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Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters takes stand AGAINST farmers

http://www.ofah.org/News/index.cfm?ID=3&A=GetDoc&DID=492

Folks, this has me about as upset as I can get. For several years now, farmers in the areas where these elk have been "reintroduced" have been forced to deal with significant damage to fences, crops, stored feed, injured livestock, untold personal and financial stresses and in some cases even threats to their own physical well-being from having to work around these animals while going about their business.
They have had no compensation, and no real help from the MNR, OFAH, or anybody involved in bringing these elk here.
These aren't wild animals people. They were penned up for months and fed hay and grain in feeders both before and after being brought to Ontario, then when they were released they immediately started looking for hay in the barnyards nearby. No surprise there. I've seen them, many of the beef cattle in these areas are more wild than the elk are. They simply have no fear of human beings.
Now, FINALLY there is something for these farmers to hope for with the proposal to set the elk up as nuisance animals in the new "omnibus" bill.

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These farmers haven't been asking for much folks. The opportunity to apply for a nuisance tag and shoot one animal in one of these pods that are causing damage would probably scare the rest enough that it would start them down the road to being "wild"life again and teach them to stay away from people. A few nuisance elk being shot in the province in a year would probably cut the damage down significantly, and it's hardly a conservation issue with the Bancroft herd growing by leaps and bounds and expanding it's territory every year (with crop damage now at least 80 km from where they were released).
Yet OFAH are using conservation as an excuse to align themselves squarely alongside the animal rights and anti-hunting people to try to deny farmers this very small opportunity. This is the ONLY reason these farmers have had so far to be optimistic that anything might be done. Why would OFAH do this? These farmers can't afford to wait any longer, their family farms will be out of business within another year or two. The only reason I can see for OFAH is because they can't stand to see anyone else get a chance to legally shoot an elk before the season is opened up for hunters in general
However, even OFAH's own staff have admitted that the elk in the Bancroft area now are domesticated to the point where hunting them wouldn't be "sporting". So what could it possibly hurt to give farmers the opportunity to shoot a very few nuisance elk and teach the elk to fear humans like they should if they're wildlife? What's more, the Bancroft elk are now so numerous they've driven the other large game species (particularly deer but also moose) almost completely out of the area, actually REDUCING hunting opportunities in these areas.

This just makes no sense people. In recent years, we've continuously heard how OFAH want to work with farmers, how they're on our side, and yet when the opportunity comes along they stab us in the back. Don't they realize how many farmers are also their members? Don't they realize how many of their members depend on the goodwill of farmers to provide them with hunting opportunities?

Don't assume this isn't your problem. These elk are expanding rapidly. If farming is going to survive in these areas, particularly the North Hastings area, farmers need at least some limited opportunity to shoot nuisance elk NOW.
I wish I was still an OFAH member. It would give me great satisfaction to cancel my membership. I have a lot of people hunting on my farm for various species. At this point, I'm seriously considering not allowing any OFAH member to hunt here until they've cancelled their memberships. Why should we put up with being stabbed in the back by a group to whom we've been a great ally? This response to something farmers need is just ridiculous.
Lets face the reality, the greenbelt effect is going all over our province
and our so called rural municapalities are urban governed
The OFAH should be a strong ally to farmers.....do they know the farmers in the Bancroft area are pissed off?

You would think that the OFAH would want to work with the local farmers and pay them to help establish the elk....

I can't imagine the costs would be that great if there are only 500 elk in that large area.

Maybe the farmer needs to import(domesticate a couple of endangered rare wolves and have them hanging around his hay fields....:)
OFAH know very well that the farmers are upset.

As for wolves, the wolves aren't really interested in the elk unless they can catch a young calf or a lame elk. There's no shortage of timberwolves in the area (since there's a hunting ban in the townships around Algonquin.....)

Thanks Roadrunner

Roadrunner said:
The OFAH should be a strong ally to farmers.....do they know the farmers in the Bancroft area are pissed off?

You would think that the OFAH would want to work with the local farmers and pay them to help establish the elk....

I can't imagine the costs would be that great if there are only 500 elk in that large area.

Maybe the farmer needs to import(domesticate a couple of endangered rare wolves and have them hanging around his hay fields....:)

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