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Thread: Sandhill Crane Season in 2026 ?

  1. #1
    Leads by example

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    Default Sandhill Crane Season in 2026 ?

    Received a letter from Delta Waterfowler regarding the opening of a season in 2026 for Sandhill Cranes in the Northern and Central District but not in the Southern District. Good but not good enough as they are wintering over down here in the Long Point area and I would love a chance to taste this so-called "Rib eye of the sky".

    Also news of increasing the American Black duck limit to 3 per day but that only applies to certain WMU's ( Long Point being one of them) and Northern and Central WMU's get 6 per day.

    Doesn't sound fair to me ?
    Good Luck & Good Hunting !

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  3. #2
    Needs a new keyboard

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    that was my first thoughts as well not in the south. is to bad and doesn't mention the season. I could get a bunch in the early goose season.

  4. #3
    Borderline Spammer

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    Life is rarely fair. Starting a trial in a few areas isn’t an uncommon practice. I would expect future expansion if all goes well

  5. #4
    Member for Life

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    It's called "sticking the toes in the water" to gauge public reaction. If the program was launched in southern Ontario,every whack job animal rights loony tunes would be marching in the streets.
    Society needs to stop bending to the will of the delusional.

  6. #5
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    I think a lot has to do with population density, more than likely there’s more waterfowl hunters in southern Ontario than the northern WMU’s.. and like others have said less heat up north than the tree amount of tree huggers down here…




    huggers down here.
    SkyBlue Big Game Blueticks

  7. #6
    Apprentice

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    Hello Guys,

    I posted a six (6) part response to the Sandhill Crane thread that "longpointer" started on the "waterfowl" forum at the Channel 68 website ... check it out.

    Jerome Katchin, D.V.M.

  8. #7
    Leads by example

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    True... life is not fair. I suppose it's the Canadian way of doing things as in baby steps, as opposed to the Yanks where they jump in with both feet ? LoL !
    Good excuse to visit my buddy in Burks Falls in 2026 as it will give me time to save up the extra gas money.
    Good Luck & Good Hunting !

  9. #8
    Apprentice

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    Hello Guys,

    I made a slight error in my last post ... it was longpointer's brother who started the Sandhill Crane thread on the Channel 68 "waterfowl" forum.

    I will post my six (6) responses here for your convenience. I covered some other related topics as well since they were brought up.

    Jerome Katchin, D.V.M.

  10. #9
    Apprentice

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    Date: January 26, 2024

    Re: Response to Comments

    Hello Guys,

    I am responding to several comments and questions that have been made.

    It should be noted that the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) has been (remains) an active participant of the Ontario Waterfowl Advisory Committee (OWAC) which consists of representatives from the Ontario Government as well as the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH). The current OFAH representatives are staff members of Delta Waterfowl and therefore (due to their extensive wealth of experience and knowledge) are able to contribute significantly to any discussion regarding waterfowl and waterfowl hunting in this province.

    1) Blue-Winged Teal Season:

    I originally submitted a proposal to the CWS in September of 2010 regarding the potential implementation of an earlier waterfowl season so that we would have an opportunity to harvest a few Blue-Winged Teal before they leave the province as they generally left by the end of September (back then) and often just prior to opening day. This proposal was added as an agenda item for the OWAC meeting to be held in November of that year.

    The concerns raised by the CWS at that time were:

    a) that the Ontario Blue-Winged Teal population was not doing very well (due to habitat issues) and that an earlier start to the Southern Waterfowl District would result in an increased harvest of birds from a relatively small population. Note that the western (prairies) Blue-Winged Teal population (which was booming at that time) does not migrate through southern Ontario.

    b) that an earlier start for the Southern Waterfowl District would also result in an increased harvest of other waterfowl species ... some of which may not have reached their flight stage.

    c) that an earlier start for the Southern Waterfowl District would also result in a corresponding reduction to the end date ... something that the CWS would want the waterfowl hunting community to consider.

    I was advised after that OWAC meeting that the majority of waterfowl hunters in this province would probably prefer the extra two (2) weeks that had recently been added to the end of the season to remain. Although the ice conditions here at Long Point (at that time) generally prevented any meaningful waterfowl hunting (from my perspective) the climate has certainly changed since that time ... which would favour a later end date to the waterfowl season.

    The Sandhill Crane Season will be covered in Part 2 to follow.

    Jerome Katchin, D.V.M.

  11. #10
    Apprentice

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    Continued from Part 1

    2) Sandhill Crane Season:

    I was advised in January of 2010 that the Eastern Population of Sandhill Cranes consisted of approximately 20,000 birds and was increasing year over year. That number however had apparently increased to approximately 60,000 birds by 2016 and was consequently raising further concerns in the agricultural community.

    The OFAH did submit a letter dated October 02, 2014 to the CWS requesting consideration for the establishment of a Sandhill Crane season in Ontario with apparently no results. However the OFAH and Delta Waterfowl subsequently submitted a joint letter dated October 19, 2018 to the OWAC that included a specific proposal for the establishment of a Sandhill Crane season throughout Ontario that would permit a daily bag limit of two (2) birds during a short season to prevent an over harvest of the number of birds.

    I was advised sometime in 2022 (as I recall) that the CWS had an issue regarding using a tag system for a Sandhill Crane season as well as for a Tundra Swan season. Consequently I can understand (do not agree) why the CWS has decided upon a brief two (2) week Sandhill Crane season in Ontario with a daily bag limit of only one (1) bird and a possession limit of only one (1) bird as well. This Sandhill Crane season would be limited to the Hudson-James Bay Waterfowl District, the Northern Waterfowl District and the Central Waterfowl District.

    The Eastern Population of Sandhill Cranes is currently estimated to be over 97,000 birds and increasing by 6% per year while the Mid-continent Population of Sandhill Cranes is currently estimated to be nearly 1,000,000 birds ... a ten fold differential in the number of birds. It should be noted that the Management Plan for the Eastern Population of Sandhill Cranes (2010) is to maintain the population between 30,000 to 60,000 birds.

    I would like to note that the CWS has estimated the annual Ontario harvest of Sandhill Cranes over the next four (4) years to be between 500 to 1,000 birds. The annual American harvest (Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama) from the Eastern Population of Sandhill Cranes is currently approximately 1,000 birds.

    An annual growth rate of 6% will permit the Eastern Population of Sandhill Cranes to increase by nearly 6,000 birds per year less the estimated annual Ontario harvest of between 500 to 1,000 birds ... remember that this population is already increasing by 6% per year with the annual American harvest of approximately 1,000 birds. Consequently we should expect that the Eastern Population of Sandhill Cranes will continue to increase by approximately 5% per year.

    I believe that when my Sandhill Crane population estimates (which are based upon the CWS numbers) are realized that the Sandhill Crane season in Ontario will include the Southern Waterfowl District as well.

    The Tundra Swan Season will be covered in Part 3 to follow.

    Jerome Katchin, D.V.M.

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