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New night hunting regs don’t go far enough, says MWF

Night moves

Manitoba Wildlife Federation wants a tougher line on night hunting

A new bill drafted in part to regulate night hunting doesn’t go far enough to protect both hunters and wildlife, says the Manitoba Wildlife Federation’s executive director, Brian Kotak. Introduced in the Manitoba legislature on May 16, Bill 29 clearly defines night hunting and regulates where and how it can be practised in the province.

In southern Manitoba, night hunting will generally be prohibited, but Indigenous people will still be able to hunt at night if they have a permit and hunt in an area approved by the Department of Sustainable Development. Those areas have yet to be designated, but Kotak believes they will be insignificant given the need to protect the likes of roadways, homes and farms from errant gunfire. In the north of the province, meanwhile, Indigenous people will still be allowed to hunt at night, as long as they’re not near roadways or buildings.

While Kotak says he understands why the province left the door open to night hunting under certain conditions, the MWF still believes in a complete ban. “There’s no safe place to do night hunting,” he says. “Even out in the boreal forest where there’s nobody around, we’ve had instances where Indigenous hunters have been killed.”

Ban all hunting at night, MWF says

Bill 29 also includes measures enabling the province to find a way to improve access for Indigenous hunters wanting to hunt on private land during the day. That includes encouraging relationships between Indigenous people and private landowners, especially in southern Manitoba, where there’s so much private land that access for Indigenous people has greatly declined.

As well, the bill outlines membership criteria for proposed shared-management committees that would make recommendations to the minister about wildlife regulations and policy. Says Kotak: “It will give hunters and other interested stakeholders a much greater say in how wildlife is managed.”

Learn more about the MWF’s programs and positions at www.mwf.mb.ca.

Bob Sexton

Bob Sexton

Growing up in Gander, Newfoundland, and Peterborough, Ontario, Outdoor Canada's managing editor Bob Sexton jumped at every chance to wet a line and head afield. After spending half of the 1990s working as a tour guide in Latin America, he completed a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University in 2001 and was hired on as Outdoor Canada's assistant editor. Since joining the magazine, he has won two Outdoor Writers of Canada awards, in 2008 and 2011, and contributed to numerous National Magazine Award winning or nominated stories. Sexton is the past president of the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors.

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