Last year, Manitoba lowered its age requirement for hunting from 12 to 10 years old. As a result, 10-year-olds took part in Delta Waterfowl’s annual Portage la Prairie mentored youth hunt on Sept 1.
“The 10- and 11-year-olds who took part in our event were probably the first kids in the province to take advantage of the new law,” said Jim Fisher, director of conservation policy for Delta Waterfowl.
As part of the event, kids learn about gun safety, shooting techniques, duck identification and hunting strategies from mentors. The training is part of Delta’s First Hunt, the largest waterfowl-hunting recruitment and retention program in North America.
The highlight, of course, was the duck hunt at the Delta Marsh. A few teal and mallards cooperated for the budding duck hunters, and smiles were abundant throughout the day.
Delta Waterfowl was at the forefront of efforts in Manitoba to lower the hunting age, as part of its mission to ensure a future for waterfowl hunting in North America.
“Delta had been lobbying for a minimum age reduction in Manitoba for many years,” Fisher said. “It’s often a long process for regulations changes to happen.”
Delta continues to work to lower the hunting age in other provinces. Currently, British Columbia and Manitoba allow 10-year-olds to hunt, while most other provinces have a minimum age of 12.
— Paul Wait