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Hoping to initiate Waterfowl Heritage Day


The following letter submitted to Environment and Conservation Minister Charlene Johnson was presented to The Pilot for publication in the Letters to the Editor section: Dear Minister, I am writing you with relation to the initiation of a Waterfowl Heritage Day in Newfoundland and Labrador and our request for your government's support for this endeavour. This will require a lowering in the legal hunting age from 16 years to 12 years in line with other hunting jurisdictions in Canada.

The following letter submitted to Environment and Conservation Minister Charlene Johnson was presented to The Pilot for publication in the Letters to the Editor section:

Dear Minister,

I am writing you with relation to the initiation of a Waterfowl Heritage Day in Newfoundland and Labrador and our request for your government's support for this endeavour. This will require a lowering in the legal hunting age from 16 years to 12 years in line with other hunting jurisdictions in Canada.

The current age restriction for hunting in Newfoundland and Labrador is an impediment to Waterfowl Heritage Day and hunting in general, as we need to involve youth at a much younger age. In other provinces the minimum age is 12 years, which allows parents/guardians with a minors permit to take the young person hunting. We are requesting that the province lower the hunting age to 12 years to allow for increased participation in hunting by young people and to allow us to successfully begin Waterford Heritage Day(s).

Waterfowl Heritage Days was a program originally started by Ducks Unlimited Canada (1998) to promote our hunting heritage, conservation, safety, ethics and knowledge to youth in Canada. Environment Canada began promoting this in 2000 and it has spread to most provinces in Canada. The program allows young hunters to gain safety training, education and a day(s) of hunting waterfowl with a licensed adult mentor prior to the start of the regular waterfowl season. Our club, with the support of Ducks Unlimited Canada, intends to initiate a Waterfowl Heritage Day for Newfoundland and Labrador in September of 2008.

Ducks Unlimited has a complete organized program and all youth will be required to complete their training for a Newfoundland Outdoor Identification Card, bird identification, and practice shooting at a licensed range with supervision prior to any hunting. The proposed hunt will involve one day of hunting by an adult mentored youth (only the youth will be hunting).

The Canadian Wildlife Service (at our club's request) is currently gazetting a change in the Migratory Bird Hunting regulations for 2008 to allow for a Waterfowl Heritage Day. We are asking for the support of the province to make the necessary changes in legislation to make Waterfowl Heritage Day successful and to allow our youth access to hunting and their cultural heritage.

On behalf of the Notre Dame Rod and Gun Club, I would like to thank you for your consideration and prompt attention to this matter. We look forward to a positive.

Yours Sincerely,

Paul Wood

President, Notre Dame Rod and Gun Club

cc. Hon. Wade Verge

Hon. Tom Rideout

Mr. Rick Wishart, Ducks Unlimited Canada

Mr. Chris Benson, Ducks unlimited Canada

Mr. Scott Gilliland, Canadian Wildlife Service

Mr. Chris Baldwin, Deptartment of Environment and Conservation

Mr. John Blake, Deptartment of Environment and Conservation

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