When hunters come to hunt with us, they like to ask what responsible hunting means. First and foremost, responsible hunting means 200% adherence to the Alberta Professional Outfitters Society (APOS) code of ethics. When I say 200%, I mean going beyond the ethical code by doing what makes sense to protect Alberta’s beautiful and balanced environment.
Which brings me to the second point of what responsible hunting means to me; the conservation of our natural resources with an emphasis on the wildlife and their natural habitat.
Let me take an example. As an outdoor professional, I feel that it is my duty to run what I call my own Deer Quality Management program which encompasses:
- Harvesting exclusively mature bucks.
- Targeting an average scoring of harvested bucks above B&C 145”.
- Decreasing the hunting pressure when scoring average goes below target or when natural conditions are too hard on deer (e.g., harsh winter, food scarcity, increase pressure from predators, etc.).
- Participating in conservation programs such as habitat restoration programs and surveying programs.
The latter component of responsible hunting is the active participation in Conservation and local community programs oriented toward enhancing wildlife and their habitat, but also by bridging the gap between hunters and the community.
Here is a very simple example. In 2018, Alberta Conservation and The Food Bank teamed up to launch the Alberta Hunters Sharing the Harvest Program which enables hunters to share their harvest through approved meat processing venues to help feed those in need of high protein meat. Simple things can make a big difference.
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