The Duck Hunters Organization seeks to curb negative impacts of COVID-19 on waterfowl conservation in Canada
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA — Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, no U.S. recreational travelers have been permitted to cross the border into Canada since mid-March of this year. One result that hits especially close to home for Delta Waterfowl members is non-resident hunters were not allowed into Canada for the spring or fall hunting seasons.
“Sales of hunting licenses and Canadian duck stamps provide critically important funding for waterfowl conservation,” said Jim Fisher, Delta’s senior director of Canadian conservation and hunting policy. “The lost revenue from sales of duck stamps to non-residents who weren’t allowed to hunt this year is going to hurt.”
In 2019, Canada had slightly more than 180,000 total waterfowl hunters, which included 19,000 non-residents. At $17 for the required Canadian Wildlife Habitat Conservation stamp and the permit supporting the Canadian Wildlife Service’s survey/monitoring work, the lost conservation revenue in 2020 from stamp and permit sales alone will approach $325,000. Collectively, when added to reduced provincial license sales and hunting-related travel/accommodations, losses will total many millions.
“Whether they hunt in Canada or not, Delta members benefit from important conservation programs north of the border,” said Delta Waterfowl CEO, Canadian and avid duck hunter, Dr. Scott Petrie. “The conservation work done in Canada impacts fall flights throughout every flyway. As The Duck Hunters Organization, Delta is proud to ask all duck hunters to take action.”
To help offset the losses for Wildlife Habitat Canada, Delta encourages every hunter — especially those who would have normally hunted in Canada this year — to purchase a Canadian duck stamp. It’s a simple, online process (https://www.permis-permits.ec.gc.ca/en/PurchaseHuntingPermit) that only takes a couple of minutes and costs just $17. You can request a physical copy of the stamp be mailed directly to you, too.
Since the inception of the Canadian Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Stamp and Print program in 1985, sales have generated more than $50 million. The funds are administered by Wildlife Habitat Canada and have supported more than 1,500 conservation projects, including Delta’s duck production and HunteR3 programs.
The loss of non-resident waterfowl hunter revenue in Canada because of COVID-19 restrictions is a further complication to conservation funding in a country experiencing severe declines in hunter numbers since the 1970s. Based on license sales, the peak of waterfowl hunting participation in Canada was in 1977, with more than 500,000 hunters. The steady decline resulted in the all-time low of total stamps sold in 2019. You can help flatten this curve and contribute directly to waterfowl conservation by purchasing the Canadian Duck Stamp today.
As in the United States, hunting license and duck stamp sales in Canada fund wildlife conservation and habitat management.
“Even if you haven’t had the chance to hunt Canada yet, please consider buying a stamp anyway,” Petrie added. “It is an inexpensive investment in the future of waterfowl hunting, no matter where you hunt.”
Delta Waterfowl is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and secure the future of waterfowl hunting in North America. deltawaterfowl.org