It’s hunting season again, check out our hunting supplement

Commentary by Mac Olsen


Fall is my favourite time of the year, because that’s when the hunting season arrives.
Every year, the South Peace News, Lakeside Leader and Smoky River Express have a hunting supplement, featuring businesses and stories with a regional flavour.
It’s not always easy to get the right balance for the entire region. But this year, we have stories that cover the gamut, from Peace River to Slave Lake.
I have done two stories with Fish and Wildlife Officers. One is about the hunting regulations and the other is about the fishing regulations.
If hunters and fishermen dread these stories, they shouldn’t. As I’ve come to see over the last seven years, Fish and Wildlife Officers aren’t out to make life hard for those who want to enjoy the outdoors.
They simply want everyone to follow the rules and ask questions if required. They don’t want to have to lay charges for violations; they’d rather clarify any issues and develop a good rapport with you.
But, those who are poachers and have no regard for wildlife – or who think that they can get away with what they’re doing and that it won’t hurt anyone else – are deserving of their charges, convictions and fines.
Like Fish and Wildlife Officers, I have no tolerance for those who violate the rules and regulations. And if I get news releases about poaching convictions, I will ensure that they are published because I want to put poachers and would-be poachers on notice about the consequences of their actions.
Returning to the hunting supplement, there is also an article about the Peace River Trapper Local 1195 event that was held in St. Isidore on Aug. 13. There were skinning and snare setting demonstrations.
It was fortunate that I heard about this event because I like to feature the trapping profession in our hunting supplement as well. Like hunters, trappers respect the animals they harves. They want to ensure they are harvested ethically and humanely.
And as with hunting, there are many people who oppose trapping due to misinformation, or they are outright hostile to this activity.
Not having an interest in either hunting or trapping is fine. I respect that. These activities are not for everyone.
But those who use bullying and social media to spread messages of maliciousness and threats against those involved in hunting and trapping, they cross the line to the point that I consider it a hate crime.
And for those who have such hatred, I say this: Don’t hate what you don’t understand.
One last item I will highlight about our hunting supplement. I am interested in starting a youth mentorship program for the Peace Country.
Youth are the future of the sport and I want to ensure that they have a positive experience. My intention is to take youth out hunting this fall, and I welcome you to look at my article for further information.
So, there you have it. I hope you enjoy reading our annual hunting supplement and take advantage of the products and services that are advertised.
To all you hunters, good luck this season, and I hope you will help to preserve and promote our hunting heritage.

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