OFA expressed support of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC)’s proposal to establish a Sandhill Crane hunting season in Ontario. OFA members, particularly those in northern Ontario have long voiced the problem of significant crop damages caused by the growing Sandhill Crane population. OFA believes the proposed hunt must be designed to help farmers mitigate crop damage caused by Sandhill Cranes. While OFA support’s the proposed framework in principle, OFA makes several recommendations to strengthen ECCC’s framework:
- Permit farmers, experiencing crop damage caused by Sandhill Cranes, to defend their crops from Sandhill Cranes at any point during the year;
- Increase harvest limits beyond the proposed 500-1,000 Sandhill Cranes;
- Increase the proposed daily and possession bag limits;
- Implement the Sandhill Crane hunting season earlier than the proposed September 2026 date; and
- Include all Wildlife Management Units within the Northern District in the proposed hunt.