NORTHERN ONTARIO – With more wild turkeys being sighted on Manitoulin and other neighbouring areas, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) intends to raise the issue of a possible hunt season on the Island for the birds to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).
“This is something we are going to have to discuss (a hunt season on Manitoulin) with the MNRF,” stated Roy Polsky, chair of OFAH Zone D at the group’s annual general meeting this past Saturday. While some wild turkeys have been seen in the French River area this year, John Patterson of St. Joseph’s Island said, “we are seeing lots of wild turkeys on the (St. Joe’s) Island and the hunt went well last year on the North Shore and on (St. Joe’s) Island. We are looking forward to another good season this year.”
“In Sault Ste. Marie we are seeing all kinds of wild turkeys. The numbers are way up, and if anyone wants to hunt them, they are easy to hunt there are so many around,” said Randy Fawcett.
“Manitoulin Island residents are seeing more (wild turkeys) around,” said Seija Deschenes of Manitoulin Streams Improvement Association (MSIA).
Mr. Polsky said that for Manitoulin Island, “I think the MNRF has now admitted there are wild turkeys there. I don’t know if they would be in favour of a hunt on the Island. I’ve been trying to connect with someone at (MNRF) but it is hard to talk to ministry these days unless you have a direct number to call them because they are all working at home (due to the pandemic).”
Another OFAH member noted that “Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory had a release of wild turkeys in the community about a year or so ago and the birds are moving around.”
Mr. Fawcett said he understands there have been wild turkeys sighted in the Gore Bay and Kagawong areas and another OFAH member said they have also been seen in the Providence Bay area.