SUMMERSIDE, PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND — In an effort to boost hunter recruitment, Prince Edward Island is waiving the provincial fees to take a required hunter’s safety course. In addition, licenses for first-time hunters will be free.
Hon. Richard Brown, minister of land, communities and environment for Prince Edward Island made the announcement on August 18 at a Delta Waterfowl chapter fundraising event in Summerside.
“We have listened to the feedback from groups such as yours about the barriers people face to becoming a hunter,” Brown told the members of the PEI Chapter of Delta Waterfowl. “Of course, this (waiving fees) is only one small part of recruiting and retaining hunters to continue this important Island tradition. But it is something that we can control and can take action on now.”
Hunter’s safety course fees in PEI normally run $29.95, while hunting licenses for adults are $5 for game hunting and $5 for furbearer hunting. A $20 Wildlife Conservation Fund license is also required of hunters. Accounting for issuing fees, a first-time adult hunter would save nearly $70.
Dr. Scott Petrie, chief executive officer of Delta Waterfowl, attended the event to support the initiative, as well as the conservation work of Delta’s dedicated PEI chapter volunteers and members.
“The Maritimes provinces have healthy waterfowl populations which provide ample hunting opportunities,” Petrie said. “Despite that, we’ve seen hunter numbers decline in recent decades. The continued strong efforts of Delta’s local chapter volunteers to introduce new hunters is key to increasing waterfowl hunting participation. We applaud the province of PEI for making this bold and beneficial decision.”
Delta Waterfowl works tirelessly throughout North America to recruit and retain waterfowl hunters. Delta initiated the organization’s First Hunt program in 2000, and it has since become the continent’s largest waterfowl hunter recruitment program.
“Eliminating the cost for youth and first-time hunters on PEI will encourage more islanders to give hunting a try,” said Jim Fisher, director of conservation policy for Delta Waterfowl. “Delta chapters and volunteers are keen to bring more hunters into our ranks, and this will make it easier to do so. PEI is setting a precedent for other jurisdictions to follow.”
For more information, contact Jim Fisher, director of conservation policy, at (204) 956-7766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delta Waterfowl Foundation is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and ensure the tradition of duck hunting in North America.