OFAH rep cautiously optimistic Sandhill crane hunt could take place in future

A Sandhill crane struts his stuff in a farmer’s field.

ONTARIO – While there is still a lot of work to be conducted before a Sandhill crane hunt could be established in Ontario in areas like Manitoulin Island, it is certainly something that is on the table, says a representative of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH).

“We had a meeting (last week) with representatives of Canadian Wildlife Services (CWS) and discussed the possibility,” said Lauren Tonelli, resources management specialist of the OFAH, last week. “CWS indicated there is a lot of work that they will have to do internally and they would have to look at what system would be used for a proposed hunt, such as having a permit system, small scale hunt as well as to set up a monitoring and reporting system.” 

“No, we definitely don’t foresee any of this being established in the near future,” cautioned Ms. Tonelli. “But we will continue to work with CWS on this, providing any support and information they need. Yes, a Sandhill crane hunt season being established is on the table and the OFAH is strongly advocating on this issue. It is on the top of our waterfowl action advocacy.”

Ms. Tonelli, who currently lives in Iron Bridge, told The Expositor, “I can see why people on the North Shore and Manitoulin Island are advocating for a Sandhill crane hunt season. I think in the past, we’ve run into roadblocks but the conversation with CWS seems to be going forward and we will make sure we do everything we can to make sure they move forward. Farmers are definitely feeling the effects (of Sandhill cranes on their crops and farms).”

Ms. Tonelli had told The Expositor earlier this fall that there has been discussion and lobbying to explore permits being in place in the prairie provinces for a tundra swan hunt. “Enough people in the prairies are interested that a hunting season has been requested (to CWS).”

As well, Ms. Tonelli told The Expositor previously, “provinces on the east coast are asking the CWS to consider having a permanent hunt as well for murre birds. And we are pushing for a Sandhill crane permit for a hunt on a more country-wide basis. It is encouraging that in other areas, similar permits for a hunt season have been requested.”