Friday, June 3, 2011

Beaver overpopulation the problem

The Whig Standard
Friday June 3 2011

Re: "Beaver cull causes flap" (May 27).

Beaver overpopulation the problem

You may not have to kill beavers to prevent road damage, yet you certainly must reduce their numbers to curtail beaver overpopulation problems.

Lesley Fox, executive director for the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals, said that if (South Frontenac) township covers part of the travel costs they're willing to send an expert to educate council on other ways to prevent beaver dams from bursting and spilling water and debris over roads. My advice to council is save your money.

The problem here stems from overpopulation of beavers, therefore diverting the water to contain the size of the dam and subsequently the size of the pond will not address this overpopulation situation; in truth it will simply lead to more beavers, more dams, more flooding and more costs to the taxpayer.

You may be able to "save" beavers but you surely can't stockpile them. Fox has little knowledge of beaver biology, otherwise she would know that beavers couldn't live together in an overcrowded situation. Beavers multiply quite rapidly and are very territorial. Also, they send their 'two-year-olds' packing to find a home of their own ... if they try to return the parents will ultimately kill them.

Modern-day trappers are experts at efficiently managing beaver overpopulation situations and Fox suggesting that by calling in the professional trappers, municipalities would be giving them the nod toward "killing everything" is completely ridiculous.

Beavers populations are managed by annually harvesting the two-year-olds and are assigned quotas regulated and monitored by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The cost of harvesting beavers has increased dramatically yet the price of fur has not increased accordingly. Hence the $50 compensation simply gives trappers added incentive to increase their harvest.

Fox's notion that, "The days of trapping are over," surely would be extremely bad news for the municipality. Rather than fall for her group's irrelevant plan, to help save on cost (taxes) the municipality would be better off to promote the fur industry and encourage taxpaying residents to purchase a beaver coat. In turn this would increase the demand, the price for beaver fur and ultimately reduce the need to subsidize their nuisance beaver control.

Eldon Hawton
President and Founding Member, Friends of Fur North Bay

Friday, May 6, 2011


Dear Colleagues,

A leader who offered us a future of "strict, relentless gun control" has not only lost his own seat, but decimated his party. A future under this leader may have seen the eventual demise of hunting and shooting sports in Canada. And not only because of a strict, unrelenting phase out of sporting firearms, but through the unrelenting efforts of another candidate who also lost his seat, Mark Holland.

Holland was instrumental in the demise of Bill C- 391, and was a strong proponent of several iterations of animal cruelty bills aimed at providing a legal basis to challenge the legitimate activities of hunters, farmers, ranchers, medical research and other animal users.

We have been down a long road through an unfriendly wilderness with these people and their agenda. Thank you all for your persistence and hard work to help change this world, into the new opportunities we now have ahead of us.

Perhaps now we can turn to some of the other important issues that face our hunting, fishing, trapping and shooting heritage. I have had discussions with several of you on a number of these ... issues such as government funding for fish and wildlife management and conservation programs, the Canadian Wildlife Service, preserving and promoting the North American model of Wildlife Management, in which Canada played a vital founding role, and others.

But setting aside new issues for the moment, lets just breathe a sigh of relief. We have stopped the advance of gun control for now, and will roll back the gun registry, which is a symbolic manifestation of a malignant ideology embracing not only our guns, but our lifestyle.

Thank you all for the work you did to influence the outcome of this vote for hunters, anglers, trappers and shooting enthusiasts. So many people worked diligently to take advantage of every opportunity, from all candidate meetings, to rallies, to media and beyond.

We may be small players in the big picture of federal politics, but I think you made our presence felt.



Canada's Outdoor Network
Dr. Robert O. Bailey
Vice President Policy for Canada
Delta Waterfowl Foundation
Lombardy, Ontario

Please click the link and check-out this exciting new prospect for Canadian outdoor enthusiasts!

Harper to end long-gun registry and establish hunting and wildlife advisory panel

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Election Opinion Polls Link & long-gun registry commentary

Dear friends,

This posting will be of particular interest to the many FoF supporters/contributors trappers, hunters, sport shooters and firearm collectors … traditional Canadian outdoor enthusiast activities. Too trappers’ firearms are very important necessary personal property (tools); modern day professional trappers depend on their firearms for their harvesting and survival purposes.

Therefore the following link will keep you up-to-date on the upcoming election. We invite you to checkout the rest of our unique website ‘your source for awareness’ while you are here.

NOTE: This Simon Fraser University website tracks **all** polling data and charts the averages as well as providing individual polling data as it is released. The averaging helps make sense of some of the wild swings.

Apart from general information on opinion polls, this page provides tables of polling results for you to keep track of changes in voters' preferences as the next campaign unfolds. While the focus of most media attention is often on the national levels of support for the various parties, in the end the regional and local levels of support are much more indicative of how parties may fare on election day.

Some additional commentary relative to the off target, ineffective & wasteful long-gun-registry, geared to target law-abiding citizens rather than criminals …

N.S. group: Vote to end gun registry THE CHRONICLE HERALD April 13 2011: Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers and Hunters executive director Tony Rodgers said: "I guess if you put it up against health care or national defence and all these other things people are debating during the campaign, it may seem trivial to some that we’re still bringing this issue out." "But it goes deeper than that. It goes to the whole core that we expect our government to trust us as responsible citizens, and part of that trust would be to get rid of this long-gun registry."

FoF president Eldon Hawton agrees with Mr Rogers; “in my view voter-government trust is a two way street ... As a duly licensed law-abiding, tax-paying, Canadian senior citizen (born & raised on a farm, my record checked by the RCMP) ... Given Ignatieff and his Liberals, Layton and his NDP won't trust me with my long-guns unless I register them, in turn why then should they expect me to trust them with my vote to govern Canada? ... My country!”


If you want to keep your guns and use them for hunting, sport shooting, trapping, prospecting and farming, please take the time to vote. It's a matter of self-interest. Every political party - except the Conservatives - is poised to take your guns away. If you are a hunter and don't care that restricted firearms face confiscation, it can still affect you - your hunting rifle could be next.

The Liberals and NDP have admitted they want strict and relentless gun control - they simply don't know the difference between sport shooters and criminals. They say all guns are bad. You need to vote for your firearms freedoms by supporting the only party that has pledged to protect our freedoms. The Conservatives aren't perfect, but they have pledged to work with us and no other party will. The polls are are very hard to read going into the May 2 election, so every vote counts. Don't sit on your hands and become a former firearms owner! Do it for you.--


Back when the national gun registry was saved from demise, a turncoat's dozen of 14 MPs -- eight Liberals and six NDPers -- turned their back on their constituencies by flip-flopping on their original vote to see the registry scrapped. We promised, back then, to remind you of who they are. And today we're doing just that.

The turncoats in the Liberal camp, all who tossed principle into the dumpster over a self-serving fear of being kicked out of their precious seat in caucus, include Anthony Rota (Northern Ontario), Jean-Claude D'Amours (New Brunswick), Larry Bagnell (Yukon), Scott Andrews(Newfoundland), Scott Simms (Newfoundland), Todd Russell (Labrador), Wayne Easter (P.E.I.)...

The majority of the six NDP turncoats, it should be noted, all come from the hunting mecca of Northern Ontario and, if they escape this election unscathed, they must have been campaigning wearing camouflage.

So let's remind the good folks of the Nickel Belt region that Carol Hughes, Charlie Angus, Claude Gravelle and Glenn Thibeault can no longer be taken at their word after siding with the fiction that law-abiding ranchers, farmers, hunters and long gun owners across this country are a dangerous faction who must be tracked and treated like criminals.

And neither can Malcolm Allen be taken at his word in the southern Ontario town of Welland. Or Peter Stoffer of Nova Scotia, a perennial press gallery darling and therefore even more suspect... In truth, he turned tail on his people, and therefore doesn't deserve re-election... What these 13 MPs still standing for re-election want their electorate to do is cast a sympathetic vote for an MP who believes in putting paycheque before principle. It's not a winning motto. (Editorial -- Edmonton Sun - April 28, 2011)-------

Friday, January 28, 2011

Legendary trapper Paul Millette passes …

Very sad to report the news that on Thursday January 20th 2011, at the age of 83 Paul Millette passed away while trapping on his northern Ontario trapline on Token Lake in Storey Twp. If there is a bright side, Paul died as he wished … doing what he enjoyed most …trapping.

During my tenure (1983 - 1991) with Ontario Trappers Association as Member Services Manager/Editor Canadian Trapper Magazine I had the pleasure of meeting Paul and working with him as both colleague and friend. Paul served Ontario trappers as their OTA director for 19 years all told. He eagerly passed on his vast knowledge at many ongoing workshops and trapper education events throughout Ontario and beyond.

I was pleased to have this picture of Paul taken by Pierre Canac-Marquis grace the cover of the 1986 winter issue Canadian Trapper magazine.

Please note the hooped beaver backdrop for the magazine pictured here involves a couple of legendary Ontario trappers as well. The late Ralph Bice trapped the beaver and it was hand crafted in 2010 by well-known trapper Roger Labelle of Mattawa. Roger worked on this piece for some 15 hours, which actually consists; of two of Ralph’s pelts as one pelt used to make the rope that attaches the other pelt to the hoop. Know doubt one of my most prized possessions.

At the request of family members I am passing along the following messages.

Hi All,

We just create a blog, a place where you can type your comments and thoughts for everyone to

share, family, friends & trappers

Please pass it on, Thanks

Have a look here

Julie & Claude


This song was one of Uncle Paul's favorites...

"My hairs' still curly and my eyes are still blue why don't you love me like you used to do."

This one is for you Uncle Paul: click here ...

You will be greatly missed.

Love, Suzanne xxox


A true friend of fur Paul will be sadly missed by many trappers and friends from throughout Canada and indeed North America.

With sincere respect,

Eldon Hawton,

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fellow Moose hunters ... your attention & action on this important '1980 Moose Management Policy' matter is needed now!

Moose populations under-managed ... moose hunters over-regulated ... devoted Ontario moose hunters conclude!

MNR should re-focus on current '1980 POLICY GUIDELINES'... Manage non-hunting mortality, control predation, restore, maintain, protect winter habitat ... Current draw system much too complicated ... Consider many benefits of return to simpler revised X number of AVT'S (tags) per moose system ...

Open Letter to Minister-MNR:

Ms. Donna Cansfield MPP
Minister of Natural Resources
Room 6630, Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street West
Toronto ON M7A 1W3

Dear Ms. Minister,

Enough is enough is the message conveyed by an ever-increasing number of bona fide moose hunters canvassed from across Ontario. After 25 years of micro-managing hunter harvest (testing) the 'Selective Harvest System' est. 1983, the status-quo has indeed miserably failed to meet projected population & hunting opportunity objectives, Therefore a transparent in-depth strengths & weaknesses test (review) of the current '1980 Moose Management Policy No. WM.8.02.01' is surely needed; involving more of the stakeholder 'groups' (NOSA, OFMF, FoF etc.) representing the greater majority of moose hunters.

Adding insult to misery when informed by the disturbing news that during Phase 1 (2008) 'MNR Moose Management Review' process, a small privileged group of 500 hunters (merely .5%) were invited to meet behind closed doors to review, revise and approve changes to the current 1980 'Moose Management Policy'. Leaving the remaining 99.5 % of the 100,000 devoted moose hunters, who loyally contribute the crucial 'MILLIONS' toward 'MOOSE MANAGEMENT' via annual licence fees, without equal opportunity for meaningful input; now forced to deal with the negative impacts of this MNR misconceived revised vital policy. The 2009 EBR posting is now their only option for input toward this important matter of policy. Many moose hunters absolutely agree MNR has failed to demonstrate due diligence here!

Phase 2, 2009.

Today we have the largest recorded population of moose (109,000), the lowest recorded harvest numbers (approx 7.5 %), combined with the lowest number of hunting opportunities (AVT's) current average is approx 14, 500. The Selective Harvest System has evolved from a few simple, easily understood paragraphs in a fold-out hunting regulations summary (1980); today a nightmare maze (20 pages very fine print) of extremely complex regulation.

Therefore it's hard to disagree that Ontario moose hunters feel over-regulated and that changes to reverse this unjustified situation are long overdue!

Enlightened Ontario moose hunters , quickly recognise that since 1983 MNR moose management is simply 'HUNTER MANAGEMENT' nothing more and that this new 2009 proposal is simply more of same old. Avid moose hunters feel they are downright over-regulated taking up 20 pages of 'bewildering jumble' focused solely on 'hunting harvest' (currently yielding scarcely 7.5% of moose population mortality) leaving the precise herd growth limiting factors within the 92.5% (non-hunting mortality). Meanwhile crucial '1980 Policy Guidelines' geared to address critical growth limiting factors such as predator control (wolves & bears) and winter habitat identification/restoration/protection remain completely disregarded. Simply put HUNTERS are not to BLAME for the dismal failures of the MNR 1980 Moose Management Policy.

AVT's should not be removed unless proven that 'hunter Harvest' is responsible for declining moose population. Prior to 1983 the much simpler two tags per moose system in place 1980, 1981, 1982 was tried, tested and proven sustainable, measuring 'hunter harvest as a percentage of the population' (below the allowable 12%). Effectively 50% of us moose hunters had an AVT (tag) allowing a ratio of 2 to 1 odds to share the opportunity to annually harvest an adult moose. Although a much smaller ratio actually harvest a moose, (a three year average of 71, 122 hunters harvested an ave. of 9,015 moose) yet at least the opportunity existed.

Clearly moose hunters mistakenly opted for the 'selective harvest draw system' in 1983, which removes AVT's based on irrelevant AVT fill rate percentage's (hunter success), in hindsight more time should have been devoted toward fine tuning any perceived minor weaknesses of the initial X number of tags per moose system.

Therefore Ms Minister, please consider the following.


1) MNR should demonstrate due diligence based on the above circumstances, declare the 2008 EBR posting Registry # 010-5396 as inconclusive input, pending further discussions involving more stakeholder groups, representing the greater majority of moose hunters (NOSA, OFMF, FoF etc.)!

2) Further, put on hold the 2009 EBR posting Registry # 010-5965 and immediately establish the process toward formal discussions between yourself and the above groups geared toward revisiting the 1980 Policy guidelines in particular (6.0) - (8.0) relevant to predator control and winter habitat management, concurrent with establishing a long overdue fresh approach; implementing a slightly revised 'X # of tags per moose system' initially tested and proven sustainable in 1980, 1981, 1982.

I look forward to your reply.


Eldon Hawton,
Moose Hunter,
North Bay

For more more complete information please review and download the files at these links.
Letter Plus message to Moose Hunters c/w Media coverage Sudbury Star

Moose Management Policy 1980 plus MNR Table 1 'A summary of moose harvest and number of moose hunters...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The rest of the story re FoF Website underlay ice fishing scene…

The new scene was the result of a quick continuous improvement meeting with FoF Webmaster TJ Quesnel on Friday February 6th 2009 … looking for a winter scene for this purpose.

The scene portrays the results of a successful ice fishing event at my son Kevin’s cottage on the south shore of Lake Nippising last spring. My grandson Greg age six at the time landed this 11-lb-6 ounce Northern Pike…through a six-inch hole. Impossible you might think…yet as the story goes once Greg got the monster started up the hole… the fish literally swam right up onto the ice. Family dog Tate was perhaps the most surprised!

As the old saying goes “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, my passion is trapping & hunting still I dearly love to fish…my son Kevin in his youth loved to help me trap. Has deer and moose hunted with me annually over the past 25 years and fished with me since he was a youngster. Seems Greg is following in our footsteps, which makes father and grandfather very proud.

I love this picture of Greg when he was age 5…refusing to leave the dock in the evening…just in case another hungry rock bass may be lurking for a bite. I remember the feeling well; in spite of the fact that rock bass fishing for me lost its lustre about 58 years ago!

This little story that I share, I’m sure is typical of happy events as such shared by many millions (members of families) throughout the ‘Outdoors Heritage Community’. Too me this underscores the importance of the Canadian Outdoors Caucus efforts towards keeping our precious, traditional outdoors heritage activities and cultures alive.

FoF is proud to be part of the OCAC and for the benefit of all…encourages everyone who cares as I do, to support this unprecedented effort on our behalf as well.

For more information FoF invites you and your many friends to visit the Outdoors Caucus page on this website.

Please take advantage of your opportunities to conserve, share and enjoy our great outdoors!


Eldon Hawton
President & Founding Member
Friends of Fur