Hunting cow-birds and riding ATVs in Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park – what next?

I’d be embarrassed to be a hunter today.

It seems the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters are pushing to make changes to the hunting regulations in the new provincial park by expanding the species to be hunted to include snapping turtles, crows, cowbirds, grackles, groundhogs, porcupines, skunks, foxes and other non-game animals. Why? It’s obvious – to allow ATVs to be used year round in the park.

At this point hunters can use ATVs in the park during hunting season. So, by expanding the species it would allow all-year use of the machines.

Just so you know, I am not an over-enthused activist trying to rid ATVs from the world. Yes, I prefer the canoe. But I also know many conservation-minded people who use ATVs. But those individuals are also embarrassed to be hunters today. Why? Because the response that chief biologist, Terry Quinney, stated in the media yesterday for expanding the list was not to extend ATV use but…”many of the species on the list have been problems, especially to farmers, and the OFAH are helping to control these species.”

That’s utter bull shit! Even my four-year old daughter can see that. How self-centered can one be —really.

Don’t let this group get there way. Please. Parks should be for the protection of delicate ecosystems, not places to ride around in ATVs and shoot cow-birds and grackles all year round.

And if you’re mad at me for stating this point and you think I’m not being fair to ATVs out there — then you’re the person I saw last weekend driving into a secluded bass lake in the Kawathas that took me half-a-day’s paddle, then catch nine bass from 3-5 pounds, then put them in a bucket to take home (while I caught and released the larger fish and kept two small fish for shore lunch). If you’re not mad, then you’re an ATV user that truly believes in conservation.
Please write or email asap. The deadline for comments is December 8, 2008. Reference EBR #010-4911. Send your comments to:

The EBR website has an automated button that lets you email easily.