White-tailed deer in some parts of central Ontario are experiencing severe winter conditions for the first time in almost a decade, so the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) is putting out a call to its members, clubs and the general public for assistance in supporting the emergency relief efforts of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (M.N.R.).
In late February, M.N.R. district offices in Parry Sound/Bracebridge, Minden/Bancroft, and Pembroke, began delivering emergency conservation measures to aid struggling deer, with help from fish and game clubs and some First Nations.â€œCentral Ontario has seen one of its worst winters in years,â€ said Ed Reid, O.F.A.H. Wildlife Biologist. â€œM.N.R. biologists have identified that severe conditions in these districts are preventing deer from moving through deer yards to access new food sources.
Without emergency aid, weâ€™ll see significant fawn mortality and mature bucks dying off. Even in normal circumstances, deer in northern areas lose 25 percent of their weight during the winter. We need to be prepared to help.â€The O.F.A.H. is providing funds for 15 tonnes of feed to the M.N.R. for the three-targeted relief districts through its O.F.A.H. DeerSave fund, which was established in 1995 to help local O.F.A.H. members and partners deliver emergency aid, such as feeding oats, browse cutting and trail breaking. The fund has not been widely needed since 1996/97, due to years of mild winters.
The donations will leave very little left to help other areas, should it be needed, so the O.F.A.H. is asking for contributions to help rebuild the deer emergency fund.
Donations are tax deductible, and should be sent to O.F.A.H. DeerSave, c/o P.O. Box 2800, Peterborough, Ontario K9J 8L5.
To learn more, call 705-748-6324 or visit www.ofah.org/programs and choose DeerSave from the list.The Federation only endorses deer feeding in emergency situations, and only according to science-based M.N.R. guidelines (available online at www.web2.mnr.gov.on.ca/mnr/pubs/deer1.pdf).With 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 655 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the leading fishing, hunting and conservation organization in Ontario.
Fish & Wildlife Biologist
(705) 748-6324 ext 244Ed Reid
Wildlife Biologist(705) 748-6324 ext 239Lezlie Goodwin
O.F.A.H. Communications Coordinator
(705) 748-6324 ext 270