Remember to practice safe hunting during this year’s deer season

MANITOULIN—With thousands of hunters about to descend upon Manitoulin in search of that trophy deer, The Expositor would like to wish all hunters a safe and successful hunt while reminding those participants about some of the Ministry of Natural Resources’ rules and regulations when hunting on Manitoulin.

Rifle season begins this coming Monday, November 19 one hour after sunrise and ends on Sunday one hour before sunset. Hunters are also reminded that all of Manitoulin is private property or First Nations lands and anyone not hunting on property that is theirs must be able to produce paperwork indicating that they have been granted the right to hunt there by the owner.

Hunters can expect a sunny deer season, according to the long range forecast for Manitoulin, with temperatures ranging from 6°C to 4°C during the day.

A controlled deer hunt validation tag must be carried by the recipient at all times while hunting in a controlled hunt.

If you have killed a deer while hunting alone you must immediately, after the kill and at the kill site, securely attach the game seal to the animal in the manner described on the instruction panel attached to the seal. The seal must remain attached while transporting the carcass.

If your party is hunting for deer, the member whose game seal is to be used and whose licence has been validated for the type that has been killed must, immediately after the kill and at the kill site, securely attach the game seal to the animal in the manner described on the instruction panel attached to the seal.

A person who seals a deer must notch out the month, day and time of the kill on the game seal.

In order to prevent the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease, products that contain bodily fluids (urine, gland oil, feces, saliva, etc.) of a member of the deer family (including deer, moose, and elk) are not permitted to be possessed or used for the purposes of hunting in Ontario. Hunters are allowed to possess and use artificial or plant-based products that can attract wildlife or be used as a cover scent.

The MNR reminds hunters that hunting carelessly is an offence. Hunters who handle or discharge firearms without due care and attention or consideration for persons and property are liable to a fine of up to $25,000 or imprisonment for up to two years—or both. Depending on the circumstances, a person may also be subject to charges under the Criminal Code.

Any injury caused by the discharge of a firearm while the firearm is possessed for the purpose of hunting or trapping and which results in treatment by a physician must be reported to a conservation officer.

A hunter orange garment and head cover must be worn and must cover a minimum of 400 square inches above the waist and be visible from all sides. Open mesh or camouflage hunter orange must not be part of the 400 square inches. A hunting coat or vest generally meets this requirement. The hunter orange head cover may have: open mesh; a peak or brim colour other than hunter orange, and a crest or logo which does not completely cover the hunter orange on the side where it is affixed. The head cover must not contain camouflage material.

Tips for hanging and cooling deer carcasses:

• Game carcasses should be cooled as soon as possible to a temperature not exceeding 70°C;

• Hang meat in a place that is cool and dry with good air circulation;

• Remove areas of blood clots or tissue damage with a clean knife;

• Use pepper and cheesecloth on carcass to deter insects in warmer weather;

• If you are not processing your own meat, make butchering arrangements before your hunt; and

• If weather turns warm, inspect the carcass and take it to a butcher immediately if you cannot keep it cool.

This year, there will be two separate “buck and doe” competitions on Manitoulin. A new one is organized this year by the Wikwemikong Tourism Department and its weigh-ins take place from 6-9 pm at the Rainbow Ridge Golf Course in Assiginack. Entry forms are available for $25 each at the golf course. Hunters can call 705-859-3477 for details.

Bridal Veil Esso’s long-running buck and doe contest continues again this year with weigh-ins taking place at Bridal Veil Esso in Kagawong daily until the store closes at 9 pm. Entries are $10 per person or $50 for a group of 10 hunters. Entry tickets can be purchased before the hunt begins from Bridal Veil Esso, or if someone is not arriving until mid-week to hunt, they can call in advance to 705-282-2593 to register and then drop by Bridal Veil Esso to pay for their entry.

If hunters, or any residents of Manitoulin, are aware of a hunting offence having taken place, be sure to report the incident the MNR by calling 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667). If the matter pertains to public safety, phone 9-1-1.