterfowl Foundation and DU Canada were asked questions in three categories. The first is their general comments on the waterfowl hunter decline, the second included questions about how the loss of waterfowl hunters impacts their business and interests, and the third is what, if anything, is their organization prepared to do about the situation?
Delta Waterfowl Foundation

Editor's comment: Jonathan Scarth is the President of the Delta Waterfowl Foundation.

"The Delta Waterfowl Foundation began as one duck hunter's vision to put back more ducks than he took from the Delta Marsh" says Jonathan Scarth. "For over 50 years, Delta has provided research to improve waterfowl management, trained young biologists and communicated new knowledge". But Jonathan Scarth says that "without waterfowl hunting, there is no reason for Delta to exist".

Scarth is alarmed at the decline because "Delta recognizes the connection between hunters and wise management, and the passion that is uniquely expressed by hunters for conservation. For this reason, the foundation adopted a strategic objective to help Canada build its waterfowl hunting and conservation legacy, in Delta's official plan". Scarth believes "hunters raise the habitat conservation bar by their requirement for abundant wildlife on the landscape".

With the possibility that no one under the age of 35 may purchase a duck hunting permit in 5 years, Scarth says "it is now essential to give waterfowl hunting a top priority and Delta has zeroed in on the need to ensure the future of hunting". "Given the passion waterfowl hunters have", Scarth says he is "optimistic that the trend in hunter numbers can be reversed". Delta will develop a strong advocacy presence in Ottawa and across Canada, to support waterfowl hunters. Scarth points to Delta's successful lobbying, which resulted in the Youth Waterfowler Heritage Day launched in Manitoba last fall, as an example of what can be achieved for hunting. He says "the 17 new, young hunters that resulted from the special program at Delta, is an indication of the Foundation's commitment to the future of waterfowl hunting".

Scarth says "supporting hunting is not a choice, but an obligation for the Delta Waterfowl Foundation. Just as hunters feel they need to give back to nature for what they have taken, Delta should give back to hunters for the support they have received over the past 50 years".

Ducks Unlimited Canada

Editor's Comment: Rod Fowler is the Executive Vice President of Ducks Unlimited Canada. For more on Ducks Unlimited Canada, visit the DUC website at www.ducks.ca.

Rod Fowler says "Ducks Unlimited has been aware of a sharp decline in waterfowl hunter numbers for several years. However, if there has been an impact on Ducks Unlimited Canada, it is not noticeable. Memberships and volunteer numbers continue to grow. As waterfowl hunter numbers drop in the organization, the gap has been filled by people who did hunt, but no longer do so, and by people who have never hunted, but do not object to hunting".

Fowler says "DU recognizes the role of the hunter in habitat conservation, but adds that the fear of losing the passion and enthusiasm for conservation as non-hunters become more prevalent in the organization, has not materialized. Ducks Unlimited plays a role in bringing together hunters and non-hunters in habitat conservation".

Ducks Unlimited Canada's support for hunting as a legitimate and acceptable use of a renewable resource was confirmed in a recent Board of Directors meeting. This support will include acknowledging the contributions of hunters to conservation.

Fowler says, "Ducks Unlimited is a habitat conservation organization. Ducks Unlimited will not serve as an advocate for waterfowl hunting. DU may consider including youth waterfowl hunting skills and ethics training in its education plan, or may look to cooperating with other groups who are better positioned to deliver hunter education".

Looking Ahead

It is not too late for waterfowl hunters to act. But to act, hunters need leadership with clarity, commitment to hunting, corporate focus and a new set of professional skills including strategic marketing, communications and advocacy, to add to their traditional conservation tools. Above all, there is a need to fully recognize the threats to waterfowl hunting and the conservation legacy that hunters have established through their continent-wide efforts.

For the individual duck hunter, there is so much more at stake than organizational positioning and conservation blabber. As I ponder a lifetime committed to conservation, I realize that much of my passion for ducks and wetlands has come through the trigger. From a thirteen year-old's first blue-winged teal, to an old man's final mallard last December, it is the hunt that has made me part of nature's design for these birds.

I wonder what the spring flights of bluebills will look like if I cannot imagine their wavering lines turning to the call and slicing over the decoys? And what of the passion that fires conservation, can this spirit really find life in any other form? Experiences, memories, connections, values, reach deeper and deeper. More than a sport, richer than passion, stretching back beyond legacy or tradition, waterfowl hunting is the human condition, it is who we are, anchored in eternity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,949 Posts
did i miss something? everyone currently under the age of 30 is suddenly going to stop duck hunting?

The decline of hunters as a singular voice in our society is certainly a concern. as time goes on and populations increase disproportionately to the ammount of "new" hunters, we will certainly face challenges in keeping our sport alive.

However, it is a general rule of mine to not give too much weight to organizations, ANY organizations, that tend to grandstand and sensationalize skewed statistics in hopes to scare people into becoming members or donating money.

tsk tsk Delta and DU..i would expect this from the NRA, but not you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think what he is saying is that due to the regs brought in by our Liberal Friends in Ottawa there are very few Canadian young people taking up the sport of hunting and out of that small number is an even smaller number getting into waterfowl hunting. For a person to start out from point zero to being able to posses a firearm and hunt here in the Great White North you must first take the Firearms handling course at ( this is from when my oldest boy took it 4yrs ago) $30. then the hunter safety course at $20. then apply for your firearms aquisition permit good for a 5 yr period which cost $60. then if the person is under the age of majority (18) he cannot own his/her own gun and has to have a permit to carry one obtained at no cost from the fireams officer of the province. So I think he has stated a very valid concern for here in Canada.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,949 Posts
Greg,

i am not arguing with you on the importance of the issue. this does bring up a good point that all hunter should be concerned with. additionally, i can't speak on what is happening in Canada as i don't hunt there or live there. i do know that your regulations are much more stringent than ours and i am sure that hunters there need to be that much more vigilent to ensure the continuation of their sport/lifestyle.

i recently had a discussion with some other hunters in the area, you know..the usual off season doom and gloom stuff. cut back hunting seasons, lower bag limits, more license fees, reduced public access, and the list goes on and on. this exact point was brought up and the person was citing some DU/Delta statistics that showed the "decline in hunters".

the statistic they used was a representation of the number of hunters as a percentage of the total population. and, as a percentage of the entire population, yes...we are declining.

example:

according to the US Census Bureau there are approximately 295,701,960 in the US today. let's say that 10% of them are hunters. ok, so you have 29,570,196 hunters in the US as of today. (just an example..i don't know what the actual percentage is.)

let's say that in 5 years the population has increased to 437,500,000 and the number of hunters have increased to 35,000,000. that would be 8% of the total population. DOWN 2% in 5 years eventhough there are actually 6 million more hunters in that 5 year span..more than a million a year.

these reports show that there was a 2% decline in hunters over that 5 years (eventhough there were actually 6 million more hunters) and use that to try to scare people into joining or donating money.

however..anyone that hunts public land can tell you that there are certainly no less hunters around. in fact, hunting areas get more crowded every year as the number of hunters grow. additionally, more and more companys are sprininging up..call makers, decoy makers, gun makers, boat makers, and more are all expanding their product lines to meet a growing demand. hardly a "dying tradition".

my only issue with this was that very worthwhile and respectable organizations stoop to grandstanding and sensationalizing these statistics in order to keep the attention focused on them during the lean months between seasons when interest and participation is at it's lowest.

so, YES..be aware that we need to stand up for our rights.

YES, get involved with organizations that are hunter rights and conservation oriented.

YES, Delta and DU are great protectors of habitat and hunting as a sport.

YES, do whatever you can to help the youth get involved in this sport.

-Ed
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
That article is at least 4 years old. The Delta Youth hunts have since expanded across Manitoba, this past fall there were 7 locations and over 200 youth took part!! :thumbsup: I've been running one of the Youth Hunts in Netley Marsh and every year we take out about 25 kids.

Rod Fowler has since past away. :thumbsdown:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Chris & Ed I did not post this saying jump on the band wagon and join up now before its too late because the sky is falling as did chicken little, what I did say is that it was worth reading I did not know as Chris pointed out that it was an artical that is possibly 4 yrs old but there are many articals and books by varying authors on many subjects that just because they are old has not made them no longer worth reading. One such artical is the Constitution of The United States Of America which seems to be reviewed quite regularly. I do not want you to think that I am upset because I'm not I just wanted to clairify what this post was about and that is to inform people of the stance and the statistics given by Delta and DU and to take from it what they will because these people who visit this site are not mindless ninnies, as some seem to think, but are capable of thought, comprehenion, and have the ability to make up their own minds on how valid or invalid this artical is. And thank you both for your input and for taking the time to reply.

Thanks, GW
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,108 Posts
Hey Chris, glad to see you here. :welcome:

As for the youth programs, it is a start, but one need to do 10 times that amount to have a lasting effect. MB lost about 1/2 of its adult waterfowl hunters in 10 to 15 years time I recall reading last year. :eek: The question is why is Mb loosing so many adult hunters., sure some are getting too old to hunt and the youth are not being brought up hunting like they used too, but I think that is only part of why there are such losses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
it is a start, but one need to do 10 times that amount to have a lasting effect.
Give us a couple years and we'll see what we can do. Delta has just hired a Canadian Youth Hunt Director, these youth are no longer just a Manitoba thing, there is even starting up in Fargo for next year. We hope that by next fall there will be even more youth hunts around Canada and the US.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,760 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Chris are these youth hunts the same as or similar to the Heritage Day hunts right accross the country or is it something new?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,949 Posts
do you have a special season for your youth hunts? we have a saturday and sunday set aside about 2 weeks prior to the general opener specifically for that. of course, it still counts into our total allowable hunting days.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top