On the Hunt With Jonna Z!
Autumn. Fall. In my opinion, this is the prettiest time of the year. Watching the trees turn from green to all types of orange, yellow and red is a beautiful experience.
For most people in our area, autumn means the start of hunting season. I personally am not a hunter, but there are a lot people who can’t wait for hunting season. Hunting is a traditional activity that involves a lot of residents and visitors every year. With animals ranging from bear, deer and moose to wild turkey, partridge and more, there is an outdoor experience for every hunter. Before you can hunt in Ontario you must be at least 16 years old (or 15 with written parental consent), take the Ontario Hunter Education Course, take the Canadian Firearms Safety Course if your planning to use a gun to hunt, get a hunting Outdoors Card and get all required tags and seals for the game you wish to hunt. You also must carry both the hunting Outdoors Card and license tag whenever you hunt. I was interested to discover that 100% of license fees go towards protecting fish and wildlife in Ontario. 25% is used for regulation, 19% for enforcement, 20% for science, 15% for conservation, 7% for education, and 14% for licencing. There are two types of hunting in Ontario, big game, and small game. Big game hunting is used to hunt black bear, caribou, deer, elk, and moose. Small game hunting allows for hunters to hunt game birds and game mammals.
I was excited to get out there, even though I couldn’t actually harvest an animal, since I don’t have my hunter safety card or a license. I was still excited to just come along. From what I remember, I had been partridge hunting once in my life, and it was a traumatic experience. 10-year-old Jonna was not ready for that! However, living in a rural community I know a lot of kids who do enjoy hunting. They tell me there is nothing more exciting than taking that successful shot, and nothing more satisfying than taking fresh dinner home to your family!
Needless to say, I did not know anything about hunting when I went out, besides the fact that you have to wear orange clothes. Coincidentally, orange is my favourite colour. But as the day went on, I learned so much:
- Make sure you follow all laws and regulations applicable to your area
- Finding a place to hunt – make sure you are hunting within legal limits, and get allowed access if you are hunting on private property.
- Safety first – you can’t put a bullet back into a gun
- Dress for success (check out my hunter orange Nipigon hoodie – available at the Nipigon municipal office….) – make sure you have your “hunter” orange on
We spent a few hours in the bush, but no luck. Nevertheless, it was a great day outside. I have always loved being outside, although I have never really absorbed the smells and sounds of nature so intensely, it was the loudest silence I have ever heard. I’m not sure if I will ever become an actual hunter, but I enjoyed the learning experience.